Roller Derby takes time and commitment, that’s no news. I was wondering what pushes me to put my skates on every night, so here are my thoughts on the subject 🙂
Sports & Me
I tried out a lot of different sports during my life, from martial arts to archery and Quidditch, but they all had something in common: I went to class once a week, for 2 or 3 hours, and all that was asked of me was to try my best during this class, before I went back home and forgot all about it until same time next week.
The only “intense” sport experience I ever knew was when I was a kid, and that I did about 10 hours of ballet dancing a week. But this was a very special case given that I was in a dance elementary school, and that the dance classes were integrated among our regular class hours.
Let’s get down to business
Now that I’m doing roller derby, I’m expected to attend 7 to 12 hours of course a week (5 to 7 hours of skating, 2 to 5 hours of NSO training and theory). These days I have derby 6 days out of 7, every week!
It takes me almost 20 hours a week if I count the transports and the time I spend to take care of my gear. And we’re also advised to go to the gym regularly, to learn the rules by ourselves (80 pages that we have to know really well, it ain’t gonna learn itself!) and to watch roller derby bouts videos.
I’m not really counting the time I spend doing sport at home or studying, so I can’t say exactly how much time I’m dedicating to derby per week, but it’s a LOT.
But don’t think I’m complaining here. Oh, no! On the contrary, I can’t get enough of it! I wish I had three times more practice, I miss skating on the days without it, and I’m always sad when the practice finishes (tired, but sad).
So that got me wondering… What in derby makes it so special that people don’t complain about all the training and the extra homework? What makes it seem so natural for us to go train almost everyday, when (I assume) most of us never experienced such a thing before?
Everything is awesome!
I started to think about what motivates me to go to Derby every evening. Here’s the list:
- Let’s be honest, skating is awesome. It’s a sensation like no other, and I love to use every occasion I have to do it. I can’t skate in my flat nor outside (yet) so the classes are my only possibility to put my skates on.
- The great community ❤ I quickly made friends, and I’m always happy to see them. The other day, one of them told me she was unsure if she was coming to class more for the social part or the skating – I kinda agree 🙂 I also love my teachers, and I think the wish to make them proud adds some motivation. Because I’m doing more and more NSOing, I’m also experiencing the off-skate volunteering part of the community, which makes you feel like you belong even more 😀
- Watching the great skaters in our team! My favorite lessons are the ones where the A team is training nearby, although it can be distracting to watch them! It really motivates me to tell myself that one day, I’ll be that good too if I work hard 😀 And sometimes we even train simple things together, and let me tell you, having an A team skater tell you you’re good feels hella good!
- Progress! In derby, especially in the beginning, you learn a lot of things, very quickly. You can clearly see your progress from one class to the other, and because of that, you sometimes go to a class thinking “today I will work hard to learn this skill that I couldn’t achieve yesterday”. A few days ago I learned about Hockey Stops, and I thought they looked awesome but very difficult to achieve. Yesterday I was asked to try them out and I managed quite well (at low speed, but still). That’s a great feeling 😀
- Working out in a fun way. A few weeks after the beginning of the Freshmeat, I told my girlfriend, in a surprised voice, that I thought I looked slimmer. She laughed and answered “What do you think? How many hours do you spend on your skates per week, already?” and it made me realize that yup, it’s not all fun and games, it’s also called sport for a reason. Just because I love it so much, my brain which is used to the “pain + effort = working out” equation didn’t compute that this still worked even if fun was part of the equation. The fact that I could answer “yes” to the question “Are you doing sport?” made me froze for a few minutes the other day…
Last Monday, I was feeling kinda low, did nothing of my day, had no energy to move my ass to Derby. For the first time in 2 months, I was not excited to go to training. And yet, the idea of skipping the training did not even pass my mind for one second – I guess I really don’t want to miss any training opportunity 🙂
But then, I thought about actually being on skates, and I immediately got my excitement back. Having the possibility on working on my power slides? Hell yeah!
I got off the bed, put my coat on, grabbed my bag, and actually arrived 10 minute early to my bus stop. And had an awesome training, obviously 😀
I’m pretty sure this will not be the last of my low days, but as long as skating can get me motivated, it’s gonna be alright! And if it’s not skating, it will be one of the other reasons I listed above ❤