How NOT to Start a Road Trip

Have you heard? I’m going on a road trip. My goal is to visit all 50 states in the US, skate with one derby team in each state, and update The List of teams while I’m at it. Did you also hear that I’m converting a school bus into an RV? I sure am, and I plan to use my newly made house on wheels during my road trip. Did you hear that my bus broke down on my last day in the Army and the day before I was supposed to start my trip home? Isn’t life a dick sometimes? (no offense to those who own dicks) 

The start of this adventure has been a series of unfortunate yet comedic events. It started out with my bus breaking down. That was a memorable moment. My bus is tiny. A wee little 15 passenger vehicle. Now imagine me in my tiny bus entering onto the highway at 65mph then immediately losing speed. I have a semi truck barreling towards me at 70mph and my bus has decided that 35mph is the fastest it will go and it’s quickly losing more speed. I turn on my hazard lights and pull over to the side of the road and the semi truck zooms past me shaking my whole vehicle. So here I am stranded. That was unfortunate event number 1. I survived, thanks to the help of friends. 

You might be thinking well that was unfortunate, but I’m not seeing the comedy. Ah well let me regale you with unfortunate event number 2. It takes 3 weeks for my bus to be fixed. Considering I needed a complete install of a new engine and it broke down right before Christmas it could have taken longer. At the end of the 3 weeks I go and pick up my vehicle. It turns on and sounds like a dream. I’m happy. Like really really happy. I drive away and I kid you not, maybe five minutes later my check engine light turns on and my oil gauge dramatically drops into the red. The engine starts sounding rough and the smell of smoke starts filling my nostrils. I’ve got to pull over quick before I destroy this brand new engine (but good news my new engine came with a 3 year warranty, hurray!). I pull into a parking lot. Turn off the engine and pop the hood. It smells crispy inside and there’s oil EVERYWHERE. I look at the ground and it’s an environmentalists nightmare. Oil is spewing out of my vehicle. I call the mechanic that I just left and he says he’s on his way. As soon as I hang up the phone fire trucks surround me. I’m looking at them extremely confused as they start walking towards me. The fire chief says to me “Are you the vehicle that was on fire?” I look at him perplexed. I look at my dripping but not on fire bus then back at him. I say “I don’t think so.” He replies, “Well, we got a call that a little school bus was on fire and turned onto this road.” I laugh and look around the empty parking lot and say “I’m the only little school bus here so I guess I was on fire…how lovely.” The firemen check out my bus and we all determine that I am truly not on fire. They drop kitty litter under my bus to soak up all of the spilled oil, wish me luck and drive away. 3 weeks of waiting for my bus to be repaired only to break down again five minutes later. Such is life sometimes. 

Me staring at my bus with extreme disappointment

The mechanic fixes the bus within the hour and refills the engine with new oil. Apparently, I was missing a hose clamp. Yes, absurd. Unfortunate event number 3 is still in the works. The mechanic gave the bus a test drive after being refilled with oil and then he drove away to go on with his day. As soon as he was out of sight I notice an impressive leak from under my driver side door. This leak is orange. My coolant is orange. In this moment I nearly rage quit my life. I now have a coolant leak. I search and search but can’t find the source. It doesn’t help that my engine compartment is covered in oil. But here’s where things take a turn towards comedic levels. The next morning I check the coolant levels, and as expected they are lower than the previous day. I take my bottle of coolant out that I had stored behind the drivers seat and notice I’m spilling coolant everywhere. My bottle was punctured when the mechanic moved the seat back for a test drive. The leaking coolant under my door was coolant straight from the bottle. Now this doesn’t explain why my coolant levels were still low this fine Thursday morning, so I’m still getting my vehicle checked out…by a different mechanic. One who hopefully does not forget to attach pins. That mechanic walks up to me and says, “you’re coolant system is fine, but we have another problem…” I look at him poised to laugh. I think to myself, what else could honestly be wrong with my bus?? He continues, “I was driving the bus out of the garage when your transmission line came loose and transmission fluid poured all over the floor. So now we have to fix that and add more fluid.” Guess what caused the line to come loose my friends. Yes. Another dang hose clamp.

