Well that was certainly an action packed derby related weekend. I'm still feeling the effects from it. It all started on Friday night at training. As promised us Privates were exposed to carving for the first time at training. For those that don't do derby carving is basically a quick way of cutting across from one side of the track to the other. You can carve into an opposition player and depending how hard you get them you can push them off the track by leaning into them and hopefully create a gap for your jammer to get through. The more experienced skates carved us, I loved it and countered them all pretty well. The funny thing was FiFi's carve had more impact on me than Matron's did :) We alternated so that us freshies did the carving and then I hit a stumbling block. I couldn't hit my team mates through fear that I'd accidently hurt them if I did the wrong thing. Throughout the whole session I only attempted three carves with one of them completely missing FiFi. I felt like such a piker.
Saturday at Skatel was lots of fun with the gang. I managed to skate lower and faster which I can never seem to replicate at training. I was on the receiving end of plenty of carves from Cherry as usual which I loved. At one stage I was actively encouraging her to carve me. One time she caught me off guard when she carved me so I tried grabbing onto her so I wouldn't fall only to end up accidently gropping her boob, oops :D Hayley told me I was fearless at Skatel, I'm certainly more confident skating there but Cherry won't move our training sessions there booo! Given my fear of attempting to carve my team mates the night before Cherry was telling me to hit her. I know she meant for me to give her a derby related hit but I decided to punch her in the arm instead :D I still maintain she didn't specify what type of hit give her so I was well within my rights to punch her hehe. Poor Liz pulled a muscle in an unfortunate area and I couldn't help but laugh when she described it. I know I shouldn't have laughed but it was funny when she said it. I met some WSR freshies there too and we had a nice little chat. I'll no doubt see them over the coming Saturday's.
Roll on Saturday night and it was time for the bout. I brought along a mixture of family, friend's and neighbours who have never been to a bout before. I tried explaining the rules as best as I could and did more explaining during the bouts that I think they got the gist of it. All of them had an absolute blast and want to go and watch more bouts. I'm pretty sure I'll be bringing even more people along to the next bout. It's such a great feeling when you can show off something you love to others. It makes me proud to be involved with the sport. I can't wait until H.A.R.D starts bouting. Lyndall loved when some of skaters would do something to work the crowd up whether it would flashing their derby skinz, waving their arms etc. I promised I would do something to them when I started bouting. One of the funniest moments of the night was when my mum thought the Team Unicorns mascot was a cockatoo :D As for the bouts I love analysing them to see what the strengths and weaknesses are, what tactics are used etc. I wish there's a recording of the two bouts so I could analyse it properly but one thing that stood out was noticing a pattern from the last bout I went to and this one, there was a pivot from one side who would often skate too far ahead of the pack in their attempt to block the opposing jammer that they risked being penalised if they did hit them instead of paying attention to where the pack was. I think most people who went that night will agree that the 30 point jam by Winnie Bruise was bloody amazing and worth the entry fee alone. I also ended up talking to Bede and Mon at the bout about me being afraid to hurt my team mates at training. They were great, I think they helped me be more at ease with it. Lastly Liz and Sarah were cheerleaders for the Beauty School Knockouts for the night. No doubt Liz especially will give me crap when I'm forced to wear a dress for my sisters wedding when the photos end up on Facebook so I thought I'd get ahead of her and post her pic first :P
It was virtually empty at Skatel on Sunday morning which was great for skating but there was a group of annoying fuckers who decided to skate in the wrong direction for the entire session.At one stage Cherry, Cheya and Mon were all trying to teach me how to do a crossover. I ended up being able to parts of it but I couldn't combine them all together to do a crossover. They even got me to do scissor skating and in those few minutes I sweated more than I did for the entire session. Towards the end I tried keeping up with Cherry when we were skating laps. I'm not near her standard yet but my speed is improving. I've decided to make the Saturday and Sunday morning sessions at Skatel permanent. It's helping me with my skating and my fitness, it just means that from Friday night to Sunday night I'll be doing up to eight hours of skating/training.
At training on Sunday night we were told that we would be going through a mock up white star test just so we know what to expect when the test does come around. Since my ankle and now my heel were still hurting Cheya told me what things I shouldn't do like jumps and other things but I really wanted to push myself and see what level I was currently at so I'd go all out. I was happy with my snowplough's, t-stops were ok, I tried four point falls for the first time that night, no jumps at all and when I was getting up I wasn't using my toe stop a) because I have no confidence with these new stops and b) when I'd tilt my foot the pain in my heel got worse. Next up came the endurance test 20 laps in 5 minutes. I still couldn't do a crossover so I wasn't going to try doing them but I decided to hell with it I was going to try and skate like I do at Skatel even though the bumpy floor scared the crap out of me. So I went all out and once it was over I had nothing left in the tank and my ankle felt like it was on fire. It was definately the fastest I've ever skated at training. Matron was counting my laps, I ended up doing 19 1/2 laps. Dammit I was half a lap off from 20 that really got on my nerves, so close yet so far. The cherry on top was when we were catching our breaths back Cherry tells us 'that was your white star test'. For fuck sake!!! I've known for weeks that I wasn't going to pass on my first attempt but it still sucks when you know yourself that you haven't passed. I gave everything I had but for now it's not enough to step up so I went home shitty with myself.
I'm a bottler, I've lost count of how many things I've started over the years and given up. In roller derby I've finally found something I really want to stick with and try and be good at. This time instead of walking away I turned the disappointment and anger into something positive. I don't know why but I tend to perform better when I'm angry, I'm more focussed and don't overthink. Clearly the fear and softly, softly approach I've taken so far has held me back. It's time I start living up to my derby name. Given the size of me I haven't been playing to my full potential yet. It's time to take the shackles off and start using what I've got. Firstly I'm going back to my old toe stops because I could get up on those confidently. Next up guess what I'll be practising this week at home - yep crossovers. I have no intention of deliberately hurting anyone but I realise there's a risk I might accidently hurt someone in training, I apologise in advance! It's funny it took a knock back to finally find my feet in derby.