Friday, March 30, 2012

Revisiting a bully blog!

 Having read this blog earlier this week, I really thought it should be revisited.  Roller derby is a sport and a hobby and a lifestyle; it's a place where we go and put our blood, sweat and tears into.  We pay for the privilege; we get injured and go back day after grueling day.  We do derby because we love it and it is fun!  But for some people, derby isn't fun because they feel bullied when they are at practice or interacting with their league.  This should NOT happen!  I understand that derby might not be for everyone; it's a brutal sport where you know you're going to get hit by someone on the track.  I'm not talking about that; I'm talking about isolation off of the track and straight up bullying.  Sometimes bullies don't even know they're driving people away, or maybe they think they're making people tougher; but derby really isn't a place for "mean girls."  That place is MIDDLE SCHOOL, not in a sport!  Please read the following blog and if you recognize yourself in this article, maybe stop and reconsider your actions in your league.

LiVe DeRBY: Blockers Not Bullies:

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Let's retire these things with honors in the Derby Museum

Sometimes when I sit around and think about how things would be different if I ruled the world.  In my fantasy land, I would have a ceremony for things I feel should be retired from modern derby as we know it.  Here are a list of my favorites.

1.  My first nomination for the derby museum is numbers that are more than four digits or have letters in them.  I know, I know, you all have rad numbers and your letters spell out cute sayings, but it is damned hard to read them when you're  a ref.  Plus, if you're skinny, four numbers do NOT fit on your arm; no ref wants to read numbers up in your armpits! And please please please don't think that just because you have a complicated number, that means the ref won't call you out on a penalty; they will, they just may stutter first.

Yes, yes I am.  Now save the cleverness for your license plate and get a real number.

2.  Gross or inappropriate derby names.  Really?  Please stop ruining it for the rest of us.  I picked a name that was neither offensive or about my genitalia; please stop naming yourself after obscure sexual acts or vaginas.  If you have to skate with a black bar over your name, or you have to reference the urban dictionary to make any sense of it, it's TOO MUCH!  I'm not calling you out because you know who you are.

Not a derby name that I know of, but an actual He-Man character's name.  Look it up. (And if you want inspiration for awful derby names, just check out the list of supporting characters.)

3.  Belts.  I know, belts are great handles for jammers to grab in desperation, but if blockers actually were paying attention to where their jammers were, wouldn't an arm whip be so much better?  You can break your finger hooking it around a belt, and even though you don't need fingers to skate, you might need them in your real life.  I know blockers get pantsed at times by desperate jammers; I've had my outer shorts yanked down by a clutchy jammer in a game or two, but I SHOULD have been paying attention and given her a whip before it got to that point. 
Yeah, shirts get ripped, but they also stretch.

4.  Score keeping skater girls.  I haven't seen these in a while, but I do know some leagues used to have two skaters that acted like ring girls that skate by the crowd at the end of each jam with the scores in their hands.  It was cute, but we have awesome score boards now, and I really don't want to run into any of these score keepers while I have thirty seconds to get a team on the track!  Having to dodge the outside pack refs can be crazy enough, so it's time to retire this old derby routine.  I know, it gives a non rostered skater a chance to participate in a bout, but the audience can see the score on the projectors.  Let it go.

5.  Scrum starts.  This is derby, not rugby.  Scrum starts are boring as hell to watch and frankly, I'm tired of rules "strategery" in general.  Wouldn't it be refreshing if instead of trying to find the loopholes in the rules, we concentrated on becoming stronger players?  Is it just me?  Ok.  Moving on.

6.  Derby demos.  Honestly, I think derby demos were awesome when derby was in its infancy, but now I feel like it just slows down derby bouts now.  People will not learn what derby is in a four minute explanation; it takes watching a few games to "get it" so I really feel that you can have a brief "break down" of the game in your program and let the game explain itself.  A good announcer can also explain the game while it's happening, which is much more exciting in my book!

