It’s been just over twelve months since I first made the Brawlers A team (I was subbed for our bout vs. Birmingham Blitz Dames on 6 February 2011, so our bout vs. UVF was the actual anniversary). This isn’t going to be a post about each game I’ve played, or what I’m proud of (though I am proud of myself), but this post is more of a gush about how I feel when I get selected, and before.
From the first time I got selected and screamed (via text) at BB Bombshell to today, when I got selected and screamed (via email) at Kid Block and Boba Fettish, my feelings in the lead up to the team being announced haven’t changed. (Or perhaps they have; if anything I get more nervous).
After every bout my next goal is to be selected for the next one, something that gets harder all the time with new skaters progressing, skaters returning from injury and just the ebbs and flows of my own derby journey. I know I consistently try hard and that i’m never ‘going backwards’, but I never get complacent about that position being mine; about the fact that I am ‘guaranteed’ a spot in that top 16. Nobody is.
(I’ll just take a moment to explain that this is NOT a woe-is-me, praise me for how good I am and boost my confidence post. Seriously, do you know me? I don’t do those. But just a reflection on my approach to being selected. Feeling ‘lucky’ is the wrong word. I have worked hard to get selected, my commitment to the league is unwavering and I always want to feel that I have earned that place, but I definitely feel honoured and excited every time).
This is what happened today:
- Judge Redd posted an announcement that the team selection had been made
- I started panicking. I went warm and sweaty and I felt a bit sick while I waited for the forum to load
- The forum loaded and I put my hand over my eyes while I clicked the relevant post. I winced while reading it.
- I saw my name. I welled up (yes, actual tears) then I smiled. Then I text my Mum and Wayne.
- I put eye of the Tiger on and had a cup of tea
- I emailed Kid and Boba with a cyber-scream
As horrible as that ‘have I? Haven’t I?’ moment is when I click the link, I don’t think I would change it for the world. Knowing how nervous/excited I get before checking that list reminds me of just how much I want that spot. It reminds me that there is more work to do to make the team (because two of us will be subbed). It reminds me that even now, one year on, I am still fully earning my stripes.
I don’t ever want to lose that fire.