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.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Amazing practice last night!

Last night our fearless leader England's Glory arranged for a guest coach to come out and teach us some new things.
Miss E. Vil is a well known derby coach with a wonderful reputation and a wealth of knowledge, and she came out and handed our collective butts to us.
We started with the obligatory warmups, then our guest coach arrived. She started from the very beginning since our fresh meat class was still with us when we started. She demonstrated stance, and explained it differently than anyone else has thus far. I was able to get a better stance with this new explanation. We worked on balance on the edges of our wheels, inside and outside. Which was difficult, but super fun. After that we did a little work on backwards skating, which I still suck at, but did learn more about. We worked on stops. She had us work on turnaround stops. I have never been able to do one of these. Until last night. I only succeeded once out of about thirty attempts, but I did it. We also did plow stops, which I have definitely improved, and Hockey stops, which I had never tried. To my joy and pleasure, E told me my form was perfect on the hockey stop, but I needed to push harder with my outside leg. YAY! I did something right!
At that point, most of the freshies had gone and we started working on pack strategy. This is where it got really fun. We learned about fast pack versus slow pack, and how to get the pack where you want it to best assist your own jammer or make it difficult for the opposing jammer. We did several mock "jams" to practice these concepts. I took a LOT of falls last night. I am hurting in so many places, and I feel fantastic.
I did take a couple of nasty falls. I wrenched my elbow and wrist pretty bad, and had to sit out for a few minutes. Once I recovered from that, I did one last jam, and ended up at the bottom of a three derby girl pileup, courtesy of Mannarama. She hit someone, who hit me, and then there was the floor, and Vera on top of me, and Manna on top of her. I am fine, but it did give me a few bruises that are going to be pretty beautiful.
All told, it was the perfect practice for the day I had at work. It had been one hellish day, and I was able to skate like the wind, work my muscles and engage my mind for a few hours.
I love derby.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Summertime is busy...

So I DID skate in scrimmage on Thursday. It was most excellent. I jammed twice. The first time, I got my trash kicked all over the track by the lovely Cherri Chokehold. It all started because I fell right off the bat, and wrenched my ankle. This pissed me off. Being pissed off, made me skate like a moron. I basically floundered and fell down for two full minutes, until the jam ended. This included a rather exciting full-speed collision into the wall. UGH.
The second time I jammed, it was a thing of beauty. I slid through a narrow opening in the pack, and booked it to the front. I was lead jammer!! I made one full lap and got halfway through the pack before calling it off to avoid letting the other jammer get any points. I only scored three points, but they were real points. I did it.
After the scrimmage, I went out to Piper Down to meet up with anyone who cared to come out. It ended up being myself, The Colonel, Wanton Rebellion, Collin D Shotz, and Rubber Raw. Referees and me. We talked rules, and how one goes about becoming a ref. They were all very supportive and encouraging in my desire to join their ranks. I think several of them were expecting it anyway. LOL.
The next morning, hubby, kids and I went to hubby's family reunion at Bear Lake. Three days of mosquito bites. It was really fun, and my children were so well behaved, I am so proud.
Now, Sunday evening rolls around and it is time to get ready for another week at work. Hope this week is better than last week.
Love to all!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Results are in!

I just got my biopsy results from the lesion on my lip today. It was not a cancerous lesion, and appears to be completely gone. Now just to heal up. I have been cleared to skate in tomorrow's scrimmage as long as I am not bleeding or anything.
That is all.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Not skating related, but still fun!

Today I made my debut as a full on Tarot reader. I even had paying customers! A friend of mine does Henna art at the People's market, and has invited me, along with another of our friends, to join her in her space and read cards for people to earn a few extra dollars. I will be working every other Sunday from 10-3 reading cards and hopefully helping people out. I feel great about myself today, I was able to help a friend make a difficult decision by doing a simple layout for her. I was able to spend some time with some good friends, and get to know one particular friend much better.I received my very first tip, and even did some trade work. I have an appointment already for my next session, one of the ladies in another booth makes really cool jewelry and had a necklace that I really liked. She wanted to have a reading done today, but due to the wind and other weather issues, She had to close up early, and so did we.
After we loaded up, I took a rainy walk in the International Peace gardens in the rain. It was beautiful. Until it started POURING. Like Wall-Of-Water pouring. I tried to wait it out, but it just wasn't going to clear up, so I made a break for my car, becoming completely soaked in the process, and drove home. We had originally planned to go up in the canyons and have a wiener roast, but with the insane rain, that wasn't going to happen. Hubby had the brilliant idea of building a little firepit in the driveway and roasting said weenies there. It was fun, even in the rain. All told, a delightful evening.

Friday, July 8, 2011

NO, my husband did NOT hit me...

Earlier this year, I noticed a harmless-seeming little bump inside my upper lip. It looked like I had just bitten my lip or something. This little bump grew and grew. Finally, over the holiday weekend, it became so large that it showed on the outside, and became very tender.
Most of y'all know that I work for a dermatologist, and I went to my boss and showed him my "harmless" bump wondering what I could do to make it hurt less. To my horror, he told me he felt it really should be biopsied. NO! I don't want a biopsy. He said we should do it soon and offered to do it on the spot, but did mention that he thought it would bleed quite a bit, being on the lip and all. Well, Ibuprofen thins the blood, and as all derby girls, I live on the grace of Ibuprofen most days. He decided it would be in my best interest to wait a couple of days before doing the biopsy. Yesterday, at the end of our work day, we went through with the biopsy. It hurt a bit, and I could actually see myself bleeding, since apparently this growth was attached to the artery that runs across the lip. Ugh. So, now today I have three stitches in the inside of my upper lip and a bruise that looks like I lipped off (pun intended) to the wrong guy.
Is it sad that I am wearing my derby shirt to avoid having people look at my sweet husband with suspicion? I have already been asked what happened to my face three times, and I have only left the house once since coming home from practice last night. I have just taken to answering with "I play roller derby" because it is easier than answering with the whole truth.
I am a little nervous about the results of this biopsy, and my face hurts, and I just want it all to be over and done with.
I did go to practice last night (how's THAT for dedication?) but really wasn't able to skate much. I managed a few laps, and a few of the easier drills, but decided against doing falls, pushing and hitting drills. Last thing I want is to split my stitches.
So, that has been my weekend thus far. Hope everyone else is doing better!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Independence Day weekend with lots of fun derby goodness.

