Some of you may remember that way back in July, I posted all about my new blog series I was embarking upon: Operation Supervixen. My initial plan was to post at least monthly updates on my progression towards a happier, healthier lifestyle, but of course, that hasn't ended up happening.
Naturally then, it probably comes as no surprise that my progress towards my goals has been excruciatingly slow. Admittedly, I've made little attempt to alter my diet and figure out an exercise routine. I've stopped talking back to myself when I haven negative thoughts, particularly nastiness about other people. I am definitely not using my free time productively. My secondary income has fizzled out to nothing. In fact, the only progress I've made has been quitting smoking - I haven't been keeping exact track but I think I'm around the 6-8 weeks mark now - hooray!
Of course, one of my goals was to keep a record of my progress and this is what I am doing now. Although I have begun this post on a negative note and admitted that I have been dramatically backsliding, I think it is important for me to be honest about this. Real transformation does not happen overnight. I am not a failure because I didn't write my first Operation Supervixen post and change instantly. I spend a lot of time beating myself up for the things I don't do and as a result, ignore the things I do do.
One thing in particular makes me feel more like a supervixen than I ever have before...
And that's roller derby.
What is roller derby I hear you cry? This video explains it much better than I can:
Currently, I am what we refer to as "fresh meat" - I have not yet passed my minimum skills which means I cannot play as main league on a team yet. That's fine by me because I kinda like being alive! I don't want to get on that track until I know it's safe (as possible) to do so!
That being said, the hour and a half I go training each week is my favourite and best hour and a half each week. For an hour and a half each week, I am guaranteed to not feel like shit. In fact, for an hour and a half each week, I feel amazing. For an hour and a half each week, I forget about everything that bothers me. For an hour and a half each week my smile does not leave my face. For an hour and a half each week, it doesn't matter what has happened before, it doesn't matter what I'm dreading in the future, I can forget and just be ME again.
Training is truly addictive for me. Every single week I improve and every single week I go back wanting more, to see what I can pull off that week. When I compare that Bambi-like girl I was way back in March when I first put a pair of skates on to the girl I am now, I am so goddamn proud.
It's not just the sport itself: the wonderful Wiltshire Roller Derby team and my fellow fresh and smelly meat really make it worth it. They're such wonderful people. They make everyone feel so included, no one ever feels stupid because they can't do something (yet), the whole atmosphere is so encouraging.
Before high school, I loved my sport. In primary school I played both football and netball and I would have loved to carry netball on into high school and play on an actual team. Unfortunately, the sporty girls tended to also be the incredibly bitchy girls and PE and associated bullying at high school completely put me off physical activity.
I think I love roller derby because it's the exact opposite of my high school netball team. All ages (well, over 18 anyway, safety first guys!) are welcome, all genders (although we have separate mens and womens teams, we all train together), all backgrounds are welcome and everyone gets along, everyone helps each other.
Not to mention, I was also very surprised by just how physically challenging roller derby is AND how much that challenge has made me adore it.
At the end of the day, not mastering an exercise routine doesn't matter so much when I know I walk 40-80 minutes a day, plus do an hour and a half of intense activity each week. I do want to fit some strength training exercise in there to help me with sticky and backwards skating, but other than that, it's not like I lead a totally sedentary lifestyle!
As for my other Operation Supervixen goals...I'll get there. Prior to roller derby, my misery would last 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Now I know I get at least an hour and a half each week of relief from that. It also gets me out of the house and in the company of people which is another bonus.
No doubt roller derby is going to play a huge part in my personal transformation and hopefully, I will have some positive Operation Supervixen progress to share soon!
My advice to others today? If you can find a sport or physical activity that makes you feel great: do it. If exercise really, really isn't your bag - just find a real hobby, preferably one that involves other people. So far, I've not found a more effective anti-depressant!
Do you have a favourite sport?