Wednesday, August 31, 2011

jersey fix

This post is for my mates who wear the same jersey as I, but if you have ventured here through IndieTutes, Hello!  Welcome to roller derby.  Sorry for the cussing.

We have this small issue with our jerseys.  First of all, they aren't ours.  Our team is a development team and it is assumed that at some point most of the players will be moving to another team eventually.  To cut down the costs on jerseys, it was decided that we'd all wear loaners with generic numbers on them that can be passed along to another player when the times comes. 

This is working pretty good so far except for one aspect.  Our jerseys do not naturally flatter the derby girl form.  The jerseys are meant for men: broad shoulders, narrow middles.  We are women playing a sport that favors players with ample junk in the trunk.  What ends up happening is that the lower part of the jersey hugs tight to our middles, emphasizing our belly jelly while the armhole folds into flaps that make us look like a bird in flight and the shoulders continue to flare out an inch past where our shoulder's end.  The final effect is of a portly dictator of a polyester producing country in discount epaulettes. 

My country may be small and only exports polyester, but we have big guns.
Photo by Fatal Fantasy, Winnipeg Feb. 2011
How do you alter something to fit without changing the original form?  We can stitch, but we can not cut.  Most of the sides have been taken in to fit their individual hosts at this point, but the problem with the extra wide shoulders and flapping arms has been ongoing.  With the flag on our shoulder, putting darts in that area has been impossible without it looking seriously awkward.

Fatal Fantasy - Nightshade, ref, and super geek - had previously addressed the shoulder/flapping issue by ye ol' hockey tape around the shoulders fix. 

Hail! to the crow queen
Photo by Argent Dawn Photography, Red Deer March 2011

After reviewing some photos and videos of past games, Fatal decided that trying to force two pounds of polyester into spaghetti straps wasn't the most alluring option and handed it over to me to solve while we were laying track the night before.  All I could think was, I don't bloody know how to fix this!  If I did, do you think I would be skating around with shoulder fins?  

Fortunately my dithering was distracting to others because Lady Laceration - Nightshade's co-captain, jewelery maker and hydration activist - came over to see what I was gaping about.  A bit of fussing, pinching, and generally making Fatal standing in her jersey feel like a questionable melon in the supermarket, Lady suggested we gather the material below the shoulders with elastic.


Excellent idea.

This is what I did.  Seven inches below the shoulders I drew a parallel line with tailor's chalk.  Then I cut a piece of clear elastic to the desired gather.  Regular elastic, maybe 1/8" or 1/4" would be good too.   My desired elastic length turned out to be slightly shorter than the shoulder width. 


With the elastic stretched and sewn in, the final result is this:

Less flap, more boob.
photo by Adam the derby widow Aug, 2011.

Remember to use a round tiped needle (for stretchy fabric) if possible to prevent the fabric from tearing.

In theory, as with the taken in sides, this should come out without damaging the jersey.  I'm still trying to come up with more ideas to continue shaping the jerseys, but I'm a little stumped at how to create more room through the midsection.  Might have to just spend some time with this playlist instead (thank you Teri Fying).   

Monday, August 29, 2011

behind the hit

Day two after the bout is usually the worst day in terms of bangover.  It's the day when all the happy chemicals caused by adrenaline and after party shenanigans have finally run their course and now you're left with only the bruises and sore ribs to show for it all. 

Today is my day two, so you are going to have to put up with a little bit of laziness from me here.  I was going to write about our game last Saturday, where we won a blow out against OCDG's Tank'er Girls, a fine as bunch of women as you've ever want to beat (literally).  I was really looking forward to this game because OCDG is where I did my freshmeat training and benchmarks and if I had not moved to Red Deer last October, the Tank'er Girls would of been my team.  It also meant I not only got to play with my friends on the Nightshades, but also got to hit my OCDG friends.  Good night all around really.

But, due to bangover laziness, I'm feeling less analysis-y and more advice-y.  Tonight is RDRDA's freshmeat, a practice I like to go to after a game for a less intense workout and chance to stretch out while skating, and I'm thinking a lot about what it means to go from a freshmeat skater to regular player on a team.