It has been a glorious weekend of derby goodness. We started with Scrimmage on Thursday night, which was fun as always. I will refrain from the jam-by-jam runthrough, as it has been a few days, but I had a great time. Unfortunately, Gyro was not feeling well, and didn't come to practice, so our weekly tradition of hot tub time was just not going to happen. I decided that rather than go home and sleep (who needs sleep anyway?) I was going to go out to Piper Down with several of the ladies and a few gentlemen of the ref crew. HOLY crap was that fun! I was saved from certain molestation by Phillip McCrevasse, who is now my ever loved hero. I have some delightful friends who bought me drinks and generally made me feel loved. I plan to do the Piper Down trip more often. Maybe next time I will wear pants.
Friday was a nice relaxing day spent at home with my awesome little family, though I had a LOT of cleaning to do in preparation for Saturday.
Saturday we had a little Independence day BBQ for some friends and family, but not until after this year's first Picnic scrimmage hosted by our sister League Wasatch Roller Derby. Picnic scrimmages are great. Ladies and gentlemen from almost every league in Northern Utah came to the warehouse to play together. There were two co-ed scrimmages and two women only scrimmages. The Red Rockettes were admirably represented by our mamas Wanton Rebellion and England's Glory, but I am most proud of my derby crush Bruiser Ego, who skated with the big girls and kicked a little hiney! I went and helped out as NSO, primarily tracking penalties with another league-mate Wicked Intent. It was fun, as always. I love that the referees keep telling me I should join up. Love you guys!
After the scrimmage, I came home to the BBQ. That was another good time with great friends, with the added bonus of a couple of my derby friends coming out to join us. Thanks for coming Bruiser, Colonel. It was good fun, and I hope to see y'all at more of these shindigs. The fireworks were lovely.
Last night was another chill evening in with the hubby and kids. Just the four of us hanging out.
Now today is Independence day. One of my favorite holidays, just because I love summer, and nothing says summer more than July 4th. I just got home from skating in Liberty park with a few of said derby friends, one of whom I haven't seen since I stopped attending SCDG scrimmages. D Flower! It was great to catch up with her, and fun to skate. Colonel pushed me pretty hard and made me skate longer, faster, harder than I would have otherwise, even though I know I was slowing him down in a big way. Thanks for that. I can't wait to do it again. We talked about rulesets, the joys of being a referee, and what I need to work on.
I don't know what we're doing for the rest of the day, but I am sure it will be fun.
So that's what Indy's been up to. <3 you all!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Did you miss me?

Sorry for the filler post last week. I just haven't had the strength to post, even though lots of fun stuff is going on.
Summer is a busy time in the Go Wylde household. There are parties pretty much every weekend, camping trips, family obligations, and of course, derby.
The last few practices have been pretty good. We have been getting the new girls through their minimum skills testing and working on some new drills to improve the vets' skills. I am still struggling to get out of my head and just skate. Not much to say about that. I still feel like I suck and I still need improvement, but as long as I am this stressed out at work, and this exhausted every night when I get home, I just can't do much about it. I wish I could afford to go to rinks every week and practice. I sincerely wish that I could make time to go to the park more than once a week and skate. Alas, time commitments, evil bosses, and poor husbands who need to get away from the chatter of two little girls just don't allow for that.
We had a great little social event for our league last week. One of the ladies decided to throw a little mojito party. This was the first one I have been able to attend. It was great fun, and I had a chance to talk with some really great people about lots of fun things. Alcohol was involved, and I DID say a few things I regret, but overall, it was fun. I had a conversation about wheels and was informed that I should give up my beloved poisons and go back to my harder, faster wheels now that I have gained some control because girls of my, shall we say "reubenesque" stature shouldn't skate on those wheels.
I decided to try it. I switched back to my old flatout wheels. WOW. I felt like I was learning to skate all over.
This week was scrimmage week, and the last one of this session. We had a really great time, and halfway through the scrimmage, the Mamas decided to let the newly qualified ladies join in. We took a halftime break and got the girls added into the teams. They did very well in their first real scrimmage. I took a few pretty nasty spills, one of which was pretty epic. One of the new ladies was skating alongside me and, through no fault of her own, fell right in front of me. Well, I fell right with her, and narrowly dodged a skate to the face as I flew through the air like Supergirl and landed flat on my front. I managed to get my wristguards out in front of my face before I hit, but it was a pretty impressive fall.
I jammed. No really, I jammed three times. I even managed to score a few points, though I did manage to get trapped behind a wall of red that wouldn't break. Ruby, I love you, but your ass was seriously killing my cool. All told, I scored like 14 points and only got two fouls. The first foul was when I got over excited and tried to skate off at the first whistle when I was jamming. OOPS. IP false start anyone? The second was a stupid little cut that I really didn't notice until Rubber called it.
I had a great time, and got to watch my girl Gyro in her very first scrimmage.
Once again, I love my Red Rockettes!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Stole this from another blog...

I saw this on Bunnie Lowbrowski's blog, and it made me think of all my striped friends (as well as my derby mama Wanton). I like to think I never forget to thank our officials and someday hope to join them. So, with no further ado...

The Refs Prayer

Our Ref crew, who art in stripes,

hallowed be thy whistle.

Thy ruling come,

thy will be done,

in scrimmage as it is in bout.

Give us this jam our penalties,

And forgive us our track-cut,

as we forgive those who track-cut against us.

And lead us not into altercation,

but deliver us from foul trouble.

For thine is the track,

the pack and the jammer,

for two minutes at a time.

Good Job.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Puling up my big girl panties and freaking SKATING.

