Category: Newsletter

Monday Motivation: The Power of Yet

By Wild Violet

Early on in my Roller Derby journey, one of my trainers introduced me to the power of using the word “yet” when I came up against a skill or drill I could not do.

“I can’t do a stutter stop!”
“You can’t do a stutter stop YET.”

Adding that one word to the end of any frustrated statement helped to transform my outlook. I didn’t completely stop feeling frustrated when I hit walls, but I regained optimism that I would eventually scale over them.

The language we use can be powerful. The words we say inside our heads when we try something and struggle have the ability to hinder us further in our progress or give us a push to keep going.

“I can’t do it.”
“I suck at this.”
“I’m not good at this skill.”
“My body doesn’t work that way.”

Are we telling ourselves things we wouldn’t dream of saying to another skater? What if we change these types of thoughts?

“I can’t do it-YET.”
“I haven’t mastered this-YET.”
“I’m not good at this skill-YET.”
“My body doesn’t work that way-YET.”

See the difference?

We can only progress by trying-and sometimes failing-first. Forget what Yoda said, try and try again. In all new things we do, we need to put in the work to get where we want to go. We may not be there-YET-but moving forward is the only way to get there.

The next time that Negative Nelly voice in your head starts criticizing you, remember the power of language and turn it around. Look how far you have come already, and instead of seeing the road ahead as long and daunting, see it as an epic journey to be conquered. Each drill, practice, scrimmage, or bout is part of the adventure.

Don’t ever allow the one stopping you from getting there to be you. Change your language, and you can change your derby experience. 

Confessions of a (Nearly) 50 Year-Old Derby Girl: Hard Skating? Just Skate Hard

 

Learning to skate as an adult seems a lot harder than when I first put skates on about a hundred years ago. For one thing, my bones and muscles and joints don’t have that wonderful rubber band quality any more. Also, my skull has a lot farther to go when I transition rapidly from upright to horizontal.

I am thankful for muscle memory that spans the decades and allows me to remember how it feels to skate. But through those decades I accumulated some physical deficiencies that keep me on–or rather, off–my toes.

The toe-torturing skill that tends to get the best of me is called a stutter stop, specifically a left stutter stop. To execute you start by assuming the ever-praised low derby stance: “boobs up, butt down”. With burning quads, shift your weight to your right leg, reach your left foot out in front of you and–while maintaining the low derby stance and your balance–you tap your left foot, toes inward, on the floor in a “stutter” to bring yourself to a stop. Right!

It’s a challenging skill, and one I can do in a reasonable fashion with my right foot, however, my left foot hates it and I get instant toe curling cramps.

Last week, it seemed that everything I did caused my foot to cramp. I would start a skill, get a cramp, skate it off and try again. Eventually, I wound up on the bench, battling the abusive monologue of my inner mean girl. Shall I give her a name? Okay, let’s call her Joy Kill’r.

Kill’r is a relentless bitch. I’ll admit, she has made me cry more than a time or two. She says some pretty hurtful things. Last week, her rant went something like, “You’ve already fallen apart so many times. Why put yourself through the humiliation of doing it again? You know you’re not going to make it, sweetheart.” It’s crazy how she knows exactly what my fears are.

Lucky for me, Havoc was there on the bench, too. We chatted for a few minutes; she provided counter arguments to Kill’r’s diatribe. And for my part? Well, I may have gotten a little emo about the whole thing. (Insert sniffling sound here.) I halfheartedly heeded Havoc’s pep talk, got up, and tried a few more skills, still babying my foot, still feeling deflated.

By this time, practice was nearly over. Only one thing left on the agenda. That’s right, endurance skate! I cringed a little when Sugar Baby announced it, even though I knew it was coming. Perhaps I inwardly whined a little about endurance skating at the END of practice. (Because derby is all about making things easy, right?) I didn’t want to sit it out on the bench, but I sure didn’t want to skate only two minutes and have to bail. Dilemma!

I decided to compromise with myself and also stop whimpering about stuff being hard. I would bench Joy Kill’r and her stupid mouth and skate, but not full throttle.

I haven’t yet reached the elusive 27/5. My best is only 24. I was thinking that night it was probably going to be more like 18-20 if I was lucky, but I wasn’t even going to count. No sense giving Kill’r any ammunition.

