No, not that C word...get your minds out of the gutter! The word I mean is 'confidence'. This seems to be thing thing I am most lacking in at the moment.
In the past week or so I have probably spent more time on skates than I have ever done before (including as a child!). This has been quite a shock to the system after years of playing it safe on my own two feet. I've also attended two proper training sessions (indoors, on nice smooth surfaces); one with the Cardiff Dragon Dolls, and one with the Tiger Bay Brawlers.
At the Dolls training, I was quite literally thrown in at the deep end- falls were run through quickly, followed by drills of them over and over. My poor newbie knees didn't know what hit them! However, after a few goes I got the hang of it and even started to enjoy throwing myself to the floor with abandon. Even getting back up wasn't as hard as I'd imagined. Then came the laps, with tasks (single knee fall, skate on one leg, crossovers ect ect) and by then I felt fairly ok on 8 wheels, and was very disappointed when the hour was up. I didn't realise just how hard I had been working until I took off my pads- sweaty knees and elbows galore!
In contrast, the Brawler ladies held a longer two hour session, which covered not only the basics of skating, but the basics of derby too. Even though I knew most of it from internet trawling and generally reading/watching anything derby related I could get my hands on, it was still nice to have a run through of all the rules. There was an emphasis on how everyone would be learning together, and developing our skating skills with the aim of getting the minimum requirements set out by the WFTDA (and believe me, it's a pretty extensive list). One look at the booklet I was given (they were that organized!) and I felt fear in my throat: will I ever be good enough for this? The answer is yes, yes I will. I will practice, practice, practice until skating feels as natural to me as walking. Until I'm not afraid to fall down, and get right back up again. I've promised myself I'm going to do at least 30 mins a day on my skates. Even if it's just going around the dining room in my house, or the tennis courts by Maindy pool (even if they do have the worst surface in the world to skate on- rough as hell and covered in stones/twigs/bottle caps/broken glass). It's the only way I'm going to get confident, and before I even start to think about technical ability this is what I need to achieve.