Tuesday, September 28, 2010

congrats, it's a derby girl

A couple of new things from tonight.

First, I wore my knee gaskets for the first time.  They are beautiful!  Almost a religious experience.  I have a perpetual bruise about 5 inches in diameter on my kneecap, that I re-inflame every practice, and tonight, well, it was like landing knees first on a marsh mellow.  Knee gaskets = good.

Second, I'm fairly certain that derby cured my head cold, at least temporarily.  I didn't even want to go because I was feeling like a bag of smashed assholes.  But, after merciless teasing from The Man (C'mon!  You're a tough derby girl, aren't you?  Don't be such a pussy!), I went to derby, just to get away from him.  And my head felt clear and good all night long.  So, there you go.  Derby = cure to common cold.

Third, I had to explain to The Man tonight how I ended up with another man's scratches on my back.  See, I've always maintained that the most dangerous thing about roller derby* is news presenters that show up once a month or so, put on roller skates - often for the first time ever - and then get on the track.  A presenter is just another word for speed bump, bless their brave little hearts.  Tonight, I was once again proven right as the speed bump from the CBC was going down in a jam and made a grab for the closest thing to try to steady himself.  That was me.  At least he didn't actually rip my shirt off.

Anything else?  Oh, yeah, almost forgot.  I popped my derby cherry tonight.  Not a full out bout, a full dress scrimmage, but it was as close to derby as I've gotten so far.  And, as the coach reassured me, I didn't suck, so I consider it a successful entry into the world of actually playing derby.  Finally.  After practicing for nine months, I finally had me a scrimmage baby.  

* Okay, The Man just pointed out to me that I previously said that the most dangerous one on the track is the rookie, simply because we get in the way and are fairly unpredictable, not knowing what the fuck is going on and all.  But, other than the rookie, media people playing at rollergirl are also very dangerous, mainly for the same reason.  Still, nobody wants the rookies or the media to go away, so I guess that's why we all wear helmets.  

Sunday, September 26, 2010

sunday amusements

Of all the versions of Melaine's Brand New Key out there, here is my new favorite.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

OCDG vs. Calgary's Hellion Rebellion

Can you guess what happened on September 19th?

Here are some hints.

There were crutches,




weirdos that everyone pretends they don't know but felt very happy they were there nonetheless,


circular motion,


booty bumping,


RC Sirens,


mouth guard parking,




and a happy coach.


Congratulations Oil City Derby Girls, Wild Rose Challenge champions.   

Today Alberta, tomorrow the world.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I'm overwhelmed!

I was thinking that I need to take a little break from active derby training. I am moving to another town sometime in the next month or so, which means a switch to yet another league, I'm also expanding my online business into the real world, which is is going to take much more time and care, AND I've got this extra heavy fatigue thing going on right now, what with spending all my time wrestling a belligerent abet adorable toddler.

I could really use to take the extra 10 to 15 hours derby now takes a week and spread it around a little. Some dry land workouts there, some getting shit done over there, maybe even getting some blogging done over here, seeing as it's hard to keep up on a derby blog while active in derby since there is no freaking time. You play or you write about it. Not both at the same time.

All these good reasons to take a small step back and pick up again in a few months once everything calms down.

But, then, when would I skate? I would miss the hum of my wheels on the track, the quick step step step to get around the turn, the weaving the skates in figure 8s and trying to spell out dirty words with my sticky skates during the warm up. The frightened squeak of the fresh meat when I come in for a shoulder nudge, the chasing of a escapee jammer, the satisfaction of a well executed positional block. Skating, scheming, shoving. I love this stuff. Even the things that make my legs quiver, like that breathless moment right before I try for a quick speed transition to do a tomahawk stop or getting on the track with the Big Girls knowing that they'll goat me and shove me out over and over again.

So, instead of backing off, I'm going to take it up a notch. Perhaps this is all the evidence you need to finally label me a masochist and be able to ignore most of my ramblings here as loony talk.

But hear me out first. I can't seem to do much about the time derby takes, since I still have what amounts to a three hour drive twice a week to attend practices. Plus any extra time doing whatever needs done. And I can't say that stopping the derby would do much for my fatigue. What would help there is if my kid would take a bloody Valium, go to bed before 10 pm and sleep past 6 am. Actually, I'm fairly confident the six hours of commute time a week AWAY from my kids actually helps keep me sane and them alive. So, that's not really a problem per se (sad baby faces as I leave not withstanding).

(Have I mentioned lately how much I love my kids?  I do.  Despite what you may have heard here.)

Now, what else was I whining about earlier? Oh, moving. Moving! Well, I'm fairly certain there will be derby now, next month, and next year, all ready for me when I am ready for it. But it also means that while I am busy living life, all my cohorts will be training hard and getting way better than me. Call it a residual neurosis from my teenage years, but I hate hate hate being left out.