So last post was a bit of a downer. Sorry about that.
I missed practice the next day, due to a major migraine. I mean MAJOR migraine. All told, I had that damn headache for ten days. I was super bummed to miss scrimmage practice, especially in light of my already negative feelings about my abilities. Then, this week's practice rolled up and I was still feeling sore and achy from having a migraine for 10 days and having to work eight of those days. My job is a sore spot in my life, and I won't bring that whole drama in to this post, that's a post for another day.
I promised myself I would go to practice, even if I found myself too sore and weak to skate, and I went. This week was the first part of basic skills testing for our newest members, who are still calling themselves Soy Cheezies. I made a point to go and support all my new friends, and especially Gyro, who is the fiancee of my husband's best friend and a dear friend of mine, even before derby brought us closer together. All the ladies did really well, starting with timed laps (also known as 25/5) and then doing stops. At that point, it was time for full league practice and we worked on whips, and pushes. I loved working on whips, because, as we all know I LOVE whips. We were separated into pairs, with two girls of roughly equal ability to practice pushing. I was paired with Mal, one of our new girls, but she's already a great skater. She was great to work with, as we are matched in skill and size (which is novel for me, I tend to be much bigger or a bit smaller than most of the girls, mostly bigger) . Then we did some hitting and paceline work.
I did every single drill with only one exception. I skipped the jumping drill because I had to adjust my skate at that point. I even did the evil drill where we were asked to skate around the track, come to a plow stop in front of the penalty box, skate the turn and run (not sprint skate but pick up our feet and RUN) the other straightaway. Hard for me. Picking up my feet is still a bit scary for me but I freaking did it. I skated backwards and even tried to turn around. I still fall down when I try to turn around, but I think I have the idea, it's just convincing my feet that I get it.
I pushed myself really hard for once. I decided that I was tired of being the one who's always complaining of pain. I have to keep reminding myself that pain is my baseline. I hurt every day, derby pain is at least good pain.
At the end of the session, some of the vets did 25/5 to see how their time is progressing. I shaved a full minute off of my last time of 6.15. I think that part of that is due to the sheer number of women on the track for my last timed session. Part of it is because I wanted to see what I can actually DO when I apply myself. I did 25 laps in 5.25 minutes. I'll take that for now, but I want to get that time even better. When I tried out for Salt City, I did it in 5.05. I obviously can do better than I have been doing. I have to stop blaming my injuries and weak knees and just skate.
All told, I actually feel better about this practice than I have felt about a practice in months.
For once, I am proud of my accomplishments. I can't wait for scrimmage next week!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Musing about time lost...

So several of the ladies in my league have been attending some classes with the WRD fresh meat coaches. They are all improving in leaps and bounds. Unfortunately for me, this class falls on the ONE evening a week that my stay-at-home husband asks that I stay home and watch the children so that he can go out and be a grownup. Do I begrudge him this time? Absolutely not. He deserves it. He works hard to keep my home in order and my children from killing each other. I am a little jealous at times that he gets to go out with our friends, and I have to stay home, but I can deal with my selfish nature and move on.
I do regret not being able to take this class with my teammates though. I really need the practice. I have to admit that I am feeling left behind in the league. I feel like I am not really improving much anymore, and the rest of the girls are still leaping ahead, getting faster, stronger, tactically smarter, and generally more skilled. I feel like a lumbering ox on the track and I watch our newest recruits zipping around, skating backwards, doing perfect tomahawk stops. These things all still scare the bejezus out of me.
I don't know. Maybe it is just because I am feeling low due to the rotten weather we have been experiencing. Maybe I really do suck, and the positive feedback I am getting is just to keep me from feeling like a loser.
I'm sorry to be such a negative Nellie today.
Tomorrow is a new practice. Here's hoping it's better.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Busy couple of weeks. This is a long one.

I know it has been a while since I posted. Last week was a busy derby week for lil 'ol me.

On Thursday, I was hurting quite a lot after a hard day at work so I decided to skip the first hour of practice. I really wanted to make it to practice, because last week was a scrimmage week. For those of you who don't know our schedule, we alternate scrimmage practice and drills practice. One week we will work on advanced skills, then the next week we scrimmage. Since we are a rec league, this schedule works well for us, as we get to play the game, but we still get to work on those skills that we need improvement on, or haven't learned yet. So, I missed out on newbie hour, where we work on basic skills that everyone can work on. It was one of the ones I needed most. I still have a hard time making myself skate backwards and quiver in fear at the very thought of turning around while moving. Guess what the newbies were working on while I was taking anti inflammatories... yep. Backwards skating.
Scrimmage was great. We had a handful of vets from the other leagues and a few who are on temporary hiatus deciding where they want to go with their career. These ladies are a wealth of information, and it is always nice to have a different explanation for skills that just aren't clicking for me. I love our derby mamas, but every once in a while, I just can't wrap my mind around what they are asking us to do. Sometimes, a different phrasing will suddenly clear it all up. I finally got a grip on cutting the track without losing momentum. I pretty much felt like a moron when it clicked. "OH! That's what you meant! DUH!" This improved my blocking IMMENSELY. Suddenly, I'm not to slow to kill that jammer, or clear that blocker out of my jammer's way. No more does the jammer blitz by me, I can just get her! One achievement that I am particularly proud of is that I was able to hold back the amazing England's Glory for a full five seconds. Now. Before you go saying "whoopdedoo, five seconds", you should be aware that England is notoriously slippery. She can sneak though holes that nobody else would even see. I am PROUD of that five seconds. I also recall escorting a couple of jammers out of bounds. I'm still slow. I'm still learning strategy, but I actually feel like a real derby girl for once. I feel like less of a poser.
Saturday was the WRD home teams bout. The Black Diamond Divas played the Hot Wheelers. I was able to NSO for this bout, and even though it's not a particularly prestigious position, I had fun working the outside whiteboard. The purpose of this position is to catch penalties from the outside pack refs that the wranglers may not have heard. The best part is that you get to watch more of the game, most of the penalties are called by the inside refs, so there are fewer calls to relay. It was a great game with a few interesting highlights. The skaters almost seemed to have some sort of vendetta against the outside refs. They were falling right in front of and into the refs all night long. One memorable case was when a skater fell literally two feet in front of a rapidly moving Eff'n Ref, who simply leapt over her as if they were playing leapfrog. From where I was standing, I saw the whole thing. It was amazing. I later found out that Eff'n made that incredible leap after having injured himself in his own league practice ( Eff'n is also a skater for our brother league the Uinta Madness). I have a lot of respect for our Zebras, but it is easy to forget that they are skating just as hard as the players.

