This is it - today is my first bout. My stomach's all a-jumble and I'm trying to avoid thinking about it. I didn't even want to write a post about it. Can't I just be casual, and pretend that it's not really happening? I think I'm going to approach it the same way I do flying. After one bad experience, I dreaded and avoided flying. I got my doctor to prescribe me Xanax in the hopes that it would just knock me out for the entire flight. Sadly, that never happened, and then I worried about when to take the Xanax, when it would wear off, etc. etc. Eventually I just ran out of it and didn't bother refilling it. They say the two trickiest parts of a flight are the take-off and the landing, right? Well my bad experience happened during the long middle part -- when all we could see outside the window was a thick white fog and all we could feel was our drinks spilling on us. (Never mind, it's still considered the "safe" part of the flight.) So now, whenever I fly, I focus all my anxiety on the take-off. I remember the last scene of Say Anything, when Lloyd Dobler tells Diane that as soon as she sees the seatbelt sign click off, they're home free. I lean back, close my eyes, and wait until we've reached the height where we're allowed to turn on our electronic devices again. It's, like, 20 minutes, right? I can have 20 minutes of fear if the rest of the flight is safe.
The landing - the landing I'll never fear, since each minute we're closer to the ground and I can see that we're going to make it. Nope, the take-off will remain the scariest part to me.
So tonight I think I'll do that with derby - I'll focus all of my anxiety on the first jam. The one where my legs are wobbly and people just look at me and I fall over. The crowd is introduced to me as the person to fear falling into their laps. I'll get that all out of the way, so the next time I'm put in, there's nothing left to fear. And then, like my teammate says, we'll go win the after party.