Here are my take aways from the last three weeks. Is my life kind of a mess right now? Yes. Am I frustrated? Yes. Am I slightly poorer than I was a month ago. Yes. But am I exactly where I should be, experiencing exactly what I should be experiencing? Yes. I firmly believe that things happen for a reason. They may not make sense in the moment and living through those experiences may be uncomfortable but you are meant to experience them. I don’t understand fully what I’m gaining from this experience, but I’m sure in due time it will click. What I do know is my schedule is completely thrown off. I was planning on starting my trip at the end of the month. At this rate that’s not going to happen. With that in mind, every amazing human being I meet from here on out is in part because of my delay. All the amazing experiences I have this year will also be related to this delay. Everything has been shifted because of this moment, but so much good can come from it. My final takeaway is, CHOOSE YOUR MECHANICS WISELY.

– Jukes

This is my blog. There are many like it, but this one is mine…

Please note, that my opinions, within this blog post and all future blog posts, are just that, my opinions. If you disagree with anything I say, please feel free to engage in respectful dialogue in the comment section below. I can also be reached at jukes@derbylisting.com. Thanks for joining me on my blog-venture!!

Focus on What is Next

The wonderful thing about the new year, is it’s a chance to reflect on the accomplishments of the previous year. Life isn’t easy. It’s full of ups, downs, and unpredictable situations. But one thing we can always count on, is so long as we’re breathing another day will go by and eventually another year will come to a close. It’s easy to get wrapped up in thinking about the things we failed to accomplish, the things we wish we had or hadn’t said, or the things we have lost. 

Did you set a goal last year and not achieve it? You know that is okay, right? You don’t have to harp on your failures. It’s a new year. Time has offered you a chance to reset and begin again. Reflect on the past year with the understanding that you are simply human, and as a human we sometimes fail. Use that reflection to adjust your goals for the new year and chase them with full speed. 2018 is done. There is no redoing it. There is only forward. 

Did you have an amazing year? Well done! Be proud of your accomplishments, but also reflect. Why was it a great year and how can you replicate your success in the new year? Set your goals and use the positive energy from the previous year to launch yourself towards that which you desire. 

For me personally, I had the most insane derby season of my life. Though I accomplished perhaps my biggest goal of the year, I can say it wasn’t all rainbows and happiness. I don’t think I truly knew what I was getting myself into when I set my mind to try out for a D1 travel team. Honestly, it was a pretty tough year. Mentally, physically, all of the above. A lot of things I’m passionate about fell to side as I focused all of my energy on derby. There are moments from the year I wish I could undo or change but in the end, as I reflect on the year, there is no doubt that I grew as a skater and as a person. Those experiences are now part of me and have shaped me into the human I am today. As I’ve sat and reviewed the last year, I know my goals will be to focus more on self care and life balance. 

Happy reflection, friends. May this new year be full of joy, growth, and accomplishment. 

This is my blog. There are many like it, but this one is mine…


Please note, that my opinions, within this blog post and all future blog posts, are just that, my opinions. If you disagree with anything I say, please feel free to engage in respectful dialogue in the comment section below. I can also be reached at jukes@derbylisting.com. Thanks for joining me on my blog-venture!!

You Are Good Enough

Always, always, always believe in yourself, because if you don’t, then who will? -Marilyn Monroe

Have you heard of imposter syndrome? You might have heard it as impostor phenomenon or fraud syndrome. Whatever you call it, it’s the idea that your accomplishments are not your own; therefore, you live in fear that eventually the people around you will realize that you are a fraud and are not truly worthy of your position or praise. You’d be surprised how many people feel this way. If you think about it, it’s a bit of a mental safety mechanism. A security blanket for the brain, that way, just in case you fail, you knew in your head all along, that you never truly possessed the talents others thought you had.

Imposter syndrome can manifest itself in the work place, in your relationships, and even in roller derby. It doesn’t just affect new skaters, it can eat away at the most senior of skaters, as well. Just a few months ago I was on a team that is currently ranked near the 300s, on the wftda rankings. I have now found myself on an All-Star charter for a D1 team. Instead of celebrating nearly 6 years of hard work, my immediate thoughts were disbelief and shock. I started mentally discounting my abilities and wondering if they would soon realize…it was a mistake to choose me.

Let’s be real, division one roller derby teams don’t take their rosters lightly. They have only 20 slots to fill and you best believe they are putting serious thought into who they select. The idea that I doubted my own self worth is a bit tragic. However, I know I’m not alone. There are others out there who also second guess their life’s successes. I am here to tell you, that you are worthy of praise and you are deserving of recognition. Most importantly, never discount your abilities and achievements.

Work towards your dreams, derby fans!

