Friday, February 24, 2012

See? This time I really AM going to start posting more...

Last night was Scrimmage night.
For the first time in a long time, I went in feeling good about my skills and abilities. We played "A-team vs the world," which means the girls who made the roster for the upcoming game with the Wasatch home team, The Hot Wheelers, against everyone else that came to practice. As I am not on that roster, I played with the black team=the World. We had some great vets from a couple of different leagues come play, which is always fun. I feel like we learn a lot from the vets that come out.
Somehow, despite the expectation of an ass kicking, we, the World won. Part of that is due to some amazing jamming by England's Glory, Bruiser Ego, and Drew Fairywhore. Most of it was due to the fact that we were working together, listening to the more experienced players on the team, and generally playing well. I got in a few decent hits, and some really good positional blocking.
After the game, one of the ladies, Margie Ram, gave me a big compliment saying that she had noticed me getting in there and laying out some good hits. I can't tell you how good that made me feel. I have spent the last three to four months mentally abusing myself, telling myself I will never be a good skater, I will always suck. At one point, I had even considered retiring from skating altogether, concentrating on officiating instead. I couldn't do that. Even if I suck, which I have decided I DON'T, I'd miss it too much. I needed that outside opinion. I needed to hear it from someone who doesn't have anything to gain from complimenting me. So, Margie, thank you.
I think that's all I have to say today, so, thanks to everyone who still bothers to read my little blog. <3

Friday, February 17, 2012

Indy? Who's Indy?

So I should probably get to posting a whole lot more often...

What is new, what is new....?
I worked and worked and worked and just couldn't break my mental block over turning around. I just couldn't put that skate behind me. I worked with friends. I begged help from refs. I watched everyone else in the league do it.
One day, we had a guest coach from Uinta Madness. He is a competitive speed skater as well as probably the strongest player on UMRD. He always works us really hard, and I always learn a lot. Unfortunately, this particular practice, he was working with us on plow stops. This is good, my stops in general suck. But for some reason, I was hurting pretty bad, my knee was really painful, so I decided not to push it and skated over to the baby pool to work on a few things myself. As I was totally alone, I decided that this would be an appropriate time to work on that mental block.
Don't know how, but somehow, I managed to make myself turn around. Yep. Me. Scardey cat Indy turned around. Was it a fluke? I should try that again. Whaddaya know? I did it again! Encouraged by my successes, I kept working on it. I can now consistently turn around and rarely fall down doing it.
YAY INDY!!! It's been a while since I had some progress in my skills, and suddenly I find myself improving again. It has been very good for me. I received several compliments at last week's scrimmage. I had been feeling very down about my abilities. I had actually considered retiring from derby skating altogether, and concentrating on officiating. I have renewed my love of the game, and resumed my incessant studying of the rules. Look out derby, Indy's back in full effect!

Friday, November 18, 2011

So much time....So little blogging.

I am a horrible blogger.
So, what's new in the life of Indy? Let's see... My league celebrated it's first anniversary in September. The Red Rockettes started out in September of 2010 with roughly 12 girls, including the mamas, and now we are 50 women, with three male freshies. For insurance reasons the guys aren't allowed to scrimmage but are training as refs or have just joined up with our brother league the Uinta Madness. There is a lot of love in our league. Since our focus has always been on the fun of playing the game, rather than kicking the other leagues' asses, we have more relaxed practices.
I have continued working as an NSO with our sister league Wasatch, and have officially joined up with the WRD officials crew, as well as UDOG (Utah Derby Officials Group). I have recently talked to the skating officials, and am going to be training as a real live zebra. Just last week, a beloved friend found out that I am doing so, and he had a ref jersey made with my name and number and had it sent to me.
I had surgery last week. I had my thyroid removed, which isn't a huge deal surgery, but has taken me away from playing for a bit. I should be able to start skating again in a couple of days, but Doc says no contact for five weeks after that to allow the incision to strengthen before I get knocked to the ground. I am glad I had it done. I am already feeling better every day. My sweet derby sisters arranged to bring my family dinner the night I was in the hospital, and also the next two nights. They also got together and made me a little gift basket, filled with lovely treats. Seriously, these women are amazing.
I feel like my skating skills are getting better, though I still have some horrible mental block about turning around, which makes tomahawk stops and front to back transitions a bit of an issue. I have arranged with a referee friend to help me work on these skills, and when I come back from LOA, I plan to hit it and kill it. He's been a great supporter, and generally my second favorite guy in the world right now.
No big injuries, except a black eye from running into the wall face first. Funny, I still had that black eye when I checked in for my surgery, and the pre-op nurse gave my hubby a sideways *look* She asked if I had any injuries I needed to report. I told her, "Oh, I'm covered in bumps and bruises. I play roller derby." That made her laugh. Note to self. Next time, fall on the FLOOR.
I have recently started doing a *mostly* weekly podcast with a couple of my friends called "Hello Sweetie." We talk about books, movies, comics, derby, music, video games, and generally all things geeky. If you have an hour and a half to kill, it's a great way to do so. We have missed a couple of weeks recently due to injuries, surgery, and holidays, but we try to get out a new episode every Sunday or Monday.

