Today I got my first taste of someone directing some heat-of-the-moment aggression at me during scrimmage practice. And not on the track, but on the sidelines.
I don't think it's unusual, and pretty much everyone has a story about someone snapping at them for no reason (and I'm sure I'll probably do it to someone else in turn). It's actually not so much that it happened that bothered me, more my reaction to it. My very first instinct was to burst into tears. Seriously!
I guess it's some kind of conditioning - someone yells at you, totally unexpectedly, for something you had no intention of doing, and the first reaction is to crumble. Or maybe that's just me. Anyway, that reaction, my reaction, kinda took me by surprise.
I have seen things getting a little heated on the track a few times during scrimmage, which is pretty natural. I guess the important thing to learn is to be able to rein in the immediate reaction, and take a couple of deep breaths. Sometimes you give a hit, or do some blocking, and people take it a bit personally, and come back at you for revenge.
I've also felt my own anger threshold being crossed, though it wasn't during scrimmage. Someone was getting in my face and giving me shit during a regular 'ole paceline, and I seriously wanted to tell her to just GET FUCKED, but I sucked it up. But yes, if I'm being honest I have to say that if we're doing hitting drills, and she's in my line of fire, I do not hold back. It's stupid and immature I know - all I'm saying is that, even though it hasn't yet been an issue for me during scrimmage, I do know that I too have an anger threshold that might push me over, and suddenly it will be Snapsville, population ME.
One thing that impresses me about roller derby is that most of the time there is very much a sense of 'what happens on the track stays on the track.' Everyone in our league trains together, even though they bout as 4 separate teams. Even last night, at a CRDL vs. SRDL bout in Sydney (frickin' BEST bout I have seen, ever! If you are a fan of derby in Oz and you missed it, you missed out!) there was rivalry between the teams on the track, sure, but afterwards everyone was at the same pub chatting and complementing each other on the awesome blocks they had put on them. It's so positive, and such a great example of how women can relate to each other. Ah, roller derby - it almost makes me believe in the Sisterhood!
So today this lady and I got over it, and I'm pretty sure it's not going to be an issue for us in the future. My real shock and surprise were not even directed at her reaction, but my own. I am finding this whole derby journey quite interesting in terms of the things it is offering up for self-reflection. And not all of it what I might have expected.