Monday, January 21, 2013

Roller Derby Randomness

It has no bearing on this discussion but this helmet rocks...
I don’t know if it’s the forced week off from derby (about to stretch just a little bit longer as we are still a one-car family for a few more days) or the three day weekend but I’m stumped as to what to write. Derby writer’s block has officially hit and I’m just not sure where to go with this thing.

But, as I’ve pondered all morning and part of the afternoon, wracking my brain for that great angle to write about, I’ve come up with, well, nothing.
Yeah, that’s how good writing is done, right?

And while I know that nobody is anxiously logging onto their computer this morning, their “need to know” of what’s going on in the mind of this wacked out wannabe who calls himself “Derby Dad” at full throttle, well, I’m a sucker for routine and it drives me crazy when I don’t get something posted. And I’m secretly hoping that maybe there are a few of you out there who actually do enjoy this little experiment…
So, in my anxiety and spate of writer’s block, I thought I’d rely on an old favorite of writers everywhere, designed to break through the wall that holds us back and offer up some inspiration.

Yes, the ever-popular brainstorming free write. Essentially, it’s kind of like a free-association list of bullet points, more or less as they come to my mind. So I apologize in advance.
And while I’ll do my best to edit it out to at least keep it relevant to the stuff I try to focus on here, don’t be surprised if something like, “I like chicken,” pops up somewhere in here too.

So, with that said, let’s see what kind of randomness my brain can present today:

·         Roller derby really is an equalizing sport. From the kid’s level to the high-echelon of adult players, it’s unlike any other sport in that it manages to allow just about everyone to start at the same level, regardless of usual intangibles like size and whatnot. Putting those stupid wheels on your feet is a total game-changer and erases most of what we know of conventional sports.

·         Some folks have derby, and seemingly only derby, as what constitutes their life. Yes, they still have family and work and such but derby seems to be what consumes the majority of their free time. This doesn’t seem entirely healthy to me.

·         Why is it only January and I’ve had to mow my lawn this week? This does not bode well for the rest of the year…

·         Snowplows, how I hate thee…

·         Watching my wife skate in a bout is alternately exhilarating, frustrating, and frightening, all in one. I’m totally proud of how far she’s come and where she’s going but watching her play can run me through a “Gilmore Girl’” episode worth of emotions.

·         I like watching my wife knock people down. ‘Nuff said.

·         One of the beautiful things about derby is the ability for a team to rebound from being super down to taking the lead within a jam. Last night’s bout, particularly the first half, was super indicative of that, with one squad jumping out to a large lead that was quickly gobbled up by the opposition on the next jam. It literally does always come down to the last jam and that’s pretty cool.

·         Derby equipment understanding continues to elude me. Every time I log onto the “I Derby” group on Facebook, I’m buried under discussions of wheels, trucks, bearings, pads and more. Things like “88’s” and “97a” get tossed around like we’re at a bingo hall and I still don’t know what’s going on. I just know that there are these things called skates that take wheels. And that I should and do wear pads.

·         Coupon Clip-Her and I are some serious derby recruiters. I’m not saying this as any sort of bragging but it just hit me today that since I suggested to my wife some year and a half ago that she should try roller derby, we’ve had a hand in seeing eight (and perhaps soon to be eight) folks dip their toes into derby waters, and that’s not including ourselves. From chance phone conversations to good family friends to kids in the neighborhood, we’re bringing ‘em in!

·         I lament whether or not I’ll ever get to where I want to be fitness-wise in derby, let alone skill-wise. While I was at one time in much better shape, I’ve let myself go due to the simple elements of real life and some honest to God laziness. And while I want to get back in shape, those real life deals keep pushing against me and, to this point, have still beaten me down.

·         I continue to appreciate the diversity and the surprising nature of so many folks I’ve met through this derby experience. Whether it’s folks who are generally introverted who take on a whole new personality when they slip on their derby hat, folks who don very professional duds during the week but let it all hang out when they hit the track, or those who are just super, super friendly and nice, derby is full of great people and great athletes. The whole community aspect continues to impress me, even while it confuses me at times as well.

·         Derby drama really annoys me.

·         One day maybe I’ll get used to the idea of seeing myself in a helmet.

·         I’ve never seen folks who enjoy pictures of themselves more than derby girls. Just saying…
Yeah, I could keep spitballing these random tidbits out (and my brain’s actually churning pretty good now) but in the interest of not coming across as a total dweeb (too late, right?), I’ll stop for now. Prayerfully, I'll break through this writer's block and have something of substance for you tomorrow!

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