This week was a skills practice, and I wasn't about to miss another practice where we work on a skill that I had promised myself I was going to learn/work on/master this session. We started out with endurance and timed trials. Keep in mind, we do timed trials with everyone on the track at once, and only the mamas and the visiting vets got their 25 laps in 5 minutes. My time sucked. I managed 25 in just over 6 minutes. I think my biggest problem is that I know I run in the middle of our skill levels, and I don't want to get in the way of the better skaters, I don't want to knock over the newbies. I need to get past that. I need to weave better and just go around the slower skaters instead of getting held up by them. *sigh* I can do 25 in 5, as long as I am in a small group, big ones frustrate me.
After that, we worked on whips and pushes. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE whips! This is one of the skills I am most comfortable with, so I helped with demonstrating. We started by giving whips to the new girls, then had them give us whips. These girls are learning so fast it is intimidating! We also did hip whips and pushing. I was having a lot of trouble with foot pain at the time, and had landed wrong on my knee when we were doing warm up drills so I decided to call it a night when advanced skills practice proved to be pushing and hitting. Last time I tried pushing and hitting drills when I was hurting, I ended up down and out for four days. Unable to walk for more than a few minutes at a time. Not going there again.
Today we went to the local Ren Faire with the kids and a group of our friends. It was great fun, we watched jousting, played in the little petting zoo, ate smoked turkey legs, dressed up like princesses and time travelers and generally had a good time. I will try to post a photo of my hubby in his awesome costume. He opted to go with the steampunk costume he has been working on for Conduit ( our local sci fi/fantasy/gaming convention), and he looked quite handsome. Like he walked right out of "Bram Stoker's Dracula". My costume was less impresive, and the girls costumes literally came from their dress up play chest, but we still got a discount entrance fee and had fun.
All in all, it's been a good couple of weeks. Next week, scrimmage and another WRD bout, this time the all star team the Midnight Terrors are playing Sin City. I am excited for this bout. I love to watch the WFTDA bouts, they are far more intense.
Remember ladies, hands in the vag. That keeps you from elbowing your mentors in the face. =)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Are you still there, readers?

Oh my beloved readers, I have neglected you. I promise, it is mostly because I haven't had a lot of really interesting things happening.
Practice last night was definitely fun. We have gained access to the warehouse for an additional hour. This makes our league able to better address the needs of our newest members. The practice starts at 7, with basic skills training and drills. The vets are allowed, and encouraged, to attend this portion of practice, but not required to do so. I decided that I need the practice with basics. I am still learning, and I know that I am not the greatest skater.
We worked on walking in our skates, and crossovers. I still need work on derby stance, as it is difficult for me to maintain. I practice this at home in the evening, wearing my skates in the living room, standing in derby stance in front of the TV.
At 8, practice shifts to endurance and more advanced skills drills. This is where things got tough for me. For some reason, my skates weren't fitting quite right and my left foot was cramping up. Usually, I can just skate through this, as pain is a daily occurrence for me. Last night though, it just kept getting worse and worse.
We practiced stopping and turning around, specifically the turn around stop. My biggest mental stumbling block right now is turning around and going backwards. For some reason, it scares me to death. I tried to do the turning around, and did work with England to work on the mechanics of the turn. I understand the workings of it, now I just need to make my brain agree that my feet can do that.
We also worked on "mohawking" which is skating sideways with the feet parallel looking like this _l l_. Can you picture it, oh readers who don't skate? This is everything about skating that scares me. I am proud of myself, in that I was able to face my fears and attempt to make my feet do this. I actually did make a couple of tight turns when skating wrongways (clockwise) but just can't make my brain let my weak leg turn. I took a couple of epic falls, and have quite a lovely bruise on my right thigh where I landed on my skate. It is HUGE. At least it seems huge considering that it was just my wheel that I hit and it is about 10 cm across (that's about five inches for my metric challenged friends) and shows signs of possibly getting larger in the next couple of days.
Gyro makes me look like a fool. She is skating like she was born to do it. I am so proud of her. She makes me want to be a better skater. I can't believe how well all our new girls are doing. They are all picking up skills like my girls with easter eggs.
I love my league.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Red Rockettes session 3!

Yesterday was the first practice of the third session of Red Rockettes Recreational Roller Derby.
I can't say how much I love these ladies!
We received a nice influx of new skaters, who have dubbed themselves "Soy Cheezies". One of these lovely ladies is a good friend of mine who has decided on Gyro as her new derby name.
I have been very ill all week, and had planned to go to practice and watch. I couldn't resist. I put my skates on and warmed up with the "vets" from last session. I use the term vets loosely, because I personally still feel like a rookie and I think a lot of the others feel the same way. We did some laps and a paceline with weaves. At that point, I started feeling crappy, so I took a few minutes and rested. Once the newbies had all finished their paperwork and I had taken some time to adjust Gyro's brand-new (Quite nice) Skates, it was time for everyone to meet up in the center of the track and stretch/get to know each other. We all introduced ourselves, and stretched out.
Then we started practice with endurance testing. We started with the 25/5 testing. It's a nice place to see where you are at the beginning and a good measure of improvement throughout the course. I was only able to do 24/5, but considering that I spent four days with a fever of 102, which had just broken that morning, I will TOTALLY take 24/5. =)
Gyro did beautifully! She hasn't skated in years, and has similar challenges as the ones I faced 16 weeks ago, but she trusted me, trusted Wanton, and learned to trust her pads. One of the first things I did with her was to tell her to just fall on her knees. Just do it. Really. That's what you just spent all that money for, you have to fall on them to trust them. She dropped to her knees, not as hard as I wanted her to, but she did it. She realized how nice her fancy schmancy new pads (which are nicer than mine BTW.) really are. I learned this from my first derby mentor, Sushi. She had me do the same thing, and it is the best way to learn to trust your pads. Use 'em.
It looks like we have a great group joining us, and our league will benefit from the addition.
I wasn't at my best, and actually skated like I was drunk. I believe that I still have some generalized ickiness that was resolving and kept me off balance. I will do better next week.
I can't wait to see what this new class brings to the league!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Weekend of derby goodness and our debut mini bout!

So, I promised everyone an update after the bout this weekend.
WOW! That was a hell of a thing, and I can't wait to do it again, only do it better next time!

