Monday, December 19, 2011

All I want for Christmas...

I've found that while being off skates injured I would often have images in my head of how I imagined I'd be back on skates and it served as motivation but once I put my skates back on reality quickly shattered all those illusions. Injuries suck, trying to get back to the level you were at before the injury sucks just as much. This year has felt as though that all I've been doing is playing catch up to everyone else. I know it's not a race and that everyone develops at their own pace but there's times where I've felt that no matter how much I work my arse off to get back to where I need to be another injury pops up and I'm stuck in the same spot again. Then I have the problem of being over eager to try things beyond my level because I'm so desperate to train with everyone else even though I *know* it's beyond my current level and I get the shit's with myself and all those injuries I've had because it's stopping me from training with them. I'm starting to think that maybe it's a good time that we finished up for the year because the last couple of week's I've been so frustrated with derby that I've started becoming quite angry and that's not cool. There's times where I love and hate roller derby in equal measure.

One thing I have come to enjoy in a twisted way is endurance, even more so coming back from injury. For me there's no better way of testing your mental strength on the track. The more laps you do, the more you hurt and the more your head is screaming for you to stop that it makes it easy to want to stop but the only thing I'm trying to think is 'don't stop, just keep putting one skate in front of the other'. Once it's over and you get your breath back it's hard to not to think hell yeah I just did that :) When we were doing the endurance on Friday night in packs, I was starting to struggle a bit to keep up, my legs felt completely fucked and I couldn't keep the correct derby stance. All I could think was that if this was a bout I couldn't let my team mates down and do a lay down Sally by going off the track so I put my head down and although it didn't look pretty I kept skating and you know what I completed the endurance drill with my pack :)

Fangirl hat off for a moment, I had a pretty good chat with Cherry on Friday night. I got some tips from her on how to improve my skating technique to stop getting such a sharp pain down the side of my right leg. It was pretty cool to see that we shared similar thoughts on roller derby and the more I chat to her the more that I realise that she's probably one of the few people who really gets the struggles I'm going through with derby. She's testament that if you want it bad enough and you're willing to work hard for it you could achieve your derby goals despite all the setbacks along the way. How could you not be inspired by that?

While I was pondering over what to do with my blog I got a message from RDAU asking me on whether I was interested in doing a regular post on their website, kind of along the lines with what I do on my blog ie: thoughts, opinions and bout recaps. I thought about it and said yes, so I've basically gone from almost packing it all in to having two different writing projects in the space of a week, it's funny how life sometimes turns out :) My blog will still be my up's and down's with derby but now I've also got a chance to write to a bigger audience on all things derby which is a little daunting especially writing about derby issues to people who have bouted for ages and I haven't even scrimmaged yet. One thing I will be changing for RDAU are my bout reviews. I haven't liked the ones I've done so far for them because by trying to make them sound more professional than my blog they may have been more detailed but they were also pretty boring (in my eyes). Funnily enough the first bout review I did on my own blog got me the most attention and positive feedback, Newy and Adelaide actually linked it on their own pages. So next year my reviews will hopefully go along this sort of format - fun, factual, a little less formal and hopefully with the feeling that you were actually at the bout.

Since Christmas is the season of giving I thought I'd give you guys a laugh. I often get asked where I learnt how to write. No writing courses or anything formal, it was from a prank that went too well and ended up biting me on the arse :D Back when I was in high school and Dawson's Creek was all the rage I wrote a fake spoiler/synopsis for upcoming episodes of the show. It was about 2 1/2 pages long and I told one of my friend's that I got it from a website. She read it and loved it and started passing it around to other people in my grade and it started catching on so I was left with having to continue on with them. This went on for a few weeks but I wasn't getting my homework done on the weekend's because I was too busy writing these fake episodes. I eventually confessed that they were fake and the reactions ranged from not believing me to actually being disappointed that they weren't real haha. So there you have it :)

So my new skates arrived last week thanks to Suzie at Sydney Derby Skates :) It's the Riedell 122's with Reactor plates and my current wheels. They may not be the flashiest boots like the 265's but out of all the skates I tried from my team mates they felt the best for my shitty ankles so that's good enough for me. I love derby but I LOVE Liverpool so I customised my skates as much as I could to make them Liverpool inspired from the laces to the toe guards to the red astro nuts so it was nice to combine my two loves as much as possible. I tried them out on Sunday and after a lot of fine tuning (thanks to Mon who was my mechanic for the day!) and taking them for test skates I finally got them to a setting I was comfortable with and just skated with them until it felt like I've been skating on them for ages. The plates are a lot more responsive and I noticed a big difference when I did some carving and weaving on Sunday, it was so much easier to do both. These skates and I are going to clock up a few km's together next year on the track!

Yesterday was our final training session for the year and we're supposed to be going back on the 6th January so in the mean time I've planned a pre-season for myself involving both on and off skates work so that I can build up some momentum and hit the ground running by the time we start up training again. It also gives me a chance to bed in my new skates so Skatel, the gym and the outdoors will become my next best friend's.

I had to go for a follow up session with the physio tonight to see how my ankles pulled after resuming skating again and she said there was some tightness in the musles near my left ankle and my right ankle was swollen but she worked her magic and said I wouldn't have to book another appointment with her. She's a lovely lady and helped me get back on skates twice now but I really hope it's a very long time before I have to see her again :) I also showed her my GT-50 skate and my new 122 skate to show her the difference with what I was skating with before and what I changed to. Needless to say she thought the GT-50's were crap in terms on ankle support but she loved the 122's for the extra ankle support.

It has been a strange year for derby and I. I've have more up's from off skate stuff whether it was writing, meeting my favourite skaters, making new friend's, watching bouts etc and apart from passing my Corporal test the majority of down's I've had have been on skates. Call me selfish but I'm hoping for a better year on skates next year, it's just not the same experiencing it from the sidelines.

Lastly, to you, yes you who is reading this post, I hope you have a great Christmas and a cracking new year. No doubt I'll see you at some derby do next year :)


  1. Question for you...I'm about 6 weeks away from skating again after my ankle/leg break, about to do physio...are you wearing some kind of ankle braces/guards for extra support? I'm trying to figure out what would work best.

  2. I'm not wearing any strapping or ankle braces now. With my earlier ankle injuries I was wearing the McDavid ankle guards I've only had strained ligament type injuries and these helped me a lot. They're actually suited for someone coming back from a broken ankle as they provide extra support. The only thing to worry about is not becoming over reliant on them and wearing them long after your ankle can cope without that extra support because you'll end up weakening the muscles in your ankle.

  3. Excellent, thank you so much! Well noted...I will do my best to build the muscles up so I can skate brace free.

    Love your blog, by the way!

  4. No worries mate, happy to help :) I've never broken my ankle *knock on wood* but one thing that helped strengthen my ankles was using a wobble board. You may want to check with your doctor if you're able to use it yet but it'll help a LOT.

    Cheers mate! I love your blog too. I came across it after reading your article on the Derby Life website :)