Getting your ass handed to you

I watched a bout tonight with a final score of about 320 to 60.

“Yikes,” I said to my new teammate, who sat next to me.
“Yeah. But they’ll be twice as good tomorrow,” she said.
“Been there,” I told her.
“We all have.”

The ass handing. It happens. In derby-land, all the time.

In fact, this happened to be almost exactly one year ago, at my first bout. It was my entire team’s first game ever. We lost 266-62. The next day, we were twice as good.

That night was tough. Every jam a struggle. I think I jammed five times and scored nothing. Just got beaten and beaten and beaten to the floor. And I had a blast.

“I HAVE NEVER BEEN HIT THAT HARD,” I remember saying. “I didn’t even know girls COULD hit that hard,” I told my teammates, who shook their heads in agreement.

And that’s when WE started practicing hitting that hard. It was the first time we thought about “walls” or, dare I say it, strategy at all.

My old team recently beat that old team in a tournament. And although we won that tournament, and therefore beat 10 other teams, it was that game — not even the championship game — that we were proudest of. Not because we beat that team, we loved that team, but because we beat our old selves. We learned what we already knew somewhere: We weren’t those same girls anymore. And a lot of it was due to that first asswhipping.

Call it a loss, but we’ll see in a year 🙂

Thing I’m proud of: I was the only blocker for my team today at one point, against 5 opposing skaters, and I held their jammer until my jammer came back. Really proud of that. Three things I’m grateful for: I’m grateful there is so much derby in this city to watch and learn from (four bouts this weekend!), and for my newfound hemp/cactus protein powder my loving girlfriend bought me, and for my new teammates who saved me a seat at the bout tonight.

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