Skater's Resolve for the New Year


Once upon a time, I measured time in school years. May or June heralded endless days of hot, sticky freedom. Fall ushered in the sweet smell of new pencils, books, and a starry-eyed excitement for something new. Fall brought hope and optimism for more disciplined and less harried school year. Measuring time in this way, my New Year’s resolutions came in August. Then, one day, school was over for good and time stretched out in an endless ribbon. No longer blessed with summer vacation, or any marker of a beginning or end, the resolutions were no longer confined to one month or day. What’s to keep me from making a resolution to be a better person any day of the year I want? 

Until now. That marker has arrived, and it is the derby season. The start of our season roughly coincides with the New Year. Which means a new year, a new season, and a fresh start. It’s time to take stock of where I am and where I want to be. Now, it’s not about being a better person, it’s about being a better skater. I have a running list of things that I want to improve. The more I skate, the longer the list seems to get, not shorter.

I could hold all of the things I want to improve in my head until they overwhelm me, and none of them are accomplished. Or, I could focus on just a few until I make them my bitch. Then, it may be time for new goals. For now, I will focus on skating with power (and faster), stopping fast, and hitting someone—anyone.

Accomplishing my goals will take resolve. And a plan. Lucky I have one of those. It goes something like this: drag my ass to scrimmage every chance I can; hit up those off-skates practices where someone else kicks my butt into shape; and go to the gym outside of practice to kick my own butt.

It’s going to take lots and lots of sweat. And my muscles will attempt mutiny. That’s okay. My sweat and my muscles have purpose now. I will be rebuilt into someone better, faster, stronger—someone capable of holding her own out on the derby track.

~Sue Flay