Last month, I played in a mixed-league bout down at Sis-Q. I signed up for the newbie bout. I figured I could be marginal in the veteran bout, or I could (I hoped) be a rock star in the newbie bout. That is more or less what happened, I'm happy to say.
I was surprised by the skill level of some of the skaters. There was a wide range, from girls who probably would have held their own in the veteran bout, to girls who I don't think would have passed minskis at Sick Town. I was on one team, and my teammate La Madadora was on the other.
I was nervous ... I didn't really know what to expect. The bench coaches sent me in as pivot for the first jam. Pivot? Oh shit. I'm not a pivot! I'm the girl who hugs the inside line and often needs to be told what to do (sometimes more than once). Except ... I was out there with a team below my skill level, and I was the one telling girls what to do. The pack was slow enough (not *slow* -- just slower than I'm used to) that I was able to see what was happening, and the jammers were inexperienced enough that it was easy to anticipate their moves.
Suddenly, I was knocking jammers around. I was hitting girls out on one side, then the other, lather, rinse, repeat. When my team had a power jam, I was the one hitting the opposing blockers out of my jammer's way every lap.
There was a moment when I was sitting on the bench waiting to go in as pivot in the next jam, and our pivot went to the box. Our coach took the pivot panty off my head, and said, "I just want you out there." I was like, me? You want ME out there? Really? It was an amazing thing to hear.
The other team voted me "Most Intimidating." My team lost (by 10 points) but that bout was a huge win for me. (La Madadora did great too! We really represented Sick Town well.)
And now ... this Saturday, Sick Town bouts Oly's b team, the Dropkick Donnas, and ... I am on the roster! Of all the bouts I thought I might get to play in, Oly was certainly not one of them. Our captains are not sure what to expect from the roster they sent us (not too many familiar names), so I and a couple of other non-S*M*A*S*H skaters are on the roster and we'll get to play if it's pretty lopsided in Sick Town's favor. Otherwise, we'll mostly (maybe totally) ride the bench. Ya know what? I'm really OK with that. There has never been a bout where Sick Town was losing or running really close on score where I've said, "Dammit, I should be out there!" I'm realistic about my own skill level. And honestly, I'm just excited to feel like part of the team. I get to skate out, I get to wear my uniform, I get to sit on the bench with my teammates. It's nothing but good.