In last week's post I set myself some pretty big goals in regards to getting up to scrimmage level and also going up to train with Newcastle. I got the checklist from our head trainer on what skills I need to demonstrate to move up to scrimmage level to help me focus on what I need to do. Also the chance to train with Newcastle won't come around often so I want to take this opportunity with both hands. I also made the decision not to allow my fear's stop me from moving forward.
Training on Friday night gave me a great chance to test out my newly discovered confidence as Cherry took us through various weaving, pack work and hitting. Things I would usually try to avoid doing. I was getting a lot of help from my awesome team mates whether it was when I was partnered with Dobie when we were weaving through a paceline, Gina helping me out with transistions or getting feedback when I tried to do various hitting exercises, they were all a great help. Not even the tendon in my leg which played up and forced me off the track for a few minutes could put me out of the 'zone'. I was forcing my way through a pack and laying off hits, sure there's room for improvement and I could be more forceful on my way through the pack but I ended up surprising myself but how much I pushed myself and how the fear's of serious injury didn't eventuate when I skated in a close pack or when I fell. It's funny how a bit of confidence and belief can make you take on things you would normally try to run away from. While everyone else was cooling down and de-gearing after training Cherry and I went for a few more laps around the track pushing and hitting each other. Maybe I'm still stuck in a state of awe from what she can do on a derby track but for some reason I tend to lift a gear out of somewhere when I come up against her. Although I'm yet to get the better of her I love coming up against her on the track.
Last Saturday my fellow HARDies bouted against the Blue Mountains league. I put my hand up to bout commentate which I had never done before. To be honest I can't remember much of the bout because I was so focussed on what to commentate on I didn't get the chance to watch the bout as I normally would. I was trying so hard to stay professional and not say anything inappropriate or sound like too much of a fan that I thought I sounded boring. By the second half the conservative approach was wearing thin so I may have slipped in a few inappropriate comments like when Killabee got sent to the penalty box when she was jamming hehe. I have to thank Big Kahuna once again because he was a great help before and during the bout with his tips and advice. I simultaneously grinned and blushed when I introduced myself to the crowd because my team mates gave me a big cheer :) Most people know I pronounce derby the English way instead of the American way that most derby folk do. Things were going ok until my team mates all in unison yelled out DER-BEE one time after I said dar-bee, the cheeky fuckers so of course the next time I said the word the crowd joined in trying to correct me so I replied with 'NO, IT'S DAR-BEE'. I shake my head when I think back to when I first started derby in January 2010 I could barely string together two words to my team mates because I was so shy and here I am bout commentating. It really does amaze me how much of a positive impact derby has had on me. I've done bout write up's for HARD, I've bout commentated for HARD, surely the next step is to represent my league on the derby track? ;)
The feel good factor from Friday night continued on into Sunday's training session. More hitting and pack work. I managed to do a proper can opener for the first time with Gina being on the receiving end. I knew the second I hit her it was RIGHT and it felt awesome! Cherry taught us how to fluidly get around a skater to do a can opener or carve on Friday night and it made sense so I was approaching my hits differently. I reckon I got stuck in a lot more during pack work and laid off more hits at training on Sunday night. During one of the drills Dobie got me with a good hit that made me notice she was there which made me pay more attention. Much love to my team mates who were backing up from the bout the previous night, they looked knackered and some were carrying some knocks but they still turned up to train. Much respect to them all! One of my team mates said after training that I've been smiling a lot more at training lately, I hadn't even noticed. I definately feel as though I've been enjoying training more lately.
I know it's only one weekend but a few things stood out. I need to get lower when it comes to executing a hit, a few times I got into a good position but the hit didn't have enough impact because I hadn't gotten low enough. Another thing was making sure I get my foot forward when I'm attemping a carve, hit etc. I may have been able to use my body strength before but it's not going to work against the big kids now in training. I'm more effective with hitting on one particular side I guess everyone does, it's just a matter of making sure I don't completely neglect my weaker side. I'm not a powerful hitter I tend to ease people out of the way. I had a few good hits but I need to work more on technique and timing and getting more consistency with the hits. Although I had some good progress last week I'm constantly reminded of how much tougher it is fitness and speed wise stepping up to the next level so that keeps my feet firmly on the ground so that I don't get ahead of myself.
Lastly I was struck by an act of kindness. Cherry and I were chatting one night and I said I was secretly hoping to have a photo with all my favourite skaters in the same shot Cherry, Jilla and Brig at next week's Eastern Region Roller Derby tournament. So sneaky Cherry took it upon herself to get in touch with the other two about organising a photo next weekend. I was touched that she did that for me :D