In my head. Force myself to eat a cliff bar. I should stay home, I’m tired, another week of 26.5/27 laps in 5.

Just go. Go. Get better just by getting on my skates again.

Detroit pace line, bad mood starts to fester while I zone out at the back of the skater in front of me.

After stretching we vote when to test, get it over with wins by majority.

More skills review first … Anticipation festers. Jammers circle and toe stop jammer starts? Sounds like a secret weapon, something new to try for my 27 in 5 at least.

Felt like a huge breakthrough when I’m going faster than I’ve ever gone, my legs aren’t shaking (as much) this time, I’m not tripping over my feet (as much) and I keep hearing my name. I feel alive, I feel present.

“One minute!”

Oh no, how many is that? I start coasting, NO, keep moving, dive at the finish line! I get a push from another skater giving her all pushing everything she has and I could feel how bad she wants this. I took her energy and burst into my last laps risking balance to lean into the crossovers. I hear the whistle and I keep my direction on the track, momentum dropping slowly.

I see smiles and a thumbs up. I breathe as much air as I can fit in my lungs.

… I don’t even believe … Did I? … Tears well up in my eyes.

Brutal passed.

The gratitude for the tips and tricks and support mentally and emotionally to believe that it just takes showing up and a new trick to try and you’re feeling like a rock star to yourself. Not needing anyone else to validate your greatness. It’s a gift. It’s a gift I give myself and I hope others find strength in their commitment and their focus and sometimes blind faith that you will get stronger and surprise yourself with a huge win.

-Eirinn Go Brutal

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