1. People are paying better attention to their brain health. Hallelujah! Mark my words, we are going to experience way more issues with concussions. Hey, everyone is getting onto the awareness wagon, including professional football players, so it's about time our sport did too. I also see so many people upgrading their helmets from those crappy soft foam core helmets. Yeah, I said it. Get rid of those crappy helmets and invest in your brain's safety! Seriously though, I am totally thankful that people are taking this a lot more seriously.
2. In fact, I'm thankful for protective gear in general. This weekend I noticed one of my shin guards had a gigundous (Gigundous is trade marked by me btw) divot taken out of it. This was the first time I've noticed it, but I'm sure the impact could have happened at any time in the last couple of months. Why do I bring this up? I'm thankful that the pretty spectacular kick to my shin guard wasn't even a memorable occurrence for me. If I hadn't been wearing the shin guards, I'm pretty sure I would have noticed...in a giant, uncomfortable way. I've also found a pair of kneepads that don't slip down when I'm skating. Yea protective gear!
3. I'm incredibly thankful for the volunteers that come out and support derby. I am always amazed at the army of people who make this game happen. Derby leagues sweat and strain and train, but the volunteers are the ones that make us able to put on a bout for the public. I'm a derby addict, but I don't know what makes people who don't put on skates be as dedicated as I am. I tip my hockey helmet to all of you.
4. I'm thankful for the WFTDA feed for playoffs and champs. Oh pipe down. I know there were issues with the feed...I was cursing at my computer right along with the rest of you, but have you noticed that the QUALITY of the feed has gotten so much better? It looks pretty damned professional. When Hotrod let the Texas jammer sneak some points off her scoring pass, you could see her expression perfectly, and it was priceless. Things have changed from the days where you could barely make out one player from another on a team. Is it perfect? Oh hell no, but it's headed in the right direction.
5. I'm also thankful that people are starting to figure out that derby is not what you do to get in shape. You have to get into shape for derby. I've been saying this for a couple of years now, and I know others have believed the same, but I'm starting to see it from more and more players. People are cross training, doing yoga, working on their flexibility and strength. Of course, not everyone has completely bought into that philosophy. It always blows me away when I see derby skaters huddled outside and smoking before a bout, or worse, during half time. FACE PALM! Why don't you just take one wheel off of each skate, if you're going to handicap yourself like that?
|Photo by a Boy Named Tsunami|
6. I'm thankful for derby photographers, because without them we would have no awesome pictures of jammer face. Do I need to expound on this one? Just when you feel like you might be handling derby like a rock star, you see the photos the next day. Hello reality check! Some of the pictures make me smile, most of them make me cringe. I am very thankful because those cringe-worthy pictures keep us grounded. If you find yourself really disheartened by your derby action shots, just remind yourself that it only a moment in time. You might have done something amazing in the next shot, but maybe that shot wasn't lined up well, or in focus, so it never sees the light of day.
Now, go enjoy your turkey day! Hooray for the off season!