Guest Blog: Sugalumps

“Get lower!” “Derby stance!” “Get lower!” Fresh Meat coaches told me I’d get sick of hearing them say that….but I haven’t heard it yet. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like they haven’t said it or I haven’t needed them to say it, but I don’t hear much of what they say while I’m moving.

I haven’t heard it because there’s a lot of dialogue already whirring in my head.

Me: You can do this.

Brain: Errr, no, not happening.

Me: Brain, seriously…..everyone else is doing this.

Brain: Mate, I’m telling you, everyone else might be – but you definitely can not.

Me: Going to do it anyway.

Brain: Going to stop you. Bam! See? Stopped you.

That’s often how that plays out. I try to convince myself to at least attempt a drill but either chicken out or am physically unable. (Like crossovers, I’m telling you people – that is not a thing that legs are supposed to do.) Add to that the constant messages in my head where I’m reminding myself about core strength, complaining about the muscle pain, protecting my weak ankle, and keeping my shoulders back.

I’ve read a few articles now on derby anxiety, fear and telling yourself you’re not good enough. I feel like mine isn’t your garden-variety fear though. It’s a complete fact; I’m not good enough. No amount of people (or myself) telling me I am good enough doesn’t change the fact that I’m extremely overweight, I’m extremely unfit and I’ve got a couple of torn ankle ligaments. What on earth made me think I was skate-ready? My body isn’t good enough for all of this!

I’m sure coaches and other skaters aren’t blind, they can see my body isn’t good enough, but I receive a different message from them; different than simply whether I am or am not good enough. There is only support and encouragement, and space for me to attempt drills or not based on my own choice. Not once have I ever been made to feel as though I shouldn’t be there or as though my unfit body isn’t good enough for this. I’ve felt this way in every other single sport I’ve attempted. Seriously, everyone. But ARDL really seems to be living their inclusion policy and embracing every single participant and their differences. I’m proud to be a part of a league that is so welcoming and inclusive.

There’s more internal noise too; really, this one is more of a run-on sentence sort of monologue.

WOOOOOHOOOOOOO! Argh, this is super fun! This feels amazing! I’m striding and I’m staying on my wheels and I can fall and get up by myself now and I’m doing it!

And I’ll keep doing it. One day my brain will lose the little quitter it is.

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