Tuesday, August 10, 2010

back down to the bottom of the pack

Tonight was my first practice with the house team skaters as a bench marked rookie.

A few observations:

1. I don't know what the hell I'm doing.

2. Ouch.

3. I really need to work on developing bursts of speed and endurance.  Not to mention my hit and be hit play.

4. I don't know what the hell I'm doing.

I read somewhere in Melicious of the Texas Rollergirls' book Rollergirl that it took her about six months of playing derby before she started to figure out what was going on in the pack.  Or maybe that was someone else's confession, I don't know any more, I've been reading, thinking, dreaming so much about roller derby lately.

Unfortunately, most of what I've read has been more about the personalities in roller derby, and, of course, the drama of the start up leagues and star players.  What I need, now, is a book that tells me how to move my feet when I need to go faster all of a sudden, and if that book could include some strategy, I'd be very happy too.

Roller derby, in it's flat track incarnation, is so very new, hardly anyone has retired yet to write detailed strategy and skating skills books.  It's really just getting started.  I guess I'm going to have to figure out how to pack skate and throw a hit in the more traditional manner:

Pull on my Big Girl panties and practice practice practice.

After hours parking lot, here I come.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

die, stink, die!

Okay, now that I have passed my WFTDA assessments (go me!), it's time to turn my focus to something more serious:

I must, I must, I must get rid of my skates and pad stink.

Up until now I haven't been too worried about the stale sweat funk emanating from my knee and elbow pads.  Generally, since I am still such an easy target on the track, I think that if someone wants to hit me, I want it to at least be unpleasant olfactory-wise.  It is my only line of defense. 

Yesterday, I had an all too rare opportunity to strap on my skates and toodle around the driveway with my daughter, showing her a few things and letting her get some time in on her skates.  We were all relaxed, visiting with some family, just hanging out.  Happy happy joy joy.

Until I brought out my knee pads.  There is nothing casual about the way my knee pads smell. 

After just wearing the pads, not even sweating, the scent of dirty derby girl lingered on my flesh until my next shower.  It was like wearing a scarlet letter, a big 'A' for Ass-scented.  Nobody wanted to associate with me.

Before you think me too terrible, know that I have actually washed my pads.  I air them out faithfully after every practice (well, my husband does, because he just can't stand them) and I regularly set them out in the sun to let nature disinfect them.  I'm not a total slacker.

Still, at this point I feel like taking a shower just looking at my skate equipment.  I'm wondering if I should get another set of knee pads and wrists guards.  Then I will have my regular set for derby practice and another for dress up.  My Sunday best knee pads.  Then, when I take my daughter out for a skate around the block the neighbors won't say mean things and call the environmental protection agency over the next time I go out for groceries.

Actually, not too bad of an idea to have a 'good set' of pads for special and family occasions.  I could glue on rhinestones and co-ordinate them with my outfits.  Of course, the next step is the dressier pair of skates, like those blue velvets artistic skates, and wrist pads with faux fur covers.  A set of plumes for the helmet, golden laces, and a fuschia mouthguard trimmed with diamonds.  I'm afraid that it would be an upward spiral of safety fashions and I'd become a high maintence rollergirl that can't leave the house without a lace trimmed chin strap and a streak of glitter across her cheek.

All that maintence probably works up a sweat, too, and I'd still smell like a gym locker.

Before I go out and drop even more money at rollergirl, I am going to try some sort of spray-the-stink away concotion.  Tea tree oil and Febreeze.  If that doesn't work, then maybe I can rustle up some Catholic priests for an exorcism.   

After that, well, hand me my credit card and a Bedazzler.  My girl child already has enough issues, having once explained to her little brother that "Mommy has to go away to practice because sometimes she just needs to hit some bitches," without her mother also setting off car alarms with her invasive safety pad stench.

Whatever is going to happen, it must happen soon.  The skate bag is starting to take on a life of its own and I fear it may one day go feral.  Then the neighbors will really have something to worry about.  But, then, I probably won't have to worry about hits on the track either. 

There is a silver lining to every putrid cloud.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

day of the damned

Day of WFTDA testing...

Relentless pestilence that is my family getting stronger...  Overtaking...

