Swinging at Moody Park · Twirly Whirly Girly

I Want To Quit

This was me until mid-assessments 3 weeks ago

Oh yeah I was the shit. 

Well… truth was I was actually scared as shit

I started the New Recruit roller derby training program 9 weeks ago. Since then I’ve met the minimum attendance requirements of 14 practices and there is one more officical practice to go before assessments.EEK!

I say minimum because there were quite a few other practices (not required) that I didn’t attend. The reason? My damn ankles.

I really oughtn’t be cursing them as they work to help me to walk! But skating for longer than 5 or 10 minutes in derby stance? Yowch!  They burn and then my legs turn to jello and I start tripping all over myself. Yeah, can’t have that with a two hour practice!

Derby stance, credit: Fountain City Roller Derby


Every practice I’ve whined about my ankles. Went to physical therapy to strengthen them and that made the problem even worse it seems. Took time off for a week, didn’t help. The problem? Still don’t know but I know my skates were too big. I just got new skates that are more my size and I was able to skate significantly longer tonight. That solves it then right? Wrong.

My biggest issue is psychological. My can- do attitude is gone. Why? Since mid-assessments 3 weeks ago I realized that I haven’t the muscle endurance, discipline, confidence, nor bad-asssery to practice with the “big girls” (the team). This is not just me being self-depricating, I really don’t have what it takes at this time.

I’m 30lbs overweight (no thanks to bipolar meds and I haven’t lost any weight yet. UGH!), I’d been agorophobic and a social recluse for most of 7 years (so much social commitment is involved – I just want to hide), sometimes it’s hard to get out of bed much less do something I’m not good at where I could injure myself. 

I just look at the girls on the team and think about how much younger they all are (most of them are a decade younger), how much fitter (I see only a sexy amount of fat), and how I’ll never belong to the team.

Never belong. That’s my thing. Always an outsider. And always hating with every fiber of my being when eyes are on me. I don’t want to have to fall and fail a million times in front of others in my fat old body. I don’t want to have to face that and the 2 nights a week practices, plus the bouts, plus all the social events. I just want to stay in my bed where it is nice and quiet and nothing bad can happen. Is that really want I want for my life, though? No.

Needless to say I don’t want to do final assessments next week. I don’t want everyone to see me fail. Because I will. I’ve got that in my head and I can’t get it out.

A player on the team told me she failed assessments three times. She said I need to find my reason for why to keep going. I don’t know what my reason is.

Someone please tell me not to quit. I told myself my goal is to finish the program and I don’t want to let myself down. 

Any suggestions with how to get over the fear of failure? In front of people? And on skates none-the-less?

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24 thoughts on “I Want To Quit

  1. Oh, dear. I’m with you on the 30 lbs. overweight thing. I have to confess that my first reaction to your story was, “QUIT!” The thing is, if you DO stick with it, as terrible as it is, and lose some weight and gain some fitness, you’ll probably feel fabulous that you’ve accomplished such a feat.
    Ultimately, though, it really is up to you. You know YOU. Either way, I’m with you! (And I have to admit, just flabbergasted that you ever got up the nerve to even TRY – good on you!)

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Lol. Yes, for the amount of work it had taken to do this thing I do have to wonder if it’s worth it. Your comment reminded me that there has to be some sort of motivation to continue with anything we endeavor so I really need to discover the reason(s) for doing this and whether I can or want to pursue those things elsewhere.

      Thanks for the “good on you!” I had to balls to tryout and stick with this thus far and that should count for something, right?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I want to tell you not to quit, and I also want you to give yourself permission to go ahead and quit if you need to.

    Yes, there’s something to admire in keeping at something and not giving up. And we all want to be that person who kept at something until we succeeded. But it’s also important to realize when we’re not chasing after the right goal. There was one time in my life where I kept after something, determined to accomplish it (my college major), and I did accomplish it, but in hindsight I should have changed my major to one that suited me better. I wish I had had somebody then to get me to sit down and re-evaluate.

