It was off the sidelines and onto the track on Friday night. I had decided beforehand that I was going to sensible for once and spend the weekend getting my skating mojo back instead of going straight into full training so I spent my time hovering between the freshie training session and just skating by myself. I'm glad I did because I was rubbish on my skates on Friday. I had absolutely no rhythm with my skating and my back and quad muscles were aching pretty quickly. I felt like a freshie all over again. I even managed to trip over a clump of dirt that was on the track and landed on my left shoulder AGAIN so its been protesting since then but I've still got full movement in it which is good. As the weekend progressed and the longer I skated I felt it all coming back.
Saturday morning I went up for the NRDL social skate. Cass wasn't feeling well so I didn't get to skate with her but there were a few familiar faces there so I had a chat with them. I managed to make a dickhead of myself (now there's a surprise...NOT) Rum n Rola came up and said hi to me and I did not recognise her at all. I've only ever seen her all geared up while bouting for the Hellcats. So I asked her who she was and when she told me I felt like such a dumbarse! Skating wise I was feeling a lot more comfortable on my skates. I was getting back into my groove. I was skating for longer and trying some advanced skills the longer I skated. It was also pretty cool because that's the same venue that the Smashleys and the Hellcats bout. I decided to have a bit of fun and pretend I was a Smashley from time to time as I was skating around hehe. They've got an amazing set up there. The space is big enough for the derby track but then there's all the room that is taken up by seating during the bouts so people could use that empty space to practise on their own or in groups. You could pretty much treat the social skate like an extra training session. If I lived closer I'd be there every Saturday morning.
After the bout I went to pick up the Jilla pic I won at the auction. DangeRass met me there. I got to see the exhibition properly this time around and not through the windows like last time when it was locked haha. I ended up chatting with Danger for over an hour on all things derby. It was ace. We kind of think the same on some issues in derby and she's not into all the political crap that sometimes plauges the sport. She may have mentioned that we can go up and skate with NRDL and that they'd be happy to send some guest coaches to one of our training sessions. To say I was grinning from ear to ear at that would be an understatement :D
There's been a lot going on behind the scenes in and out of derby. After doing and dealing with things by myself for years I've gotten bit of a support network happening and I find it helping in all areas of my life so that it's now spreading into derby for me. I've been taking on the good advice I've been getting instead of sticking with my bad habits. Instead of ignoring pre existing injury problems until my body keeps breaking down with injuries I've been easing myself back exercise wise and following my trainer's instructions. Yeah there's a part of me that has a mental list of all these extra kinds of exercises I want to do but this approach is allowing me to work to the level my body can handle for the time being without breaking it even further.
Another good bit of advice I'm following is channeling the intensity and competitiveness I have when it comes to sport into more productive means. Instead of cracking the shits with myself because I can't do a certain skill and being in a foul mood I'm trying to have fun while still giving it my all at training. If this past weekend was to go by it felt like a weight of expectation got lifted from my shoulders and I starting to skate more freely. I'm not going to become a kick arse skater overnight but I think these changes I'm making will probably help reduce the amount of injuries I have so I may start to improve faster I hope!
Whenever I've been injured I've tended to hang around Team Zebra. Although I couldn't skate, I felt as though I was still learning. I like the ref's in our league they know their rules pretty well and they're pretty approachable. One of our ref's Dandemonium is bit of a strategy guru so I've enjoyed chatting with him the last few weeks when it comes to rules and strategies because I've learnt a lot from him. I reckon he'd make a kickarse bench manager. I've got much love for Team Zebra, they've got a thankless job but they're also a great source of useful information when it comes to derby.
I decided to make my big two of Cherry and Jilla into a big three consisting of Cherry, Jilla and Brigand Strong from Newy. That's my final favourite skaters list. I won't be adding to it haha. Sure there's probably more 'star' players out there but these three all had an impact me and the skater I want to be.