Besides learning how to skate derby (a skill that is challenging even to accomplished inline and ice skaters), moving from freshmeat to rookie also means learning how to be an athlete and play on a team.  I know there is a certain percentage of freshmeat skaters who have athletic backgrounds (we love our rugby, hockey and ringette girls) but for so many of us, we haven't really played sports since high school where the main game was trying to figure out how to skip gym so we go for coffee and smoke cigarettes.

Considering I've done everything the hard way, from not being too active as an adult, probably partying too much, smoking cigarettes for years, having two difficult pregnancies and failing to recover from them adequately, eating too much pasta and chocolate covered almonds.  (Hmmm... chocolate covered almonds...)  Starting roller derby was like a bucket of ice water on a hot day.  Turns out this skating shit is shockingly hard fucking work.

While I may not be qualified to give great advice about skating (because I still often reassemble a giraffe on ice), nor dryland training (because between two kids and work, my only workout is being the family pack mule), nor strategy (because sometimes I'm in the middle of a jam and suddenly I'll be thinking, 'where the fuck am I?!') I am able to speak with authority about getting yourself in over your head and swimming like a fucking maniac to the surface.

If you are going to freshmeat practices and you are feeling out of place (you can read that as fat and/or scared shitless), then you need to take two steps back from Whip It! and give yourself a bit of room to get reacquainted with your body and how to care for it as an athelete.  As adults, especially as mamas, we often treat our bodies as uninteresting utilitarian tools that we only start to care for once it's broken.  Sometimes the only fix is a figurative strip of duct tape, with vitamin C capsules and an Advil, and then we go about dragging ourselves through our long list of Shit To Do.

Because we are old, because we are fat, because we are out of shape, because we are nervous, we need to take it slow.  The instinct is to jump right in and start hittin' sum bitches right away - after all, that is what we are there for in the first place - but good bitch hittin' takes a solid base of practice and skill.  That is so important, I'm going to say it again in another way: there is more to effective blocking than just launching your body at an opposing player.  You need control, fitness and technique.  My day two bangover reminds me that I need to relearn this after mostly unsuccessfully trying to control OCDG's Wytchy last Saturday.  Freshmeat practice will help you with some of that, but you are ultimately responsible for your derby-ness.  What I want to talk about right now is how to get to the point where you are ready to accept the teachings.

Hang on, it's about to get a bit Zen.

When you first go to freshmeat practices, skip the fishnets and tutu (unless you wear them all the time, in which case, go for it).  Wear what you would if you were going to the gym in hot weather.  Wear gym shorts (longer ones that the guys wear are great) or leggings.  Wear a t-shirt that you can sweat in.  I also recommend knee socks to protect the skin on your lower legs, especially if you are doing a bit on baseball slides (a stop that I usually only see used to take out the penalty box chairs as a girl slides in on a major).   Remember that much of freshmeat practice consists of feeling awkward and sore.  Don't make it worse by feeling uncomfortable in your clothes.

To practice bring your water bottle, skating gear (if you have it yet), a mouthguard (boil and bite at your local sports store), some soccer shin guards if you can (they will increase your confidence and spare you the trauma of getting a freshie skate to your shin) and, most importantly, a good fucking attitude.  A good attitude includes:

- the willingness to try anything even if it's modified greatly to suit your current skill level.
- the habit of being quiet and listening while the coach or anyone else is speaking to the group.
- the habit of assuming the best in others (even if it looks like they wanted to break your nose, assume that they threw their elbow by mistake and that they will work on not doing it again).
- some serious consideration for the safety of other skaters. Learn to control your elbows, feet, and falls before you start knockin' bitches around.
- the knowledge that even if the drill seems too easy for you, you can still learn something and be a role model for struggling skaters by doing it as perfect as possible.
- knowing the skaters around you will most likely become your teammates and it's time to develop some fierce communications skills because they are the ones who are going to protect your ass on the track one day.  Good communication includes saying something positive first and giving credit when it's due.  Speak loudly, clearly and with kindness. 
- practice time is practice time.  It is not gossip time or bitch about how hungover you are or play the pecking order sorting game.  You can tell me what an ass I am after when we're having beers (or get your blog ;)
- knowing it's not personal.  No, really, it's not.
- working your ass off until your swass and swoob soaks through your shirt.  Getting up over and over again.  Do not stop.  You can do this.

