You know how when you ask someone “why do you blog” they say “to get shit off my chest” or “to work things out” or “because I am just a sad sad sad person who needs to feel sorry for myself in a public forum”? Well, tonight I am that kind of person. I hate writing these kinds of posts, really I do, but I’m really struggling and I’m hoping that someone out there can either 1) give me some sound advice, or 2) slap me upside the head and tell me to pull my skate laces up and be a big girl. Or maybe both. I don’t know.
So yeah, about roller derby. I’ve been busy (full time job, school, volunteering), and I have told my coaches and some of the Board members that I’ve had to cut back on my attendance, volunteer hours, meetings and all that stuff. Initially, that helped me restore a little balance in my life and relieve some of the emotional investment I’d been making in derby. I’ve been trying to go to two on-skates practices a week, but lately, it has been harder and harder to go, and I’ve been dropping down to one practice a week, or no practices (uh, like where I should be right now). There are many reasons why, and I’m trying to sort them out. Among them:
- Instead of feeling invincible, I’m feeling invisible. I’ve been skating for over a year now and I still don’t know who my people are. I don’t know who to hang out with at practices or at events. I always feel awkward when I try to join in with a small group of people having a chat after practice, for example. There are plenty of ladies I like in the league, but it feels like everyone has their set of friends and doesn’t need another one. This awkwardness has resulted in me not going to our league’s events (skating or social), which I realize does nothing good for helping me to find my people.
- My skating has improved A LOT in the past year. However, I’m feeling pretty fucking defeated by my skills (or lack thereof). It seems like I will never get my 27 in five; in fact, I’ve gotten worse over the past few months, going gradually from 24 laps to 21.5 laps. WTF? My cross-overs are getting stronger and I’m trying to skate the diamond more, but I’m just as slow as a turtle. In fact, this has been bringing me down to the point where I get really nervous to do the 27 in 5 (or the 50 lap killer, for that matter). This anxiety does nothing for making me want to go to practice. And, like my point above, I recognize that if I keep skipping practices, my skills will never improve.
- Related to the above, it seems like I’ll never get to the point where I’m cleared for bouting. I’ve only scrimmaged once – it was awesome, but the beginning and intermediate skaters are not given very much opportunity to do that in our league. So what’s the point? It feels like I’ll never get “good enough” to play, so why do I put myself through the anxiety and stress of practices and meeting all the requirements for leveling up?
Whine, whine, whine. It’s easy for me to be super hard on myself, which is always self-defeating. I do have depression and anxiety issues, for which I’ve been getting treatment for a number of years now, and roller derby easily triggers so many of my issues. Yet there are so many things I love about derby as well. I want to improve, and I’m happy that I’ve gotten better over the past year. I really do like the people in my league, but I don’t know where I fit in, which makes me feel like a big freak. I want to be involved, but when I was more involved, it was just so stressful (for a few reasons that I’ve not listed above, like league politics and requirements, etc.).
Is it time for me to quit? I think about this every day. I don’t want to give up, but I feel like I’m hanging on by a thread. I’ve invested so much of myself in roller derby, but I need some support and I just don’t know where to get it, hence this sad, whiny post. Any advice or ass-kicking would be much appreciated.
Gritty Cat (a.k.a, Marci)
Related post: Why Can’t I Quit You, Roller Derby?