Performancing Metrics


And then you wake up… to a real-life nightmare.


I have vivid dreams. Most of them are plain weird, and I can laugh them off. But last Friday — the night before a bout, mind you — I had a series of nightmares about derby. Yes, SERIES. It was a constant stream of forgetting things, running around attempting to figure out where I belong, gameplay obstacles, and the feeling as though I couldn’t move my legs when I was pushing as hard as I could. And one hilarious one about Naptown’s new “T & A-friendly” uniforms.

There’s a whole lot of behavioral analysis in that, I’m certain. In real life, I had some serious anxiety about my first away bout, and that’s obviously the cause for my subconscious meandering and prior nights of sleeplessness. But then bout day came, and I started getting amped up to practice…


By that, a piece where I screw my toe stop into my plate broke, but the shit was broken nonetheless — on a skate set-up that’s only a few months old. And supposedly indestructible for derby play, but that’s another topic for another day. I was only doing regular pre-game maintenance: cleaning all the crap and dust off my wheels and bearings, rotating my toe stops… and that’s when I heard something snap. AUDIBLE SNAP.


I did not pack a back-up pair of skates (one of the many lessons I learned that bout). Because I was settling in for a breakdown, it was recognized by several of my teammates, who came to my “rescue,” finding one of the bout production crew guys to go the hardware store and purchase a bottle of LockTite. I played in a bout with my toe stop super-glued into my skate.

It goes without saying that the incident rattled me more than I thought… resulting in my breaking down in tears at the completion of the bout that was one part emotional release and another part disappointment. I did not play well. And as result, I didn’t feel good about anything that day. Skate’s fault? Partly. My fault? Mostly. That’s how I felt about the loss. MY FAULT. While I realize this is a team sport, it’s difficult for me not to shoulder the entire burden because of my mistakes.


Like I said, there were a lot of lessons learned that game.

  • The Modern Gal

    Anxiety is a muthafucka. I’ve had anxiety-riddled dreams full of rape and murder and other unsavory things, and you’re right about how they can rattle you well into your waking hours.

    The first time for anything always seems to be the “lessoned learned” step. I can imagine your next away bouts will only get better and better.

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