The Outfit’s charter team the Syndicate has been in a lot of places this year. While generally that would mean interesting travel and wild stories of strange rural Midwest towns, this season leaned more towards a different direction. Structurally the Syndicate has changed in players more often than it has in recent years past. The farewells to classic, talented Outfit skaters and OGs has been heart-breaking and it’s hard to imagine the Outfit without them. But the foundation of the Outfit and what we stand for as a league is too strong to crumble at loss. Maintaining our Division 1 status is a shining example of how little we’re willing to give up even if our best friends and top skaters can no longer be there with us to bask in its glory.
The fluctuation in our rosters may have scared us early on when the losses were fresh and so many of us were still new, but everyone has pulled it together and our new excitement generates from watching the hard work and quick rise of unsuspecting members. In all honesty, everyone’s ability and willingness to work that much harder to make up for fluctuations are what I’m going to remember most fondly about this season when it’s all said and done in just a couple months.
On a personal level, I’m over-joyed by where I am on this league. I wouldn’t have believed last year as I was learning how to just skate on a track properly that I’d climb my way up to the Syndicate any time soon. I’ve watched and idolized and gotten the shit beat out of my by our charter skaters for over a year and the fact that I can now get on the same track as them without choking on their dust is a miracle in itself. The first time I skated a bout with the Syndicate I got on the track each jam I was put in with one goal in mind, to “do something useful.” And the more I think about it, the more this applies to my entire personal season.
Sure, one day I want skate at the top of the roster. But for now simply being useful, even if only a little, every time I put my skates on has gotten me further than I could’ve ever imagined. I want to be useful for my teammates and my league. I rely on them and I need to make sure they can rely on me.
With the Division 1 tournament in Salem, OR fast-approaching, this goal becomes even more important. This September the Syndicate is going to roll onto that track and show everyone what we have and what we worked so hard for. I know my team can rely on me and I know we’re all going to be more than useful; we’re going to be fast, precise, strong, aggressive, and hungry. I couldn’t be more excited.