Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Journey from Fresh Meat to Graduated Skater - Part 2

Check out Part 1 of Valerie Valkyrie's story here.

The continuing story from guest writer Valerie Valkyrie regarding her past 5 1/2 months with the Hellions. She's been with us all summer and has been an incredible asset to the league in terms of craftiness, willingness to participate in league events, and general friendlyness. Meet Valerie Valkyrie!

Guest post by Valerie Valkyrie

Valerie Valkyrie
When that fateful Sunday arrived, we hit the track with gusto and labored through our drills, pushing ourselves and trying not to focus on our mistakes. At the end of the night I was pleased with my performance but still unsure if I would pass. I knew where I may not have met the minimum requirements and where I didn't meet my personal standards. I drove home with a knot in the pit of my stomach and my fingers crossed.

Waiting the 24 hours to hear the results was less painful than I expected it to be. My day was full with school assignments and I didn't have much time to dwell on the test, although any free moments found my mind wandering to my t-stops, hits and whips. The second I got out of my evening class I raced to my car and may have driven a little too fast to Schenectady. I was miserable knowing that missing the first 20 minutes of practice meant likely missing the graduation announcements - maybe I should've skipped class that night. As I walked into the rink, Flexi smiled at me and extended her congratulations. I grinned and jumped and squealed. And then I got down to business putting on my gear to join the big girls on the big track because as exciting as passing minimums and graduating was, it simply means that I am in for even more work.

My first night as a graduated skater was an extended 3-hour practice and since I arrived late I knew I needed to stay for the whole thing. It was exhilarating and exhausting and I was sore afterward and I can look forward to that for the rest of my derby career. I spent so much time focusing on meeting those minimum skills and on passing the test and I hardly gave any thought to what would happen after that. I knew in my the back of my head that the hard work and training continues but it wasn't something that really registered until I hit the track. I realized that even though I can perform all the necessary skills, I now need to put all of that together in the midst of chaos. I'm back to being a beginner and I so look forward to developing a new set of skills.

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