The whistle blew and I started skating.  I focused on two things: not popping up in the turns and hitting the points of the diamond. I started skating and I began getting that skate buzz. My crossovers were smooth. My focus was good. I was finding all the holes on the crowded track. Next thing I knew I was nearly keeping pace with some of the Scrimmage girls. My low back was fatigued but not burning. I was breathing hard but not gasping for breath. It felt amazing! At four minutes I was still feeling winded but strong. At five I felt exhausted and fantastic.

I didn’t count my laps. I don’t even want to know what my count was. It felt like I did my 27 just because I could feel I was doing more of the right things than I had ever been able to do before, and that was progress. That night, I got to go home knowing that I showed Joy Kill’r it was MY track.  

Sometimes derby is more about what’s going on in your head than what’s going on with your body. We all have our struggles. That’s easy to forget when you’re wiping your nose on the bench. But Joy Kill’r is not the boss. I’ll try to remember that. You try too.

Confessions of a (Nearly) 50 Year Old Derby Girl: Fitting In

I had a nice chat with Bull this week. We talked about some of the things that intimidate new skaters. One thing in particular that she touched on had been on my mind for a while so, after hearing Bull’s perspective, I wanted to air it out with you all.

I haven’t spent much time with Bull in the past. She has always been friendly and supportive, but I am kind of an introvert haven’t gotten to know many of my teammates. There have been many times I have felt like I just didn’t fit in. So, imagine my surprise when she shared with me that she has struggled with the whole “fitting in” thing too.

We talked about how we can really shoot ourselves in the foot because of how we perceive how well (or not) we “fit” with a group of people we are just getting to know. Especially when a bunch of those people are good at something we want to do but really suck at. Like skating.

I’m being transparent here. I still feel like I don’t fit most of the time! But the truth is, it is really my perception and not the reality. The people I am getting to know in AFA have the most supportive attitudes of any group of women I have ever met. And this is what keeps me coming back. Not only do I want to be the recipient of that attitude, but I want to be the kind of person that shows others “Hey! You do belong here.”

Before derby, my social pool was kiddie sized. I lived for most of my adult life with no close friendships. So, trading my kiddie pool for an Olympic sized derby pool meant making a decision to let faith, rather than fear, dictate how I interacted with people.

For example, before derby, I had never known a transgender person. But because of derby, I had the opportunity to meet a woman who started her life, biologically male. I will tell you, this gave me some anxiety. Not because of her, but because I felt my inadequacy to mentally roll with ease over the hurdle of what I didn’t know, to what my heart wanted, which was to make her feel welcome and at home with us. I was afraid because I knew it was very likely that I would unintentionally say or do something that would offend her. Like slipping and using the wrong pronoun or saying something that betrayed my ignorance about what it is like to live as a transgender woman.

But, by pushing through the anxiety, and  into the desire to show friendship, I gained something wonderful.  I gained a friend that I came to know as sensitive, funny, vulnerable, and incredibly strong. She and I would chat here and there, and as I got to know her, she described some things from her point of view that helped me understand her better, and to appreciate her class and her sense of humor. She helped me feel like I fit in with her, despite my anxiety about my own shortcomings.

So, you can see how inclusiveness works. You make an effort to include, and then wind up feeling included yourself. You figure out that whether or not you “fit in” there’s a place for you at the track and welcome and friendship too.

Now, we have a bunch of brand new skaters, and I’ve seen enough new skaters to recognize a few things. EVERYONE feels like they don’t “fit” at one point or another. Everyone has anxiety about something or about someone who is different from themselves. At some point, I believe everyone has a moment, or six, when they think it would be best just to quietly slip out the back door. But that would be a loss in so many ways.

If that is you, if you feel like you don’t fit in, if you feel like bolting, please don’t. Not only will you miss out on getting to know some incredible  people, but we’ll miss out on getting to know you. Give yourself a chance to find your place. Look for someone who looks like you feel and say hello. Just stick around for a while and see what happens. 

Image may contain: 26 people, including Melissa Mercay-Collins, Kate Cargile, Rhyanna Larose, Kat Ference, Nina Gargan, Sarah Elizabeth, Jamie Pitcher, Jennifer Gammon, Jamie Hoover and 4 others, people smiling

Derby Love, Angels

Cherri

“Ode to a Bruise”

“Ode To a Bruise”
By Wild Violet

I arrived and walked through the door
of the Armory for the practice du jour.
As a newbie skater
my skills would come later
after many falls to the floor.

