Bravery thy name is Jam Buster

February 27, 2010

6 years ago today I met Jam Buster. She appeared whiled I was standing on the jammer line waiting for my whistle...yes back in ye olden times of the roller derby jammers had their own whistle starts...and we used the pivot line... and we all rode to the bout on our dinosaurs. 

Jam Buster is my roller derby name. It's the name I gave my bravery. 

The first documented appearance of Jam Buster can be traced back to an incident at the park when I was a mere timbit...see what I did there....jambuster...doughnut...timbit...moving on. My mom watched me tell some older kids to get off the swings. They were too big for them and I wanted to play. I held my ground and they went away. I played. I don't remember this happening but I am assured it did and it's a moment that sticks out in my moms brain. 

Apparently Jam Buster and I have always known each other. 

Jam Buster is probably what got me through every move as a child. Every new school and incidents of being "the new kid." Jam Buster got me through high school. Through playing rugby. Through my first broken heart and through my first year of marriage. Jam Buster got me through watching my grandfather die 8 years ago. She also got me through our move overseas and through the death of my grandmother 4 years ago.  

That night 6 years ago at the Winnipeg Convention Center was a turning point for me. It was the night a 2 year grieving process ended. It was the night I realized exactly what I was capable of and it was the night I realized I was a confident grown up. It was also the night I found out I was going to be an aunt. It was the night my 11-year-old cousin Shay told me she thought it was so cool that girls could that a sport like this. It was the night how much my best friend loved me. It was the night where John actually said how proud he was of me for not quitting. It was the night that all the pieces fell into place and set the tone for a journey that would lead me to a home office in Switzerland with a view of the alps. It was the night I stopped being afraid of what roller derby could do to me and accepted all the things it could do for me.

That night Jam Buster and I stopped being two different people.

I know a lot of people think of their derby name or persona as their "alter ego". I don't see my derby persona like that. I don't see Jam Buster as an alter ego. She and I have way to much in common. She's always been part of my life I just didn't know she was there. I didn't know her name. I didn't know this was something I could be all the time. I just thought those fits of bravery or moments where I had to bigger than myself were all part and parcel with growing as a person. 

Then derby happened to me and put me in touch with the fact that I could be that brave, that confident, that rock star all the time. 

Jam Buster doesn't give me an escape from every day life. She isn't what appears after I run into a telephone booth. Jam Buster and I are the same person. It took me a long time to realize that but she's not my alter ego at all. She isn't braver than I am. I'm just as fearless and confident as she is. Hell, Jam Buster and I even have the same really bad potty mouth. Jam Buster is my bravery and doesn't disappear when I take my gear off anymore. She's just there. Hanging out. Making me okay with trying new things. Making sure my voice doesn't waiver and reminding me that it's not "I can't" but "I can't yet." 

Jam Buster makes me brave. 

I no longer skate with my glasses on...and at least my stance has improved....those are the same elbow pads though


Lauren said…
I myself an learning about courage and braver - through different ways and my braver doesn't have a name yet - but your story, your experience gives me hope that I will find myself brave one day too.....
Tatiana said…
You WILL find your brave. I know you will.