I feel achy!  Repeat, I feel achy! 

Sinuses, full.  Head, aches.  Lungs, congested.

Help, this cold is dragging me down!

Can't resist any longer... Vitamin C stocks low...

I'm succumbing!  Oh, no, I'm succumbing!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

foot in it

Whatever else you can say about my derby skill development, one thing for certain is that I have become much, much stronger since I started skating.  Prior to skating, my legs sort of resembled a doughy, potato type food product.  Picture perogies or gnocchi.   My legs are now full of strappy, tough bands of muscle. I even have this unlady-like thick muscle running up my shin, almost obscuring my tibia when flexed.  I never even knew of it's existence until a few months ago.

I can kick like a mule.

Which is why I now need to find another way of venting when I get frustrated.

Maybe I can go shopping for nicer shoes?

Monday, August 2, 2010

test anxiety stream of consciousness

Hwarkk!  Ack!  Kwwickuw!  Ptooie!

Drip drip drip... HwsuuuckkcaDrip drip drip... Hwsuuuckkca! 

Whine whine cry dribble sleep cry whine whine.

These are the lovely sounds of my little family being completely disgusting with their summer colds.  I love them, but if I didn't, I would cross the street to avoid them and their rampant pestilence.  Other than sleep walking around with a feeling of having my bone marrow replaced with lead, I've thus far managed to avoid getting the chills, fever, mucus rivers, sinus congestion, whiny.

Okay, maybe I got a bit of the whiny.

I am doing my best with the vitamin C and Wally's 'It isn't repulsive' Hut (red wine is very good for you, don't you know?), and have even contemplated taking an iron pill or two (a reflexive reaction to exhaustion after birth and nursing a couple of babies).  Generally I don't like getting sick, and this week the stakes are even higher: this Thursday is my basic skills test.  

I hate tests.  Really.  I get anxiety.  No: Anxiety.  I don't think well under pressure and, even when writing exams in university which I was actually pretty good at, my body feels like it's under the control of a drunken speedwalker.  I'm likely to suddenly careen full speed into a wall or propel myself down the stairs, missing every step but the last one, which I hit with my butt

I feel so sick just thinking about it that I just spilt my wine on my laptop.  I hope the antioxidants in red wine means it won't fry my circuits.

Or maybe that's the problem in the first place?

Whatever.  Where was I?  Oh, yes, tummy churning, palm sweating, teeth aching test anxiety.  It really does not make me feel any better to know that I will be on wheels too.  What the fuck am I thinking?

Actually, I have actually taken the WFTDA assessments before, but I sucked enough to know that I had no actual chance of passing.  This was back in May, only a few practices into my time with OCDG, and taking the test was more like being a tourist than a contender.  I was thinking, 'Oh, how interesting, I'm going to get hit now by that All Star rollergirl - okay!  Ouf, that hurt!  Hey, I'm still standing!  Go Me!  I wondering if I'm supposed to do something else?'

Yes, by the way, I was supposed to do something else: HIT HER BACK!

I hope I at least can figure out what I'm supposed to do this time.  No, wait, this time I want to make this test my bitch.  But I will settle, at this point, to just not being horking up phlegm.

The worst part is, I may stand a chance of passing.  And then what?  I will play roller derby?  For real?  With the big girls?   


I think this is a bad idea in many different ways.

 I have just started Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan's book Rollergirl: Totally True Tales from the Track and she's just walking through her first experience with watching derby.  Hopefully she'll also give me a play by play of the learning and breaking her derby cherry.  I could use a success story or two right now.  Or maybe I can start working my way through the Rocky movies, to psyche myself up.  I figure anxiety and fear is a head trip, then the medicine must be something I put into my head also.

Anyone know of any roller derby affirmation tapes I could play as I sleep?

"You are a strong, relentless bitch.  You hit like a freight train.  Your crossovers are immaculate.  You are not getting a sinus cold."

This all makes me wonder why I bother to protect my brain with a helmet.  

Off to take my medicine.  *gulg, gulg*  Here's to vitamin C, good sleeps, and the ability to channel my anxiety into aggression.

I love this derby thing.