Roller derby is perfect for me because we have a thing that we're doing. I don't have to ask people gently probing questions about their lives, their personal history, their families, their health, their happiness because we're doing something. We're derby-ing. I can tell them "Jammer standing!" and "watch the inside!" without hesitation but when you ask me about my day, I am flummoxed. I like to go to a place where I get to be with my friends, but I don't have to talk about my feelings in front of everyone. I make left turns, I skate it out, and I feel like I have done something. I saw some people today and it mattered that their faces were in front of mine. Roller derby is a fun, safe, place full of people I like and trust, who don't need to make me be things I am not. They only ask that I push myself harder, whatever that looks like for me.
I think introverts make awesome teammates because we are:
- Very self-aware
- Enjoys understanding details
- Interested in self-knowledge and self-understanding
- Tends to keep emotions private
- Quiet and reserved in large groups or around unfamiliar people
- More sociable and gregarious around people they know well
- Learns well through observation*
I think the hardest thing for me is all the social opportunities surrounding derby. The after parties, the pre-game talks, the time when you're gearing up and down. Those things are like the first day of school for me STILL and I have been with my league for more than 2 years! There are new people, there are cliques, there are the "popular girls" and despite my best efforts, I know that I am not every one's cup of tea. And that's OK, it's just stressful sometimes. I get in my car and panic a little about who I am going to do endurance practice next to. Are they going to judge my squat-jumps and burpees? When I gear up, can they smell my wristgaurd stank like I can? OH GOD. Hopefully I am with someone in my inner circle, then I give no f**ks about those things.
Moral of the story, everyone has their hurdles, but being an introvert shouldn't stop you from PLAYING ALL THE DERBIES! because there are a lot of benefits of being an introverted type of person, on and off the track!
*What is Introversion? By Kendra Cherry