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!