Monday, January 17, 2011

No Good

I remember back when I started derby a million years ago, the coach would tell us that we wouldn't be playing long enough to benefit financially from it. What he didn't tell us was that this applies to other aspects of DIY derby as well.

It's still disappointing that I didn't make the Ri-Ettes this year. The sting wouldn't be bad if the Aftershockers still existed, but they don't. I'm not considered to be anything useful to the team in any capacity this season. Didn't get anything resembling a "thanks" for the bullshit I went through last season for the team, and am not considered good enough for jobs including team managing and such. I'm not the only now-former Ri-Ette who feels tossed aside; another veteran skater actually quit skating on any team after she didn't make the roster. There were a couple of other aspects going on that may have contributed, but the final straw was tryouts.

OK, fine. I take a deep breath, get up, dust myself off, and keep going. Don't focus on the negative, try to stay positive.

But then...

Before the holidays Training Team asked for candidates to train at the upcoming March RADness camp. So I applied as I had a fun time training last year, especially the How To Do Fun Stuff On the Banked Track class. Today I find out I'm not even considered good enough for that. Really?! REALLY?!?!?! I'm not qualified to teach skaters how to flip over the fucking rail or how to do Tarametrics!??!?!?! That fucking pisses me off.

I know time marches on. I know that things change. But I'm not completely fucking useless, either. I feel that I'm now seen as worthless within my own fucking league, and I empathize with the skater who just quit, because I imagine she felt the same way. Why bother?! I feel like I'm working so hard and am losing ground, as well as what little respect I may have had in the past.

Or did I? Maybe that's the problem. Maybe I'm the Rodney Dangerfield of the league. It would sure as shit explain a lot lately. It's not as if I'm expecting a parade, or rose petals thrown at my feet every time I grace the track with my presence. But damn, I certainly feel that I'm on the receiving end of Familiarity Breeds Contempt.

So far I'm unimpressed with 2011. Especially in regards to derby. I may have reached my breaking point...or my derby break-up point. I hope the trip to London and Amsterdam I'm taking next week will revitalize me overall...I fucking need it.


Sid Officious said...

Yay, come and have fun in London! And remember that LADD aren't the only derby league.


Estrogeena Davis said...

Aaargh, that feeling *sucks* big time. I feel you. You are definitely highly-respected, even if you don't see it every day or in your home town. Don't quit derby!

Mia said...

I'm dosed out of my mind on cold medicine, so hopefully this isn't too out of line. It's taking excruciatingly long to formulate thoughts, but i'll try.

While I can't speak for a group as a whole, or someone who is in the same stage of her career as you, I can personally relate to a few of the feelings you wrote about--like figuring out your leadership in relation to others, and witnessing the growth and mysterious group dynamics of the derby movement.

I keep my heart guarded because I've had it broken by throwing it heedlessly into other DIY endeavors/sports/work before, but derby is something that really reasonates with me and it symbolizes a lot that I care about. I badly want it to be beautifully and rewarding and made of magic, but honestly I don't know if in a million years, that tie-breaking jam or those inside jokes will be remembered at all. I know that if I DO remember anything at all, it will be the feeling of achieving small goals, and how i overcame the hard parts, and the bits and pieces of knowledge from my trainers that helped me become who i am, and that i will one day pass on.

It's a privilege that skaters before me have laid the groundwork for me so I can do what I do now. I'm grateful for sharing the track with my mentors.

Not being inspired is a shitty way to feel, and I've been there. Some days I still go back. But for now, tarametrics beats the living daylights out of me and still inspires me to get off my ass. so thanks, because when i see you out there and know it's not all sunshine roses, it makes me keep going too.


Timothy said...

Tara, never doubt your impact on and importance to the Derby Dolls! And if you ever do, just go to the LA Times, run a search, and see whose yelling face pops up for the league:

You are a GIANT to skaters and fans alike. In fact, you're the first thing people see when they walk through those doors - the mural of Tara fucking Armov!

I can only imagine how disappointing it is to not be on the Ri-Ettes. I can't pretend to know what goes on in that decisionmaking. But I do know that you're one of the most amazing people I've ever encountered, and I hope that you don't leave derby for a long time to come!


Anonymous said...

I hope you don't retire just yet. After not making FM I was pretty bummed since I've been skating about 6 months now, I'm there at least 4 days a week and volunteer at the bouts. I was as baffled by some of their picks on that as I was with the Ri-Ettes. Aynway, I was really hoping to train with you. Tarametrics is something I'm looking forward to even though I'm sure I'll be dying before it's over.