Don’t Call It A Comeback

Last night was the third and final night for Houston Roller Derby Tryouts. All the girls showed up on time, eagerly gearing up and hitting the track. After some warm-ups and a few drills, we split into two teams and scrimmaged.

I could feel the butterflies in my stomach throwing a fit, but I tried not to let it show on my face. From the looks I caught from a few other girls, I wasn’t the only one carrying a befuddled butterfly sanctuary. Time to shake it off and concentrate on our game.

My jammer skills were on (at least it felt that way). I looked for the holes and aggressively pushed at walls. But when it came time to switch, my blocker skills were all over the freaking place. Don’t get me wrong, I had a few good moments, but it felt like I hadn’t blocked in months instead of days. I hit people with my helmet, I tripped over my own skates. It was embarrassing. Once again, I tried not to let it show on my face.

Towards the end of practice, I was asked to meet with two HRD players for an interview (yes, the dreaded interview). They asked me if I understood that being a member of HRD was more than just showing up to practice. I told them I am always more than willing to volunteer for anything. They asked me if I had any questions. Now that I’ve had time to think about it, I have a ton, but I could only think of one at the time. They answered it and that was it. Then we all played the waiting game.

Practice ended at 7 p.m., and the list of girls chosen wasn’t posted until 7:30. Some girls took the time to hydrate and stretch, some gathered in groups to talk, some nervously texted loved ones. We were all thinking the same thing: what if I don’t make it?

I knew if I didn’t make it that I would keep skating. I would join HRD’s rec league or try skating for one of the other teams in the area. Whatever it took to pass tryouts the next opportunity, I would do it.

Half an hour felt like half a millennium. When the list was finally posted, I didn’t want to see it. I waited for most of the girls to check it before walking over. There in the middle of the page was the number 12, my assigned number for tryouts. I passed.

I have to take a moment to thank the Savannah Derby Devils for training me, telling me to smile any time things got hard, to always keep moving my feet, and if something scares me, go for it. I didn’t pass on my own. I passed because of SDD.

All the girls who passed were reminded that there was a thin line between us and the girls who didn’t pass. This is the time to step it up and commit. Call me committed then.

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