I lined up as my legs did shake,
my insides seeming to quake,
to practice a drill
hoping not to spill
or to cause my body to break.

The trainers announced: “Time to jump!”
and into my throat came a lump.
What were they, nuts?
We’ll fall on our butts!
The adrenaline started to pump.

I watched wide-eyed as one by one
the skaters lined up for the fun
of clearing the hurdle
or falling to turtle
but catastrophes- there were none.

As I stepped up to the cones for my turn
my stomach continued to churn.
“Ok, here goes!”
I silenced my woes
and took off feeling my face burn.

With all my hesitation to go
I arrived at the hurdle too slow
and pointed my nose
down toward my toes,
as my legs tangled I shouted “Oh no!”

Onto the gym floor I thumped,
landing on the side of my rump.
Though I felt some slight pain
I mostly felt shame-
for my fear caused me to miss the jump.

I stood back up and shook myself out.
Trainers gave an encouraging shout:
“Try it again!”
So I lifted my chin,
and skated back round’ fighting doubt.

I fell again and again on that day,
thinking “Oh, Derby Gods, show me the way!
To master this jumping
and get my legs pumping,
so this skill I may finally slay!”

Back home after practice I felt
how the side of my left thigh swelled.
Tender and blue-
hot to the touch too-
from the repeated blows it was dealt.

As days passed bigger she grew.
My first “derby kiss”- something new!
I named her Big Bertha,
for she was big as the Earth a
symbol for pushing through.

I wore her with pride and wincing smile,
for she proved I’d gone the extra mile,
and not given up
when the going got tough
as I endured my roller derby trial.

She transformed through many hues-
yellow, green, purple, black, and blues.
To me, Bertha meant
that I’d tried and tried again.
So I sing this Ode to my Derby Bruise.

(Though jumping I still need to practice,
and wonder if I’ll ever quite hack this,
I shall never give up
If I fall on my rump.
Bertha would want me to attack this.)

Monday Motivation- Make that Habit!

 

By Photo Bomber

 

I need a lot of motivation to work out. Like a TON! My status quo is lying bed reading a book or scrolling through Facebook. I can seriously spend the entire weekend doing this. But that’s no good for roller derby.

When I got going in derby, at first I was motivated to get in shape enough to pass my MSRs. I signed up for Pump Up Your Jam with Roller Derby Athletics and found a quick and simple tool to get in shape. FAST!

In a matter of days I found myself getting stronger. That online community kept me motivated and interested. The second time I did it, I had less luck. Why? Because I did not power through all the workouts. And honestly, I was dissapointed that I had fallen back out of shape. (sad trombone).

A while back in my pre-roller derby life, I read The Power of Habit and worked on the habit of making habits. Which basically comes down to finding a trigger that I do every day (getting our of bed), and linking the desired habit to it (working out) and then coming up with a reward.

Knowing that I needed to whip myself back into shape for my first bout, I employed this tactic, along with the basic principles I had learned in PUYJ.

I set up a complicated workout plan, and required that I have an 85% success rate every week, crossing off the various self-assigned requirements, and bonuses to make up missed workouts. My reward was a new (desperately needed) pair of roller skates. The better I did in the workout program, the more money I could spend on my new skates. I figured if I couldn’t get my ass in gear enough to get in shape for derby, what was I doing spending big bucks on roller skates?

I enlisted a friend to be accountable to, I huffed and I puffed and I earned myself the middle level of roller skates. I was very happy– and happy being strong. Although my did friend say to me: “You know, people say you are more motivated by loss than by reward”. I thought on that.

The next time I fell out of shape (hey- life happens!) I figured I would try this loss theory.

I wrote out a check for $100 to a “charity” I did not like very much. I set up my complicated formula and I handed the envelope, addressed and stamped to my friend. I slogged through my core and my strength, my cardio and yoga. I hate starting at the beginning, but I realize, if I am cursing and swearing my way through my workout, then I am challenging my body, and I am getting fitter.

Once I get going with a habit, it eventually starts to self-sustain. I can let go of the reward end (or punishment) of things, once I wake up and crave my work-out.