Announcers...they can explain stuffs!
So there you have my nominations for the first annual Retirement of Derby Museum awards.  Of course, I'm not in charge of anything but my own imagination, so none of that will actually happen, but it is fun to dream.  If you have any nominations, add them in the comments!

Monday, March 26, 2012

The mind of a derby ref

And here is the follow up to the mind of a derby girl.  If you want to download the original, you can find it here!  If you use it, please give me credit!

Thanks for the Facebook feedback guys and gals!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Derby Dating: Coaches and Skaters

The final installment of this series is coaches and skaters dating.  It's not an easy relationship, and you are always being scrutinized by other skaters.  When I put the call out on Facebook about derby dating coach and skater stories, I generally got messages like the one below.
Our coach is dating a girl on our team. The favoritism she receives is just unfreakin believable.
If I ever sat out on a drill cause I was to tired, I would get shit on, she however spends more time sitting in the corner then skating, and no one ever says a word. Because if we do, we get "punished"
Dating in derby between coaches and players, is a big no no as far as I am concerned! We are updating our bylaws and it has been requested by more then one player that a section be put in saying if a player is dating a coach, then she cannot be on the team he is coaching.  (Anonymous)

I'm sure the above couple have no idea that they are getting the look of death from other skaters; they might even feel that they are successfully keeping favoritism out of the derby part of their relationship.  Unfortunately, their league does not agree, and they are considering changing their bylaws to stop it from happening again.  People, when someone puts a bylaw into the books because of how you have behaved, then something is TERRIBLY wrong.

Fortunately, I can leave you with a working derby couple, Heavy D and Kat Diablo.  Heavy D is the coach of the Carolina Allstars and the Debutante Brawlers.  Kat Diablo is a Debutante Brawler and a Bootlegger.  Both of them joined the CRG last year and have been put in some interesting situations, such as skater and coach.  I feel like they handle themselves extremely well in public, and when they are skating, they act like coach and skater, not husband and wife.

We came into derby at two different times she (Kat) was already skating when I decided to help out. The biggest obstacle for us and I assume most couples is to not take away from each others experiences. I have to be careful to separate derby from our relationship, especially at practice. Kat is getting better at it, if there is any corrective feedback. I still struggle when asked "how did I look at practice today" or "how did I do in the bout".  Might as well ask "does this jersey make me look fat?"

In the beginning the stress of trying to get as much knowledge as fast as we could, lead to travel woes and putting our personal lives on hold. Now just focusing on CRG events and an occasional bout or two in Greensboro to support our local teams has calmed some of the stress down some. Kat and I support each other in this sport and respect each others role in derby. Of course there will always be new challenges that come up, for instance we will be announcers together for the first time on Saturday for the GSORD bout. I have a goal of not being a microphone fiend and hogging all the talking time. Wish me luck and cross your fingers we don't get all married couple in front of the crowd.   Heavy D

They've been nothing but professional in front of me!
 So, what have we learned from all of this?  Being in a coach/skater relationship seems to impossible for most couples, but I would bet most leagues have experienced at least one coach/skater relationship.  Maybe you can handle the pressure, but chances are you can't.  I know it's tempting, but it takes a special kind of couple to handle this in derby!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Derby Dating: Derby Widows, the forgotten heroes

If you haven't figured this out, this is not a blog entry FOR derby widows, but it is FOR the skaters that inflict derby on their significant others. Yeah, I said inflict.  Derby is an addicting, time consuming, life devouring monster for some of us; we didn't necessarily realize how much we would be immersed in the whole derby experience, but here we are.  Unfortunately, we tend to take our established relationships in with us, even if our significant others never even come to one of our bouts.  How can we lessen the impact derby has on our loved ones?

