I’m four days into Cherries training. Last Wednesday night, as I packed up my gear and headed to practice, I had a few butterflies. I know that the trainers and the other Cherries would be nothing but encouraging; but, as is always the case, fear of the unknown can paralyze you if you let it. I practiced lots of deep breathing, distracting myself on the ride to the Castle, blared loud music…anything I could come up with to just suck it up and get down to it.
Last weekend, the Desert Dolls had a booth at Phoenix ComicCon. They picked up several new recruits, some of whom have never skated. They joined us on Thursday night for their first practice…scared, unsure of what to expect and some even wobblier than me.
Suddenly, I was no longer the slowest, weakest or most hesitant. I was the one high-fiving girls and encouraging them.
Don’t get me wrong…I still have a very long way to go before I’m smacking into anybody; but, the last two nights of practice were better than the two before, and a huge boost to my confidence.
In addition, I’m making friends with the other Cherries and the trainers. The league’s founder set up a Facebook group specific to our Cherries training set. We are setting up time to meet outside of practice, to work on skating other nights of the week. One skater, upon hearing that I want to swap out my wheels, offered and then showed up with extras that she’s not using.
Some girls already have derby names picked out. I’ve been kicking around several options, checking them against the international registry.
I thought about the fact that my ultra-conservative boss refers to me as his “favorite little Bolshevik,” thanks to my liberal tendencies. I toyed with variations of that and emailed my mother. She suggested “Belle Shevik” and I added “Bomber.” I also considered “Belle Throttling” after Belle Wattling, in “Gone With the Wind.”
The one that I’ve submitted to the league is a play on my ancestry. I’m related to Claude Monet on my grandfather’s side. I fancy myself a sort of artist, so I came up with “Showmee de Monet.”
I kind of like that…I think that I’ll sit with it for a while.