    Another example – a friend of mine really loved rugby, played in college, always considered himself a rugby player. But as he hit middle age, he finally realized that he physically couldn’t take it anymore. But instead of staying with it and risking real injury, he switched over to hiking, and was eventually able to climb Machu Picchu!

    So what is it about the goal of making the roller derby team that is attracting you to this particular goal? From reading your posts about it, you see the girls on the team as really badass and super physically fit, and you want to be that also. If you make the team, it will only be because you have become as badass and physically fit as they are.

    And if you make the team, what then? Is this a sport that you will really love playing long-term? Would you be thriving on the rough competition? Would you physically be able to stand the punishment of competing at that level, and for how long? If you make the team, but are only able to compete for a season or two, will that be enough to feel like you succeeded? Do you have any role models of people who have done roller derby in their thirties and beyond to look to for inspiration?

    And if you never make the team, is pursuing the goal anyway doing good things for you now? You’re working on your fitness, pushing yourself to do new things, making yourself get out of the house and socialize. So maybe that’s enough to balance the frustrations for you, I can’t tell you that.

    And, since you are obviously a talented enough skater that you can even consider this sport, are there other skating options besides roller derby? Not being a skater, I don’t really know anything about those, but you probably do.

    Maybe the goal of doing the assessments this time could be to find out if roller derby is a reasonable goal for you to be pursuing. Don’t think about it as “failing in front of everybody”, think of it as “finding out how far you have come, and how much work is still ahead of you.” Then afterwards you can evaluate whether keeping at it is the right goal for you now.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I agree with Brent, your comment is very wise, Ubi! It got me pondering for most of the morning.

      I think my biggest motivation isn’t that I necessarily want to make the team (though that’d give me a temporarily boost of self-confidence and achievement) so much as I want to be proud of myself for not quitting on something. I keep starting and quitting things. The only things I haven’t quit on are earning my degree and being a mother (and to some extent you can say my marriage as I’ve been married 11 years). The other stuff seems to check all the right boxes for things I need (a hobby, exercising, socializing). I think there is a lot of pressure that if this doesn’t succeed then I’m back to square one which isn’t necessarily the case.

      I think that I may be better skill-wise than I think as at my mid-assessments the skills leader evaluating me said that I’m right on track. Perhaps all I need is to pick up a sports psychology book to change my thinking.Lol.

      That is something about your rugby friend climbing Machu Picchu! WOW. Does your friend ever regret quitting rugby or had he fully accepted that it was time move on to bigger and better things?

      Ubi, what was your major? Can’t remember if you’ve said before? Do you use it now in your life? My degree (Sociology) seems to be pretty useless in my life, although I maintain much interest in the social sciences.

      As far my being an older derby player there are plenty of inspirational women to look up to. 30 is about average, my league just tends to be younger and the players don’t stick longer than a season or two around much for some reason.On FB there is an international group for the over 40 derby players and there are plenty of them. Some women start derby in their 50s (what are they thinking???) and there is even a woman derby player who is 72!! I have to wonder if maybe these older players are in less competitive leagues. What I’d really love to do, and would be great for me, is to join a recreational (non-competitive) team. Sadly there are none close by. I do love to skate but get bored at the skating rinks with the horrible music and the obnoxious kids. I suppose if I do end up quitting derby there is always skating outside for fitness.😊

      I’m thinking I’m not going to quit – at least not yet-because it feels good to have, if not friends, at least acquaintances.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. My degree was in physics, and in hindsight I should have switched over to math. A B.S. in physics will let you teach high school physics, but if you want to do anything else in the field you need a doctorate, and grad school wasn’t happening. Math would have opened more career possibilities, and I think I would have liked it better. I’ve worked boring office jobs ever since, and while they support my family, it’s really unfulfilling.

        I think my friend was OK once it really sunk in that he couldn’t be a rugby player anymore. He now has leg issues where he can’t really do major hikes anymore, so he adopted a section of the Appalachian Trail, and does trail maintenance.