How much time do you spend practicing a week?  I've tallied up some weeks with 10-15 hours because I've gone to every practice and then attended other league practices.  That's a lot of time for a sport, and even though it's not a normal week for me, I know that most skaters practice at least 6-8 hours a week.  Now add in league meetings, committee meetings, public appearances, fund raising, travel time, open skating, team bonding and t-shirt making.  Wow, how do we fit all of that into our lives?  Well, like the old saying goes "behind every strong man, is a stronger woman", behind every strong derby skater is a partner who is shouldering a lot of the burden that derby brings to life.

When I first mentioned finding people to write for this topic, I got a lot of "I will add my thoughts, but I want to remain completely anonymous" comments.  That made me stop and think that this topic should definitely be brought to the surface.  I know for a fact that a lot of derby widows are afraid to really let their spouses (etc) know how they feel about derby, because they don't want to be thought of as unsupportive.  Some of the comments made me sad, and some brought me a smile.  Here are a few that struck a chord with me, and on a personal note, the following entry made me feel guilty, sad and incredibly introspective. 

Imagine, if you will, that your wife is cheating on you. She's not trying to hide it. In fact, she talks about this other person constantly, and his name is Derby. She goes to see Derby three or four or five nights a week, leaving you to cook and clean and take care of the house. She comes home battered, sweaty and bruised, and so tired that she's got no interest at all in you.

She spends an unseemly amount of money on Derby, so things like family vacations and big purchases are out of the question. But, of course, that's not the same thing as Derby vacations, oh she loves those. She'll go out for a weekend, or maybe longer now and then. Nothing with just the two of you anymore, but if you want to come watch her be with Derby, well that's fine as long as you don't get in the way.

She's got a bunch of new friends, and they're all dating a Derby too! So now all your social outings are spent with other Derby girls, and their poor husbands and wives. You all know what each other is going through, but you're forbidden to speak of it. Because you all know, deep down, that if you make her choose, she'll choose Derby over you. Derby makes her feel smart and strong. Derby makes her feel like a powerful woman, and obviously you don't or she wouldn't need Derby in the first place. And because once she loved you, you stick it out. Through the bouts where you go watch her flaunt her relationship with Derby in front of thousands.. where you pay for that privilege
. Through the injuries and the fights and the days where you don't even see each other.

And when she's angry at Derby, she comes to you for comfort. A few times, at first, and then more and more, until every night she's venting about Derby to you. Not that you should, not that you *could* even suggest leaving Derby. No no... you cook and clean and take care of the house, and you listen to her and be there for her, but you never, ever suggest she might leave Derby and come back to you.

Her relationship with Derby goes on for years. If you're lucky, someone who is somewhat like your wife might come back to you eventually, when she tires of Derby of its abuse. If you're not, then she'll stick with it until she's so injured you have to support her full time, or she leaves you, or you two simply split it.

I suppose I was 'lucky' in that, after a few years, she eventually came back to me. But she still loves to talk about Derby and 
reminisce, to forever remind me of where I really stand in her world compared to Derby.  (Anonymous)

"I became a ref, so I could spend time with her.  It's also a good excuse for checking out derby girls, and pointing and whistling at them, and I cant get in trouble cause its 'my job'. "  (Ziggy)

For some couples, Derby is the thing that the wife can do that is great for her, while the husband is off doing things that are great for him. It gives them both 'me' time. For other couples, Derby is a chance for them to do something together as a family. This has been our (Punk Blocker's and mine) experience. So for any Derby widows who are unhappy about being a Derby widow: get involved. The sport needs you too. Of course, you then have the problem of Derby orphans... (A Boy Named Tsunami)

Aren't they adorable?

Here's what I've done to cope with long practices, away bouts, committees, all the derby talk-
Allison (AlaBAMison) and I were married on Oct. 23rd 2010. Instead of driving off into the sunset for our honeymoon, the next day she skated in a bout, I volunteered as a medical first responder. By the same time the next year, on our anniversary, skating in another bout, I was bench coaching her home team, the Mad Dollies. My new year's 2012 resolution: go into coaching 'full time.' I lead off and on skate fitness practices, still coaching with the Dollies, and run stats for Gate City. It keeps me exercising, keeps me involved, and introduced me to lots of wonderful people! Also, we can sit close together at home and have her talk derby to me.