Okay. Now that I have that out of my system, I can blog in earnest.
For me, the weekend generally starts on Thursday evening with practice. We had an awesome practice this week. We had officials come in again to help us prepare for our mini bout which was yesterday. We played hard, and I feel like I did better this week than I did last week, though I am still WAY too timid as a player.
Someone managed to talk me into jamming. Yep, me, jamming. It was insane. It was super fun, but very intimidating. My blockers (okay, the blockers out there with me that jam) were working VERY hard to get me through, and I DID make it through the pack, but I managed to get a major back block on the way through the second time. Crap. Off to the sin bin for Indy. I served my time and went back out, and promptly cut the track. I knew I did it as soon as the lovely Tosser Assout blew the whistle. I looked right at her and asked, " I just cut the freaking track didn't I?" This made her laugh, as I was on my way back out and was clearly not arguing with her. SO, back to the box I go. This combination of penalties had me jamming in two consecutive jams. Fortunately for me, I was headed back in after serving my second penalty when the other jammer called off the jam, so I was able to go to the bench.
The rest of the scrimmage went pretty well, but everyone was playing a bit more aggressively than usual, and a lot of girls took some pretty nasty spills. There are, I believe, three nearly identical rink rashes on shoulders.
Then Friday comes, and I actually had to work. Granted, my Friday shifts are two whole hours, but still, boo. I wasn't feeling 100% on Friday. I woke up with a bit of a sore throat, and a little sniffle. Meh. I blew it off as allergies. It's April. That happens.
Saturday morning I woke up feeling like I'd been hit by a truck and then tried to stuff it in my sinuses. Uh oh. Sick? NO! Not on Bout day! Well, I took my cold medication and started with the denial therapy. "What's denial therapy" you ask? It is the constant mental repetition of "I'm not sick, I'm not sick, I'm not sick."
I met with several of my awesome female buddies (non-derby sisters!) before the bout. We had a day of beauty. I had my makeup done by the lovely Malli, who made me feel just like a pinup. Then I had my numbers painted on my shoulders in black henna (which doesn't come off until I take it of with alcohol). I put on my boutfit and I was ready! I was working the bout as an NSO, so I had to be there early. I was able to hang out and talk to the other officials for a while, everyone was SO encouraging.
The bout is a blur. I remember blocking one jammer. Apparently I looked straight at three other jammers and just let them go by. Ugh. Gotta work on that. All told I held my own though. I only fell once. I remember being shoved out of bounds twice, once was by my own jammer. I think I was in her way. The other time, I am pretty sure it was an opposing skater than put both hands on my arm and shoved me out. I don't think the ref saw. It doesn't really matter who won, but my team won.
Today I woke up absolutely miserable. I think denial therapy works to delay, but then you have to deal with two days of sick when you let the sick happen.
YAY for Derby!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Bout day!

It's bout day! Today is the first exhibition bout for the Red Rockettes! In case you hadn't noticed, I'm pretty excited. I will write up a nice little post sometime tomorrow to sum up this weekend of derby goodness, but I had to share my joy!

Wish me luck!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Product review: Protech dent mouth guard

I just got my new Protech dent mouthguard. It came in just in time for our very first REAL scrimmage (as detailed in the last post) which was excellent timing.
It came in the mail on Wednesday. As soon as I got home, I busted open the package and started reading the instructions. I followed the directions to the best of my ability, and it just didn't feel right. I tried again. I still just didn't have all the teeth covered. I truly believe this is my own idiocy rather that a problem with the product itself. I got a few tips from a leaguemate that had also gotten one of these mouthguards and succesfully fitted it. This time, it worked beautifully. It fits like a dream, which is wonderful, since my last mouthguard routinely fell out of my mouth while skating. (Can't have that. I want to skate penalty-free).
The package states that you can speak, and drink while wearing the mouthguard. Yep. I was able to clearly communicate with my team during play. It was quite a bit less bulky and therefore more comfortable than my old mouthguard.
I love the mouthguard. Except for a few minor issues with fitting, I have not had a problem with it. It is comfortable, and does not slip. It was not difficult to re-fit once I failed to fit it correctly.I recommend it for derby girls for sure.

Real scrimmage...

This week we had our very first real scrimmage, with refs and NSO's and everything. It was chaotic, exciting, overwhelming, insanity. I was called on by head ref Collin D Shotz before we had even started. "black 42!" OMG! What did I do? I'm not even skating yet! Turns out that my number was a little hard to read where it crossed through the tattoo on my shoulder, but STILL, Refs can be intimidating when you're not on their side!
I feel like overall it went very well. We had a guest skater from WRD with us, Skull Candi. She is an AMAZING skater and she made several of us feel pretty bad about ourselves for a bit. Then it was brought to our attention that she was not just shutting the rookies down, but our fearless leaders also. Wanton, Manna, and England are great skaters. Skull Candi has some amazing skills that we simply haven't had experience with, she can cut the track on a dime. She has what we affectionately refer to in our league as an expanding bum. (This is when somehow a tiny little skater somehow manages to have her butt block the entire track). it is very easy to be intimidated by a skater like her. I think I had an advantage with dealing with her because I've seen her pull the same moves on some of my other mentors in WRD.
All told, I managed to get one penalty, a major no less =P. Failure to reform the pack. Love you Pork Chop, but it was all I could do not to fall down at that point. I didn't even know what I had done wrong at the time. I still went and served my time. Never question refs. We took a break later and I cornered the ref and asked him to explain the penalty. I didn't question it, just wanted to know what I could have done to prevent it. He was great and explained what I had done, and how to avoid it in the future.
I injured my first derby girl. I was at the rear of the pack, and one of my teammates, a veteran who is currently without a league, came up behind me and grabbed my hips. I should have been able to take it, but she caught me by surprise. I fell down and flailed a bit too much. I hit the vet in question square in the face with my elbow. Brought tears to her eyes. Made her lip bleed. I still feel really bad about that. She reminded me that there are no "sorry's" in derby. She took it well, as expected from someone with her experience.
It was incredible. I still have numbers on my arms. =)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Ever feel like a dummy-dumb-head?

So last night was practice. We have a couple of girls that came in that we had not expected to see. The lovely Cherri Chokehold was feeling like she wanted to try skating again after her horrible fall a few weeks ago, and it was great to see her. Then Wicked walked in. We were all thrilled to see WIcked, as her husband is in the hospital recovering from a significant surgery and nobody really expected her to come. She told us all she needed it, and she had been chased out of his room for a couple of hours anyway for some reason or another.
So we warmed up quickly and did a quick series of stretches then we got right into it. This week we were separated into two teams. These are the teams we will be playing with at our little mini-bout next month. The idea is to get used to playing with the same women so that we can develop strategy and learn how to help each other out. We have a nice group, but it felt a little like elementary school, waiting to be chosen for our team. Obviously, I was not chosen first. There are a lot of girls who play better than me, skate better than me, and are generally cooler than me. There are some that need work, and I skate better than them.
I'm okay with that. I have no jealousy for these women. We all work our butts off, and some of us have more natural talent. Some of us started out looking like confused hippos on wheels. Whoopdeedo. I like the ladies on my team. We are going to be a great team.
We each had two of the vets to help us out with our "strategy." I use the term loosely, as right now, a few of us are still struggling to keep up with the pack. I feel like we DID improve over the course of the practice, and with more practice, will continue to do so. It was really nice to hear our team mamas , both of whom I respect mightily (even if they DON'T read this blog) discuss our improvements. One of our mamas was telling the other that she was quite happy with our group as a whole. She stated that she hadn't seen a group of girls improve so much over the course of one practice. We all agreed that a lot of it had to do with the nature of our league. We all play the game for the sake of the game. There is no competition with other leagues, we have a "No Drama" policy. As a result, we spend more time thinking about the game than the drama associated with it.
I love my league.
We had a great practice, and while I feel that I am still one of the girls just working hard to keep up with the pack, I plan to skate my butt off, literally and figuratively, to change that.
Here's hoping that the Utah weather continues to cooperate, and that I can get those new spiffy wheels I've been coveting before the rainy season hits, while the snow is still gone.

