Thursday, May 3, 2012

First Bouts

My first home team and travel team bouts were within about a week of each other. On Saturday, April 14th, I skated with my home team. I didn't get to skate that much, mostly due to teammates' penalties (I only got 3 minors total), but (without watching the video) I think I did pretty well. Unfortunately, my team lost... by a lot. That wasn't so much fun, but I really love my team. And we're meshing better and better all the time. Most of us are new, so losing to a team that played most of the ones who are also on the all stars team vs. us, well, it wasn't that bad. Next time we'll get em!

The following weekend I traveled to Denver and on Sunday, April 22nd I skated with my travel team the Dolls against Rocky Mountain Roller Girls' B team. We also lost and I also didn't get to skate that much. The best part of the trip was getting to see RMRG's Fight Club take on Bay Area's All Stars. Bay Area won! And I was there, in person, to witness it.

RMRG has their own warehouse and that's where we skated. We hung out with them afterward too, until our flights. After a bit, I got a little socialized out, so I took a nap on one of their comfy couches while their junior derby skaters practice. And dayummm. They are amazingly good and adorable. It's a little scary. 

Say what you will about Denver... but Denverites are some of the nicest, most hospitable people ever. Esp the derby Denver folk.

I was particularly shocked whenever we encounter nonderby Denverites, they'd ask us why were were in Denver, and we'd say, Derby!
And they'd say, oh cool, when are you skating? Oh really? Okay, we're gonna go see you!
We were like, Really? You know what derby is AND you don't have plans AND you want to come see us without us begging you? Wow.

Returning to Philly at 1am on Monday, I was exhausted. I mostly slept until 630pm, then decided to go to practice, which starts at 7pm. It was scrimmage. I asked one of my captains if I could jam. She said yes, and it was amazing. I felt like I was really back home.

My home team captains had stopped putting me as jammer cuz I was sucking at it. I had lost my mojo. I recently asked a friend on the Charm City All Star team if it was legit to blame wheels, and she said yes. The wrong wheels have sunk her before. So I'm blaming my wheels. The Reckless Evaders, to be specific. I'm not saying they're a bad wheel. I still don't know enough to say that. But they're a bad wheel for ME. I switched back to Atom Stingers and - BAM! My mojo is back. Lead jammer every time. And my speed and endurance is rocketing up to the top 5-10ish in the league, if our warm ups and endurance time at practice is any indication.

Tryouts for our all star team, the Belles, are coming up again. The eligibility is for the ECDX bouts. I'm pondering if I should try out or not. I don't foster any false dreams of grandeur -- if I make the 20, I won't make the actual roster to bout, but it would definitely be valuable in terms of upping my game for that day to come one day sooner... The issue is the time and money commitment.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Wear thin socks

It's such a simple piece of advice -- why didn't I think of it?

Anyway. My feet have been killing me for months and months. Wait. Not true. Just my toes. My big toes. The nails fell off and the pain got worse.
A few weeks ago, my derby friend SPQR suggested I wear thinner socks. We skated in the same skates and the same wheels in the beginning (Rebels) and she switched to 595s a few months before I did. So I took her advice and -- wow, what a difference! Suddenly I'm able to skate again because I'm not so focused on the CONSTANT, THROBBING pain.


For the record, I went to Sports Authority and bought their Nike Dri Fit Running socks. Amazing.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

New Skates

They *hurt* my toes soooooo much!

Word to the wise. It takes 4-6 MONTHS to break in many Riedell skate boots. I got the 595s. Owie.
Others have gotten the Antiks. If they are really comfy out of the box, they'll stretch and get too big in a month or two, but if you get the smaller size, there will be severe pain, but for less amount of time as the Riedells. However, we don't know how long the Antiks wear... It's a risk, for sure.

Choose wisely.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Real Rollergirl

"Congrats! You PASSED!"

I told my fellow meat that I wasn't going to check my email until I got home because if it was bad news and I checked it at work, then I was going to be a sobbing mess and not be able to get any work done. But I have Gmail and it shows the first few words of each email before I open it and those were the only ones I needed to see!!
But I opened the email and read the rest of it. Hurray!! Then I texted the rest of my meat, my family, and the friends that care about this part of my life.

Wow. Waited so long, worked so hard, pushed through injuries I've never had before, and spent a LOT of money... on protective gear, skates, wheels, bearings, tools, tolls, gas, open skates, skate "lessons", etc.

It was all WORTH IT.

I am so happy.

(Me jamming a few months ago during scrimmage)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

First bouting experience

From ECDX 2011

Wow. I just realized that my very first real jam was against K-T Boundary, a 3 year Dutchland vet! And I got lead jammer!
Though it looks like she beat me off of the line... I actually let her go ahead of me into the pack. At first I was going to knock her out right off the line, but then she switched to the outside last second. So I thought, well, I'll let her go first because a) "75% of jammer who enter the pack second get lead jammer" and b) my blockers would only have to worry about hitting her and not blocking for me for a few seconds whereas her blockers would have to block for her and worry about me coming up behind her... Which is exactly what happened. Her blockers cleared the way for her AND me and then my blockers got her and let me go which equaled in me being lead jammer!!

Here's Jayne blocking K-T for me!

Well, happy fourth of July. Or 2nd/3rd :) Just came back from a nice shindig on a roof. Now I'm home and winding down by changing out my bearings for the first time ever. It's easier than I thought, or maybe it's just because I have the right tools.

I was a blocker too. I was really feeling the blocking during the Block Party bout - how apt! Look at the pivot me glaring at the OJ. A few seconds later and I was knocking her down.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Follow up from last assessment

"We have no doubt that you will succeed with the right amount of work from now until July. Let us know if you need any help between now and the next assessment. We are routing for you."

