“You make jamming look easy” and “Jammers deserve to be punished”.
These are 2 quotes in which only 1 I really believe is true. This is not to say the first is a lie. It just feels out of place when people praise my jamming. In all honesty I think people give me too much credit for my jamming. Some jams are easier than others. Some times my blockers are spot on and make the other team’s jammer completely miserable. Other times I can’t wait until the jam ends. As the only skaters on the track that can score points, jammers deserve to be punished to no end.
When I completed FML 2.0 and passed my WFTDA test, I didn’t want to jam. Once I became slightly seasoned, I used to fear jamming. I saw those that were really good, and they still are much better than me, as ideal jammers. They have the tangibles: speed, agility, strength and mindset. Starting out all I had was fear. Fear of skating through a mob with a large sign on my helmet that told the other team to hit me. Then there was the physical toll. I quickly learned that the more you struggle the more muscle fibers you are working. The longer you are out there, the tiring it becomes. More and more often I was handed the star at practice.
The more often I was put out as a jammer, the more I focused on removing the fear. We have all gone through stuff in our lives which really sucked. We hated moments that never seemed to end. Like struggling to find the strength to low crawl through broken glass. Jamming at the most is a 2 minute affair. Mistakes will happen. At practice this is the time to embrace the suck. It’s a semi controlled environment in which you can learn something about yourself. Plus if you never do it, you can’t get better.
Slowly it seems that I have evolved into a blocker that can jam. I still mainly think of myself as a blocker. Who doesn’t love blocking? Your sole purpose is stopping the jammer. If you fail at that job, you must quickly play offense. Then you get another opportunity to stop that jammer. When you are jamming, it’s a different life. You are the one out there scoring points or attempting to minimize the bleeding. I’ve worked hard in the gym to increase my strength and stamina. I lack great agility. Injuries have held me back in being able to focus on this area. The only logical thing I could think of is lifting heavy shit and work on sustaining a high work load.
When I was told I was jamming for the Terrordactyls this past weekend at the Midwest Derbyfest, I wasn’t shocked. I know that I’ve shown my abilities at practice more than once. I am not afraid to jam. I will do what ever my team needs me to do. That being said, I suppose in reference to the Terrordactyls, I guess I am a jammer.