Friday, November 16, 2012

Small Victories

So the older I get the more I’m learning that I’ve got to embrace the little things in life.  You know, things like that first sip of cold water after a time in the sun, the exquisite feeling of falling into a freshly set of laundered sheets after a grueling day, or managing to make it through two, count ‘em, two, practices with breaking any bones.

Pretty sweet, right?  It’s the little things.
And it really is the little things, those small victories that are keeping me going right now.  For so long I waited, impatiently, to strap on the skates.  Then we I could throw the skates on, it was wait, wait, wait until I could finally step back down onto the track.  Now that I’m back on the track, I’m simply celebrating the simple fact that I’m not falling down quite as much as before while waiting anxiously to catch up to those who’ve rushed ahead of me.

It’s a small victory, keeping oneself from falling, but for me, right now, it’s enough to keep me going back.  I pushed myself a little further than before, proud that I’d even made it to practice after a long day at my jobs on top of a long week.  The prospect of throwing on a bunch of gear and continuing to skate around in a circle, trying not to look like a complete idiot, was NOT high on my wish list for that Thursday night.
But I went and was glad I did for many reasons.

I mean, like I said, I’m not falling as much anymore.
My endurance, if but a little bit, seemed to stretch just a little further, letting me push for that second time around, feeling the burn just a wee bit longer.

In the straightaway, I felt myself growing more confident, almost finding a rhythm as I settled my skates over me, heeding my faithful coach, ProseHack’s, insistence that I work on distributing that weight from foot to foot.
And I didn’t fall.  Well, let’s back that up; I didn’t fall incorrectly.  If I found myself tumbling, which was less, I was able to follow protocol and fall to my knees, saving any pain and lessening the impact of the shame.

And turning…Well, okay, I can’t turn so well yet but maybe next week that’ll be my next small victory.
But in addition to my little victory, it was a victory for some of my teammates as well.

Trouble won simply by making it out to practice to skate after a painful recovery from Monday’s intense pre-skating workout.  It left everyone who participated hurting (in a good way as the psychologically damaged insist) and she’d wrestled all week with the pain.  But there she was, skates on and working hard.
Small victory.

Wil-Power was there as well, despite having some misfortune earlier in the week, having seemingly dislocated half of his body while, you guessed it, practicing skating.  Yet, there he was, out to stand and encourage, to fellowship, and to get in some exercises and stretching.
Small victory.

Punchline was there, stepping strongly into the fray and owning his new identify as roller derby superstar as opposed to announcer.  His “aw shucks” demeanor is only offset by his tenacity and courage in getting out there and making it happen.
Small victory.

Josh (he’s really got to pick a dang name!) was there as well, geared up and tentatively stepping out with the big’s in his new role as graduate of the rookie program.  You could sense the anxiety and the nervousness but, what’s that?  He’s freakin’ jamming!  Rock on, Josh; you brought it.
Small victory.

Lastly, and perhaps one of the evening’s main highlights, was watching friend and recent rookie graduate JC Jammer, well, jam.  And even better?  Scoring lead jammer status.  You go, JC.  Can’t wait to join you out there.
Small victories.  They seem to be the thing that’s going to keep me going as I watch guys like Mr. Punish-Her and Bruce do what they do, rolling around the track and setting the bar higher and higher and making the road to victory seem so far away.  But, with the encouragement of seeing my peers succeed and hearing the occasional cries of “Go FallRisk!” (still can’t get quite used to hearing that but it’s coming…), not to mention the simple elation of not falling again, I’ll keep coming back.

And looking for more small victories.

(Speaking of victories, we need your help in bringing success to our fundraiser that’s trying to help bring awareness and support to the need of Easter Seals Project Rainbow program, particularly as they seek to help provide a wonderful Christmas for families with children with developmental disabilities this year.  Please help us in spreading the word and in donating toward this great cause!  You can find the fundraiser info here: Rescue Project Rainbow


  1. You are a FANTASTIC writer Andrew! And on yer way to being a great skater! Thanks for the shout out - HIT CREW BABY!!!
    ------ punchline #789 --------

    1. I'm not sure about the all of that, man, but I've sure enjoyed watching you grow out there on the track! The shout outs are well deserved... HIT CREW for life!

  2. You are right,'s all about the small victories. I think that is what keeps everyone going in this sport. I've had my personal skating challenges. (I was not naturally born for this sport for sure!) It has been a constant struggle toward mediocrity...but you get there slowly but surely. It's the day that you push yourself beyond and actually make it! The day Coach Wilkes told me I either jumped the orange cones or I take my gear off and go home was probably the pinnacle example. I not only jumped those damn cones that day...I realized I was stronger and better than I had thought! I have some personal memories of others making small victories...the day Esther did her first jam and dazzled us all after being on the sidelines watching, the day Coupon not only made her 25 in five but also knocked someone on their ass, the day Dragon Slayer was finally able to properly get up from a double knee drop, the first day Malice stepped on the track as an official Bomber and showed us what she was made of, Blaque Jac showing us her promise in Gainesville on an impossibly slippery track, Julia Sieze-Her and Nikki Stric-9 as a blocking combination matched by no other, and the list goes on an on and on. Small victories. All that being said, the group of Rookies that started with the Hit Crew in October have brought me more joy than you all know! Every one of you comes from a different place and have different challenges, but it sure is sweet to see everyone achieve things they secretly doubted they could do. And I have NO DOUBT you're all going to make it!

    1. Baby steps are the key, I think. I just keep telling myself that if I can do this one thing, the next one will come right after. Plus, the fundamentals are always the hardest; once you've got all those down, then the fun begins!

      And speaking of Coupon's success, I remember her face when she came home with both of those stories and I wouldn't trade them for the world...

      It's funny; we still have friends who ask how we can be in derby, with the pull of time that it puts on us, etc? And sometimes, I wonder too. But when I think back to moments like that and like those that you've shared, and I've got my answer.

      Definitely looking forward to adding myself to that list one day...:)