Friday, March 4, 2011

My goodness! She's back!

Did you miss me, intrepid followers?
Things have been very difficult for me on the work front, and so I didn't have a whole lot of energy to write about last week's practice.
We have begun scrimmage practices. We start out with pyramid drills, 5,4,3,2,1 laps interspersed with core building exercises. Then the inevitable stretching. We did some one on one blocking drills/jamming drills, where one person tries to get past the other. I am still learning. I am super easy to get past. I am not aggressive enough to get past others. In my defense, I WAS trying to get past the vets, not the other toffuti cuties. Then we did some two on one drills, two blockers, one jammer trying to get past. I am MUCH better at blocking when I have someone to hold the outside, while I cover the inside line after some extremely helpful coaching from Manna. I still need to work on maintaining my momentum when cutting the track.
Then we scrimmaged. it was awesome! Still no-contact scrimmage, since many of us are not very stable. I feel like I could take a mild hit and keep going, but big hits, not so much. In the first "jam" (we don't really keep score, mostly just practice the motions so far) I was actually taken down by my own jammer. Bless her sweet little heart, she felt bad about it, but them's the breaks, and this is derby. No "sorry" in derby. I took a fall. At the front of the pack. Everyone had to skate around me. Unexpected obstacle? Nobody kicked me, I don't think anyone else went down with me. That's a win in my book. I managed to fall small and avoid destroying the pack.
We also did the inevitable pace line. We have been doing an abbreviated version, where the person in the back weaves the whole line then stops at the front (time saver for a large group like ours). We did one where we just weaved, and one where we added light hits. I fell twice, once in each line. I feel good about my determination, now I just have to build confidence. I am a big girl, I should be the one others are afraid of right?
Feeling more and more confident on my skates, every week.
Still thinking about learning to ref once I have the rules more firmly in mind.
And to think, I almost didn't even go to practice last night! Thank you to my ever-loving husband for talking me into it when I wanted to sloth the night away and feel sorry for myself.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Is that ME?

Random thought for the weekend.
I was getting ready for bed last night, and happened to catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I wear jammies with short bottoms when spring comes (yeah, I know, wishful thinking but they were clean). There in the mirror was a girl with well defined thigh muscles. Wait, what? That can't be me. I have thick thighs. "Well padded" as my husband likes to say. Who is that girl with muscles and why is she wearing my jammies? Who knew, I might actually SEE some progress? I was getting discouraged since I hadn't lost a single pound, nope, not one. I have actually gained weight, making me give up on the Roller Derby Workout challenge (well, that and the fact that I couldn't do the workouts with my stupid knee and actually walk the next day).
Yay for muscle!
OH! And, congratulations to Wasatch Roller Derby for a crushing win at their first sanctioned bout of the season! Go Midnight Terrors!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Our first "take a knee" moment.

Last night the Red Rockettes had their first on-the-track nasty fall injury.
We were finishing off Basic skills testing for all the Toffuti Cuties (there are twenty-some-odd of us) and the lovely Cherri Chokehold somehow slipped and fell so hard on her backside that she heard a crunch in her sternum. She tried valiantly to get back up, but she had the wind knocked out of her and her chest hurt just to move. Bless her heart, she was so brave. She has sprained her ribcage and will be able to skate again once the pain subsides, but it was a sobering moment for all of us. We find it easy to forget how quickly rollergirls can be injured. We play for fun, not for an audience, so we tend to play a little bit easier. As a result, we tend to have fewer serious injuries and a more relaxed attitude.
Cherri stayed and watched the rest of the girls for a while, but eventually realized that she was hurting just too badly to hang around.
The rest of the ladies seem to have skated even harder after the fall. We all worked hard and have pretty much finished the testing. Everybody did so well. Then after we more or less completed the testing, we played a few games.
Did you ever play red light, green light as a child? WAY harder on skates. Then we played a game Wanton referred to as "Last woman standing". I did okay, for a while, I was able to stay in the running simply by outrunning everyone who tried to hit me or knock me out of bounds. Oddly enough, four of the strongest skaters all went down in a big pile almost immediately. In the end, there were about five women left after I went out of bounds (not without a fight). I feel like I did well evading people's hits, and escorted a few ladies to the outside boundary.
It was overall a good practice, with one horrifying moment.
Love you Cherri! Heal quickly girl, you still have to annihilate me.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Finally a picture!

This was taken for a blog one of my derby sisters writes. The only good picture ever taken of me on skates, where I don't look like a confused hippo.
I love whips, see why?

Basic skillz assessment part one!

