Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Eyes Up.

Blah. Blah. Blah. That's what most of my posts have been. Whining about what I DON'T have and what I WANT but not about what I should do to get there.

Well, yesterday I applied to two jobs and went to Cedar Valley to run a jammer practice for the Brawlers. Today I picked up 5 extra hours at the shop and went for a run. Minus the Wendy's I had last night, I have been getting back on the good food wagon, and remembering how tasty a salad can be. Take that life!

I keep dwelling in my frustrations which leads down a slippery, depressing slope. I've started to tap into a bit of motivation, so now I just need to hang onto it and keep pushing forward. I've also completely stopped doing any video which makes me sad, so I need to MAKE time for it. I have a bunch of random footage from Rollercon I never did anything with, and tons of bout footage to play with. WTF Deadwards?

So what motivates me?

"Never stop challenging yourself if you want to 
continue to improve as a skater."
Photo by Preflash Gordon
She's a driven, amazing skater for the Minnesota Rollergirls. I had the pleasure of taking one of her classes at Rollercon and love her style. She is also part of Team USA and featured recently on derbylife.

She also came down with the version of MNRG All-Stars that played us in June. Not only is she a great jammer, but a stealthy blocker. As a skater with a similar athletic background as me, and only a few years ahead on derby experience, she is definitely a skater I look up to. Keep an eye on her during North Central Playoffs.
They had an AMAZING showing at Eastern Playoffs last weekend, and proved that hard work pays off. As the pioneering league for Europe, being only five years old, and going into the tournament without a sanctioned win, they exceeded all expectations. I caught a majority of their bout vs Philly, and you could see them learn and adapt as they played. I was sad to miss most of their bout vs Montreal, but it was obviously a brilliant comeback from their 70 point loss to them at Anarchy in the UK. 

Photo by KORfan.

The fresh meat have definitely been inspirational this year. Jenna JAMisON not only makes a great pet, but she has improved immensely and has let us throw her into bouting this season. Same with Outlaw Jessie Pains who I think has done everything from soccer to rugby, pushes me with her fancy footwork and endurance. Triple D Zaster has always been a skater that pushes me to skater harder and faster. Her drive and dedication to working out outside of practice reminds me how important cross-training is. Returning skaters like Ima Golddiggah, who has attended a 5 am body sculpting class since June, remind me to keep challenging myself. Did I mention how quickly she returned after having a baby? Toxic Sugar has probably been the most inspirational this year. Last season she injured her knee which led to surgery and a year+ being off skates. Could we get rid of her? Nope. Despite her frustration, being a mom of four and deciding to go back to school, she attending nearly every practice and became a valuable off skates member of the team. She has handled an intense amount of internal work for the team; everything from setting up bouts to pushing us through our apprenticeship. She is the glue that holds our team together and now she is returning to skates, which I'm sure terrifying for anyone after injury. 

Lately I've been pretty down on myself and focusing too much on what I can't do. Reminding msyelf what I have done and what I'm capable of is inspiring to get myself back in that good place. The Roller Derby Workout Challenge got me in great shape earlier this year and I felt unstoppable on the track. With Animal Mother by my side, I helped cultivate a crop of new skaters that are looking amazing on the track. I have edited some awesome videos including a whole 20 minute documentary on our team. I went to Rollercon and have been meeting amazing people all over the world! Did I mention I've gotten MVP twice this year and get multiple shout outs on the Derby Deeds Podcast? (I'm kind of a big deal.)
Knowing I can take out a speed skater like Stella Italiana adds a boost of confidence.
Photo by KORfan

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Deadwards vs Edwards

Bench coachin. Yeah, no one else recognizes me
without face paint either...
Photo by KORfan
Fall means a new school year in Iowa City. Doesn’t matter if you’re not actually in school, the whole city revolves around the University. Living in a college town is interesting, and is why I think roller derby teams prosper in them. There is an abundance of more diverse and open minded people who are more likely to join a unique sport such as derby. There is already a large sports-minded population that is itching to watch some fierce competition and lots of fun-loving alumni with families that find their way to a bout.

A town absorbed by a state college isn’t without its conflicts either. We have to schedule around the fall football season, deal with a summer lull when students leave, and have a hard time really breaking into the student population to begin with—they’re poor and have no transportation. It’s a recipe for derby to grow, but we have to work hard at cultivating awareness in order to penetrate the city.

This past year I’ve felt like that has been my full time job. I’m all derby, all the time. At one point I suppose I wanted nothing more, but now it’s starting to wear on me. I’ve been out of school a year and a half now, and haven’t really worked on pushing my personal and professional life any further.

I’ve come to realize I really love doing PR for the team and this year have worked hard at revamping the image of our team, ensuring that promotional items get done and sent, and tried to explore new ways to get our name out. I’ve also taken on coaching, and helped train a whole crop of fresh meat for the past 9 months. I even put together a new event in our schedule, the Roll Out, to highlight them and show off everything else we’ve achieved this year. As a board member I have another meeting to add to my schedule, and heavy topics to discuss. It’s been exhausting to say the least.
So proud of these ladies. 
So where am I personally a year later? Still broke, working a part time job as a barista and no certain path laid out before me. It’s frustrating and my love for derby is slowly turning into animosity. At the end of the day, I like the things I do for derby, but it doesn’t pay. Take derby out of my life and I wouldn’t have much left at this point, and I wouldn’t be any happier either. A balance is needed.

I graduated college with a BFA in Intermedia art with a high interest in video. I just started to develop my creative juices and gained a skill for editing. My culminating project was a 20 minute documentary on our team which proved to myself that I really can do anything I work hard at. I know I have it in me to do the things I want, I’ve just lost that ambition and motivation to do so.

I just need to take a hard look at what is benefiting ME right now and what I can do to push myself forward. Sacrifices might have to be made, and hard work has to be done if I want to be in a good place. The next year could lead to many possibilities, and I have to be open to them. Come next fall I am NOT going to be working at the shop, with a new crop students asking me what my major is… 

Anyways, here's my long awaited movie about OCCRG from the spring of 2010. We were still sorta babies...