This year, as I head to Champs with MNRG, I am thankful for my teammates, my coaches, and everyone else who has pushed me to improve.
As a roller derby competitor, I am constantly striving to achieve my next goal, reach the next level, and overcome my next challenge. I try to avoid being stagnant or plateauing in my abilities. As most skaters know, there is SO MUCH to learn and master in roller derby that it is almost impossible to feel like you know it all. Even when you think you’re at the top of your derby game, the strategy changes or skaters come up with new amazing moves. The game is ever-evolving, so your training is always evolving as well. This also means that competition is always changing, and teams experience both successes and failures.
Every time I lose a big bout or feel like I didn’t perform well, I try to put the situation into perspective. I am so fortunate for the chances I get to play, and whether I win or lose, I should attempt to enjoy every moment of it. No matter what level of derby you are playing, you get to be a part of a competitive sports experience. You get to cheer with your teammates when you’re victorious and share the sadness of your losses. I believe this is the reason why we play roller derby – not for fame or recognition, but for team cohesion. We push each other to be better, we support each other when things get hard, and we continue to grow together as a team.
No matter what team you play for, I hope you can experience pride in what you and your team has accomplished. This does not mean winning, losing, or ranking points – it means enjoying your practices, making friends, and striving to constantly improve.
As for me – I am on a kick-ass home team that gets to compete in front of thousands of fans each month; I get to skate with the amazing MNRG All-Stars at WFTDA Champs in just a few short weeks; and I have created wonderful relationships with so many derby people over the years. No matter the outcome of a bout, I will remember that I’m pretty damn happy with where I am. Hopefully this is a feeling that every derby player can experience.