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.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


That's how many jean sizes I went up from the last time I went jean shopping!! Crazy. It's all derby cuz my waist is smaller or the same, but my thigh muscles are huge and defined. Sometimes I like staring at them through my tights, ha!
But now finding good fitting jeans is a bit of a challenge. The jeans will fit my thighs, but be way too large at my waist. That is one thing that they don't tell you about...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ankle update

My ankle is at 90% and Dr. Ralph said I never had to stop skating, but I took off a week and a half after a few bad falls on my ankle during last Monday's practice. I went to practice last night without my skates and it was hard to just sit there and not skate. My fellow fresh meat were awesome about it. They included me in everything as they could, even though I was off skates.
But I cannot wait anymore! Tomorrow I am going to skate again! Even if I am not completely healed, although maybe by tomorrow I will be? Jayne lent me her ankle brace (if I need it) and I bought athletic tape, as well as shin guards, so I am ready for scrimmage! I hope.

Ya see, fresh meat scrimmage tends to be really chaotic.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Slightly injured

Well. I didn't want to mention this before, but now that it's official I might as well post about it.

I believe it was the 7th of March that I fell on my skate wheel and bruised my tailbone. Because of that, I didn't notice until the next day that my ankle felt wonky. I bought an ankle brace during my lunch break at work and the next day, the 9th, was assessments. I was fast, but not as fast as I could be and I couldn't be as agile as I once was, but I thought everything was fine... except for the fact that I fell more than I have been used to and my ankle kept feeling wonky. Especially during the following Monday, the 14th's practice. Dr. Ralph came to practice on Wednesday the 16th and affirmed my suspicions - it's sprained.

BOO :(

At least I made it to level 2 (I get my detailed results back tomorrow when I meet with Flo).

And it should be healed within another week. If not, well, I have to probably get an x-ray.

Injury treatment:

I've been putting it in a bucket of water and ICE for 15 minutes each day. Then I rotate it in small circles both directions and keep it elevated above my heart afterward for at least an hour or two. The first day in the ice was the hardest. The second day, well, I think my foot might be getting used to it? Tonight is the third day. We'll see how it goes in a few minutes!

P.S. I have an iPod touch with a camera on it, so I'll try to post with photos from now on! :)
P.P.S. Did I mention that I still can't sit without pain? I didn't? Well. Now you know.

It's worth it.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

First Vet Scrimmage

Yesterday the vets let us scrimmage with them for the first time. For real. Full contact. No mercy.

I played B1 (and jammed once). I would prefer to be B2 or B3 because I tend to race up past the Engagement Zone (which is 20 feet ahead of the foremost pack skater) and that means if I hit or help any skater up there then I go to the penalty box - not good!

During the jam that I was jammer - I lined up against Ivana.

I've never seen her jam before. I thought she might try to block me outside right away, but she didn't. In fact, I sprinted off the line and got around the opposing B2 and B3 on the outside thanks to two of my blockers, and then on the straightaway I got stuck behind Thrash, but Gloria came up and blocked her for me and I skated free around the track. I looked over at my jammer ref and saw him pointing at me - LEAD JAMMER! Whoa!
I never saw Ivana. I don't know if I lapped her during my scoring pass or what, but after I got past all 4 blockers to score, I was reabsorbed and then everyone was yelling at me to call it off, so I did.

And I was exhausted. Seriously. My ankle hurt from getting blocked down a few times and I was tired from not having any warm up. But still. I somehow got lead jammer and scored! My first time jamming with the vets! How huge is that?? :)

Yeah. I thought I was hooked already. It. Just. Got. Worse. (or better, ha)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Blocking positions

There are a max of four blockers per team allowed on the track. They are called pivot, b1, b2, and b3.
The pivot has the stripe on her helmet.
B1 is the pivot's buddy at the front of the pack. She usually holds the inside line.
B2 and B3 stay at the back of the pack. B2 usually hold the inside line and B3 kind of goes wild in her blocking with the B2 keeping an eye out. When the B3 is knocked down or aside or out or something, the B2 will try to hold the opposing blocker or jammer until B3 can get back into position.

See these videos for more about the basics of roller derby.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Level 2 Assessments

(Part of the Fresh Meat class 2011 at the March bout)

Reflecting upon my skills assessment:
t-stops kinda sucked, didn't fall on the jump turns this time, and went too fast on the cones, but didn't skip or train track them - should have been lower and gone slower. Sigh. Everything else was good.

Speed/endurance assessments:
5 laps in 47 seconds.
29 laps in 5 minutes. But damn, Donna and a few others got that too. I was so close to hitting 30 though, closer than anyone. 29.75. Damn. Nobody will tie me again!! And I will destroy all the other meat with endurance assessments (the falls) for real, once my tailbone is in tip-top shape again! You better believe it! (pep talk for me, sorry, ha)

Scrimmage assessments:
I didn't hold my positions all that well. but some people say I'm too hard on myself. Hmm, I did try and did different stuff.
When I was b3, I kept yelling at Allison, my b2, to come back and make a wall with me, which we did several times. That was great! We held the jammer back pretty well! I also remember that Karin was pivot and noticing that she got stuck behind the pack after a hit or something, so I gave her an outside arm whip on turn 1 and got her back up to the pack. I am faster than her and I needed to stay back while she needed to get up front again, so I think that was a great move too.
When I was pivot, I got everyone up in the front and we raced until time ran out cuz our jammer was behind the oj. That was great. I also hit the jammer out and then stopped, stayed in play, made her come in behind me and kept her back pretty well after that!

Across the board, I started hitting really well. Got some great practice in that! It's easier during scrim than in drills, at least for me. I hit OM Alexis down a bunch and other girls too. When I was b2, I think, I saw the jammer coming on the outside, but I was inside, holding the line. So I pushed my teammate, b3, who didn't see the jammer was on her outside, at her while yelling about it - and knocked the oj out! ha! That was on turn 4. Beautiful. Then together we kept the jammer back for at least a lap or so. I forget who my teammate was and who the jammer was, but we were awesome.

I don't know when we'll get our results. But I'm not extremely anxious to receive them cuz I know I can't be cut anymore :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


(Pepper and me after our first real scrimmage on Monday, March 7th)

Round two assessments are coming up!! I doubt I'll skip to scrim with the vets, but I'm okay with whatever the training committee decides. They have our best interests and safety in mind. I can't wait to skate in a few hours though! Philly's win over Jet City has me seriously pumped!! :)