This is what keeps me going now. The confidence from from the assessment panel. That is a direct quote. And my fellow fresh meat who have already graduated are really encouraging me with my t-stop. I am getting better and better, while my ankles are getting stronger and stronger.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Assessment results

My weak ankles couldn't pull off the t-stop. I can do it at home on my slippery floor, but the grippy floor at the rink is too strong. I have to strengthen my ankles. That's all there is to it. And I have to remember to bend my knees, I think that'll help. All my fresh meat tried to help me practice, but it wasn't enough. Damn.
Then we did the scrimmage portion. I did really well except for 2 times that I lost tracker of the OJ and she got past me. I knew that'd cost me something, but I didn't think it would cost me this much. Apparently, that was enough to keep me from graduating.
They emphasized that I am on the cusp of graduating. They said so many good things that I did... They just want to see more awareness and a good t-stop.

Inititally I was fine, but suddenly, the next morning, I am really discouraged. It probably doesn't help that I only got 3 hours of sleep, but still.
It's small comfort that nobody else, so far, graduated either. But 3 girls didn't get their evaluations last night, so it's possible one of them did. But they better not have, if I didn't. Or it'll discourage me even more.

I did SO well jamming. 15 point jams at least each time. Sigh.

This is bad though. I can feel my enthusiasm slipping away, replaced with resignation. Hopefully by Sunday I can turn this around and into determination, at the least.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hamstring update

It's feeling SO much better!! Today I didn't even wear my compression brace! And I feel fine. I took it easy at practice last night (which means I didn't push myself to my limit, but I still kept up a moderate pace), so I'm sure that helped, but even so, I am really happy with it.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Level 3

Ooooooops! SORRY. I need to update this more often.

I assessed a few weeks ago and I made it to level 3! And I had some really awesome jams, especially the last one. I was on FIRE.
BUT. I still failed my t-stop skill assessment. Bleh. And now the rink has been resurfaced, making that particular stop even tougher to perform.

Level 3 means I can scrimmage with the vets and that I'm one step away from graduating!!

To graduate I have to make home team time (check!), have 75% attendance (so far so good) between last assessment and this one, pass the next scrimmage assessment (looking good so far, if Sunday vet scrimmage and Wed meat scrimmage are any indicators), and pass my t-stop skill assessment. That's the one that could hurt me.

On top of all this.. I pulled my left leg's hamstring last Tuesday during a softball game. I'm RICEing it. My coworkers called me Cripples and my roommates called me Crutchie (even though I'm just limping to keep weight off of my leg, no crutches). It's a mild pull. I think it's mild because I have no bruise and no swelling that I can ascertain. But it's weak, although getting stronger, and spasms at times, as well as a bit sore.

Hopefully it'll be 100% or at least scrimmage ready enough for June 1st. I scrimmaged today with the vets (Butchers to be exact) and all was well! Better than good. I didn't jam and I tried to only go out every third or fourth jam, plus I am wearing a brace, so I did take precautions... Still, I did VERY well. I felt like 90% of the time I knew what was happening, what I should be doing, and was able to execute it.
I know this not because any of the Butchers told me, but because of what they didn't tell me. In the beginning, they kept me in the front so I couldn't be runted. But as the jams progressed and they saw that I was hard for the other teams to runt and that I could runt others, they had me participate in more of the strategy, which was really fun!
HA. At one point, Leggs was jamming and she was having trouble getting around the foremost blocker. So I skated up and was like, I'm here! And then I was blocking the girl so Leggs could go on the inside when I felt my skort, leggings, and underwear get pulled backward! My ass was hanging out as Leggs took a whip from me! ha. She could have asked for one, but hey, that worked. She got out. I felt a little funny about it though, haha.
Another time I drew a back block on the jammer on purpose. That was awesome! Granted, the OJ was another meat, but still, it counts. Andddd, perhaps most important, we won all of our scrimmages!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Roller Warrior

When planning the hours before derby practice, which includes, of course, dressing, I realized I feel like I'm preparing to go to war: thigh brace, ankle brace, shin guards, knee gaskets, all of these things are donned BEFORE I get to practice. At practice, I put on giant, tissue box sized knee pads, on top of my knee gaskets, as well as elbow pads, wrist guards, a helmet, and mouth guard. I usually wear leggings, not tights anymore, and certainly never fishnets (although this is much to my roommates' chagrin, one of which bought me a pair for Christmas - but I don't feel guilty for never wearing them since I happen to know she bought me the gift a few hours before we were set to exchange them), this is to combat the ever present danger of rink rash. I don't fear it, or, if I do, I fear it just the same as any other cut or abrasion I've had. Like paper cuts. I take certain precautions, but outside of that, I abandon all worry. Hence, I still get such things (had rink rash twice), but it happens a lot less.

One of my fellow fresh meat fell on her ass rather hard while we were skating backwards a few weeks ago. The result has been a broken or bruised tailbone. I bruised mine a few months ago as well. I was jamming and, for no reason I can explain, after breaking through the pack and gaining lead, I felt on my skate wheel in just the right, or wrong, way. It hurt, but the real pain came later. I was able to finish off the jam with 8-0 differential. Afterward, sitting down hurt. As the hours progressed, it hurt more and more. I should have iced it right away. I know better now. My ass still hurts, more than two months later, if I sit a certain way for too long. Sometimes I wonder if it will always hurt, or if it has ever not hurt. Mostly though, I forget about it. And, in spite of this injury, I have elected not to wear, much less purchase, crash pads. Perhaps I will regret this decision. I hope not. I think I would wear them if everyone in the league did.
Once I got kicked in the shins and it really hurt. I looked around after that and noticed a lot of vets I respect, Perseph, Sunny, Mo, etc, wear shin guards. So I bought a pair and wear them during scrimmage.