Best way to deal with being a derby widow- get off yer butt and volunteer with the team! There's so much that goes on behind the scenes, support staff is always welcome. and don't make her choose between you and derby, 'cause you gonna lose!  (Neverending Torry, GSORD)

The couple that plays together stays together!

My husband  DID say to me the other day that I would pay more attention to him if he had the word DERBY written across his forehead! :D   (Genea Morfeld Swan)

Want to acknowledge your derby widow?  Derbylicious has some awesome gear you can get him!  Try this shirt, these buttons or this sticker.  Remember to appreciate your derby widow and let him or her know that even though derby is important, it will never be number one in your heart.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Derby Dating: Do or Doo Doo Part 2

 Because the topic is derby dating, I shamelessly solicited both  success stories and horror stories about dating in derby.  The following is a story from Truckstop and Star Stormer of the Columbia Quad Squad, and it is a success story!

Star and I met playing roller derby in the fall of '07. I had been playing on our fledgling league for about 3 months when Star joined. From the beginning it was pretty awesome because we really just developed a friendship built on the joint efforts and the pursuit of our own empowerment. In many ways, I feel fortunate we met through such a difficult undertaking-- gutting our hearts out trying to learn a new sport and help run a non-profit organization from it's conception wasn’t exactly spare time activity. In short, it was a lot of work, and we both wanted it really bad.

We refused to act attracted to one another for a LONG time, which amounted to about 6 months. Haha! After we accepted our condition, however, we worried about how our relationship could change the team dynamic, and what might happen if we made it official and then didn't make it.  When we finally outed ourselves our league was actually really supportive, and that was awesome! At the same time, we were very aware of misconceptions about derby girls "going" gay, so did our best to stay very level with people by keeping the bedroom out of derby.

Haha! Is being on the same team ever stressful? Well, yes, it can be stressful sometimes. Most of the time, derby stress with Star and I stems from one of us feeling like we "sucked" at practice or at a bout, and the other trying to pull the one out of her ass. It's a little easier to pull your teammate's head out of her ass if you don't have to deal with her emotions on the way home.  Being in a relationship totally messes with that.  Often, it requires a cool off period whereby the non self-depricator simply has to wait for the other to come around and say something like "I'm sorry I was a dick earlier when you were trying to make me feel better." Other than that, the only difficulty lies in that accountability of when NOT to skate. Star is stubborn and doesn't like being told she shouldn't do something. Perhaps you know a derby girl with stubborn syndrome? I know, a TOTALLY rare bird.

Star and I have almost always been on the same roster in the 4+ years we've been skating together. However, there was a period when we transferred leagues in which we were not rostered together and that was hard. I would say it was hardest BECAUSE we'd always skated together.  Star was awesome though, and I think on the whole we learned how to be more supportive of one another as partners.  Both of us know we can’t skate forever (KICK OUR BUTTS, TAKE OUR SPOTS, NEW GIRLS!).  Hopefully we can go through that process with as much grace as a veteran derby girl can muster. I know I think about it. I think about "what will happen when I can't play anymore."  Both Star and I have lost half seasons due to ACL tears/reconstructions.  I, loftily, like to think this has prepared us a little better for the disappointment of athletic realities, but there's no stopping raw emotion.  We all have our time to do this.

For me, derby is the pursuit of the most excellent thing I've ever been about. To pour so much of myself into something and my partner be as supportive as Star is, is just the most unique thing I've ever experienced. Star always says "you're stuck with me."  And I agree with that statement.  I am grateful every day of the fact that her and I are both so head over heels in love with this sport.  We never have to barter with each other over derby time vs "us" time, and this is something I know is rare.  I am lucky.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Derby Dating: Do or Doo-doo? Part I

I love writing on hot button topics, because EVERYONE has opinions on certain topics.  I've been toying with doing a derby dating blog for a while, because I have definite opinions about dating in derby, but I'm going to share the feedback I've received from other skaters and people involved in derby.  Unfortunately, this topic is TOO BIG for just one blog entry, so I will definitely be revisiting it again.  If you have feedback on this topic, please don't be shy and let me know!

