Resilience, grit, stubbornness and mental toughness all contribute to your competitive edge in the sport of roller derby. Resilience is getting back to your feet after being knocked down over and again – literally and figuratively. Resilience is how you keep pushing when it is you against 4, and how you go around the track just to hit those same 4 blockers again and again for the whole jam. Resilience is getting back on the track for the next jam to do it all again, and most importantly resilience is coming back to the sport after a major set back, injury, or failure.
I continue to learn the strength of my own resilience through my life, through running, travel, and now roller derby. I consider it one of my best strengths as an athlete, and I acknowledge I can still grow and improve my resilience. While recovering from an injury that had me off skates for over 6 months, I tapped into my resilient mindset to get me back into the pack. Learning to draw on the deepest reserves of my mental ability, my resilience has helped me find my way back from injury, believe in myself that I can get onto the A-team, and back on the track find those last reserves of strength to burst through a gap and get the points before the jam ends.
Although some people have natural strength and gritty personality, resilience is something that can be learned and trained. On my journey back to roller derby from the broken leg, I read a lot about these concepts and examples of mental toughness. After injury or setbacks, big or small, learning to manage the negative feelings and build a positive attitude towards your progress is paramount. Resilience is a key concept in my life and in my sport.