My go-to roller derby move is a quick juke to the outside, a Mohawk around the blockers, and then a fast sprint away before anyone can hit me.
It’s my go-to because I am not interested in being hit. I don’t want a Johnny Rocket to the chest, or a hip check to the intestines, or a meaty shoulder to the ribs. I want exactly none of that.
And for a while, I did okay with avoiding the hits. I learned to jump the apex, leaping over anyone who might be aiming to hit me, I learned to run on my toe stops like my life depended on it, I learned to be faster than those chasing me, but like the old saying goes, “you can avoid some of the hits all of the time, and you can avoid all the hits some of the time, but you can’t avoid all the hits all of the time.”
Soon enough, my opponents caught on. “She’s going to go for the outside,” they’d say, lining up on the jam line. And then, as I came for that line like I’d shown them I would, they blocked the shit out of me.
It took a while, but eventually I realized, you can’t avoid all the hits. You can avoid some of them (and I intend to!) but some day someone is going to lay into you and you’re going to get fuuuuuucked.
But you know what? That’s fine! That’s part of derby! That’s part of life! You’ve got to learn to take the hits because they’re going to come, hard and fast, and you better be ready for it because it’s inevitable.
Maybe you’ll learn to push harder, to take the hits and keep moving forward.
Maybe you’ll learn to throw a counter-hit, to protect yourself before the hit even comes.
But, at bare minimum, you’ll learn to pick yourself up off the ground and try again, and that’s a lesson worth learning. 🙂
Happy holidays, derby fans, WoRD will see you in the new year! <3