|Oh piss off, Veruca.|
Sometimes I see Veruca Salts coming into derby, and I just want to reach out and shake them before I push them down the garbage chute, so to speak. I know some of us don't think we're headed down the garbage shoot, but sometimes we come into derby with a lot of ego baggage. If your motive to being in this sport is glory, then for your league's sake, I hope you change what motivates you; being there just for yourself is slowly killing the morale of the league.
So how can you discover the warning signs of becoming Veruca Salt?
1. If you find yourself saying "I want something" and it's not followed by " I think it will help us get better, and I volunteer to head it up or start a committee to look at how we can implement it." then you're just expecting everyone else to hand you what you want. Derby doesn't run like that. When I was a kid and I wanted a new Barbie doll, my parents said "It's good to want" and put the ball back in my court. How badly did I want that Barbie? I saved my money and bought one on my own, which made me really proud abd realize asking for stuff to be given to me wasn't the way to success. Derby doesn't run like that. I often say that I want a million dollars, but I clearly want someone to hand it to me; I'm not going to go balls out and put all of my energy into getting a million dollars. I hear people often say "I want more high level training" and when I say, "and what do you mean by high level training? I get blank looks. People who say "I want" really are saying "I want someone else to do this for me." "I want" is definitely a selfish, passive sentence. If you have a want, have a way and the energy to make it happen!
2. Sometimes I feel like people forget that they are in a group of people all struggling for the same goals in derby. The goals may be the same, but our paths get all sorts of twisted and maze-like. We don't lose sight of the goals, the problems that happen usually occur in league dissension is HOW we get there. How do we get to the goal? Veruca Salt doesn't care about any of that. She only cares about her personal goals, and fuck the rest of the people on the tour with her. Do you care about the success of the league more, or is only about you? Make it about the league, first.
3. Remember how Veruca would stomp her foot and raise her voice and generally get on everyone's nerves? Don't have tantrums on the track! People should minimize their drama. I understand that every damned person in the world has drama. We're human, and emotions are emotions. Don't bring your drama to practice. Learn to make peace with strong personalties! You're in a sport that attracts strong, alpha women and men, so you're not going to always get your way. You need to come to peace with that; although if you want to be Veruca, you can stomp and pout and throw temper tantrums. I'm sure someone will help you down the garbage chute.