Fresh Meat Files: The Montage

by Hammy

I am at the beginning of my derby montage. My godfather pointed this out after I failed my WFTDA’s for the third time. In flat track roller derby, a player must pass a skills and endurance test in order to play other teams. We do this for insurance purposes, hence the WFTDA (Woman’s Flat Track Derby Association) skills test. You know how in a movie, the lead character struggles and then they rock? They play some power music or “Eye of the Tiger”, Rocky punches some meat, the baseball team gets good, the hockey player can now ice skate. That’s how it works right?

Well, no. Or, at least not yet. Some girls start roller derby and pass their skills super-fast. Some girls pick it up in months. For some of us, however, these skills take time – a lot of time. Muscles are not quite where they need to be. Muscle memory is not quite where it needs to be. It’s not for lack of trying…but derby is hard. It takes work and it takes more than a few quick cuts to be good. (This analogy works with my editing degree).

I have never had to work for something as hard as I am working for derby. And even though I “failed” three times, I am now MORE resolved than ever to get my body derby-ready. Because, what I realized, not passing the WFTDA skills is not the same as failing. I am still learning and improving so much. I can do real, grown-up squats! I can run faster! I have some endurance! I do Pilates, yoga, circuit train, and lift weights! Sometimes I even knock another girl down on skates or do a really great cross-over. My biggest triumph this week was finishing 2 hours of skills tests in the grueling heat when every ounce of my being wanted me to quit.

I hope when I get older and look back on my own montage, I remember every triumph and every tribulation I am experiencing right now. Triumphs like playing in our intra-league bout and having my parents and friends cheering for me. Sharing my love of derby with my pretty rad boyfriend. Watching my team play really great derby at interleague games. Experiences like beard and mustache competitions, road trips with Heather Hollywood and Black-Eyed Blondie, terrible pole-dancing classes with Lola Pop, and Corona rita’s with Deny-Ya Twain. Tribulations like all the bumps, bruises, and “failure’s” – not to mention forcing my out-of shape body to move again after all these years.

Ladies who tested with me, I am so proud of each one of us. To those who passed, I cannot wait to see you tear up that track and play other teams! I will be cheering my lungs out! To those ladies who “failed” with me, we are learning and we are growing and we are ROCKING. We are going to get there if we keep fighting and working, and I believe in each one of us!

So who wants to watch a movie without a bit of trial and tribulation? BO-RING! I don’t know about you, but I do NOT want my life movie to be boring.

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.

– Anne Bradstreet

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