-Jukes

Get Your Swole on

I’m into fitness…Fittin this whole pizza in my mouth

New year, means new derby resolutions! If you don’t have a resolution, I’d consider making some. Perfecting a new juke, fine tuning your hockey stop, or making the charter roster. Doesn’t matter if you call it a resolution or a goal, it’s important to have an end state that you are working towards, so you can focus your energy. That being said, whatever your goals are, being comfortable on your skates is only half the battle. Strong body is the other piece.

A lot of top derby athletes have incorporated lifting and cardio outside of practice into their weekly routines. A great way to do the same is by joining a gym; however, we all know gym memberships aren’t cheap, but don’t let that be your excuse for not becoming your best you. Buy or make your own hand weights. You’ll be surprised the workout you can get from lifting a freezer bag wrapped in duck tape and full of dirt. Even household items can be used as weights. You just have to be creative.

Don’t think you’re ready for weights, but still want to get fit? There are endless body weight exercises you can torture your body with. Planks, push ups, sit ups, crunches, air squats, lunges and other exercises you can research online. Again, getting fit is only limited by your imagination and effort.

The hardest part of getting fit, is staying motivated. We all lead busy lives and lot of us fill what little spare time we have with derby, so adding a workout routine may be hard to keep up. However, always remember you are not alone. Get a workout buddy and hold each other accountable. And if you don’t know where to begin, don’t be afraid to pick the brain of a workout junkie within your league. Start small and grow your workout plan from there. Who knows, you may find you really enjoy adding exercise outside of derby to your routine.

Question time: What are your goals for the 2018 derby season? How do you go about adding exercise to your weekly routine? Does your league have a workout group that meets outside of practices? Leave a comment below!

-Jukes

This is my blog. There are many like it, but this one is mine…


Please note, that my opinions, within this blog post and all future blog posts, are just that, my opinions. If you disagree with anything I say, please feel free to engage in respectful dialogue in the comment section below. I can also be reached at jukes@derbylisting.com. Thanks for joining me on my blog-venture!!

Goal Struggles

We must look in the mirror and honestly evaluate why we have failed.

We do it all the time. We see something and say to ourselves, “I wish I could (fill in the blank).” We wish, we want, we desire, but we don’t act. Why? Because acting is the hard part. It’s so fricken easy to sit on our rear ends and WISH for things, but it’s a whole different story when it’s time to apply ourselves and actually WORK for what we want. So how about we stop wishing and wanting and put forth the effort for what we desire.

I have been a jammer since day one of my derby journey. I watched my first bout and fell in love with the gals rocking the stars and decided then that I too would be a jammer. I accomplished that goal, and I’m darn proud of my jamming abilities. However, I let myself get type cast. I let my desire pigeon hole me into being a one trick pony. The way I see it, I am not as valuable an asset as I could be, for any league I am in. What happens when I show up to a new league over flowing with talented jammers? I sit on the bench, that’s what happens. We should ALL strive to be triple threats. We should ALL be willing and able to go pantyless, rock a stripe, or star with ease. We do a disservice to our teammates when we look at our bench coaches in horror when tasked to do something outside of our comfort zone. With this realization, it became apparent that I NEEDED to become a blocker.

We must fail then keep fighting if we are to ever succeed.

I’ve gotten no closer to fulfilling that need than the day I first voiced it. Why? Because I haven’t made a plan and quite frankly because its damn hard to block (I give blockers mad props). We must look in the mirror and honestly evaluate why we have failed. Did we put forth the necessary effort? I can give every excuse in the world for why I suck at blocking. I’m short. I barely have three digits of weight behind my hits. I can go on. However, what it really boils down to is lack of discipline. Blocking is hard, so I avoid it. I don’t like failing, so I avoid it. I’m not good at it, so…I…avoid it. I think we can all see that this vicious cycle of avoiding is not going to get me anywhere. We must fail then keep fighting if we are to ever succeed.

So here, on this public forum, let it be known…I WILL BECOME A BLOCKER. I will stop being embarrassed when I screw up. I will stop giving the excuse, “I’m not a blocker.” And most of all, I will make a plan and actually work for what I want. I’m going to start this journey by signing up for blocker clinics at Beat Me Half Way. As much as it kills me, I’m going to do a lot of failing in front of a lot of people, but it will be worth it.

Lets hear it, what are you all working towards in your derby journey?

-Jukes

This is my blog. There are many like it, but this one is mine…


Please note, that my opinions, within this blog post and all future blog posts, are just that, my opinions. If you disagree with anything I say, please feel free to engage in respectful dialogue in the comment section below. I can also be reached at jukes@derbylisting.com. Thanks for joining me on my blog-venture!!