Kill your heroes

Having someone to look up to isn’t a bad thing. Seeing certain skills and aspiring to duplicate them can drive you forward. But sometimes derby players let our heroes, or our view of them, cloud our judgment about our own skill. Here are a couple of things that help me keep perspective.

1. Even my hero has doubts.

As you saw last week, I had a moment of self doubt. While I’m not the greatest skater, I am aware that there are skaters who look up to me. They may think I have it all together, but I don’t. Of course, neither do the skaters I look up to.

After all star travel team tryouts here in Houston, it amazed me how many of my league’s amazing skaters admitted they were worried about not making it. Really? ‘Cause I figured you had it in the bag. That’s just it, though. As someone who looks up to them, I only see what they do right. They see what they do wrong, just like I do with myself.

2. I will never skate exactly like [insert player name here].

While I love watching players like Francey Pants or Mistilla play, I will never skate exactly like them. Every skater has her own unique style of skating. This is influenced by body type and training.

I didn’t grow up as a speed skater like Mistilla. I’ve never been a hockey player like Francey Pants. I can dissect certain skills they have and try to imitate it, but ultimately, it will look different because I am different. I skate like me, not them, and I have to learn to accept and celebrate that difference.

Every skater has an equal opportunity to be an asset to her team. We don’t all skate the same, but those different skills are what can make a team great. Metaphorically, we sometimes have to kill our heroes to achieve our own goals.

kill your doubts

P.S. Huge thanks to everyone who left comments or sent me messages last week. The support was overwhelming and much appreciated. Thank you all!




6 thoughts on “Kill your heroes

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  1. I really like this post. I have come to find out the same thing. I used to think my heros were unstoppable, then maybe they fall doing something and in that instant I think to myself,” they are human”.

  2. I agree. I was very eager and excited when given the opportunity to shadow my team mate Jekyl & Heidi. I got out on the track with her and because she skates so much faster than I do, I played Chase the Heidi instead of roller derby and she played Babysit the Holly. It doesn’t mean I’m a bad skater and I can’t get great tips from her or one day play at her level, it just means I need to perfect my speed, form and level (and continue to stalk her moves in the process).

  3. Insightful post! I would also like to add to all inspiring heroes to always remember where you came from. I hope that when I make an established position someday, I will never forget the two hours Holly and I spent learning how to squeegle not sure if I can even spell it let alone do it! lol Take a lesson from your heroes who are helpful and encouraging to beginners and strive to emulate those characteristics when you make the big time!
    Hugs and Bruises

  4. Hi,

    I really liked your blog, your voice, humility and passion for derby.

    I am a documentary filmmaker living in New York City that is making a documentary on the slow disappearance of roller skating in my city and in the US. In New York, the rink in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx have closed, leaving on one left in Staten Island that was destroyed in hurricane Sandy.

    The documentary is called United Skates, because I have discovered that roller skating is one very unique place where all races, genders, ages and social classes lace up together, and barriers come down… and I am hoping our film will inspire a new generation of youth to bring back the love of skating.

    I am in the process of creating an open platform blog, where I am inviting anyone who has a beautiful story such as yours, and a love for skating (in any form), to post, and begin to create a world wide community.

    If you are interested in sharing your blog, your story, or your thoughts with us, it would be an honor to be in touch. Also if you know anyone else who may want to add to our choir of voices, I’d love to hear from them too!

    I look forward to hearing from you.


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