Until then, I make sure to set my goal concretely, making sure it is measurable, specific, realistic, and time-bound, and I absolutely make sure to hold myself to the reward. If I skip the reward (“hey, getting in shape is it’s own reward!”). I lose trust in myself. Don’t skimp on the reward, and you will have a habit of making habits that you can use to crush your goals.

Mutha and Me

For Mother’s Day, we reached out to our resident roller skating mother-daughter duo Daisy Cutter and Mother Cutter for some insight on what it’s like to do derby together.

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

Daisy Cutter:

I joined AFA 1 year ago for many of my own reasons. Before I knew it, I started getting more involved with the league and found myself among such a diverse group of new friends. My mom transplanted to Maine from Florida in November of 2017. She didn’t know anyone here, besides me. She was starting a new job and felt a little out of place from uprooting her Floridian life. Being from Michigan, she knew what to expect from our cold winters so her first Maine winter wasn’t a shock, but it can still get a person a little down being limited due to all of that cold white stuff. She grew up an ice figure skater and always inline skated for fun. I knew she missed skating and her friends, so I invited her to join AFA’s Derby 101 program. She could get to know the league and see if she enjoyed it enough to possibly try the freshie training program that started up a few months later. Here we are, a little over a month after she started 101. She has adopted a new found love for quad skating (she’s pretty darn good at it too), found a group of wonderful humans to get to know, and has been lovingly dubbed Mother Cutter. She now wants to go through the freshie training program up to whatever point she feels comfortable and enjoys going to the Rollerdrome to skate with other league members. I couldn’t be happier that my Mum found her niche in this wonderful league that we have the privilege to spend so much time with.

 

Mother Cutter:

I am so impressed with how hard Jamie has worked to become scrimmage eligible. She is committed and focused and has become a skilled skater so quickly.

At first I was a little hesitant to join AFA because of my age, but after meeting some of the people involved, I was excited to join. Everyone is so supportive and welcoming. I love being part of this wonderful organization. The best part of 101 practice is watching Jamie start to take on a leadership role. She comes every week to assist Sugar, our Derby 101 trainer, as needed. She is capable and confident and I am in awe of my strong and beautiful daughter. Thank you for inviting me to be a part of your life.

Then and Now

By Sparks & Wreck

 

As my league moves into a recruitment cycle and the one year anniversary of my Freshie class rolls around, there are a lot of “then and now” pictures flying around on my Facebook timeline, including my own. All of the pictures are success stories in one way or another–they show progress, overcoming setbacks, confidence, and growth. My picture shows all that, but it also happens to show that between two pictures, my body has changed pretty significantly.  But I really hope that isn’t the only thing that people see.

In my “then” picture I am looking down at my feet, unsure that they will be where I want them to be. In my “now” picture I am mid-chest block in our 3rd bout. In my “then” picture my stance is wide and my arms look uncomfortable. I am alone and thinking only about my own success or failure. In my “now” picture I have my teammates quite literally supporting me. I know they are there and I am counting on them. I am stopping the jammer with them. I want people to see all of that.

Because, whatever those pictures show about my body, it is not telling the whole story. I did not join derby to lose weight. In fact, I joined derby because I saw women of all shapes and sizes playing and succeeding. I joined derby because I figured a big, solid, immovable girl would be appreciated–we are!–in a sport where the “ball” is a person trying to get around you by crashing into you.

Maybe the first thing you see when you look at that picture is the change in my size. I had made a decision just before joining derby, along with my doctor, after finding out I was pre-diabetic with a family history that wasn’t great, that I needed to make some changes. I’m not going to say that the 2-hour practices 2 or 3 times a week didn’t help, or that the necessity of doing some off-skates workouts to help with my agility and endurance didn’t contribute. But derby, and my team, would have been there for me regardless.

I love my sport for its body positivity.  I love my team for their acceptance of me however I come. And I hope that is just as noticeable in that picture as anything else.

Monday Motivation: Don’t Let the “What Ifs” Hold You Back

 

By Snack Attack

 

I’ll always look back and remember when I was a young girl, having birthday parties at Motion 26 or going to the Rollodrome. The ‘Drome was the place to be, especially on Friday nights. Some of my best memories were made there. The Rollodrome was the first place I was allowed to hang out with my friends unsupervised, cruising around on skates to The Ace of Base song “I Saw the Sign”. Ah, the first taste of freedom! I didn’t know any fancy moves and have always been quite the klutz. I wasn’t a skilled skater by any means- I couldn’t come to a stop without doing a few slow laps and eventually slamming into the wall before exiting the rink.

