When Fear Becomes A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Remember how I really wanted to play roller derby?

I gave up.

It all seemed too hard. Too much work. Not enough sleep. Toomany responsibilities. Not enough support (which is actually probably all in my head). Fear. Intimidation. Self-doubt. Did I mention fear?

What am I afraid of, exactly? I don’t even know. Not being able to keep up. Injury. Failure. When Fear Becomes a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Elaine Griffin

Failure. What is failure when it comes to roller derby? When it comes to doing something for myself? Failure is giving up, which I have done.

In not facing my fears, in not rolling on, one of my biggest fears has come true. It was a self-fulfilling prophecy. And I don’t even know where to go from here.

What I would love is a buddy to skate with. Just skate. No track. No freshmeat fears. Just fun. Because I want the girl in the picture back. Strong. Confident. Happy. Excited! I’ll even take the dorky, because let’s face it, I’m dorky.

Have you ever let fear get the best of you?

wReck Derby Week Three: Shut Up and Skate

Ithaca League of Women RollersI’m happy to say that I survived week three. Not only did I survive, but I have an increased confidence and excitement; two things that were quickly retreating from my life.
You might remember that I injured my quad last week, and was hard core bummin’.  The good news is by Friday I was able to work out carefully, and I got in a lot of good workouts throughout the week. I was on my skates all day yesterday, the day of practice, and feeling pretty good about my balance and overall improved one-ness with them.
But something was still holding me back. I felt like I didn’t want to go to practice. I was a hair away from skipping, and justifying it with the idea that I can be on my skates all week at home and improve my confidence and balance. I can go skate this weekend!
All that is bullshit. Nothing, NOTHING is going to be the same as going and practicing at the practice space. With other women. On those shitty floors. I made myself go.
How can you be excited about something and really want to do it, but still have to make yourself go? Fear? Nerves? Just plain old crazy?
Well, we know I’m crazy, so we will shove that to the side for now.
There are two conclusions I came to. I was afraid, and I was nervous. These two things left me completely unable to relax, to enjoy doing what I have been wanting to do for close to two years.


I was afraid of that shitty floor. That glorious, wonderful, shitty floor. I was afraid of getting tripped up in a crack and falling. I was afraid of the dip around one of the turns that I fall into every time, causing me to accelerate faster than I felt comfortable. I was completely focused on the floor. Not on my body. How the skates feel on my feet, and how it feels to just skate. To get lower, to lean into the turns. These are the things I should have been focusing on.
So I made the conscious decision to go out there and just skate. To not give a shit about the floor, or what anyone thought of me. To relax and let myself fall. To let myself feel what it feels like to skate on that floor. And you know what? It worked. When I focused on everything but the floor and I was golden. Not a great skater by any means, but I was comfortable. When I focused on the floor, I fell. So I got back up, and I kept going.


Okay, so you have the general nerves associated with doing something new and different. It occurred to me on the way to practice, though, that I was nervous around the other skaters. I cannot even begin to tell you how absolutely ridiculous it is to be nervous around these women. First of all, the other new skaters are just that. New skaters. We are all in the same boat, and even those skaters who are more seasoned, or better, or whatever, have their own shit going on. Everyone who is there has been new to derby at some point. Even the league skaters. It is easy to be intimidated by the league skaters. They are so.good. They make it look like it is effortless. But they are there to teach us. “When I started, I couldn’t even stand up on skates,” they say. “In a few months, you will be skating like this too. Now get your butt LOWER!” And we do, because we want to be just like them when we grow up.
I realized that I wasn’t really talking to anyone unless I had to. What is THAT about? I’m an outgoing person. If I want to, I can take charge of a room. Own it. Command it.
While I don’t want to own or command anything but myself and my performance while skating or playing, I really did underestimate how important it was to tap into that part of myself and go in feeling friendly and confident. So, I talked. I struck up conversations with other skaters, new and from the league. And it felt good to connect. To feel like regardless of my ability, I belonged there. Because I do belong there.
Sometimes we need to just surrender to our fears and nerves and say, “Either I’m going to do this, or I’m not, and I am willing to accept the outcome of the choices I have made.” I know I made the right choice last night to keep going. To shut up and skate. I went. I skated. I fell. I conquered – my fears, my derby future, and myself.

Do you think sometimes we need to surrender to our fears in order to conquer them and move forward?

wReck Derby Week Two: Fresh Meat Injury

Ithaca League of Women RollersThe last few days I’ve been in kind of a funk. I’m not very excited about anything and I’m just tired.

Yesterday was week two of wReck derby, and I had zero energy. Zero. But I strapped on my skates in the afternoon and skated around my house. For practice and to try to get ahead of my nerves. I grabbed a 5 hour energy on the way to wReck, and pulled it together.

Although I’m still really nervous I’m skating ever so slightly better, but I just am not getting low enough. The lower I get, the more I feel pulling in my right quad. So I stretch it out good. Probably too much.

Then we moved on to knee stops. In these stops, you gently lower yourself onto one or both of your knees in order to stop and/or control a fall. They’re nifty!

As I go down into my first knee stop I pulled my quad.

