A philosophy of falling

Posted: 18/11/2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

During an interview for a roller derby documentary I ended up voicing some poignant and heartfelt (read: cheesy and lame) ideas, of which the following was my favourite. It sort of got put in my mouth by the interviewer, who brought the word ‘philosophy’ into play after mentioning that something they noticed about the way I play was that when I fall, I get back up very quickly. Between us we strung this together.

“Falling over when skating is scary at first, because you don’t want to get hurt. If you’ve ever fallen over when running fast, or off a bike, you know that it hurts. But you forget that you’re wearing specially-made protection, and it isn’t until you take that first fall that you find that it doesn’t hurt at all. Once you realise the worst you’ll end up with is a bit of a shake and maybe a bruise or two, it stops being scary, and becomes pretty funny. I’ve turned around in the pack and found my teammates sprawled on their backs with their legs in the air, and I’ve watched the pack maneuver around and over me from my belly in the middle of the track, and it’s hilarious. And once you realise that, the falls, even the fast and hard ones, stop being frightening and become nothing more than a hinderance to the game. You didn’t come here to lie on the floor and watch wheels whipping past your face – you came here to, in the words of a musician I know, ‘derby hard or go home’. So you trust to that protection, and you get back to your feet, and you skate back into the pack. And when that becomes your aim, you get better and better at it, until you can roll with the fall and bounce back onto your wheels with more dexterity and grace than you actually skate with. And one could, indeed, see this as a philosophy for life: missing goals, falling off the track, losing your way, can be scary at first, but with the right setup and surroundings to protect you, it needn’t be painful. When you realise that falling over isn’t something to be dreaded, rather something to skate headfirst at, then when it does happen, whatever track you fell from, whatever goal you missed or path you lost, at least you know how to roll with the fall, bounce back up and rejoin the pack. What you do once you’re back in that maelstrom of blockers and jammers might be a mystery, but it’s one you can tackle whole-heartedly without worrying about what will happen if you get knocked out again. You just knock your way back in.”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Totally quoted me in an interview and a blog post. Nice.

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