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.