The next thing to do is to remember that you are now a derby chick even when you are not wearing skates.  Small changes to the rest of your life will help you when you are on the track.  If you can fit in regular workout at the gym, particularly something cardio, weight lifting and core exercises, then you will be so much farther ahead because of it.  Whether or not you can add extra workouts, everyone should:

- drink more water.  All the time. Use the extra peeing time to gleefully visualize hitting a jammer into a ref or study the rules.
- Make small nutritional improvements, like eating a handful of nuts instead of a chocolate bar (okay, add a couple of dark chocolate chips in, it won't hurt) or switching to whole wheat bread.  Have a salad before eating your spaghetti.  As time passes, those small changes will add up, even if they don't mean weight loss - extra pounds in derby isn't necessarily a bad thing if they don't affect your health - but you'll feel better overall and be able to use that strong and healthy body to dominate on the track.
- work your leg muscles and core at home.  Do planks and sit ups while you watch DNN.  Add a 20 second squat whenever you go to your refrigerator.  Use your kids as weights and airplane them to strengthen your legs.

The final thing you should do is concentrate on learning the game and the rules.  Derby has a lot of rules.  They are there for your safety  That doesn't mean, though, that they aren't sonnabitchin' finicky.  There are quite a few technicalities and some referees seem to wallow with great delight like a pig in muck in calling out a pivot because she's an eighth of an inch over the line or some other such nonsense.  Don't get upset at anal refs, outsmart them.  There is an ongoing evolution of the rules of flat track derby, but we all have to play with the ones there is now and not knowing them is no excuse.

So read the rules.  Go to games.  NSO whenever possible.  Talk to referees.  Ask questions.  So many rookie mistakes are made because the rules are not clearly understood and bad habits were developed during freshmeat practice.  Elbows, forearms, tripping, hitting with the head, cut tracks and back blocking penalties are often incurred for no other reason than the player didn't practice it before the game.  Get to know what the rules are and then train within the guidelines.

Remember when I said there was more to hittin' bitches than just hittin' bitches?  (Or something to that effect.)  When you are playing, having a positive attitude, solid fitness and knowledge all comes together into a hit worthy of pictures.  Good attitude means your hit will be clean and effective, having paid attention during practices to learn the technique and legality.  Solid fitness means you'll be able to get into position and time it right.  Plus you won't be tired and sloppy, throwing yourself off the track at the same time.  Knowledge means less time in the penalty box and making that hit double effective by using the rules to force the other player to come in even further behind the pack.  The rules (as physically manifested by the referees) are your friends or your enemies.  Know them and you can use them.  Ignore them and, as derby Yoda says, in the box you must sit.     

Last Saturday I had a fairly hit-y game for me.  Most of my 'hits' were actually jammer force outs and I happily backed my ass up on the track to slow them down even further, but I was more engaged than ever and I never once went to the box.  Today I received the best compliment from a teammate in reference to last weekend's game.  She told me, "You hit them bitches real good."  I'm so proud of this, especially considering how much work it has taken me to get to this point.  And I believe her, because it takes one good bitch hitter to know another.   

Skate, Brixxx, Skate!
Lexis on Fire taking aim on Brixxx HitHouse
Photo by Sandra Deevil, courtesy of SmackBook Pro

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Am I tough enough to be pleasant?

Apparently not.

While playing derby has helped me overcome my fear of confrontation with random strangers and bitchy clerks, it appears it has also taken down some of my walls which prevent me from being nice when I don't have to be.

For those of us walking around with general rage against everything, derby is no way helpful.  I know that there is a popular belief that says that playing a physical sport, especially a contact one, helps diffuse violent tendencies, but I haven't found that at all.  I think it actually stokes my rage a bit.  Sort of like how venting doesn't make anyone feel better, it just creates a bad habit of whining.

