For me, one of the biggest challenges of roller derby is letting go of a lot of anxiety. I spend a LOT of time worrying about what people are thinking of me, or if I am going to make a fool of myself. This anxiety has prevented me from doing many things. In fact, prior to derby, I had never stuck out an activity for more than a few months because the anxiety always ended up discouraging me from doing anything.
I am proud of myself for sticking with derby for this long, and I credit the positive influences of derby for helping to keep me on track, but my anxiety has had a major impact on my ability to progress. I often don’t give 100% effort, or push beyond my comfort zone because I am afraid of looking silly. Despite paying for two practices a week for the past 9 months (one is a Freshie practice and one is a league practice), I only went to my first league practice yesterday. Fear of being the slowest, the worst, having everyone’s attention on me and thinking terrible things about me prevented me from going before.
And you know what? Going to that practice was the best decision I’ve made.
Following up on my last post about weight loss and derby, I want to emphatically state that roller derby is an intense work out that requires a significant degree of athleticism and fitness. This is true not only of the top tier teams, but of my own recreational league as well. Although a large part of this athleticism is about skating skills, it is extremely important not to to overlook off skate training.
Thankfully, my league puts a significant emphasis on off skate training, and about 1/3 of each practice is dedicated to it. The things we do in training varies so we work a number of different muscle groups, and are often influenced by on skate skills our coaches think we need to work on (ex, footwork, getting lower, whips).
Today I want to talk about something that gets brought up a lot, especially when fat women are involved in the discussion. That is the relationship between roller derby and weight loss.
Often, when larger girls are unsure of joining up or have hesitations about their abilities due to size a common response is talk about how derby will get you in better shape and help you lose weight. While it is certainly true that roller derby will get you in better shape, that is practically a guarantee if you understand ‘better shape’ to include increased strength, more flexibility and better endurance. There is, however, no guarantee that roller derby comes with weight loss.
Today I want to share the gear that I am using. Certainly, I’m not suggesting that this is the right gear for everyone, but given my size, budget, skill level and dedication, this is what I have selected.