Reflections on my First Mixer

This past Saturday I skated in my first ever Roller Derby mixer. I was a little nervous beforehand. Not only have I not skated in very many bouts yet, but also skating with new skaters is always interesting. Building the trust and learning the way they play can be challenge.

I’m am thrilled to report I am extremely happy with how things went. For the most part I skated pretty well and as a league we pulled off our home mixer like champions. I am so proud of my team and of all the skaters who joined us for the 2017 Big Top Brawl.

It was hot. We skate in a hockey rink so there is no real way to cool it aside from crossing your fingers and hoping for cooler weather. Fortunately on the day of the brawl the weather was cooler,. However it was  still humid and it was still very warm in our facilities. Very warm.

I learned so much. We had a TON of fantastic skaters from all over skating with us and it was absolutely fantastic to learn from them. I wish there was a way to soak it all into some fancy derby sponge and then sift through it later so I don’t forget anything. There were so many times I watched those amazing ladies out there and just wished I could have one ounce of their talent some day. Goals.

After two bouts I was completely exhausted. However, I had SO much fun. Every time I get to play derby I love it a little more. On top of the sport itself being amazing, there is always so much derby love at every event I go to. The Brawl did not disappoint.

Thank you to all the skaters, officials, NSOs, coaches, fans and supporters that made the 2017 Big Top Brawl a success! A special shout out to my family, my friend Ben Vanden Boogaard and his fantastic girlfriend for making the trip to Baraboo to see my skate! It’s safe to say my first mixer was a success!

Like Nike.

So I am not going to poetically dodge around the point of this post: put yourself out there.

Is there something that you have always wanted to do? Do it. This is the best time to pick up a skill, try something new, and just break out of your shell! Gonna keep this really short and sweet…

This past weekend I entered my city’s Chalkfest. I spent almost ten hours in the beating sun, trying to draw on a city sidewalk, getting shown up by kids literally half my age (yes, I am talking about you 12-year-old, lake landscape kid)…and know what? It was awesome.

I had just an amazing time. I had received so much support: from my friends who brought me water throughout the day, the fellow artists that gave me tips to actually make my chalk stick to the pavement, and then the support of just strangers, stopping on their rounds to say a few kind words or take a picture, say hello…it was unreal.

What I’m trying to say, if you are debating anything. Picking up an instrument, joining a sport, entering a chalkfest…get out and do it. You won’t regret it.

This is our time to get out there and show the world what we got! We are awesome.

That is all.

The Timeline Trap

It’s really easy to set goals and timelines for yourself. It’s the follow through that gets tough. Lately, I have been realizing how unrealistic timelines can be and not meeting those ridiculous timelines can result in unnecessary unhappiness.

It’s easy to say you’ll be married and settled into your first home by the time you are 25 or you’ll graduate college in four years when you are a naive 16 year old.

Even when you have had a taste of the real world, it is still easy to fall into the timeline trap. Has anyone ever told you that in order for them to have kids “on time” they need to meet “the one” tomorrow because they need to be dating for this many years and married that many years before they have kids? That’s a lot of pressure to put on yourself.

Now, before I go on I am going to stop myself so I don’t start overexplaining. Here’s the message I want to get out: Let yourself breathe. Do not commit yourself to a crazy timeline. Time passes faster than you think and life gets in the way more than you would like it to. Very few people follow the cookie cutter version of life that seems so attainable when you are young. So live life, don’t plan it!