So, to the minivan lady in the crowded parking lot, who idled close to my kids while they were waiting for me to join them at the car, forcing all the drivers to go around her while dodging tiny pedestrians, when you pulled close to demand if I was actually leaving or not, I'm sorry I went on the defensive and snapped at you.  What I should of said was, 'yes, I am leaving,' and failed to say anything more, except maybe to politely direct you to the nearly empty parking lot behind the building.  Of course, I didn't shut up after giving the basic information, but I do believe there was little smile at the end of my choice words, though I fear it was more of the sarcastic type.

I really am a nice person.  It's just that I forget sometimes.

Feeling hot, cranky and aggressive is a bad combination for a woman hauling around small children.  There are so many small slights, so much thoughtless behavior, so many near misses on the road that it's very easy to feel justified when you decide to figuratively drop the gloves with someone equally cranky in a parking lot.  But, when I think about it with some emotional distance, I can't see how the solution to rude is to be rude right back.  I think of how strong people are made stronger by showing restraint.  By giving people the benefit of the doubt.  Keeping cool even in the face of extreme provocation.  I would be so easy to go off on another person, because I typically assume I am smarter and stronger, plus I frequently hit people for fun, but where would that lead me?  And, holy fuck, my kids are watching!

I can hear the snickers now by those who know me, but I actually began college learning to become a social worker.  I lasted one whole semester before I transferred my freaked out self right out of there into an academic stream, but my application essay comes to mind frequently.  I was asked to write about someone I admire and I choose to write about Mother Teresa, who was all kinds of awesome.  It is her example of compassion and mercy that pops guiltily to mind every time I find myself using hip checks to navigate the frozen food section or screaming out the window at bad drivers to, 'Put some skates on, bitch!'

What would Mother Teresa do?  I like to think that she would indeed put some skates on and come kick my punk ass, but I know she wouldn't.  She would probably just shake her head sadly at the way I allow my anger to move me through the world and perhaps give me some soup.  Put me to work with leper kids or something. 

The world does not need more ugly, especially from me.  My goal right now is to practice patience and control.  To take the next step beyond being a bad ass.  To say, yes, I could throttle that very annoying person, but I'm choosing not to because I'm a good person, fuckingdamnit.

Maybe some of this emotional control will transfer to the track.  Or maybe they're right, and I can bottle it until it's time to open up a can of whoop ass (which I'm not entirely the meaning of, but I'm starting to suspect it involves cow bells somehow).  Or maybe I'll just get into the habit of seeing people with a more compassionate eye and treating them accordingly.  As long as it doesn't interfer with derby.  Because right now I'd rather be the hammer and the nail, even if it doesn't make me popular with minivan ladies.

Got to have priorities, you know?

Monday, August 22, 2011

derby diffusion

I've talked about how the rest of my life becomes irrelevant when playing derby, but I didn't tell the other side of this story.  Derby may seem impermeable when viewed from the track, but it has, in fact, infected the rest of my life much like an aggressively cancerous tumor.  There is nothing anymore in my real life that has not, in some way, been tainted with derby.

Besides the little things, like the tendency to open doors with my ass and remembering only after I've hip checked my husband in the kitchen that I should of asked him to, 'pardon me, please' instead, The Way of the Derby has rooted itself in my primary ways of dealing with shit.  I don't think derby has changed who I am, but it has changed how I move in the world.

I've begun borrowing heavy from derby when I'm dealing with my kids.  When crossing the street or in a busy store, I yell, 'pack up!'  When they fight, I find myself wadding in and shouting, 'Illegal hitting zone!  Major!  Two minutes!'  Or when leaving the movie theatre I call, 'Snake on Smootch!' and we all manage to get out together single file.  

