WARNING: This post contains ridiculous amounts of over excitement. You have been warned.
One thing I've learnt these last two months is to be careful what you wish for. When I had that disasterous scrimmage with NRDL I told myself that even if I passed my Sergeant level the following week that I wouldn't put my hand up for the family and friend's bout the month after. I certainly got my 'wish' and then some. Not only did I not bout but I missed out on two months of training and the amazing CRDL and VRDL bootcamps that my league hosted. So I've decided to have a more positive wish out there in the hopes it happens - I really want to scrimmage and bout with HARD against NRDL, I really want to scrimmage and bout with HARD against NRDL, I really want to scrimmage and bout with HARD against NRDL. We'll see if that works!
Last Thursday I walked into the physio's office mentally crossing everything I could possibly cross in the hope that all the rehab work had paid off and that my knee was strong enough to get back on skates. My physio didn't waste any time, she asked me if I was ready to go back on skates. You know when you're trying so hard to supress a smile that you have a ridiculous looking expression? That was me. It's funny I'm really not the hugging type but I could have given her a massive bear hug in that moment. She put me through various tests and my knee pulled up sweet with no side effects, so far, so amazingly good! While Shirley was working on my knee she laid out the ground rules for my return to skating, I didn't argue with any of it. It takes a while for me to trust people, over time I've gotten to trust my physio to the point I wouldn't go to anyone else, and of course I trust her advice. The deal was I was allowed to go to training on Friday and Sunday night and skate by myself for an hour each session. No falls, no contact, just skating.
Armed with this important piece of paper I celebrated all the way to my car the second I stepped out of the physio's office, by that stage I really didn't care if anyone saw me I HAD MY CLEARANCE LETTER!!!! :D
Friday night really could not come fast enough, regardless of how busy it was at work time went so SLOW. I was clearly rusty with going to training as a skater because half way to training I realised in my excitement that while I had packed everything in my skate bag I forgot to bring my helmet with me IDIOT! so I had to return home to collect it. By the time I eventually made it to training I had lost complete control of my face, I had a permanent grin on my face that I could not get rid of haha. My team mates were pretty ace as I walked past them while they were doing off skates training. I quickly sorted through the insurance paper work and then seriously I could not get my derby gear on quick enough. In the past I've mentally struggled getting back on skates after an injury layoff sometimes to the point that I would sit out a session after almost making myself sick from fear of injuring myself again. This time though after the battle of almost losing derby I was prepared both physically AND mentally that the second my wheels hit the ground I got up skated with confidence instead of crapping myself that I hadn't skated in over two months.
I took it easy getting some slow laps in and getting used to being on skates again. It didn't take long to realise that my form and technique have deserted me these past two months but you know what I didn't care in the slightest for once because I was back on skates and that's all that mattered :D While my team mates were doing paceline drills I was skating alongside with them on the outside of the track. I know I wasn't actually training with them but it felt like I was back with them again and that made me even more happy. I had team mates ask me throughout the night how happy I was being back on skates again, truth be told there wasn't enough words to describe how happy I was so all I could do was give them a big grin hehe. Some of them asked me how my knee was feeling too. It felt pretty good, there were a couple of times when I'd push off my right foot I'd get a quick, sharp pain straight down my knee that my knee started to give out on me but I'd stop, stretch and go slowly and it was fine. It was most probably because it was the first proper work out my knee had in months. I really didn't want the hour to end or take off my skates. Up until this last injury I really couldn't tell you the last time I just enjoyed skating. It was always filled with feelings of frustration that I was so shite or pushing myself to try and improve. For that one hour although all I did was 'just' skate around in circles, I was the happiest I'd been in a while and I really appreciated the fact that I was on skates especially when it could have been so very different just a few weeks ago. I realise this post has already exceeded acceptable cheesiness levels but it was such a great feeling being able to tick my name off for training attendance again :)
I've got great, supportive team mates. Halfway during training Butters grabbed her phone to take a pic of me back on skates so that 'I could put it in my blog' haha so here it is :) WOOHOO!