Back in the day, I used to be an athlete. I’ve had plenty of muscle strains and pulls, but nothing like this. I felt my muscle rip. I could have avoided this if I had been in a lower derby stance when I went into the stop. I could have avoided it by listening to my body and taking it easy. It was frustrating, embarrassing, and it hurt like hell.

I spent the rest of the practice watching from the sidelines, icing, watching, taking mental notes on what to practice this week, worrying that I might not be able to practice this week, and trying not to cry.

Everyone was awesomely supportive, giving moral support, advice on how to care for it and not continue to re-injure it. I definitely feel the derby love. And although I’m disappointed in myself, I know what I have to do next week to come back stronger, and more confident.

My quad was really tight when I got home, so I hobbled in and put a heating pack on it, and took some ibuprofen. And drank whiskey and went to bed.

This morning it was so much better, and I dared say it was just fine. Until I sprinted across the dining room to the front door to wave to Ben on the bus. It was just a little minor pulling, though. Proof that I need to listen to my body, take care of it, and see what tomorrow brings.

And then, I will work on getting lower.

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In Pursuit of Crazy Eyeris: wReck Derby Week One

Ithaca League of Women RollersSo, wReck Derby started last night. In case you are wondering, wReck is a recreational roller derby, led by our local league, Ithaca League of Women Rollers (ILWR). We skate and learn the fundamentals of roller derby, without all the blocking and contact.

wReck Derby is aptly named because I was a nervous wreck most of the afternoon. I tried not to be. I woke up feeling confident and excited, but I let the stress of the day get the best of me.

It’s really hard to skate when you have jello legs. And the floor we skate on sucks. There are all sorts of bumps, dips, rips, whatever. It was hard to get my groove. Like, really hard. I know next week I will be better, though. I will gear my mind and remember one quote that I heard a lot. “Stop looking at the floor – it’s not going anywhere!”

Of course I fell. Three times to be exact, and once flat on my ass. I wasn’t the only one, and I gotta hand it to the girls who came not knowing how to skate at.all, fell many more times than I did, and kept pushing right through. They all left with smiles on their faces, so I hope they come back next week and give it another try!

The things we went over:

  • Derby stance, and staying low while you are skating.
  • Single and double knee stops.
  • “T” stops.
  • Crossovers.
  • Other drills to improve our strength and balance.

Yeah. That’s a lot to go over when you are working on just being able to skate! But it was all good, there was lots of help, lots of encouragement, and good vibes. I learned so much, and I brought home a lot of ideas about how to continue to build my strength and confidence on my skates. I’m looking forward to building a workout plan today and getting going! Come on, you know me, of course I have to have a PLAN!

For today, it’s going to be some light cardio and gentle yoga, cause this mama is a little sore and a lot tired, but I know I need to keep my body going.

I will leave you with a little Joan Jett. This was my theme song for the night. Incidentally, one of the roller girls is blond Joan Jett’s doppelganger.

What should my theme song for next week be?


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The Return of Crazy Eyeris: What’s on Your Playlist?

Photo credit: Skate of Emergency by Gomisan on Flickr

Photo credit: Skate of Emergency by Gomisan on Flickr

I bet you thought I forgot about Crazy Eyeris, right?

Or maybe YOU forgot about Crazy Eyeris

I have not written about my journey to derby since March 8, 2012.

Yes, I feel a little like a loser.

It seems that life was getting in the way of… well… life! Turns out building a business, working two part-time jobs, and keeping up with two kids and a house was leaving little room for workout time. Or much else for that matter. And since I was basically starting from sedentary, I really needed to get some strength back before derby workshops.

Now I have FINALLY got this shit figured out.

You see, all you really need to do to find time is dig really deep to find what is REALLY important to you, and decide to do it. For me, I had to say, “I will not work 12 hours a day. I will take time in the morning to get my family going, and then I WILL work out.”

(Here’s another really important part of this puzzle: I was scared of failing. There, I said it. I still am scared, but we don’t need to discuss it any further, because I’m moving on.)

And so here I am, almost a year later, hopping back on the track.

I have been working out at home, and I feel pretty good with what I have here – an elliptical, stairs, a house I can actually run laps in, weights, the resistance of my own body. No gym is required, and I have the added benefit of having my children witness me taking care of myself. I work out in the morning, and sometimes the kids join me, sometimes they dance, sometimes they just eat and watch me and try not to laugh.

Generally we listen to the Pop and Hip Hop Power Workout station on Pandora, but that is getting a little old. I seriously need to get my iPod together and get a good playlist going. I’m hoping you can help. Here is my top ten so far!

The Crazy Eyeris Playlist, Part 1

Pump It – Black Eyed Peas
Rock that Body – Black Eyed Peas
Moves Like Jagger – Maroon Five
Move Ya Body – Nina Sky
Bulletproof (Dave Aude Cherry Radio Remix) – LaRoux
Let the Bodies Hit the Floor – Drowning Pool
Whip It – Devo
Stronger – Kanye West
Like a G6 – Far East Movement
Let it Rock – Kevin Rudolf

There you have it. What would you add to this list?