When I became a teenager my interests changed. My Friday nights were now being spent at the movies or the mall. My skates were left to collect dust.

I eventually was introduced to the world of Roller Derby. I can’t pinpoint the exact moment, but I do remember that it reminded me how much I enjoyed being on skates. I saw these women and was inspired. They were also pretty badass! I’d love to be a derby girl someday…

That someday kept getting further and further away from me. This was partly because life happened, but mostly it was due to a huge amount of fear and worry I had deep down. What if I can’t do this? What if I can’t skate like they can? What if I fall and break something? What if the derby members are not so welcoming? These “what ifs” were holding me back.

Years passed. I turned 30. I experienced several monumental changes. During this time I came to the realization that, if I want to accomplish a goal- as challenging it might be- I would have to put any fear I was harboring aside, give it my all and tackle it. 2018 was going to be my year I would embark on my Roller Derby goal.

I noticed on Facebook a new recruitment meeting, that read “Come see what Derby is all about.” I was no longer going to put this off because of my fears. I thought, what do I have to lose? I had known a few people that were already members of the Androscoggin Fallen Angels. Not going to lie, that gave me the extra nudge I needed to show up to this meeting. The room was filled with some players from The Inferno and members of the league. It was overwhelming. I did what I do best and just smiled, said “Hey how’s it going?” to anyone I made eye contact with. I was nervous, anxious, and also excited. The meeting started and I began to think “what have I gotten myself into!? This is going to be a huge challenge. Do I really want to do this? Can I do this? Will I fit in?”

One of the members said something at this meeting that has stuck with me. They said something along the lines of “I like you already” to everyone in attendance. Those few words were welcoming and comforting in this room of strangers. I left that evening still overwhelmed but looking forward to giving this a try.

I have attended several practices since that meeting. I’m so glad that I finally decided to pursue this by participating in the Derby 101 program. I have learned that this league is made up of some of the nicest, most charismatic people I have ever met. They want you to be a part of this league. They support you and want to see you succeed. Wherever this derby journey takes me,  I’m proud of myself for stepping outside my comfort zone. This is a league that has people from all different stages in life, different beliefs and backgrounds. A league that strives on positivity, growth, and empowerment. If you have had any hesitations or “what if’s” holding you back, I hope I can be your nudge to come check out derby.

I should also add that I can now stop several different ways on skates, and it doesn’t involve slamming into a wall!

Confessions of a (Nearly) 50 Year Old Derby Girl: Derby Love

One of the amazing things about derby is the opportunity it gives to women to participate in a team sport as an adult, a woman with responsibilities and obligations. I have tried to think of another sport that has as much to offer women as roller derby does and I honestly cannot.

I look at my fellow derby players and I see women of so many different backgrounds, skills, personalities, occupations, ages, experiences, and lifestyles. The one thing they have in common is that they want to play a sport that will stretch and challenge them in ways that they left behind when they left school. They want to participate as women, on a women’s team, in a women’s sport, relishing in the athleticism and competition that has traditionally been exclusively reserved for men’s sports. Derby gives that to us in a unique and beautiful way.

Parents want their children to participate in team sports for many reasons but I think one of the most common reasons given is that parents want their children to develop confidence. Unfortunately, so many girls transition to their lives as adult women with very little confidence. The confidence that was fostered in the girl takes a beating in adolescence, and as an adult, a woman’s confidence is often considered a negative trait. There are very unflattering names for truly confident women. Confidence is for men, as are adult team sports. Unless you are a professional athlete, as a woman, your options for challenging team sports are nearly non-existent.

This is why I love roller derby. I am a decided extroverted introvert. My natural inclination is to camouflage my presence in social situations. I played sports as a student. I was not very good at any of them but I enjoyed being on the team and managed to pull off a few shining moments that bolstered my self-esteem.

As an adult, I have struggled with my self confidence a lot. I had my children at a very young age, which made me self-conscious at times and I have struggled with my weight my entire adult life. In my late thirties, I weighed 225 pounds. I was depressed, in a toxic marriage, and completely isolated from any social life at all.

