I generally lack a superstitious nature, but a few things remain constant on bout day. Maybe I have a sort of loose ritual.

Photo by me / I made myself a scrambled egg sandwich with goat cheese and arugula, fake bacon, coffee and a bit of grapefruit juice.

I eat eggs for breakfast, then avoid anything that might upset my stomach for the remainder of the day (I keep an emergency stash of Pepto tabs in my gear bag). I prepare them myself or walk over to my neighborhood coffeeshop. My teammate told me once pre-bout that she’d had Indian food for lunch. Now, I absolutely loooooove Indian food, but you would not catch me eating it before competing! I drink water. I clean my wheels with vinegar. I try on whatever I plan to wear to rule out the potential for discomfort or wardrobe malfunction, and basically to ensure I have something¬†to wear that’s a grade above my ratty practice clothes. I’m trying not to stress about boutfits this year because that’s just not a top concern of mine. I shower. I drink more water.

Photo by me / I bust out the vinyl and turn up the volume on bout day. So far, I listened to The Avengers today.

I put on makeup, which sometimes takes awhile because I’m not good at it (though derby made me a bit better, I think). I pack my gear and an extra tote my old boss might have called a “ditty bag” in a nod to his navy career, including extra wheels, clothes and a few healthy snacks. I double-check that I have my jersey and my mouthguard. I listen to old punk records that make me feel upbeat and young and happy. Recent choices include The Misfits, The Avengers, Sleater-Kinney, Bikini Kill and Avail. I make sure to tidy up everything at home because I want to return from the bout to order so I can throw my stuff down and sleep like the dead. All the while, I visualize myself kicking ass. What do you do on bout day?