When you’re training with the Derby Dolls, it’s easy to forget how impressive it is when skaters learn how to do something new. As a Dolls coach and skater, I’m doubly responsible for this oversight. I’m bringing new things to practice and just expecting seasoned skaters to catch on, forgetting that facing a new skill and getting it right is pretty miraculous.
Coaching our second Fresh Meat group on Saturday restored the need to recognize and to acknowledge each achievement. This group of girls showed up to the Ottawa Technical High School, put on some gear, rolled to one end of the gym and in the space of less than two hours, learned to how to get their feet going, learned how to fall safely, learned how to stop on their skates and did 3489534753495783405834 four-point falls in a row and NEVER ONCE complained. They were smiling at the end of practice and already looking forward to the next week. It’s been a looooooong time since the Dolls have learned that much new stuff in a single practice.
To the newest group of Fresh Meat: you girls have no idea how much you accomplished in just one practice and I can’t even begin to describe how well you did it. You show so much promise; your skating futures are bright. For those of us who’ve been around a while and sometimes forget how AWESOME this sport is, we can all take a page out of your books. Thanks for coming out and thanks for reminding us WHY we’re all in this.