There's the short version of the last couple of months. I will try to be better...Keep coming back and reading!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

I promise, I'm not dead.

I've just been really busy lately. I'll get y'all a real post soon. Promise.

Friday, September 9, 2011

First interleague scrimmage!

Last night was the Red Rockettes' very first interleague scrimmage.
A neighboring league, the Happy Valley Derby Darlin's came up to play a friendly scrimmage with us. They haven't been together very long, but several of them are transplants from leagues that were further away from their home. Their fearless leader, Raggedy Slam, and ours, England's Glory thought it would be fun to play together and have the ladies play against people they don't skate with every single practice.
It was intense.
These ladies practice three or four times a week, and from what I understand, they work HARD.
Going into the scrimmage, I had all levels of nervous thoughts. Is my knee going to hold up? Am I going to make a fool of myself? Are we going to lose?
In all honesty, I felt confident that we would, at the very least, hold our own against these ladies. Most of us have been skating together for the last 6-9months. Though we only practice once a week, we have incredible trainers. England, Manna and Wanton are excellent teachers, and they honestly care whether we are playing well, and whether we are having fun doing it.
Since I was injured, and one of the less skilled skaters, I was placed in a rotational position. This meant that I was only going to play one in eight jams. This was okay with me, since I was still recovering from an injury and didn't want to chance making things worse. It still killed me not to play more.
I heard a rumor that the ladies of Happy Valley had been talking some smack about us, saying they were going to wipe the walls with us. They were sorely mistaken. We played a beautiful game filled with strategy and solid teamwork. They were good, but we were better. In the end the score was 122 Red Rockettes to 77 Happy Valley. It was a fun game. I was only able to play in three jams due to the size of our roster. The first jam I played, I took a hit that knocked me down. I managed to land on my butt instead of my still-weak knee. That was the moment I had dreaded from the getgo. Surprisingly, I wasn't hurt. I got right up and skated like the wind to catch up to the pack. About half a lap later, as I was coming up to the back of the pack, the jam was called off, but my first fall since the injury was a positive experience, and I feel good about the effort I made to catch up.
Don't get me wrong. I am still slow. I KNOW that I am slow. I skated as hard as I could to catch up, and I did so in a timely manner.
I was benched for the remainder of the first half. I got in two jams in the second half, got called for a major penalty that I thought I couldn't have possibly done, but did the time anyway. Respect the refs. They are there to keep us safe. Later, after talking to the outside pack ref, I found out that the call had actually been made a few laps earlier, and I DO remember doing the crime. When I got out of the penalty box, I came into the next jam already in session, entered the back of the pack and worked my way to the front of the pack. Promptly got knocked down, got right the hell back up and did it again. The jam was called off at that point, but I am proud that I caught up to, and worked my way through, the pack twice in one jam. We have to appreciate the little victories. Especially when you're feeling down about your own skills.
So with all of that done and over, it was time for the afterparty. It was great kicking back with the ladies of Happy Valley and drinking and dancing and generalized derby debauchery. Details withheld intentionally!
In other news, it looks like I will be able to start attending the Wasatch practices on Tuesday evenings after all. My ever-so-kind mother has offered to pick up my daughters after she gets off work on Tuesdays and watch them until practice is over. SO EXCITED!!!! I have already spoken to Frau Meow to make sure I can join up, and she said there is definitely room at practice for me. I am hoping that this will be the thing that helps me get my skills up to the level the rest of my league is skating at. I know that I need work. I have a lot of skills that are lacking, some of which I have just not been improving the whole time I have been skating. My speed sucks. I still suck at backwards skating, and turning around, and stopping. These are things I should be able to improve with the help of the Wasatch trainers. The Rockette mamas are wonderful, I love them dearly, but they just don't have time to focus on my lame self when there are 49 other women vying for their attention. It comes down to practice then. I have to get more time on my skates. I also have arranged with one of the referees that he will help me get over all my stupid insecurities and fears about skating. He's going to skate with me and help me learn to skate faster.
ALSO! Last week was the Spudtown Knockdown tournament in Boise Idaho, and our sister league Wasatch Roller Derby went to the tournament. The Midnight Terrors skated hard and after playing, and winning, four bouts back to back to back to back, (that is over five hours of skating) took first place and won the tournament. I am SO proud of the Terrors.
ANOTHER THING! A couple of my friends and I have started a little podcast. Geek girls getting together to talk about geeky things. We call it "Hello Sweetie!" You should all go check us out.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Put my skates on...

