Or not testing as the case may be.
The story goes like this. September 2015 I joined the local roller derby league ( http://niagararollergirls.com/ ) and I was doing pretty okay, not great but okay (meaning I don't think I would have passed my safety minimums and gone on to the next level) but I was having fun for the most part.
Then, after a few weeks of skating, I fell and broke my arm. I blame my own stupidity for how I fell. But I shattered the shit out of my left elbow.
I'm not kidding when I say shattered, btw, my arm break resulted in surgery leaving me with 14 screws and three plates that I can still feel through my skin in some parts. It wasn't pretty.
This left me out of commission for quite some time in almost every aspect of my life.
Back story, I am one of those lucky people who lives with a double helping of mental issues... I'm a depressed person who deals with anxiety. My normal method of dealing with these two wonderful things is to exercise.
Which I couldn't really do with my arm all broken. You seriously have no idea how interconnected everything in your body is until you break something in a heinous way.
So, my depression took hold. My anxiety started to spike. And I'm not even getting into unrelated personal life issues and work stuff. It was just a very very dark and hard time for me.
Flash forward a bit to April when NRG is doing another fresh meat intake.
I fucking panic.
It literally takes me about 4 weeks of waffling to finally say I'm joining, and then I spend the money to do so immediately before I can back out. (money for insurance, dues, new elbow pads).
I fucking panic and regret my choice. On the first day of derby, my girls at work nearly forced me out the door and I nearly cried the entire walk there.
Once I got there, I didn't die, so I figured I could go again.
And I did, and have gone for most of the practices. I almost quit once, but didn't let it kick my ass too hard. I've even started going to the gym (both because I'm unhappy with my physical state, and that the better shape I'm in, the better I'll skate).
Let me tell you this though... I fucking suck. Not insulting myself or how far I've come... I have come so far, and will only just get better from here... but I'm terrible.
Dealing with the fear of being back on four wheels, which was bad the first time but agony this time, and the fact that between October and April I pretty much sat on my ass eating potato chips like a slob... I'm not ready to try half the skills the rest of the group are working on.
And this is FINE by me. I'm good with the fact that it's taking me longer. I've got my reasons, I push through my excuses, but I'm fucking PROUD of how far I've come and how I didn't let anything beat me.
I'm a goddamned rockstar.
But then came the safety testing. It's where they assess whether or not you can skate well enough to learn about the game itself. It's a necessary part of graduation... and right now, even if I bluffed my way through the tests and got a passing grade, I know I'm not ready at all.
This is where the depression/anxiety thing comes in again.
Right now I'm comfortable with the knowledge that I'm not ready. I'm good with it, I've got peace in my heart and I'm content. But the moment I'm assigned a failing grade, or a bench mark that unequivocally demonstrates that I'm not ready... I'm done.
I don't think I could handle being told by a source outside of me that I'm not ready. I just... my depression couldn't take it. And while I've wavered a few times through training, I've managed to keep myself on point and moving forward. While my trainers and my testers would do anything in their power to make me feel good about what I did accomplish... the score... the assessment... the test would be branded to me like permanent failure.
So I'm adamant about not testing. And I'm okay with it.