Thursday, January 27, 2011

Doctor doctor help me

For a week that started quite brightly it quickly turned to crap. I guess you have to take the good with the bad, but dammit the bad sucks right now. So how did I end up in this position? Well it all started when...

I was pretty happy with my exercise routine so I thought I'd push myself and go to the boxing class on Saturday morning before skating. I went to both and did about 3 hours of exercise in total which I was pleased with but I was knackered by the end of it. Skating was once again brilliant, I learn more and more each time I go there. Atomic Cherry is a brilliant teacher, she'll pick out what you're doing wrong and tell you how to improve. This week it was learning how to shift the center of gravity onto one foot which leads into learning how to do crossovers. Cherry being Cherry gave me different off skate exercises to do to help improve on this. The beauty of these Saturday skating sessions is that we're getting more derby folk going from all different levels so the potential to learn and make friend's increases big time.

I have to admit I was supposed to go for a run on Monday night but ended up staying home and catching up on CSI episodes. It wasn't very productive but at least I've caught up on CSI. Yeah that was a rubbish excuse.

Tuesday comes around and it's hot as buggery. I thought I would have sweated my body weight's worth of sweat but it didn't quite turn out that way. With both Emma and Nerds not able to make it we had Betty B. Prayin' take over the training session. There was no messing with her, we got stuck right into it. One of the first things we learnt was the change of direction move. I was trying to do it but I couldn't do it properly. I pushed it and then stacked it with my left leg going at a weird angle. My knee started to hurt a little but I thought I'd be to skate it off. We then partnered up and did another change of direction drill. I still couldn't do it. I pushed myself again and wouldn't you know it I stacked it again this time twisting my left ankle but it didn't really hurt that much by that stage. So I'm 2/2 in regards to stacks and injuries. We move onto t-stops and it's going ok until I overbalance and stack it once again, thankfully I fell forwards onto my pads so I didn't pick up an injury. We started some endurance skating and I can feel the pain in my knee get worse. I go off and get it iced but I started getting angry with myself for being so crap and getting myself injured while everyone else seems to get it just fine. I got up to skate again, it still didn't feel 100% but I didn't want to look weak. We then got taught how to do single, double and 4 point slides. I started doing the single slides but the pain got worse so I sat it out feeling dejected because I wanted to be out there skating.

On the drive home all these negative thoughts came out. I was crap, everyone else was going to make up to white star level and I'd be stuck behind. Was I ever going to make to bouting level? etc etc. I find it easy to get stuck in this mindset so I usually give up pretty easy. Being a public holiday yesterday I didn't do much and rested my leg. With all the strapping and braces my leg looks like its been into battle. Trying to get myself out the negative mindset I thought to myself how I could try and improve my skating skills once the injuries wear off. If it means having to get up early in the morning and going skating before work I'll do it. If it means I have to stay back and not progress with the rest of the group up to white star level then so be it (even though it'll suck). Funnily enough I was flicking through a magazine yesterday and found this quote 'A negative attitude is like a flat tyre - you're not going far until you change it'. It reminded me of my current situation so I thought I'd apply it to help me get back on track. Right now I'm still injured but I'm hoping I'll be able to skate on Saturday, if not hopefully Tuesday.

Here's hoping for a better week! 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

All I do is grunt and groan

What's with the strange heading? I've had this line in my head for the past few days. Before your minds go in the gutter it's a line from Weird Al's Living with a hernia (a parody to the music of Living in America by James Brown). Thankfully I don't have a hernia but I've certainly pushed myself this week in terms of off and on skating training hence why the line has been stuck in my head. With all this mention of Weird Al here's a link to the video clip for Living with a hernia - pure genius!

Ness and I went for our regular Saturday session at Skatel but this time we catch up with Atomic Cherry the lady who started WSR. She was brilliant. She answered all our questions and gave us lots of tips. To be able to now learn from her on a weekly basis is a major plus. She began showing me how to do crossovers (for you non-derby folk they look something like this)

I still can't do them yet but I will one day after no doubt enduring many stacks in the process. One thing I noticed is that I still have this fear of falling so I'm not pushing myself as much I know I can while I'm skating. I'm going to have to get over it otherwise I'll only progress so far.

