Monday, November 29, 2010

First FM Practice

Wow. I am now home, showered, and relaxing. I even ate a second dinner. But about 830pm I was DYING. No, not really. The worst would have been me throwing up or fainting, but I did neither. I hung onto what was left of my first dinner. The real danger for me was fainting.

What did we do during practice to cause this?

We warmed up, stretched, bunch of drills (such as crab walking, vine crab walking, stops), then we began endurance drills, both clockwise and counter clockwise. It was nuts.
We did four step sprints at every whistle, 30 second sprints, 60 second sprints, rainbows at the whistle, touch the floor at the whistle, pushers on the turns and coasting on the straightaways until the whistle, and many more! Plus every once in awhile, they had us stop and do 5 or 10 pushups. Man, I'm going to do pushups at home so I'll be able to keep up at practice!

THEN we did suicides!!!!!!!!

We split into two groups for that. Think you get to rest while the other group kills themselves? Nope, you do crunches or pushups until it's your group's turn!!!!
We skated and did drills for the solid two hours. It was great. The two coaches tonight were a great mix of toughness and fun. My favorite new thing that I learned was the left (or right) one legged plow stop.

Wow, but I think the worst part was staying low while skating and coasting. Towards the end, my thighs were burning so red hot that I almost got a second wind. One of the skaters was great at keeping the balance between encouraging and annoying to challenge me to stay low, which really motivated me.

I came home and was SO high on endorphins that my roommate was laughing at how happy I was. Okay, I'm also happy because I love skating, but yes, the endorphins are great. And I don't feel sore at all - yet. I ate lots of protein all day and especially during my second dinner, so hopefully I won't tomorrow either, but we shall see!!

P.S. The truly hard part of this first practice was not knowing how to pace myself because I didn't know what to expect. I mean, I knew we were going to do drills and endurance that focus on skating forward and stopping, but I didn't know how hard we were going to be pushed. Next practice should be better, just in terms of learning how to pace myself so I'm still challenged but not utterly decimated to the point where I'll faint.
I think the coaches did a great job of making sure they drained every last drop of our energy, and then some, in those two hours and I can't wait until Wednesday...

Sidenote: I wonder if any girls will drop out after this intense practice? Perhaps that was their aim tonight - to see if they could weed out the weaklings or the wavering, on the fence sorts. Honestly though, I didn't see any of those sorts at practice tonight. Okay, maybe I noticed two girls, but I talked to a bunch after practice and most of them seemed to feel worse than I did. So perhaps everyone is just really good at biting the bullet and keeping it all behind the mask while they skate. I know I don't though. My face is still pretty expressive, but perhaps that's because I'm not pushing myself enough!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Feeling Thankful

The more I research derby the more thankful and lucky I feel to be learning from PRG. We may not have our own warehouse like Gotham does, but the rink we skate at has painted track lines for us and we get to skate three practices a week. Plus there's other outside ops to skate outside and to do other exercises with the team. I am glad and lucky to be a part of an established league. I am not taking that for granted!

There are lots of videos online that show skaters skating around a track marked off with cones instead of lines! These girls are not practicing how they are going to bout and it just doesn't bode well for them :(
Also, I am discovering that a LOT of skaters don't bother to read the WFTDA rulebook. It's only 30 something pages! Yet they don't read it. To their and their league's detriment. I have read the rulebook through almost twice and tomorrow is my first official fresh meat practice! And I've watched countless hours of bout footage, online and in person. It's way more fun to watch a bout after you know all the rules!! Trust me.

So, my goal is to make the league's all-stars travel team in a year or two. I don't know if others will think that's arrogant or not, but I think it's a worthy goal to have. Anyway, if everyone was honest, they'd admit that was their goal too... unless they're the Eeyore sort.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tryout results

I've written three different posts about this since Sunday, November 14th. It's hard to fully describe what happened, so I won't even try.

Basically, I MADE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was so afraid that a lot of rollergirls from apprentice leagues would be trying out, but I only saw one (there may have been more). Even so, the other tryoutees were better than I thought they'd be. You could tell a lot of them had been hockey players or something like that.
There's still a little bit of fear since there will be another round of cuts at the end of December, but since I have a great place to practice in by myself PLUS what everyone else has to practice in PLUS a great bunch of skater friends PLUS the fact that the head of our training sent us the schedule of what we'll be learning each week - and I've already practiced everything on it! At least the stuff in the first four weeks.
Despite all those assurances, I still have a healthy bit of fear which I will employ to practice, practice, practice and get vets to assess me well before the fourth week of practice to ensure that I'll pass the second round of cuts.

I have a feeling that the majority of the girls who are not going to make the cut will end up dropping out before the cut. I think they won't be able to make the attendance required or they'll think the endurance is a bit too much for them.

*Happy dance!* I made it the first time I tried out!! And PRG is fourth in the WORLDDDD.

And all the girls, save one, I practiced with beforehand made it with me!! Yay! I like all of them so this is great news.

So tonight is the night before Thanksgiving and I'm spending the night rewatching PRG's performance in the Eastern Regionals on

Friday, November 12, 2010

Men's Roller Derby

A huge part of roller derby is the community within it... for men to take over derby will kill its heart because when men are in charge of sports it's all about power, money, and status.