We started taking our basic skills assessments this week. It was intimidating, and exciting and scary and wonderful.
There are apparently 28 of us Toffuti Cuties in this session, and we all need to demonstrate safe skills to be able to scrimmage. We weren't able to complete the testing for anyone, and about half of us still have about half of the test to go.
I was in the group that mostly completed testing.
We started with 25/5 laps. I didn't get 25/5, I got 25/6. I shaved a full minute off of my last time, but I skated more aggressively than last time, weaving around the less stable ladies more. I always skate faster at the end of the evening, and I have been sick all week. No excuses, just a little info to put things in perspective.
Next my group did stops, T-stop, plow stop. I had never tried the plow stop before, and had no confidence in my ability to do them. I wasn't able to do them for the vets administering the test, because when I was getting the hang of it, two girls went down right in front of me and I had to dodge first then stop. I don't know if my vet was watching, but I DID do one as soon as I got past them. (Manna, are you reading this? Did you see?)
Then we moved off the track and let the next group do their testing, and we were working drills with some of the other vets. My knee was still bothering me and I wasn't really able to do a lot of the agility stuff. Toe stop walking and side stepping. I don't know if that was part of the testing or if we were just trying to keep warm while we waited for the next step of testing. I hope I will be given a chance to repeat that portion if it was part of it, because my husband and kids walked in right at the beginning of that part.
After that, we moved on to falls. One knee, two knee, 180's, and baseball slides. I hadn't done baseball slides either, because plow stops and falls were covered when I was out with my stupid knee. I feel like I did fairly well on falls, though I still need work on getting up. I'm still slow.
Then we got the whole group together and did whips and pushes. I gave some whips, received some whips, took a push, went out of bounds, but didn't fall, and just went right back in bounds without missing a beat. I love whips! I love watching the girl you've just whipped fly like the wind. I love the feeling of flying like the wind when you have just been whipped. Whips are cool. (side note, Bow ties are cool... mandatory Doctor Who joke, sorry, had to do it.)
Then we did a pace line, weaving and hitting each girl we passed. I took a few good hits, gave a few little baby hits. I need to work on using my awesome ass to hit with. I was given this gift, I need to learn how to use it. No more shoulders Indy!
All told, I knew going in that I wasn't likely to pass this go round, and we have a few more things to test, but I feel pretty good about what I have learned. I now know what I need to work on. I am SO proud of the other Toffutti Cuties. Some of those girls had never worn skates before this session started six weeks ago, and they were skating hard and getting up after falls. If you're not falling, you're not trying, and they work HARD. Love you ladies! (another side note, I fully plan to annihilate you Cherri, just as soon as we can both take it! So there! You started it!)
Let's see what next week brings.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Derby, derby everywhere!

We all know how obsessive derby girls are. We love what we do, and it takes over our lives. I have spent the weekend (which for me starts on Thursdays) immersed in derby goodness.
Thursday night's practice was great. I love seeing how much my fellow Toffutti Cuties are improving, and I love feeling myself improve. We did hitting drills. I can't say how much I needed to hit something this Thursday. I had come from a long week of feeling taken advantage of and abused at work (which doesn't happen often but SUCKS when it does happen). I walked in to practice and strapped into my gear and skates. I felt the weight of the week lift from my shoulders as I stood up and started my warmup laps. I was free! I was fast! Nothing can stop me!
Hitting drills were great, we were paired up and instructed to practice hits, some of us did little bumps just to get the feeling of hitting and being hit. Some of us are still working on confidence and so we hit gently. I was first paired up with Blueberry Crush. We are pretty evenly matched though I out weigh her by probably 100 pounds. She is more stable and has been skating longer. We did some good hits, but mostly managed to continuously get ourselves wheel locked and landing in ungraceful piles on the floor, giggling the whole way down. I loved every minute. If you're not falling, you're not trying right?
Then I was paired up with Cherri Chokehold (Sorry If I messed up your name Cherri!) We are also fairly evenly matched. We did gentler hits, but managed good form while doing so. More giggling ensued. I needed some time with my girls to cool off from a tough week!
Friday night was spent catching up on all my derby bloggy friends' blogs. There are a lot of great ones out there. See? ------->
Saturday night I ditched out on our weekly gaming session, and went to the WRD season opener at the Salt Palace. I volunteered to act as an NSO for the bout, which I love to do, and missed after the split from Salt City. I was placed in what must be the awesomest job for an NSO, Lineup tracker. I wrote down the number of the blockers and pivot and jammer for each jam and kept track of trips to the sin bin (penalty box for those who didn't already know). This job is awesome, because once you write the numbers down, you can just watch the jam as long as you are paying attention to who's in the box. The sad part was that I had to sit far away from my league sisters, who had come in as a group and sat trackside together. All told though, it was great. I went to the afterparty for a while, and talked with some of the ladies I hadn't already met. I was able to talk to some girls I had grown to love in Salt City who had left for one reason or another or had come to cheer former teammates on. I love it! There were a few hiccups for me in trying to get there, as there was a hunting convention and a Utah Jazz game (basketball for my out of country or state friends)both going on and little parking was available, all was expensive.
Did I mention that I love derby?
Love to the Black Diamond Divas and the Hot Wheelers, who played a great first game of the season, and to the awesome junior derby girls who played an excellent min bout at halftime! Can't wait to do it again.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Back to skating!

Last night, with the approval of my new doctor, I went to practice and actually skated. It was, of course, freaking awesome.
We didn't have as many of the vets come this week, so we just stayed in one big group and worked drills together. It was good to get back on skates, and nice that after a few minutes, I actually felt pretty comfortable again. We did endurance laps, timing to see what our time was for 25 laps. I took it VERY easy, since I wasn't sure how my knee was going to react to abrupt changes in direction. I still managed a not completely pitiful 7 minutes. Now, I need to trim two full minutes off this time, but I feel like I can do that since a little over a month ago I could do 24 laps in 5 minutes and was coming around turn four on lap 25 when time was called. I trust that I will get back there after I have gotten the strength back in my knees.
After endurance, we did a drill called "shopping carts" which basically helps you ease into the idea of hip whips, which is what we practiced next. I ended up paired off with one of the other Toffuti Cuties who hadn't been skating long. We took it very easy to help her maintain control. She did very well, and I felt good about my efforts. After hip whips we practiced arm whips. I did well with inside whips, and receiving whips, but my outside whips need a bit of work. I need to remember to keep my thumb up. I am sore today, but in that good, "I worked hard" sort of way. Surprisingly, the stretches we do in derby helped to pull things back in alignment a little, and I sound less like a pencil sharpener when I walk today.
I feel great today. Oh, and just a little side note, I gained four pounds this week instead of losing, but my belt is loose now...I must be gaining muscle.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Little update.

