Patience, grasshopper


I’ve been through three rec league practices so far. I finally fell the third session. It shouldn’t be a goal of mine not to fall – after all, this is roller derby. There’s falling and getting back up and falling again…you get the idea. I want to get better. The most frustrating thing for me right now is finishing in the back of the pack when it comes to drills. Back and forth across the rink. I hate being one of the last five or six to finish. But I’m so afraid of falling that I don’t go at it harder. I realized this while talking to one of our coaches on Sunday. 

And then, after practice, I got to talking about crafts with some other skaters. We had a seamstress, a crocheter and a knitter. As we talked about our hobbies (well, livelihoods, in the case of one woman), I realized something about patience. The Yarn Harlot always says she knits because she’s impatient, that she can’t sit still in waiting rooms without having her hands busy. That applies to me, too – you won’t catch me at the doctor’s office or in the airport without yarn and needles. What realized on Sunday, tho, was that knitting can make me more patient – without my even having to be knitting. 

I didn’t learn to knit cables the first, second or even third year I knit. It took time for me to build the confidence, the muscle memory, required to learn new techniques. Last year, my seventh full year of knitting, I finished a sweater in 6 weeks. A long-sleeved, button-down cardigan sweater. With cables. It’s taken me the better part of a decade of knitting to get to a point where I’m efficient enough to finish at that pace, speedy enough to be able to go back and fix problems even when I’ve gotten a couple of rows along. 

So. I hope it won’t take me seven years to get better at skating. But I know that if I get in my reps – build that muscle memory – that I’ll get better, and pretty quickly. I just need to skate. Skate, skate, skate. I’m gonna make myself a shirt with my derby name on it – Fabiola Thrasher, #303 – and my new motto, Just Effin’ Skate. That’s going to be my mantra in practice. Just effin’ skate. Don’t worry about everyone else or how you look. Go out there and learn to turn, learn to fall, learn to skate in a pack. This is a fun thing. No more stressing about fun things.

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