At 40, I left my husband. At 41, I came out as a lesbian. I started teaching kickboxing, telling people that was how I got down to a size 4, but spent about two years denying that I had become anorexic, literally living on gin, cheese and crackers, and cigarettes. I started smoking for something to do in the middle of the night because I only slept about 2 hours per night. I was so emotionally, physically, and mentally depleted, I was even beginning to lose my hair.  I had absolutely no confidence. I was completely hollow.

Needless to say I have come a long way since then. But I think, if I had had the support of a team like I see with the Angels, things never would have gotten that bad. I think that the growth I have experienced in derby would have prevented me from becoming so self destructive. I would have had friends who encouraged me and made me feel valued and respected. And I would have had something to throw my energies into that wasn’t tearing me down, but building me up.

We use the term “Derby Love” and I feel that it is a bona fide and legit thing. I love how the Angels treat each other, and I look for opportunities to show that Derby Love when I can, because I know what it’s like to be looking up from the bottom of a well, hoping for a friendly face, or a kind word. Sometimes you have to have some love from someone else before you can grow the confidence to Derby Love yourself. That’s why I love derby.  

Monday Motivation-Avoid the Bench Trap!

By Wild Violet

 

When I joined the Androscoggin Fallen Angels back in spring of 2016 I had no skating experience or athletic prowess to speak of. Sure, I do yoga once in a while and I am pretty flexible. But most of my time was spent sitting on my rump, making art or reading books. I never considered myself an “athlete”. I wanted to change that.

I saw a recruitment post on Facebook about the local roller derby league and attended an info session. While I sat there, observing their practice with info packet in hand, listening as the Angels told us about the league and what practices were like, I found myself wanting to jump right down off the balcony, strap on some skates, and join them. I filled out the paperwork, got my gear and insurance, and felt ready to roll.

A couple of weeks later I showed up for my very first practice, scared out of my mind and thinking to myself that I was insane for showing up and thinking I could do this. Looking around, I could see that I wasn’t the only brand new, “bambi-on-ice” skater. Several others were struggling to stay on their feet as well and I found that comforting. But as practice went on, it became clear that the years of roller skating I did as a kid were not going to translate into picking this derby skating stuff up quickly. This was friggin’ hard!

Practice after practice I showed up anyway. When we did the off-skates workouts, I huffed and puffed my way through. (Wait, what? Jogging!? Burpees!? Ugh, OK.) When it was time to lace up my skates and get out on the track for drills, I wobbled through every one. Yes, I did glance at the clock to see just how much longer I had to endure. I looked at that clock a LOT.

But what I didn’t do, the thing I avoided like the plague, was sit on the bench.

You see, on day one, as I drove myself to that first practice, I made a deal with myself. I agreed that unless I got injured, I was not going to sit my ass on the bench and watch. I wasn’t going to be a watcher anymore, I was going to be a doer. I knew I wasn’t going to be the best skater, I wasn’t going to be the strongest, the fastest, or the most agile. I knew from the get go that roller derby was going to take a lot of falling and failing on my part before I got good at it. But I also knew that I had to make it through that period of falling and failing, and I couldn’t do that while sitting down.

My personal rule was: You have to try everything and you can’t sit out.

And so, week after week, I went, I skated, and I improved. I eventually stopped huffing and puffing so much. I eventually stopped guffawing at the idea that I could be an athlete. I eventually stopped glancing at the clock every fifteen minutes.

And one magical day, the trainers called out that practice was over, and I found myself not only in disbelief that those two hours had flown by so fast, but also wishing that it wasn’t over and I didn’t have to take my skates off and go home. I was having so much fun that the desire to stop never popped up and I never had to remind myself of my personal rule.

Derby magic.

No, Derby Perseverance.

We all have different limitations and strengths. When we start something new, the person next to us might excel more quickly at it, and it may come to them more easily. In this case, it is tempting to tell oneself that we just aren’t cut out to do that thing, or that we aren’t ready. And that bench looks damn inviting. But the bench can become a habit.

It isn’t a bad place. I’ve had to sit there more than a few times when I’ve been healing a sprained knee or a pulled muscle. At those times the bench is a place to observe and do the mental work, learning by watching. The important thing is not to allow the bench to invite you to avoid pushing yourself out of your comfort zone enough to grow.

Julie Andrews said: “Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th.”

In order to get to that 20th time, you have to push yourself through the first 19. And that means avoiding that bench.