I also handle other people differently now.  I have always been a little understated socially, particularly in larger groups, and very much avoided physical contact.  Learning to play derby, I've had to fight my own social conditioning and learn to speak up.  Also is my instinctive tendency to move back when someone gets too close.  My first few games in particular, I used to shy away from other skaters, which made it appear as I was avoiding hits (while moving myself just far enough away for another blocker to get a good run at me) and I was missing opportunities to effectively positionally block.  This is an ongoing challenge for me and I am working on it by sticking my ass into any set of hips that may present themselves on the track and touching everybody that I can, just to let them know where I am and to continue to break this conditioning.

Guess it's not surprising then that I'm also starting to push back in real life.  When confronting a difficult person, be clerk, friend or landlord, instead of stepping back to avoid a conflict, I find myself now leaning forward and maintaining eye contact in an unmistakable display of combativeness.  If my life was filmed by National Geographic, a voice over would be announcing how my wide legged stance and attempt to physically loom over the bank teller is not-so-subtle display of dominance and that, no, I will not be paying an extra fee for this withdrawal.  Sometimes if the other person is equally disinclined to back down, I imagine I can hear the screams of a troupe of chimpanzees, excitedly circling around to watch a fight.   

Or in the pub, when buddy is too sloppy drunk to read body posture that already says, 'Fuck. Off.' gets too close, then I no longer try to spare any feelings or dilute my message with pleasantries in order to avoid something ugly.  I find my new appreciate for succinct message to actually be easier and less messy, though it isn't making me too popular among the lecher crowd. 

Not saying I wasn't a bitch before I started derby, but I know I am just so much more now.  I have to wonder about the few times both my derby and my mama bear selves have been simultaneously activated and how it might have been for someone on the receiving side of things facing someone who isn't impressed by swagger or intimidated by tattoos and muscles.  When they've cut through the playground on their drunken stroll and tried to menaced a three year old when his seemingly inoffensive looking soccer mom in nonthreatening baggy capris and sweater set suddenly takes three rapid steps towards you and rips you a new one? 

Which brings me to another way derby has affected my non-derby life: letting it go.

I am a dweller, muller, and sulker.  I have a hard time not taking things personally.  I can't let things go, particularly my own mistakes.  I've been beating myself up long before I anyone else thought to do it on skates.  But derby provides so many ways to make mistakes and look like an asshole that the sheer amount of gaffs, biffs, and fuck ups is overwhelming and de-sensitizing my critical self.  After awhile I either have to learn to let the last jam or bad driver or hurtful dig or unfair accusation go.  Otherwise I become overwhelmed and can't focus on the task in front of me or the big blocker who has been gunning for me.

Fall down.  Pick self up.  The more I practice, the easier it becomes.  No matter what happens during a jam, there is someone on the bench who will tell you what you should of done instead.  No matter how awesome you are, somebody is going to knock you down.  There is no way to get through it all with getting some bruises, both inside and out.  The real mark of a good player, and integrity, is what you do afterwards.  Are you going to get up and continue?  Are you going to hold onto to it and ruin the party after?  Are you going to let some bully push you around or are you going to push back?  And the biggest question of all, are you going to take it personally and carry it with you? 

Well, I'm still working on it all.  Letting the physical confidence I'm gaining from derby help me where I need to stand up and then learning on how to let it go, no matter how it happens.  I've suggested before that there may be an aspect of zen in derby and I'm becoming more convinced as time goes on.  As much as derby has created some difficulties in the rest of my life (see: time management, monetary resources) it has also given me lots of good stuff to carry around.  Not to mention an impressive selection of expletives by which to tell off bratty kids, random drunks and bank tellers. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

derby vision

It often feels like roller derby happens in a bubble of non-reality.  This past weekend I drove four hours to NSO and play in a three game invitational with the Gas City Rollers and for a just about two whole days the rest of my life didn't exist.  I had no bills to pay, work to be done, no family to care for, no problems at all.  The whole of my person cared about just two things: playing and officiating derby. 

Don't worry, be derby.

I'm guessing here, but I think I'm not the only one experiences derby tunnel vision.  For instance, I just friended Cherri Blaster from Deathbridge on facebook.  Cherri's religious and political views?  She lists them both as: Derby.  Her favorite quote is Sk8 or Die. 