All artwork can be found on my site here.

The best answer I got on the Facebook prompt I posted was from Jasper Newton "pardon my french here but I told myself when I got involved with this I was keeping my dick out of the derby."  Wow.  After I giggled for five minutes, I thought about how difficult it might be, not dating anyone in derby.  Derby is a harsh mistress by herself: she takes your time, your energy, and almost all of your damned cash!  I totally understand why people end up dating in derby; it's almost like dating at the office or workplace.  Who else in this world do you spend more time with?  Who else would understand the dedication it takes to be a derby person, male or female?  Derby makes the endorphins flow, and emotions are high and intense; of course people are going to hook up!

The problem with dating in derby is that your relationship is bigger than just the two of you.  Remember at Thanksgiving and your parents were arguing about something in front of the entire family?  Well derby couples, you just became mom and dad in your league.  You have an up day, and practice is fantastic!  People are smiling and relaxed around the two of you, and everyone can practically see the animated bluebirds from Snow White fluttering around your shoulders.  Unfortunately, the opposite can happen too.  The two of you have a fight at home and you bring that energy to practice.  Now nothing is good!  People are tiptoeing around the two of you and whispering that you're fighting, which probably doesn't improve either of your moods.  If you are the rare couple that can keep your drama away from your league, then we should clone you, or you should write a book!  Please remember that fairly or unfairly, your relationship can have a huge impact on the atmosphere of your team or your league.

You also have to be very careful about the appearance of favoritism, especially if one of you is a coach or a captain or a ref.  You have to work extra hard not to even show a peep of extra attention; if your partner is slacking off, are you letting him or her get away with more than the other skaters?  Trust me, the other skaters will notice.  The other skaters may feel like you're being biased anyway, even if you're not; it's part of the reason why most companies do not allow dating in the work place.  And on a personal note, please please please don't break up the night before a game!  If that happens, then I feel like your entire team should get a free pass on kicking the instigator in the shins....and the team gets to wear their skates.

Whether you end up in derby dating situation or not, you need to remember that relationships should be built on more than just your mutual love for a sport that most people stay in for less than four years.  Don't fall for each other just because you're there!  Do you still like each other when you take your skates off....and not just your pants!

To be continued!  Please find me on Facebook and let me know if you want to talk derby dating!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Derby literal definitions

Just because we're capable of understanding the language of derby doesn't mean our friends and family and new fans do.  I decided that I would try and imagine how someone new to derby would picture some of our common phrases.  Sorry, sometimes I get fixated on weird things!

GET A GOAT!  Weirdest derby phrase ever.

POWER JAM!  Somewhere a DJ is crying,

SHE'S POODLING!  Why are there so many animals in derby?

PANTY PASS!  So many fans are probably very disappointed.

EAT THE BABY!  GAH!  This one still freaks me the hell out!

Monday, March 12, 2012

I'm not old, I'm well marinated. Derby for the older skater.

I love being the age I am.  I know that sounds a little new age-y but I really do accept that I've been walking around this planet for a certain number of years.  I remember listening to Men Without Hats, I was there when Michael Jackson looked like a human being, and I briefly and unironically had a mullet hair style when I was in the tenth grade.  Don't judge!

Were you expecting a picture?  Hell no!

Every once in a while, I get surprised looks when tell people my age; I am in great shape for an older lady, and I can outrun and out endure women who are almost half my age.  Do I take some pleasure in out-skating the younger folk?  Most definitely! Do I try and talk older, athletic women into starting derby? Hell yes I do!

