Sunday, November 25, 2012

"Promise me something, kill me right away if I start to get slow, ...kill me right away its the least you can do..."

Here are the things that I still do not understand about 'Sport'.
(Although I truly believe I know why 'to play sport' and to 'be' sport and to make sport of someone all fits under this one word.)

I don't understand the emotions.
I don't understand letting go all the comments said in the heat of the moment.  Because mean-spirited, mean words, don't dissipate into thin air.  Then work there way into your mind and your dreams.
I don't understand wanting, needing, something (a move?  a dash of glory?) so much.
I don't understand that losing a game can mean so much.

I think a true sports person about now would point out that the writer of these comments is not great at sport.
I suppose they might not even go so far- perhaps not understanding is where the line is drawn.

So within all this understanding or misunderstanding or not being able to understand where am I?
I care too much for what others think and feel, and too little for myself.
This is a flaw and I think I am good for acknowledging the flaw.
I also think I am at a point in my life where I would rather withdraw.
Because let me tell you - I am not actually prone to boredom.
Okay- Okay ! I can hear you pointing to certain times- certain wintery, solitary times on the island.  But, I will protest.  The time was extreme and I have learned better.  But I was never actually bored.  My life was just so different with the absence of an over-active social life.
Quitting the field because you are unhappy qualifies as a win in my un-sportslike mind.

Also- the whole sport thing has made me soft.
When people are mean my reaction is shock.
My 30-something self would have reacted defensively and aggressively.  See how I just used those sport words?
I think I was doing better at the sport of life.

From this post you might think my team lost another game- actually the team won one, and barely lost the second.
I was not on the track a lot, but I was unfortunately, on for the last jam that cost us the game.
If I look at the derby year selfishly?  Then hey! Look at me- hanging around mid-forties, possibly more physically fit than I have ever been.  I helped with a lot of fund raising for a league I respect.
I have made a few- good, and actual friends.
There is a lot of winning in there as soon as I shake off this emotional hangover.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

"Auld Reekie your so fine, your so fine you blow my mind."

My original b-team teammates that were going with me to cheer on our A-team both got rostered onto the A-team for the three day first European WFTDA tournament in Berlin.
But two former A-team members came to my rescue.
So the three of us took charge of the cheering squad.
The last time I went to Berlin was for a roller skating bootcamp run by Swede Hurt and Suzy Hot Rod, I was so tired that I missed out on sightseeing and this time- there was just no time.
Although I did get a wider, and better look at the city which is (from a glance) much cooler than many other European cities.
Yes, yes, all cities especially in Europe have claim to history, historic events and sites, castles, majestic homes and art.  But these days they usually also have a main street (or high street) that is blotted by the repetition of chain stores, junk gifts, and fashion that is the same throughout thousands of miles.  Whereas Berlin seemed fairly free of this, there were small coffee shops and hip coffee shops, and themed coffee shops but no starbucks/waynes/tullys in sight.
Berlin is officially on my list for a short break exploration.

But on to my main topic.
STRD ranked third of the ten WFTDA leagues that played over the three days.  A lot of derby gets decided by which team ends up in the penalty box.  And as a new and growing sport the reffing is one of the trickiest aspects of roller derby.  STRD played really exciting games to watch, the scores were close and the games came down to literally the last minutes of the game.
Most of the higher ranked derby teams I get to watch in teeny-tiny form on my computer via a connection/stream/whatever that may or may not be from a good angle or a good feed.  But to see all those skaters full size!
I do think I know a bit about derby.  But so much of derby gets disseminated into small chunks.  So there was a lot that the London Roller Girls (who outstripped all teams they played by margins of between 400 to +500 points) did on their skates that made me think "Oh Right! That is what that drill should look like!".  By this I mean Swedehurt and Mad Maloony do a great job of breaking down a skill like running on toestops to get through a small space between skaters or a skater and out of bounds-but seeing so many of the London skaters doing just that over an over made it all go 'CLICK!' in my head.
This of course does not mean my body can do it- but I have a vision of what that body is supposed to do.
I had a great time watching, learning and cheering.
There are only rare moments in my life I have felt 'a part' of something bigger than myself.  Certain concerts I helped put on- some protests or awareness/charity projects like 'Home Alive' and now Roller Derby.
My part has been small- yet one can not measure the effect that these small parts make.  Also I can clearly remember being in my car with Pip and Elissa and our dream was so small, a venue we could properly scrimmage in, and enough skaters to be able to scrimmage.
So much has happened since then, for all of us.
There are 3 bouting leagues in Tasmania now.
I got to spend almost two years (!) with a wftda league that has talent way beyond my pay grade.  I got to find out what kind of skater I could be with consistent, hard training.  I got to experience the lifestyle of my twenties self in the middle of my forties self and now know what I am not missing.  (I mean that in the nicest way).
I am currently still experiencing city life in way that when I say 'Sure, it is small a bit slow but Tasmania is a paradise'-I really mean it.
There is a B-team (that's me!) double header this Saturday.
Then I travel to see Cookie and her family in Wales for a week.
Then finally, I get a husband who will actually have some time off.
Then we go to Tasmania and it will be 2013.
How the hell did that happen?
*One last thing- the matching warm up track suits that STRD are now sporting.  I can not really explain them, but I think the experience for me was summed up by my girl Betty Bamalam who noted that most women joining roller derby wear items such as fishnets for the first time...but for has been about wearing sport clothing for the first time.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Alla helgons dag

Zok is home for a couple of weeks, but is working most of the time.  We did take time out to have a small dinner party and go light candles for All Souls Day.
 When I have been here in Stockholm this time of year, I have always walked through the cemeteries in town-which are also lit up with candles and offerings, however we now live close to Skogskrykog√•rden which is a very large, very pretty cemetery.  I marveled at the hundreds of candles grouped together at each cemetery.  However-
Skogskrykogården has thousands- and they expect and set up areas for anyone who has loved ones buried too far away for them to get back too.

Last year we were attracted by all the candles that we could see from inside the train as we came to that subway stop.

This year we invited friends to dinner, so we could all go and light candles together.
The subway stop was so crowded that there were subway police stopping all two way traffic, people were allowed time to exit or enter and we were a large crush of people.
Again the fire lanterns were very popular, and although they are very pretty, I still can not get let go of the idea of 'littering' whenever I see them go en masse into the air.  
My Swedish friends keep insisting that this is autumn, and nothing like winter.  But I am struggling to not sleep 10-12 hours with all this quiet, darkness and cold.  The mist in the evenings is very pretty but I do not think I have gotten the knack of being out in the elements.
I certainly did not pack correctly for this trip so I am always cobbled together, tights, socks, boots, short sleeve, long sleeve, sweat shirt, light rain coat, on and on, layer by layer.
My mind keeps saying 'You really have not had a winter- you need to hibernate, sleep, sleep, sleep'.

But of course I went to practice yesterday, and I have to recognize that being sick and not exercising for the last two weeks really did have an impact.  I know I overly tired when I wish for a referee to send me to the box for a penalty so I can have a full sixty seconds to rest.
Practice tonight should be better.
And for me...summer is only 50 odd days away from today.