        A recreational team? I didn’t even know that was a thing! What would be needed for a recreational derby team? Are you enough of a leader to get one going? Are there other people who are in the training program with you that might be interested in that? Perhaps online you could find somebody who runs one, and talk with them about what’s needed to get something like that started. There’s got to be some other people around who like to skate and are pretty good, but don’t want to injure themselves in the process.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Carmen! I’m doing fine, thanks… have been lurking more than commenting lately, life has been busy.

      Our dog partially tore the doggie equivalent of the ACL in her knee, and is having surgery today… followed by 2 weeks wearing the dreaded cone, and 6-8 weeks of keeping her short-tethered so she doesn’t run or jump and reinjure it while she heals. So, things are going to get more busy. πŸ™‚

      How are you and your family?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. My domain expired (quixoticfaith.com). It looks like I had to cancel the domain in order for you to view my blog. Oops! Try quixoticfaith.wordpress.com. Hope that works! (Btw, yes I’m okay. Thanks for asking! :-))

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  3. I was a bit concerned when I read about how your ankles were hurting. I must admit I would be wary of an activity that caused pain like that as damaged ankles are something to avoid. A friend of mine has a damaged ankle and it has really mucked up his life. Ankles it seems are a lot harder to fix than knees.

    It may be that there is an activity more suited to you than the roller derby. My own suggestion would be something like bike riding.

    I can appreciate the matter of facing fears. I suffer to some extent some of the same fears. The three things I have concluded are:
    – fear is not rational;
    – it is the thinking about the matter that is far worse than the doing of it;
    – understanding one’s fear does not necessarily make it any easier overcome.

    These comments are probably not much help, but at least you know there are a group of people here on your blog who wish you the best regardless of what decision you make.

    I will offer one small piece of advice in regard to losing weight. It is the decisions on what to eat which are most critical to weight, far more so than the level of exercise. I suggest two things, firstly try not to go shopping when hungry and secondly look for food with high protein count relative to the energy count [I do hope this does not sound patronising].

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Peter – No, it does not sound patronizing at all and it’s actually good advice. 6 years ago I did the low-carb high-protein Atkins diet and dropped 30 lbs and got to a healthy weight in only 4 months. It was fantastic, but I was unable to sustain it. Not sure what the long-term solution is as I’ve never been able to sustain consistent eating and exercise habits for more than 4 months at a time. I agree with you that it’s the diet more than exercise that is key to weight loss, so studies have found.

      As far as exercise goes – yes, I’m very concerned about my ankles. It seems like any dorsiflexion of my foot for longer than 10 minutes causes burning, especially in my right ankle which I sprained 4 years ago and never got treatment for. It pinches slightly nearly all the time. I’ve decided to get physical therapy/physio for it and will be meeting with the team’s PT to see what can be done. Whether I continue with derby or not I need to take care of this as it will preclude me from sustaining any physical activity that uses my ankles, which obviously is a lot of different things.

      I liked what you said about fear. I’m very afraid of multiple things related to doing the sport of roller derby and it’s been tough sorting out what is wise and what is my being irrational.

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      1. In regard to diet ultimately the only successful diet is one which a person is prepared to essentially live on permanently.

        So best to find food that you like that are healthy. I know they are somewhat trendy, but Lentils really are a wonder food. I have found in my supermarket Lentil burgers they are delicious (in my view).

        The key food to avoid is those high in sugar (far worse than high fat foods). Soft drink and fruit juice should be avoided if possible. Fruit is good to eat because the associated fibre offsets the sugar, but taken as a drink that benefit is lost and it is more like drinking sugar water.

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  4. I realise this post was a while ago, and I really hope you got through the assessments. Honestly, I love Roller Derby and I find it is the best place for outcasts. Everyone I have met has been so supportive and friendly. It’s a safe place because trust me, you may be scared and nervous about it, but have no fear, there will always be someone else feeling the same way you do and someone there to support you and help you through it. Roller Derby gives you a strong network of friends that, if you are anything like me, you will really grow to appreciate, because they will be there for you, no matter what.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi lost/shauna – thanks for your words of encouragement! I ended up quitting because I had compartment syndrome in my legs and no amount of physical therapy could fix it. Boo! 😦

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