Once upon a time, I played roller derby. My derby name was Hazel Smut Crunch and the derby persona I assumed was dramatically different than the way I carried myself in my non-derby life. In derby, I was far more assertive. While I typically avoided conflict at all costs, derby forced me into conflict–it taught me to stand my ground and push back, both literally and figuratively.
Shortly after I retired from derby, I got this compact as part of a lot. I keep it on a shelf in my cube at work to remind me to draw on the strengths I built during derby, while staying true to myself and handling myself with classic grace, tact, and poise. I admit that I don’t think anyone who knows me has EVER described me as either poised or graceful, but that doesn’t stop me from trying. Just like a lack of athletic ability didn’t stop me from playing roller derby–and winning.