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.