Keep your socks on, but I'd like to start blogging again. To make it easy on myself, I'm not going to take time to catch everyone up or give a ton of backstory. If you care enough that you're here reading, then just jump right in!
Had a solid practice* tonight. We started by talking a bit about a couple chapters of the book we've been reading, The Mental Edge by Kenneth Baum.
(*If you're SUPER behind, I am still playing roller derby and made the All-Star team for the Minnesota RollerGirls this summer. We practice 2 hours, three days per week and are ranked somewhere around #10 in the world)
The talk was lovely. As I reread the chapters to prep for the meeting, I was surprised how many elements of the book I am already incorporating into my mental preparation. For example: when the going gets tough (at practice or in a bout), I have learned to tell myself "I live for these moments!" instead of "This sucks and is hard." Also, when I get anxious about derby, I remind myself that events have no importance except what I give them. It's a whole bunch of little things but I can feel that my mind is stronger, which makes my game stronger. It makes ME stronger.
Back when I was in Debu-Taunts (the rec league, as recently as 14 months ago), I would get physically ill before every practice, because I was so nervous. But reading this book has changed everything -- last week I played against Denver and Philly (#2 and #4 in the world, respectively) and I felt GOOD. I felt excited and focused and ready.
So practice was good. We did some new warmups, which were good and welcome. We worked on some agility, some quick-stops and direction-changes, and then worked some strategy things. The strategy stuff is my absolute Achilles' heel -- I feel SO outclassed and outbrained when it comes to strategy. Today one of my captains mentioned some "training zones:" the Comfort Zone, when you're just playing and having fun but not learning or working on anything; the Learning Zone, and the Panic Zone, when your brain is full and you feel like you're drowning.
I'm in the Panic Zone by the end of most All-Star practices. My brain is full, and I just feel like I can't learn or try anything more. I feel useless and messy out there. Hearing about the zones didn't make that panic go away today, but it was nice to be able to identify and name it
OK I'm not going to set myself up for failure here by writing a novel my first time back. I'm going to polish off this Coors Light and hit the shower.