I finally had my doctor's appointment today. I went in and we talked about when and where my knee hurts. I was grilled on my exercise regimen, and how hard I have been hit in derby. Do I remember any injury that preceded the pain..blah blah blah. Three X-rays and a few pokes and prods and "does this hurt"s later, the doctor believes that I have patellofemoral disorder which means that I have over worked my major quad (thigh) muscle and need to strengthen my inner thigh muscles to compensate. Wow. I have an over-training injury. COOL! The best part is, with physical therapy, I can get completely better! YAY! I have also been greenlighted to get back to practice, though I have been advised to continue to take it somewhat easy until the horrible crunching noises stop. That's right. Indy is back in action! (Within limits)

Friday, January 21, 2011

At this rate, it's going to be "Adventures in never skating"

I missed practice last night.
My in-laws are very nice people, who want to spend time with Hubby and I. My Mother-in-law bought tickets to a play in a local theater for the four of us to go see a play. Sweet right? I love the theater!
She didn't check with hubby or me before scheduling our "date" and bought tickets for a Thursday night. Last night. Hubby has a class on Thursday nights. I have practice on Thursday nights. When hubby mentioned his class, his mom flipped out and said "if you don't want to come with us that's fine, but I bought these tickets so we could spend time together and they were expensive....blah blah blah." We didn't even bother to mention that I would be missing practice for this. As previously noted, she doesn't approve.
SOOOOO. No skating for me. I did manage to clunk around a little in my skates. Tried to walk without rolling like Wanton recommended. I wasn't horrible. I can do side to side just fine, but for some reason, I just can't walk forward or backward.
I also have one more fear to conquer. Backwards skating, and switching front to back and vice versa. And tomahawk stops.
I have three weeks until test for min requirements. Not enough time!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Somebody call the WAAAAHHHHHmbulance!

So I decided to do the "Roller derby Workout Challenge". I thought"Oh that will be awesome! I can build some muscle and be a better skater, and maybe even drop a few inches!"
Sadly, this was not to be. I started out the week, ate mostly what the meal plan dictated with a few changes for both financial reasons and for preference. I gave up booze. No skin off my nose, I needed to cut back anyway. I gave up white flour of all kinds and all processed sugars. Diet isn't a big issue, I followed the Weight Watchers plan for years with little problem.
Then I tried to do the workout. I have had a little pain in my knees since starting to skate. I am not 25 anymore. I can live with it. The workout however, with what felt like five million lunges and squats in addition to what seemed to be hours of planks, was pure evil. The next morning I got out of bed, and as soon as I put weight on my right knee, I heard a sickening crunch. I didn't think much about it, because it only hurt a little bit. Over the course of the day at work, it became more and more painful. Okay, I'll take a day off of the workout, put a little pain gel on my knee, and I'll be just fine. Nope. Tuesday, Wednesday, still painful. Limping around work. Getting more and more aggravated by the day. Thursday comes and I am just hoping that I can get in some endurance skating, or maybe even just the warmups. I NEED to skate with my girls! The rest of the Tofutti Cuties need me! I need them! "Not a chance" says my stupid knee. I finally broke down and scheduled an appointment with a doctor, but since I work in a doctor's office, I had to work around my work schedule, so my appointment is January 25. Crap. Well. I feel a bit less pain today, so I will continue to take it relatively easy until I find out just WTF is going on. I am going to skate next week, even if all I accomplish is warmups and stretches. I think we're supposed to be learning falls. I need to know this, so maybe I will stay and watch if I can't do it. It is strange to be sitting here on Friday, and not have that delightful soreness that comes from a good practice session.
Whine, whine, whine.
I'm a wimp.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Red Rockettes Fresh Tofu....

Last night was my first official practice with the Red Rockettes! It was SO much fun I can't walk!
We started the evening with the obligatory paperwork, WFTDA insurance, emergency contacts etc.
Then we did some quick warm up laps and stretches. While we were stretching, we did basic introductions. There were lots of new girls, which included me even though I did attend the last two sessions of the last round. We broke into two groups after stretching, one for the vets and the ladies who attended the last round of practices. The vets took the last group through testing for basics and the "fresh tofu" (some of us are vegetarians not me, but some...) broke off and started with the very basics.
We practiced derby position, which I can do, but my knee is still giving me fits when I hold it for too long. We practiced stops. I am MUCH better at stopping. We worked on weaves, which I have also improved immensely. I was one of the more stable of the freshies, but I did manage to hit two separate sets of bleachers head on. I have a pretty nice little bruise forming on my hand and shoulder. Nothing to post pics of, but they do hurt.
After we finished weaves, we had a discussion about gear, what we need to have, and what quality it should be. A lot of the other girls were wearing borrowed pads from the "Box Of Stench", and most of them needed better skates. I was sitting pretty in my awesome gear.
I am sore today, but not as bad as some of the other ladies, since I took it a little easy on my knee. I still know that Wanton Rebellion is going to be a tough Derby Momma. She kicked my (not so) little hiney. She is great though. She knew when I was giving up due to pain in the knee rather than due to quivering quads.
All in all, I am super stoked and loving every minute!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year. Yeah, I know everyone is doing it.

So we rang in the new year with a few of our closest friends and several of their other friends. It was pretty awesome. So now that we have bid farewell to a somewhat trying but generally good year, it is time to decide what tone to give the brand new year.
Obviously, I have chosen to make this year my year for obtaining "mad derby skillz" and am super excited to get started with this on Thursday. I have decided that in order to truly take advantage of all that these awesome women have to teach me, I have to work at home also. In the spirit of this idea, I have decided to undergo the "roller derby fitness challenge" which I discovered on Facecrack...I mean Facebook. I have also committed to resuming the Weight Watchers lifestyle. I can't afford to go to the meetings, but I have obtained some of the materials for the new program. I actually really liked Weight Watchers the first time I did it, but gained most of my original weight loss back due to a health issue and was never able to regain the momentum (heh, momentum).
I really haven't set any clear goals, really more like ideas. I have a distinct tendency to fail when I set resolutions, so I am just going to set a new attitude.
On another note, I was able to get in one last skate of 2010. Even though I have been nursing my stupid knee, which still hurts most of the time for no obvious reason, I went out on Thursday with my best friend, who hadn't skated in around 10 years. She was really not bad, and watching her helped me realize how far I have actually come. I'd encourage her to skate too, but she has a health issue also which pretty much means she shouldn't let people knock her down at high speeds, so I have to settle for having her be my cheerleader. (Love you S!) Anyway...I digress. What I set out to say, was that I found myself trying things while skating with her that I had been hesitant to try before. I was able to execute a few T-stops, which I have been chicken to try since the first time I tried and ate rink. Hard. I think that being on a rink without people who are considerably more experienced than me gave me a little confidence since I wouldn't be the only one falling down. Yay for false confidence!
I should probably stop rambling now.
I will catch you all on the flip side and keep y'all posted on my first real practice.