FRESH MEAT FILES: FIRST-TIME JITTERS

This post comes to you from:
Hebrew-Ham Lincoln

I am playing in my first ever game on June 10th -- just 4 days shy of my 3 month derby-versary. Wow. Has it only been three months? I feel like I have known these ladies my entire life. I have the jitters. Bad. I am so excited I invited just about everyone I know. And some are actually going to show up! Amazing. Wait, crap, that means people are going to come and see me play. Uh oh.

I am not the strongest skater yet. Although every practice I learn and improve and I’ve started to eat like an athlete and cross train, I still have a long way to go to feel confident on my feet. Yet, I am learning that some things just come in time. For some girls it could be a month, for some a year, but with enough hard work it will happen.

I love to scrimmage. I love to hit, and be hit, and fall, and feel the energy the girls give out. I have read the WFTDA rule book over and over again, and yet, the minute I step onto the track and the whistle blows I still have the “oh, shit” moment. What should I do?  I know I need to have a partner but they are all the way over there now and the jammer is right here and how do I hit again? Did I just cut the track? FALL SMALL!!! GET UP GET UP GET UP!!!  Hurry up, slow it down, I HAVE A GOAT!!! I AM THE GOAT!!! Quick feet. Our jammer is in the penalty box!!! Wait? Slow it down? Yeah. Maybe? Oh, god…just keep moving.

During a scrimmage I mostly have moments of fear, confusion and looking to my teammates for help. And then, there is that one instance of clarity. Every so often, I know exactly what to do, it could be for a split second, but it’s there and I execute and it works and that split second is the happiest one I have during a scrimmage. Or the day. Or possibly the week. It’s like all the sound goes away, I hear my heart thumping and WAM! Or I slow! Or I yell to do something and I’m right. 3 months and I can count on one hand how many times this has happened, but they are increasing in frequency.

I have my first game on June 10th, I haven’t passed my WFTDA’s but as nervous as I am, I am more excited because even though we are playing each other, we are still part of the same team. I’ll see what new things I’ll need to learn in order to keep my head when people are watching. I’ll get to show my parents and friends where I have been the last three months (at practice, working out, lake skates, outdoor skates, anything to be on skates) and I’ll have a gauge for next time. Where will I be? How will I do?

So, I hope you come and cheer. It is not easy to be Fresh meat on the track, or any player on the track for that matter. Come, and watch and fall in love with an amazing and complicated sport, and who knows? Maybe you’ll be out there next time.

Summer Shovin’ is on June 10, 2012 in North Hollywood!  

SFV Roller Derby

THE LOT, 12900 Bradley Ave, Sylmar, CA