I'm almost certain that Mr and Mrs Blaster provided Cherri with a rounded education in literature, science and rock music and that somewhere under the girl who wears panties on her head is a three dimensional woman with well thought-out political convictions and a complicated personal history.  She may not even list 'wicked ass jammer' on her CV.   

But what the fuck do I care?  She's a derby and that's pretty much all that matters when we're both wearing skates.  The only real question is, jam or block?

Sad Cherri Blaster
Picture by Sandra DeeVil, courtesy of Smackbook Pro

Derby takes away my mundane problems the same way a coma would.  I'm in an altered state of mind.  When practicing, playing, even thinking about derby, the To Do list is wiped clean from my head and my world becomes a very simple, abet painful, place. I know my job: skate, block, party.  I stop even responding to my given name.  It is very much like what I think being hypnotised would be like.  I look like myself, I even act like me, but I'm quite open to the most outrageous suggestion.

It makes sense.  When playing derby, you need to apply your full attention to the task otherwise someone is knock your ass into the bleachers.  You learn quickly that worrying about the electric bill or the state of your marriage can hurt badly because it stopped you from keeping your eye on that big bitch that's been trying to sit in your lap all night or, worse, you let the jammer go by untouched.  Even the deeply entrenched stuff gets pushed aside: self consciousness, feelings of inferiority, that chronically itchy spot on your shoulder.

It's a Pavlovian conditioning to become single minded whenever the derby gear is is donned.  When the tights come on there is no illness, no crime, no war, no poverty, no Big Stuff.  There is only derby.

It's beautiful.

At first it took awhile to switch off my faculty for critical thinking but now I find it comes shockingly easy.  I have several professors from college who would be horrified.  I can go from responsible, rational adult to someone who is not only willing, but eager, to use her ass to beat you into submission in under 60 seconds.

Derby causes as reversal of the regular rules of social interactions.  When a good friend who happen to be playing on the opposite teams tells me in a voice muffled by my backside to 'fuck off' mid-jam I feel extraordinarily pleased.  Or another friend, also on the other side, takes a minute after the game to mention that I am extremely annoying and she's sick of seeing my name bar, well, I just swell up with pride.   

This is why we have pseudonyms.  To protect our responsible adult minds from the single minded punk ass hooligan that is our derby personality.  To be able to look someone in the eye after tell you that they twisted their ankle on their own ass.  And to be able to wear fishnets and booty shorts in public without feeling like a jerk.

Now I'm back home, and the regular stuff is crashing down on me, I'm finding switching from derby brain back into normal person isn't nearly as easy.  Mr Hyde doesn't want to be Dr Jekyll quite yet.  Mr Hyde was having fun.  Maintaining this blog is one way to segue myself, to lessen the jarring impact of switching between sociopathic derbyland and my regular mama self who is quite polite, thankyouverymuch, and tries to stay out of the way of danger.  A little transition before I put on the brakes to keep myself from face planting.

But I am looking forward to helping out at our freshmeat practice tonight.  I love meeting new skaters and watching the cranky buds of future derby girls take root and blossom.  To see the ability to focus on the game develop and the willingness to let the rest fall away, at least for the moment. 

To slip into what the new agey folks like to call the Now, as generally sweaty and unsavory as that moment may be, is as good for the rest of your life as six months of therapy or a tropical vacation.

Besides bruises, amazing butt muscles and nothing to wear that doesn't have a derby team logo on it, this clean scrubbing of my mind is what I am left with after practice and bouts.  I think that after not thinking about anything more than hitting and being hit, I feel quite refreshed and motivated to knock a few things off the To Do list.  More appreciative of my loved ones.  It is, in actual fact, much more wholesome than what any smack-talking, booty blocking derby girl might have you believing when watching her on the track.

Or not.  Frankly, derby brain doesn't want to think about it anyway.  It just skates, blocks and parties.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


I have a bit of a cold. 

Hahahaha!  That was me trying out a bit of understatement and it kind of tickled.

