From the helmet of: Tesla
Excuses: I'm fabulous at them. If they were a minimum skill, I'd pass that portion with flying colors and extra credit. If you've ever skipped practice due to anxiety, not worked out because reasons, not gone to bed or woken up on time, or eaten a whole pizza without a second thought, then you're likely a whiz with excuses, too. Excuses go hand in hand with honesty and responsibility. When you make them, and tell yourself you believe them, you're not taking responsibility OR being honest (with yourself and others).
Excuses are sly. They comfort and coddle you. They slip soft fingers into your cold hands and fill you with that warm whiskey-drink called rationalization...
"It's too hot outside to exercise. You can't go out there, you'll pass out! Oh, it's kinda nice out? Well, you're out of Nuun."
"You'll do better tomorrow." What a wonderful promise of hope and renewal. Tomorrow is a new day! Tomorrow is also the day most people quit smoking, start their diet, and clean the house. Tomorrow is convenient. I mean, it's always there, as long as you live to see it. Some people don't know if they will live to see it, and it is from those people that I think we need to take a cue. We are not promised a tomorrow. We don't deserve it. We're not entitled to it. Live today like you might not get one.
How does this apply to derby? Well, it may not apply to you. Maybe you're a rockstar that eats whole, healthy foods, commits 100% on the track, works out 5 days a week, sleeps 8 hours a night, and stays away from alcohol and tobacco. More than likely, though, you're a little on the excuse-y side, at least once in a while. You've read this far, so you must have a reason for sticking around. I'd like to admit something: I am terribly unfair to myself. I don't give myself a fair shot. Every single day, EVERY SINGLE FLIPPING DAY, I have the chance to make good choices and make progress. I have the chance to go for a walk, do 20 push-ups, jump rope in the driveway, pull out the yoga mat. I have the chance to drive to the grocery store and buy fresh greens and proteins instead of heading to grab to-go food. I have the chance to sit down and draw up meal plans, workout agendas, and goals. No one is holding me back. I choose not to do all of these things. I even get a great discount at the gym right down the road, and I don't choose to utilize it. I mean, that gym has a HOT TUB! But there are people at the gym. People! Does any of that sound familiar?
Lately I've been pulled aside by a few fellow skaters and told I have tons of potential, but I'm holding myself back. They are always so encouraging and nice, and it makes me feel really great, but also a little sad. They see me not applying myself. They hear me laughing and saying I'm only in derby for the fun, and it frustrates them a little because they think that if I only wanted it more and pushed myself, I could be really great. That is a stellar vote of confidence from some strong ladies I admire, right? So, why does it feel so awful? I am only doing derby casually, for fun, right?
Doubt creeps in. When I watch the Texas Rollergirls skate, do I feel only admiration, or do I feel aspiration? ::looks around innocently:: Me? Do I want to be a Texas Rollergirl? Do I want to be on a world class team like the Texies and skate at that level? I can't bring myself to speak the words "Yes, of course I do," because I don't think I'm capable of making it that far. I watch girls try out and and fail, and their failure is so much more skillful and spectacular than my greatest tries. I would never compare my beginning to their middle, that's just ridiculous, but I do compare my drive, focus, and determination to theirs, and I wonder if I'll ever get there. I see determination as something that comes on later, way after you've struggled. I don't seem to understand that I could be determined now if I wanted. I see how long they've been skating and how hard they've worked for their sport. Do I have what it takes to do that? Do you?
If you are just in derby for the fun, I want you to ask yourself the same questions. You might have to admit to yourself that you DO want it. You want it so bad you could just make yourself sick, but you give up before you've begun because you know you don't have a chance. You're just being realistic (that's an excuse). You are defeated before you've even tried. We all deserve a fair shake, right? A chance at a dream. If your secret, innermost dream is to be a pro-level skater, listen up: You have all the power to try. You have this one life and this one body. Don't watch everyone else skate by and not give yourself a fair chance. Those rockstar skaters didn't get where they are by whining about their life from the sofa. You know what you have to do, and so do I. If you don't want it, that's fine. But if you do... what are you waiting for? You think we have to skate for years in order to find our reason to strive for greatness? We could start right now.
So, here I am. I have a decision to make. I can continue to have a fun, flirty relationship with roller derby, or I can be a fucking committed derby skater in the greatest derby town in the world (yeah, I said it). I can eat potato chips, or I can do core exercises. I just have to decide what I want out of life and where I want to go, and then I have to take action. You don't have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great. I don't know who said that, but I like it. Let's do this. Greatness starts here.
Tesla and Gravy
Just two rollergirls trying to share the rollerlove from Austin, TX to the world.