1. First of all, older athletes generally tend to be better endurance performers because we naturally have more slow twitch muscle mass.  The slow muscles are more efficient at using oxygen to generate more fuel (known as ATP) for continuous, extended muscle contractions over a long time. They fire more slowly than fast twitch fibers and can go for a long time before they fatigue. Therefore, slow twitch fibers are great at helping athletes run marathons and bicycle for hours.  Derby is an endurance sport.  Win!

2.  Older athletes are more susceptible to chronic and overuse injuries than their younger counterparts.  We lose muscle and bone mass as we age, which can be helped by exercise, but we also lose flexibility in our tendons and ligaments.  That's kind of a bummer, but fear not my older derby players!  Low impact and higher endurance sports are better for our age group!  Gee, does that sound like a sport we all share?  Hell yes!

3.  Older athletes tend to have more shoulder injury issues; this is mostly due to having been active since a young age.  The awesome thing about derby is that shoulder hits are slowly going the way of the dinosaurs and everyone is focusing on hip hits!   Derby beats the hell out of tennis for shoulder issues...yea derby!

4.  Having problems with your memory and mental skills? Exercise can fix that, and learning something as complicated as derby can improve your mental fitness  That's right, we have a physical and mental fitness that we need to take care of, so we need to keep ourselves challenged in both of these areas.

5.  Older athletes have a more realistic approach.  Let's face it, we have wisdom and experience on our side.  Most of us have busy lives, and have learned what our limits our and how to reach our goals efficiently.  I know through my own experience that I have a lot less social drama than younger skaters do, and I tend to experience "butt hurt" far less often than my younger counterparts do.   Am I more settled than younger skaters?  Heck yes!  Am I SETTLING for lower performance than younger skaters?  OH HELL NO!

Yeah, you're younger than I am, but I just got around you.  Photo by Joshua R. Craig Photography

Now I know that I'm never going to be an energetic and bouncy person after a night of only three hours or less of sleep, which is the realm of the young.  But to be honest, I'm not really going to put myself in that situation if I can help it, which is the realm of the well marinated!  Three cheers for being a well marinated derby skater!

Some of my favorite skaters are well marinated.  Photo by A Boy Named Tsunami

Friday, March 9, 2012

It's all a part of the game, until it's not.

Recently, the New Orleans Saints have been in the news because of the bounty the defensive coach placed on "hitting players so hard that they have to be carted off by EMTS".  If you aren't familiar with the scandal, check out what people are talking about here.  When I heard about this kind of behavior, I was frankly disgusted with the whole situation.  When I think of professional sports, I expect better behavior.  Guess my expectations are too high.

I don't know about you guys, but I have never wished to injure anyone on the track; even if I'm completely amped up and feeling seriously aggressive during a game, I still know it's a game, and I want to everyone to be up for a fun after party.  Actually, I want everyone to be able to play again the next time I see them.  So what happens if the unthinkable happens, and you accidentally hurt someone during game play?  Well, I did it, and it absolutely sucked.

Last November, Cape Fear came to practice with my league; I love the Cape Fear ladies, and I've developed friendships with most of them in spite of the fact that I have always wanted to beat them in a derby game! Anyway. I was in a jam against one of my mostest favorite people in the world, Dixie Diesel.  Dixie was jamming, and as she was breaking out of the pack, I did a booty swipe across her lap and she went down; my jammer got lead, and I was pleased with my performance.  I was pleased, until Dixie didn't get back up.

When Dixie fell, she broke her ankle.  The jam stopped, our helpers went over to assist her, and Joshua Boyd ended up carrying her off of the floor.  I felt like a monster for hurting her.  I kept going over the hit in my mind: Did I do something illegal?  The hit didn't seem that drastic!  It really took the wind out of my sails for the rest of the scrimmage, and it made me doubt myself as a player.