I DO have a cold.  But it's more a possession by a demon called Cold.  It snuck in like a ghost blocker and felled me.  I'm haunted by Cccccoooolllldddd.  An evil Cold that sends chills and shivers up the spine while wracking my body with coughing spasms that bring up extremely unpleasant chunky fluids.

Frightfully malevolent, Cold has taken a life of it's own.  Cold has filled my sinus cavities up with an ectoplasmic substance that threatens to drown me and anyone unfortunate enough to be around with a shower of something obscene.

Cold has set up camp in my chest.  It's been a bit worrisome, what with gagging coughing that comes as Cold settles in, and the sharp pains I've assumed has been from tacking up its favorite Twilight posters to make the place more welcoming for its roommates Fever, Aches, and Addiction to Reality TV.

I've been really good while trying to oust Cold.  I've been drinking lots of hot drinks with mint, (almost) no alcohol, resting, small amounts of gentle exercise and the occasional fit of impotent rage to keep the blood flowing to my extremities.  According to Dr. Internet, I should wait another week before I go bother a real live doctor with my cough and yellow phlegm.  I am trying but I'm not really getting better.  And there is so much stuff to do that is piling up and has no sympathy for me and my battle with Cold.

Like playing derby. 

I did try the derby cure.  Well, a bit of cure and a bit of a test.  I needed to know I would be physically capable of playing this weekend in an invitational signed up for over a month ago.  I went to practice last night and did my best not to infect my teammates.  Getting out of the house and breathing in all the fresh arena air with it's invigorating dust and mold spores should be good for me, right?  I'm not totally nuts, there is some history here.  I have tried derby before to cure a head cold and have met with some, abet temporary, success.  I think scrimmaging, at the very least, proved to be a pretty good distraction to some sinus discomfort.

Last night, however, did not provide the same level of distraction.  I did do practice just fine, though there were some shaky moments during the endurance part of the evening, and other than adding a nose blow and a good cough to my itinerary whenever a water break was called, it really wasn't so bad.  I never felt good, but I didn't feel really bad either.  I was feeling like maybe I can do this!

The drive home, however, Not So Rockin'.  By the time I pulled in the driveway, Cold was sufficiently stocked for his counter assault on my lungs to leave me reeling.  I was quite the picture, trying to hang up my sweaty derby gear to dry while demonic tics worked their way through my body, snuffling and trying not to pull a Slimer all over my knee pads. 

And coughing!

No, better to try to forget the coughing.  Not pretty.

This morning, after vowing to quit smoking before I realized that I did 10 years ago, I decided to withdraw from this weekend's invitational.  Which I'm really sad about because I wanted to go push around some really awesome bitches.  I'll have to wait until the end of the month now to get 'em.

I also did a bit of looking around on the weird and wonderful Internet to try to ascertain whether or not one should exercise heavily while sick.  The general opinion of such prestigious sources such as The Mayo Clinic and all the other articles that quoted the Mayo Clinic, it is okay to exercise normally with a cold if your symptoms are above your shoulders.  If, however, you've got a chest congestion, best to just rest until you've recovered.


So, back with the mint tea and steamy showers and trying to loosen Cold out of my chest.  Which is too bad because while derby may not be the best thing for my body right now, it is the best for my head.  I miss skating and I miss the track and I even miss the dusty, moldy arena air.  A few days without a real practice and I start creating impromptu practices while going about my daily business.  Like positional blocking with carts at the grocery store (always a good one to enrage any irritating fellow customers) or using hip checks to open doors or move inopportunely positioned husbands in the kitchen.

Here is me looking at the bright side and trying not to sulk.  Next week, if I'm not better for league scrimmage, I can NSO, which would help me out for when I go to the OCDG's ref clinic in November.  And I can also put on a whistle for my team practice and call out penalties (that'll make me popular).  And when I am cut off in traffic and must cuss out another driver, I can call them a Fucking Demonic Cold and know that I've called them the nastiest thing there is. 

And I will remember that I've managed to get up so far every time someone, or something, has knocked me down.  That What Does Not Kill Me and such garbage.  Still, if anyone knows of a good exorcist, message me!