Ness and I went skating outdoors on Sunday arvo. I was really pleased with how much more comfortable I am now skating outdoors after my first disasterous attempt. I tried skating in the opposite direction that I skate when I go to Skatel and my legs started killing me. When you constantly skate in the one direction your body gets used to it but you're also favouring one side of your body which means you'll have one strong leg and one weak leg. I made a mental note to start skating in a clockwise direction when I'm skating outdoors to build up the strength in my right leg.

Monday I started running while listening to week one of the couch to 5km podcast and quite frankly it sucked as I'm extremely unfit and overweight. The one plus was that I was able to run more than my last attempt. Dammit though I have to stick with it as I've set myself some big goals and I need to do this to achieve them.

Tuesday night we didn't have a skating training session. WSR organised a gym endurance session at Penrith. It was quite funny seeing a large group of tattooed and bright coloured hair women from all shapes and sizes overtake a gym. First off we had a spin bike class. My legs were sore from running the night before so no surprise it sucked but I stuck it out. Towards the end when we had to stand up and cycle I was so stuffed that I wouldn't have been suprised if a granny with a walking frame would have walked faster than I was cycling at that stage. We then had a circuit where we teamed up and had to do various physical activites. Because we were changing so quickly to go to the next activity it wasn't hard. I think we spent more time laughing and having fun in that session then busting a sweat.

Last night I had my session with Joe at the gym. His motto is 'Don't stop' so it's not surprise there's been times where I've almost thrown up over the time he's trained me. He pushes you beyond your limit which is exactly what I need as I tend to fall to the ground and give up when I hit the proverbial wall. Last night was no different. The funniest moment was when I had to run across the gym while dragging Joe for some resistance training. I probably looked stupid but who cares!

One last thing for those non-derby folk if you don't know by now when you do derby you need to have a derby name. It has to be completely original, no other person involved in derby can have it. Naturally most of us freshies have already begun thinking of names. I've got two in mind. The thing is you can't really say it before you've registered the name as someone else might take it. Here's a link to the official list there's some pretty cool names on there! If anyone has any suggestions for my derby name feel free to suggest it!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

And away we go

Well its certainly been an action packed week. Ness and I went for usual Saturday session at Skatel, it was packed with little kids so it was hard to get going. We didn't stay too long but I managed to win one of the games they have and got a free slurpee for my troubles woohoo!

On Sunday Ness and I went to Skatenance it was a skate maintenance workship held by Squeaks Bye! one of the members of WSR and it was brilliant. We were taught the best way to maintain your skates and how to clean the wheels and bearings and what to look out for in terms of wear and tear. We also learnt some tips on how to maintain our pads so that we don't stink to high heaven. Ness and I met some other members of WSR and they were all nice and offered tips and advice.

Roll on Monday night and all signs of nervousness were gone about starting the fresh meat class on Tuesday night. I was rearing to go even though I knew I was going to suck at it. Tuesday night comes and we get there 20 mins before it starts, Ness is nervous to the point of almost making herself ill and none of us could calm her down! We were training at the Penrith PCYC and sharing the basketball court with the white stars (the next level up from fresh meat). There was 20 of us fresh meat which I'm told was the biggest fresh meat group they've had so far, they had 5 in the last intake. There's no other way to describe the whole scenario except that it felt like starting kindergarten all over again. There's us fresh meat, most of us not knowing each other and then you've got the white stars and some fully qualified derby girls looking on. There was all different levels from those skating for the first time to those who had a good idea on what to do and the rest of us in between. Major Dil-Emma was training us with Pollywanna Hackher helping out too. The first thing we did was learning how to stand up without using your hands which is easier said than done especially when you have all the gear on, it requires a lot of strength in your legs. Ness was the first person to stack it. We were told that whenever anyone stacks it everyone has to clap, so fair to say there was a bit of clapping throughout the night! Here's a pic of most of us freshies listening to Lil' Miss Payne giving us some instructions

I wasn't pissed off in that picture, it was more I was trying to stand still without rolling away haha. Bit of a side note why the green helmet and skate laces you ask (if you are in fact asking) well it's because WSR's colours are green and black. Bit of trivia the helmet I have is the same one Ellen Page's team uses in Whip It. When it came to stretching I was discovering muscles I never knew I had.