And then expanding my business and essentially quadrupling my work load? It's probably better to be fit and healthy to help handle the stress.  Yes, siree.  (I think this is a particularly good rationalization, don't you?)

It seems to me that with things important yet optional to us, hobbies, bad habits, children, that we have to occasionally take stock of the situation and reevaluate it's position in our lives. Is the time, hard work and expense still worth it to me for this particular thing I do? Since it's not, you know, crucial to survival?  And actually cuts into my tv watching quite severally?  Every decision we make simultaneously opens doors and slams others. Even the good takes away stuff.  We can't do everything. I've got to ask, what is it the derby adds to me life? What does it take away?

Well, I've thought about it - I won't bore you with the details - and decided how I am going to approach this particular time and energy crunch curve ball. I am going to train as much as I can through out this move to continue to develop my skills, but I am going to make the derby learning much easier by up my general fitness with boot camp-esque workouts and endurance exercises.  Should, theoretically, help with the tiredness also.  Right?

It's the least I can do.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

mouth guard blues

Hello.  It's been awhile, yes?  My personal life lately has been a little bit, shall we say, chaotic.  Having what almost amounts to full time derby hours, by the time you add up my commute, practice times, volunteer time, and promotion time (which is all the time), is actually fairly unhelpful when you are trying to deal with life and death situations, not to mention get dinner on the table.

I would like to tell you all about my world of Brownian motion, but instead I want to talk about my mouth guard.  I have chit chatted about the mouth before, and before anyone bothers to suggest it, yes, I probably do have an oral fixation.  Who doesn't?  Especially if you are prone to embarrassing yourself by accidentally throwing your mouth guard at people.

What?!  Like you've never done it.

Okay, so a mouth guard is this thermoplastic greebly thing that gathers up spit and then leaks it down your chin when you take it out to gossip while you are supposed to be stretching.  At the same time as feeling like the mouth guard is not nice, you try very hard to avoid having your mouth guard with the rest of the world because as unpleasant as a mouth guard is, the world is much nastier

To avoid having the mouth guard come in contact with the germy, dirty, disgusting world a number of strategies have been devised to keep the two separate.  Most people have a neat little case to put their mouth guard in for storage, which is good because they usually end up in the skate bag, a whole realm of olfactory horror unto itself.

While needing the mouth guard, it is often taken out when verbally communicating because ith maketh yuu thoundth like ah idiuth and nubudy knuwths whath yuur saything.  Much of the time you end up just holding the mouth guard, twiddling it around as nervous displacement activity while the coach starts to explain the latest torture endurance drill that her twisted genius has devised, or, my personal favorite, absentmindedly chewing on it.  Mouth guards make nice teethers for babies too.

For longer breaks, mouth guards can be parked any number of places on a person.  Poking an edge in a helmet hole is popular, though I've always found that this method makes small irritating lacerations in the guard.  Other people tuck them into elbow pads and bra straps.  Admittedly, the guard stands a pretty good chance of tasting distressingly salty when back in use, but, hey, we can always use extra electrolytes while practicing, yes? 

I, myself, am trying to become a bra strap parker.  In fact, I am expending a great deal of will to remind myself to put the mouth guard into the bra. 


Well, it's because of a third way of dealing with a loose mouth guard: get a model with a little dummy string attached to it and tie it to your helmet.  When the guard is attached, then you can just spit it out and let it dangle down (leaving little drool marks across the boobs, but as you can tell, there are no perfect situations here.  Have I mentioned before how incredibly not-sexy derby is close up?) 

This tethered guard is what I had until about a month and a half ago, when I switched to a free standing model.  Unfortunately for me and everyone I play with, my brain has failed to register the change in mouth guard design.  I still believe, somehow, that if I pull my mouth guard out of my mouth and let go that the mouth guard will somehow miraculously suspend itself close by my person and not go plummeting to the floor, catching a bounce off a toe guard and ricocheting spit across various colourful and cleverly patterned knee socks.

Why can't I figure this out?  It's so simple: take mouth guard out, keep mouth guard in hand while transferring it to a secure place behind the straps of two sports bras.  Do not take mouth guard out and throw it at team mates skates, making a squishy little plelph noise when it bounces across the floor.  It's so frustrating!  I feel like I belong in some sort of derby remedial class.  I've learnt how to jump, on skates, while traveling fast and I still can't stop throwing my mouth guard at people!

Makes me think perhaps I should refrain from taking my mouth guard out at all during practice because even ifth I suund like a murun, at leth I wun't be thpitting un them.

Or go buy another mouth guard with a dummy string.  Because it seems that's exactly where I'm at right now.