Rule #7 – Travel Light
This rule has always been somewhat of a source of contention for me. As an admitted pack rat (hoarder just sounds like there is a mental imbalance of some kind…pack rat sounds a little more bad ass), I am aware that I have a problem with leaving anything behind. However, learning the skill of “travelling light” will definitely assist you throughout many different situations, including surviving the oncoming zombie apocalypse, or skating on a roller derby team.
For starters, we can talk about the importance of travelling light in terms of skating. Always best to get rid of the bulk if you want to be sturdy and quick on your skates. Consider the types of plates you have, the size of gear you are wearing, and the types of wheels you use. Also, I would recommend avoiding denim when trying to be agile and bendy…from experience…not a very comfortable or practical fabric (especially when suspenders are involved).
Next, it may not be common sense to you yet, but when packing for a derby excursion or lengthy road trip, there are really only a few things you actually need: sports bras, socks, panties (the derby and non-derby variety of course), derby attire and sweats. No matter what, I promise you this is all you need. And if you plan to fly, you better be able to fit everything in a backpack, or just check one bag…because those skates are going with you EVERYWHERE. I don’t know about you, but I can honestly say that currently there is nothing more valuable in my possession than my derby gear.
So unless you want to be dragging around 2 suitcases wherever you go, throw your sweats in a backpack and put those precious skates in your carry-on….nuff said.
Lastly, we can take a metaphoric approach to this rule and say that in life, carrying around a lot of extra baggage is never beneficial. The skill of being able to let things go and move on, is one that I am continually trying to work on, but have seen the benefits of already.
In derby, it is crucial to be able to leave it all on the track.
In bouts, in practice, and sometimes when discussing the future of your league, things can occasionally get a bit heated. You might get into it with a teammate or a coach or even a ref (not that I’ve ever disagreed with a ref…but you might). You gotta let things go, because guaranteed you’ll be seeing a lot of familiar faces over and over again in your derby career.
As well, you are going to meet people in derby that may remind you of that asshole from high school, or that bitchy co-worker you used to imagine running over in the staff parking lot at lunch time (no?…just me?), but these people are different and the bottom line is: Everybody deserves a chance.
Don’t let past experiences impede future ones, and don’t let previous grudges stop you from making new friendships…and teammates.
I see myself as two different people, on and off the track, and I hope that others can see that as well. Hopefully my teammates are able to forget about my scowling face and furrowed brows post-bout, and move on to my generous and excitable high-fives and noogies at the afterparty.
So Rule #7: Travel Light.
Do this, and notice that wherever you go, in whatever you do, you’ll get to your desired destination a lot quicker.
Thanks to 8mean Wheeler for recently posting the above photo and fellow blogger Wry N Ginger for the featured photo, check out her blog at: http://cquilty.tumblr.com/