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...


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