I'm not saying all men are power hungry, money driven, status whores, but that is more of their tendency than it is for women. PLUS, just look at all the other sports - men dominate those and what are they about? Power, money, status.

And the one sport, the ONE SPORT, that women created and maintain in an AMATEUR status - it is community based. That's what women are great at - creating community. And it will be destroyed if men are allowed to take over. I do NOT agree with WFTDA partnering with men's roller derby. I believe that IF they have to play (why can't they do anything else? Seriously!) then it should be separate and they should NOT be allowed to use the same rules as those in WFTDA.

At any rate, I am not worried that men's roller derby will ever be as popular as women's because of their ugly, hyper physical, and less strategic style of play, but I just want to make sure that if roller derby ever makes it into the Olympics or it becomes a professional sport - that the men's version takes a backseat.

What's that your whispering? Something about equality? It is equal. Know how? Because men can play any other sport, they can make up their own sport, but they can't have ours. It's our one sport and they want to take it from us. No way, no how.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Roller derby words :)

I learned a few new things yesterday. Here's two.
A "derbaby" is a veteran skater's fresh meat buddy that they have to train up and take care of. When they have to miss a practice, the vet has to find a derbabysitter!
"Eat the baby" refers to when a jammer breaks free of the pack, but then the opposing jammer blocks her and she slows down enough for the pack to swallow her back up.
Love it :)

For your viewing pleasure:

WFTDA Championship 2010 from Sammy Sarzoza on Vimeo.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Day two of WFTDA Championals

Yesterday morning, my friend R dropped me off at the airport on his way to work. I waited and ate breakfast for an hour until boarding time, but there was a delay. Just half an hour due to some birds flying in the engine. 'Yuck,' I thought. Two hours rolled by and still in the airport. They finally canceled the flight. What a disappointment. Well, I rallied and was set to get on the next flight, but it wasn't until 540pm, which would mean I wouldn't land until about ten minutes after PRG started their bout and it still takes an hour to get to the venue from the airport. I decided to f it and go home to at least watch be able to watch it!
I'm glad I did, because, as it turns out, that was the only game (well, so far) that they won. And they won by exactly 100 points. This morning, a dif R emailed and texted me. She's in Chicago and was going to find her and sit with her, but I didn't have her cell number to let her know about my screwed up plans. I didn't think she'd have email access, but she does. Turns out there's a PRG DNN watching party which she connected me with. So awesome and nice of her. And then the party turned out to be about 4 or 5 blocks from my house!! I just walked on over. It made me feel slightly less murderous towards the birds. While it was sad to watch Gotham and Philly lose, at least I was surrounded by funny folks who understood what was going on. Last night, at the end of the PRG game, my internet died and so I ran over to T and A's. They didn't understand what was going on and didn't really care. That made me a little sad.
Tomorrow PRG takes on Gotham in a battle for 3rd place. It could go either way. Philly definitely has the chops to take them, but it turns into a head game that Gotham usually wins.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

WFTDA Championships 2010: Chicago

My friend D lives in Chicago, so when I heard that the champs was being held there, I called her up and asked her if she'd like to go with me and if I could crash at her pad. She said yes and yes! So I bought plane tickets and bout tickets. I have even designed a special t-shirt for their game vs. Madison, haha.

This is not a sign or anything, but I didn't have time to make a shirt for the other bouts, so I have bought and packed markers that can write on clothing in case I'm inspired.

P.S. The Gotham intraleague championship bout last Saturday night was awesome! And I found a photo on flickr of me and Lynette taking in the game. I circled us in red. It was her first bout viewing and she had a good time. I enjoyed explaining the rules to her while things were occurring. Gotham rollergirls are smart players (as are Philly's!!).

(I love that there's a guy in the crowd, front row stage left, wearing a crown - teehee! Go Queens!)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Skating, no sleeping

I've been so busy skating and doing everything else that sleeping doesn't fit in with my new skate schedule that I have lost a lot of sleep. Or rather, missed it. 5 hours a night is now my average. It's terrible!
Tonight is my one day off because it's voting day. I am going to get 9 or 10 hours of sleep and it will be glorious. Wednesday and Thursday, I will be up late skating, so I bet, at most, I will receive 6 hours of sleep for both nights, but on Friday I will be getting up early to catch a plane to Chicago! :) I will sleep on the plane and then probably in the airport a bit before it starts, as I arrive in Chi-Chi around 930am and the first bout isn't until that afternoon.
After the bouts on Friday, I won't be going to the after parties because Gotham has a 930am bout on Saturday! I will go to my friend's house, with whom I will be staying, and we'll hang out, probably get some deep dish pizza and then go to sleep early so we can be sure to be at the venue EARLY to get good seats for the day.
AHHHHH I am so excited!! I can't wait to watch the best derby in the world live all day!!
Okay. Calm down.
I am also eager to check out all the merch and gear that will be there. I need new skate guards and wish to purchase a t-shirt. Not sure what else I'll buy, perhaps some wheels, but I plan to try on some knee pads, knee gaskets, butt pads, and skates. My current knee pads keep slipping, I think butt pads will become required gear someday soon, and my feet are freakishly wide. I will need customized skates someday, but I mean to try on as many as I can before I invest.