Two things happened after Dixie got injured; Dixie and several Cape Fear girls contacted me and really assured me that they understood I didn't do anything malicious to cause her injury.  In fact, Dixie told me that if I was still mooning about the injury, she would "hit me with a crutch the next time she saw me!"  She also told me that her ankle might have already been hurt due to a previous game injury, and that she thought it was a legal hit.  The second thing that happened was the scrimmage was video taped, and I finally got to see the actual hit.  It was completely legal, and it wasn't even that drastic of an incident.  I don't like watching it that much because you can see when Dixie's leg stops supporting her, so that's why I'm not posting it here.
I also drew this for her because she is such a badass.

Seeing the exact accident happened made me feel all kind of relief.  I play derby because I love pitting my skills against other players; I don't want to take anyone out of this game for any reason, and I would certainly never try to do that on purpose.  Derby is dangerous enough without mixing the mentality of "hurting people" to win a game.  I really do NOT understand how anyone who loves the sport he or she plays would take satisfaction in injuring another player on purpose.  Maybe it's because I'm not a "professional player", but to be honest, I feel like I'm more professional than anyone who participates in that kind of behavior.

Don't let the unicorn cuteness fool ya!  Pictures by A Boy Named Tsunami

Dixie is back to the can see her in the purple helmet!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Paper Dolls Series 2: Fuschia Fashion Plate

Here is the newest derby paper doll!  If you want to download the large size, please go here.  Please credit me if you share it anywhere!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Jamnesia: Forgive yourself and move on

After coming back from Bonnie D. Stroia's boot camp, I had a lot of pondering to do about derby.  Her training session was great by the way, and I suggest that if you get the chance to go to one of her sessions, DO IT!  She went over strategy, technique, and shared her insights about the sport of derby after playing it for eight years.  I love being around people who really get philosophical about derby, because that's what I tend to do as well.  It's exciting to talk to vets like Bonnie, because she's willing to share her ideas and encourages people to do the same.

The one thing that I really came away with from the training camp (other than the obvious awesomeness) was the point that most derby girls really beat themselves up when they don't perform perfectly.  Read that again please.  Are you one of the derby girls who is a closet perfectionist?  When Bonnie asked our group that question, almost everyone had her hand up.  Are you shocked?  I wasn't.  I have been one of the perfectionists who sometimes beat the crap out of myself in my head because I screwed up on the track.  I felt like I let myself down, and worse yet, I let my team down.
I didn't get lead!  Life is over!

 It's not been an easy road for me to try and change that kind of self abuse.  I would watch video of games I was in and cringe every time I saw myself stupid, passive, or oblivious.  Even when someone told me I was being effective, I'd still be thinking "Yeah, but the jammer got around me two seconds later."  Do you say things like that to yourself?  When you start thinking like that, you tend to not see the good things you are doing on the track, and your game can go downhill fast.  You can become paralyzed and hesitant to commit to an action because you're afraid of screwing things up, so you end up doing nothing.

 During my rookie year, I was really fighting my nerves and the urge to beat myself up, when I heard one of the girls in the previous jam come off of the floor and say to the other one, "It's ok, next jam will be yours!  Jamnesia!"  Jamnesia!  It felt like a light was glowing over my head, but I'm pretty sure it was just the disco ball at the Skate Ranch.  I loved the idea of jamnesia immediately because almost everyone I know has to be reminded that it was just one jam out of the whole game/practice/scrimmage!  Figure out what you need to change, and do better in the next jam!  Forget the self-abusive thinking and move on!
I wish I could give someone credit for this, but I really can't remember who said it first at our practice.

Think about it, you're in a group of five women who are all on wheels.  People will fall, get distracted, make bad decisions and foolish hits.  Nobody is perfect, and what right do you have for demanding perfection from yourself?  Stop being your biggest critic!  Repeat after me, "Jamnesia!  I will move on and refocus on my game!"  I know the phrase "Push through it!" is bantered about a lot in derby, but we all have to push through our self doubts and let ourselves have permission to be successful on the track!