I am a creature of habit, as is everybody.
I'm also a bit lazy and superstitious. All of the above can be an interesting mix when it comes to derby, or any sport/hobby/fun stuff going on in life.
Most people have a talisman, a "lucky" object, a very set and strict routine precluding an event where one feels that these combinations of things will help them win in whatever it is they're doing.
For me and derby, I have specific things that I wear or do to make me feel good on gameday. The night before, I order dinner from a specific Italian restaurant. I go for a jog in the morning day-of. I have the choice of three pairs of tights, one bra, and two sets of underwear to wear under my uniform. I have a specific set of makeup to use. I tie two silver skulls that I got in Texas eight years ago into my bra. I wear specific shoes and carry a specific bag for my uniform.
But the oldest item in my game-day list is a water bottle.
It's nothing special, just a huge Arrowhead bottle that I bought for a game at least five years ago. I don't remember which game it was, but Fight Crew won that day. It must've been because of the new water bottle, right? So I kept the bottle. And it became my regular water bottle used for practice, games, whenever I needed water for years to come. I think teammate Kubo first noticed that I used the same bottle about a year ago. Is that the same bottle you've had for...forever?! she asked. Yep. Ewwwwww. she said. It's not like I wash it in urine, so I don't know what the problem is.
Apparently this observation spread to the rest of the team, because I started getting grief from Lusty Loveless and Trixie Biscuit this season. Now, they love giving me grief for merely existing(ask them to do their imitation of me on the phone with a non-derby-related call. It's hilarious. And probably true.), so at first their jibes at an innocuous water bottle that I've had for years didn't bother me.
But then Lusty took it upon herself to show me the error of my ways. She got herself a fancy new water bottle that's BPA-free and good for the environment and probably bumps up her IQ by a thousand points or something. She brought her fancy bottle to practice where she promptly showed it to me. Isn't it great? she asked. You should get one, too! That old bottle is so... she just trailed off, leaving the insult unsaid, but obviously there. I looked at her fancy bottle with its fancy lid and fancy shape in a fancy color and was unimpressed. You don't want to die from cancer because you use that old bottle, do you? she chided. Just about everything causes cancer is my general reaction. She rolled her eyes, shrugged, and we went to practice.
A couple months go by without further comment about the water bottle from anyone. Then one recent evening while I was putting on my skates before a team practice, Lusty comes marching up with a grocery bag in her hand. She abruptly sets the bag down in front of me on the ground, muttered, Merry Christmas! and marched away to go put her gear on without further comment. I looked at the bag curiously, then peered in.
She bought me another Arrowhead water bottle. I laughed.
And then I set the bottles side by side. OK, I can see why my team would be disgusted by my old bottle. Guess which one is which:
As soon as I finished the water in the old bottle, I switched to the new bottle. But I didn't throw away the old bottle at first. Because of my lazy superstitious game-day self. But strangely enough, the new bottle didn't affect my gameplay in a negative way, so I finally threw that old bottle into our recycling bin:
I probably won't change the rest of my game-day routine, but this new addition is juuuuuuust fine.