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.