Major Dil-Emma takes us through various walking drills which is a little hard as you start rolling. She then starts teaching us a couple of stopping moves like the snow plough and t-stop. For those non-derby folk it's the first two stopping moves in this video

I was trying the t-stop for the first time and it was a bit hard at first as one leg is going straight and the other is dragging on the ground in a perpendicular direction to stop you. I almost stacked it a couple of times, then I got the hang of it after a while, it wasn't quite a 100% but nothing a bit of practise won't sort out.

It was so humid and there was no fans or air con so after a while it felt like I'd jumped in a pool with my clothes on. My feet were hurting but surprisingly I coped alright, I only stopped once and that was to loosen my laces as I was getting pins and needles in my toes because the laces were probably on too tight. We also learnt the correct derby stance which was described by Major Dil-Emma as 'picture going to the public toilets and they don't look too good so you have to squat down' haha. Towards the end of the night I started feeling physically sick but thankfully I didn't end up doing an Exorcist impersonation

During one of the drills I noticed I wasn't as un-co on skates and I could stand up without feeling as though I'd roll away which pleased me. One of the drills towards the end was skating up and down the court while practising the t-stop and snow plough. Getting a bit more cocky confident I started to pick up some speed and try the t-stop, a few times I almost landed on my backside. I quickly discovered that my wheels are grippy on the basketball court surface so to do it properly I needed to get power from my thighs which I knew I would pay for dearly the next day. Here's a pic of me during one of the drills while smiling. I was smiling at random moments as I was having fun even some parts took a while to get used to.

Once we finished and stretched to cool down I cannot describe the relief I felt taking off the pads and skates, I felt cooler right away. The girls from WSR were brilliant they were happy to help no matter how un-co you were or however stupid your question was.

So while I've started fresh meat I won't be bouting anytime soon. It usually takes at least a year to work your way up the grades until you're ready to bout. It goes like this:

Fresh meat - no scrimmage work (so no smashing into people)
White star
Yellow star - you're allowed to bout in your own league
Orange star - you're allowed to bout in inter leagues

So for now I'll be working my way up and one day I hope to be in a bout up against GodJilla Sold Separately (my favourite opposition blocker) seen here about to take out Major Dil-Emma

Today I woke up with sore legs but I got out of bed without any trouble. My legs just felt stiff and sore the whole day. I've caught the roller derby bug so it's safe to say I'll be sticking with this. Until next week folks!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Crisis of faith/A call for action

I hope everyone had a good Christmas and New Years, here's hoping for a good 2011.

This post is a double header as various things have happened the last couple of weeks which went something like this (those who watched Puddle Lane as a kid will appreciate this)

My best friend Chris and I went down to Callala for our annual getaway. I was taking regular walks on the beach. I also improvised and tried some roller derby related training - I would charge into oncoming waves and imagine they were opposition blockers or jammers. I quickly learnt by lifting my arms too high I exposed my rib area and it hurt when the waves hit that area, so there's a lesson to take out onto the roller derby track - keep your arms down and protect your rib cage.

As the 11th January approaches I'm becoming more a nervous wreck and it's annoying me. I guess it's mostly down to the fact that it becomes real. There's 20 of us starting the freshmeat course so there will be people at various levels, I'm just worried I'll be left behind while everyone progresses onto the star levels, hell I can't even do crossovers yet. I really want to pass the same time as my sister, Ivy and Jo. My lack of fitness will be a huge stumbling block. I think I need to calm down and see how the first training session goes (hopefully I don't break anything!)

To combat my nerves I've done a few things over the past fortnight. Firstly I printed up some pics of some of my favourite skaters and picturing bouting against them in the future as motivation. I'm fixing up the board in my room and putting up the pics and other bits of derby tips and requirements as a checklist. It gives me something to focus on. I've also created a weekly exercise planner so that I've got some direction, the good thing is that I'm sticking to it although I must admit I lost the last two days as I was catching up on the 4th season of Brothers and Sisters which was naughty of me hehe.

During the holiday break Vanessa and I managed to get 3 solid days of skating practise. It was actually pretty productive as I can feel my skating is improving. The little kids skating at the centre have actually proved to be helpful, they're excellent for weaving around which is good practise for those wanting to be jammers (unless you're Ness and you just plough into the back of them!). Ness is great to skate with, she keeps going like a little Duracell bunny while I'm half dying and my feet are killing me so it makes me get up and skate more.

Until next time folks....