So I went to the doctor last week about my knee injury. It was good news all around. He said that he couldn't really detect any obvious tears or significant strain to the ligaments in my knee, X-ray showed no bony injury. Doc said that I should take it easy, continue taking anti-inflammatories, and continue applying ice to the area. He also said that I could start skating again when I felt like I was ready. He told me, a derby girl, to use my best judgement. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Like I have good judgement. I deliberately strap wheels to my feet and skate as fast as I can and intentionally run into other people.
Last week, I just wasn't up to the challenge. The knee was still fairly painful and a bit swollen, so I sat out practice, and just watched Manna beat my teammates into oblivion. I've never been so jealous of someone else's misery. I wanted SO badly to be out there. I need the work, I need the practice. With all the extra practices my teammates are getting in, my skill level has been surpassed by almost everyone in the league. Sad face.
So this week we had a league meeting, which went well, and were scheduled for scrimmage. I brought my gear, and geared up with the hope of being able to play, but the expectation that I'd warm up and probably sit out the scrimmage, most likely working as NSO.
I did a few warm up laps. It felt great to be back on my skates. I skated a bit faster, working crossovers, scissors, and a little weaving. If anything short of a full hit was going to hurt, it would be weaving, since lateral (side to side) motion was always the part that was painful after the injury. Felt pretty good overall, but just wasn't feeling ready to take a hit, especially considering we had a few visiting skaters from our sister league, and those girls hit like a train.
I made a mature and rational decision. I wanted to cry. I did work as NSO, sort of training another girl to keep score. the scrimmage was fun to watch.
I also worked as NSO for the final home teams game of our sister league, Wasatch Roller Derby last night. I was in a position that I don't often do, I worked as wrangler, catching penalties from the refs and making sure that the trackers got them down. This requires a lot of running around, and while a tough position, I feel like I did fairly well. I did make a few errors, but overall feel like I did okay. Our head NSO pulled me and a few other regulars aside and told us he was quite pleased with us overall and that he wanted to keep us as his primary NSO crew, and encouraged us to attend more scrimmages for WRD to get in more practice. A few of us are all interested in progressing to skating ref, but we will all be around for a while I think.
Went to the afterparty, had WAY too much fun. Sang a little Karaoke. Apparently, didn't make a total fool of myself. Showed someone something he didn't need to see, but really wanted to.
Tomorrow I have big plans to go skating in the park to test my endurance. I plan to take it pretty easy, but want to skate as long as I can and try to get some speed up.
We'll see how that goes before I decide whether or not I am up for skills practice with Miss E. Vil again this coming week. I hope so. I learned SO much from her last time, and look forward to another great session.

Friday, August 12, 2011

That moment.

There is a sickening moment when you fall on the track. Not just any fall, but REALLY fall.
Last night was a very rough practice for the Red Rockettes. We had several significant falls. It is always horrible to watch your sisters fall to the ground and be unable to get up. It makes you sick in the pit of your stomach to hear the jam called dead, and see everyone drop to one knee.
When it is YOU that falls, it is a surreal experience.
I fell last night. I don't exactly know what happened for sure. I know I was in the middle of the pack, I had managed to put my ass in Wanton Rebellion's way (for once). I think I may have clipped skates with someone, and went down to take a knee to recover my balance. The next thing I noticed was searing pain that started in my knee, and shot straight down into my ankle. I fell. HARD. I wanted nothing more than to be able to get up, but all I could think of was the pain. I didn't hear the jam called off. All I heard was one of the refs saying my name, asking me if I was okay. I wanted to be okay. I wanted to get up and skate off like there was nothing wrong. There was something wrong. So, I sat out the rest of the scrimmage with an ice pack under my knee pad and watched the rest of the girls play. This morning, I woke up unable to bend my knee more than about 15 degrees. I have been resting and icing, and took a nice hot bath, which seems to have loosened it up. I can bend it now, with some pain, and can bear weight. I am hoping that a day of rest and babying will help, and I won't be out for very long.
We were playing hard last night, it is almost like we all took practice more seriously this time. A couple of other girls fell pretty hard too, most notably Temper Edict, who took not one, but TWO significant falls. The first fall she took, she hit her head and felt a little off. The second fall was the last jam of the evening, from my vantage on the sidelines, I saw the whole thing. Poor Temper! She is amazing.
It was a fun night, even with the injuries. I can't wait to get back on my skates.