Training was cool, frustrating and painful all rolled into one on Friday night. I got bit of a reality check when we practising carving. When I was the one being carved I realised that some of my team mates have really improved a shitload and weren't having too much difficulty pushing me off the track, so that was a lesson for me to keep working hard at improving my game or I'll be a complete walkover on the track.
We were practising slides up and down the court and then going straight into a push up or sit up depending on which side of the court we were at. My only problem was doing the push up's because of my injured shoulder but I think the adrenaline was kicking in so the pain wasn't too bad. While doing a single knee slide and going straight into a sit up my left skate accidently used my right shin as a brake so now I've got a lumpy bruise on my shin with a graze running across the bruise from the wheel. Very hardcore :P
Towards the end of the night Matron was running us through paceline drills and we had to weave through it both front and back. Due to all the injuries I've had this was only the second time I've attempted to weave through a paceline. I thought I did ok but I also realised how tight you need to skate through the paceline because if you overskate it you go flying out of bounds and lose all momentum. Lots of short, sharp steps, got it. I just need to execute it on the track. The interesting part came when we had to weave in pairs. I was with Matron and she was really helpful because I'd never weaved in pairs through a paceline before, so my timing was pretty shite that Matron had to grab me and push me through at the right moment which was all good but then Jacqui went straight past me that I thought we were going to smash into each other so I hestitated. Matron said 'trust me' and went to push me past Jacqui but then I stacked it right onto my injured left shoulder and that was the end of my night. Good thing it happened right at the end. It looks like I'm going to have to go back to the physio who fixed my knee and ankle injuries last year. Dammit I was really hoping to avoid going back there for as long as I could.
Last week my favourite footballer Neil Mellor was forced to retire from the game due to ongoing knee problems. Big deal you say and none of you would even know him. It did make me think though. I've had similar knee problems to what he had and he had professional doctors and physio's looking after him and he still had to retire so what does that say about my situation? Is this as good as it gets for me? Are constant injuries and setbacks all I have to look forward to because no matter how hard I push myself and how badly I want to be good enough to progress and eventually bout my body can't cope with the demands of the sport. This is an ongoing internal battle I've had with myself ever since I picked up my first derby injury last year. Maybe it's just my bad habit of thinking the worst of a situation that's keeping this negative thought stuck in my head. If I ever had to quit derby for whatever reason I would want it to be my own decision and not out of my hands ie: derby ending injury etc. I don't know how most people find the demands of derby but the mental aspect of it really has a big impact on me. What to do?
On the flip side I had a frigging amazing day on Sunday. Thanks to the persistance of my trainer Suzie I entered the 4km Mother's Day Classic race at Parra Park. I didn't get too much running training in the lead up to the race and I hadn't competed in a race since I was in high school so I was expecting the worse. during the first kilometre my legs already started feeling the effects of jogging so I started walking a bit but then I eventually thought sod this and started jogging again. When I came up to 2km mark I thought I'd attempt to try and jog until the next kilometre without slowing down to a walking pace and would you believe it I did, then I thought I'd try the same for the next kilometre but I kept at it and ended up jogging right up until the finish line which completely surprised me. During all this I noticed a girl about the same size as me and around my age. I ran past her initially but then she overtook me and then started walking so that I caught up to her again but then she started running ahead of me and then walked for a while again. The funny thing was I caught her a few times looking back in my direction and would start running again when I caught up to her. I sensed a challenge and I'm extremely competitive so it was on like Donkey Kong. My only goal was to finish in front of her. We kept up the cat and mouse games right up until the end and as we were coming up to the straight leading to the finish line I thought screw you and I ran as fast as I could that my legs lost all normal feeling, and went all jelly like. Not only did I kick her arse, I also beat the time my trainer set me which was 40 minutes. I got 35mins 47 seconds so I was doubly chuffed and proud of myself which is a rarity for me because I'm extremely hard on myself. If I was able to achieve this with hardly any training imagine what I could achieve now that I'm taking up running again! I think the endurance laps we do at derby training probably helped me in the race. Apart from general soreness in my legs and back from running, I didn't pick up any injuries HOORAY! Although this wasn't a derby event, this result gave me a bit of confidence and hope that maybe just maybe my body might hold out so that I can bout one day. Winners are grinners!
So the plagiarism dramas with Central Coast Grandstand are partially sorted. Pepa sent a great, professional e-mail to them last Friday and one of the journo's replied back apologising for what happened. Whether we get a proper apology in the paper from them remains to be seen. That fuckwit Val Bridge who stole my work has yet to apologise so I'll be sending him a message telling him what I really think but keep it in a professional manner. Once again I just wanted to say a MASSIVE thank you to everyone who helped or offered to help. I was overwhelmed by the support. I guess it goes to show you mess with one derby girl you mess with us all :)
Everyone knows I love the tactical side of derby but judging by some of the crowd responses at the WIRD vs VRDL bout especially with the scrum starts not everyone is a fan. Maybe if enough people complain about the slow starts WFTDA may change the rules. I suppose the slow starts aren't terribly entertaining to watch but a part of me likes seeing the two sides make the most of the situation and get into the best position for their next tactical move. From these scrum starts we've seen new tactics form like the T-bone start so it can't be all that bad as it allows leagues to come up with new tactics. It allows the sport to keep evolving which gets a big thumbs up from me.
I'm looking forward to Saturday night. I'm going on a short road trip with some of my team mates to watch the NRDL intraleague bout between the Fort Smashleys and the Harbour Hellcats. Once again I'll be doing the write up for those who can't make it but it'll also be my last bout write up for a while so expect a killer write up (hopefully!).