Becca Damron-Whitehead, aka Bebe Gunn, is a recent graduate of our new recruit program. She recently decided to share her experience – both the sunny and the rough. Read about her experience here.
This has been a tough month… I was excited about getting to practice with the big kids, but I still had to conquer the 27 laps in 5 minutes business (known as the dreaded “27/5” in roller derby). It felt less intimidating to work on them when I was still in the new recruits class. It was just us, all newbs, feeling pretty good about how far we had come in 4 months. Once we started big kid practice, it was different. Everything became challenging again. The seasoned skaters have been incredibly helpful and kind, but we are very clearly newbs again. I don’t know what I’m doing 95% of the time. As SharpE said in the beginning of new recruits, “derby is just controlled falling.” They’re not wrong…
I hit 26 laps on 12/18/19. I never knew you could feel proud and defeated in the same moment… That was my personal best, but still not enough… I would still have to take time out of team practice and try them again. In front of everyone (insert “everything hurts and I’m dying” gif here). As a 35-year-old woman, this was a huge gut punch to my ego.
When I turned 35, I thought I was over two things:
1. Caring what other people thought.
2. My ego.
Turns out, neither are true.
After this practice, we had a two-week break for the holidays, which meant I needed to do some hardcore training on my own to get ready for laps and practice. However, in true old lady fashion, I torqued my hips and back (not doing anything cool, just doing old people stuff like cleaning the garage). This put me out of practice for 2 more weeks while I let the chiro work his magic. Now it’s time to return to practice and I am filled with anxiety. My ego, and fear of how much I have regressed due to this absence, is raging. I don’t feel ready.
I feel embarrassed at the thought of trying again. I feel embarrassed at the thought of not trying again.
I’m conflicted. I’m ambivalent. I even hoped we’d have a snownado so I could avoid it without the guilt. Basically, I’m human-ing real hard right now.
I thought I would share my experience because when I initially said I was trying derby, I was on a derby high. I said I had learned that I’m enough and that failing is necessary. That’s so much easier to tout when you’re feeling successful… So I suppose I am here to publicly eat my words but also to lean into them.
I’m failing and I’m still enough, but damn, it’s hard to admit sometimes.
“Dust your knees off and keep pushing” I said… Here’s to owning my words and trying to live that mantra.