While there was no skating for me on Saturday it didn't mean the derby awesomeness stopped at all. I took the all too familiar route up the F3 to watch the latest NRDL home bout. I went up a few hours earlier to catch up with the likes of Mon, Mick and Candy for some lunch and a proper catch up away from derby. It was great fun and I'd love to catch up with them on a more regular basis.
We rolled onto the main event as we made our way to the bout. One of the first people I ran into was Marilyn Tantrum who was scoregirl for the night. One of the first things she told me was to feel her boobs haha. I've gotten to know Tantrum from the Newy social skates, she's one of the funniest people I've ever met. At one of the social skates earlier this year I was bending over to get something from my skate bag when someone started touching my arse. I froze in shock before turning around ready to deck the person responsible only to realise it was Tantrum mucking around! It's basically become a running joke between us, in fact it's probably helped get used to having my personal space invaded during scrimmage and pack drills and not get freaked out by it. I was catching up with Cass when Jilla came out of nowhere to give me a high 5 for getting back on skates haha.
The Smashleys were having their best season to date result-wise as they were the only home team still undefeated. Their last bout against the Rollers was a close one so I was expecting another close one. Despite having the brighter start it was all Rollers after that. The Smashleys jammers could not break through the strong Rollers walls, not even the Smashleys blockers favoured tactic of taking the pivot line when Babycakes jammed was helping. I may bleed blue for the Smashleys but it was hard not to be once again impressed by Danger's performance for the Rollers even though it was having a negative effect on the scoreboard for the Smashleys. She picked up where she left off from the Dames bout. It has been interesting watching her play in Quirky's absence. Quirky pretty much plays at the front of the pack as the last line of defence and pulls off a lot of blocks when she bascially launches herself at the blocker to get one last hit in if the blocker manages to somehow try and evade her. Danger was also playing the last line of defence role but she was sticking to the Smashleys jammers like glue that she never had to try and launch herself at a jammer. If the jammer managed to get aroud Danger they were usually fucked by the end of it because of all the energy they used trying to get arounf her. The Smashleys picked up a lot of penalties in the first half which allowed the Rollers to have a huge 50+ point lead.
It was really a game of two halves. In the second jam Jilla forced a track cut on the Rollers jammer which allowed Babycakes to score a 30-0 point jam. From there the Smashleys kept chipping away at the Rollers lead, picking up quick points and then calling off the jam. Despite being sick and on cold and flu tablets Jilla was once again bossing it with her backwards blocking. Watch her skates when she backwards blocks, she alternates feet on her toe stops so it looks as though she's doing the moon walk hehe. I didn't think it was possible but I became an even bigger fangirl of Jilla's that night. There was times when she was playing 2-3 consecutive jams despite being sick. It doesn't matter if she's sick or well she manages to churn out consistantly high level performances. The final jam of the bout saw the Smashleys hold onto an ever so slender lead but the Rollers had a power jam with who else but Danger lining up to jam. I could barely watch but was it any surprise that Jilla targeted Danger with her backwards blocking and eventually knocked her down forcing Danger to call off the jam but 6 points short as the Smashleys held on for a 132-126 win. I nearly had a fecking heart attack watching that bout! I may be a Smashleys supporter but if there was ever a case for a drawn bout this would have been it because neither side deserved to lose considering the performances they put on.
On Sunday I snuck in to watch a part of the VRDL boot camp that HARD hosted with Mad Mel and Ruby. Fecking hell that was amazing to watch and I'm sure it was even more amazing to participate in. Mad Mel us 100 miles an hour the WHOLE time! I absolutely loved the discipline and professionalism they brought, it was how a training session should be. Mel even provided some great tips to Poz and I for benching. I found myself agreeing to everything she said. It was just such an amazig bootcamp. I took as many notes as I possibly could.
I stuck around to get another hour of skating in. While warming up on the track it took all my self control not to engage in little blocks on some of my team mates. I wanted to so badly but I made myself remember that I still wasn't cleared to go back to full training so I really didn't want to fall and stuff up all the progress I made with my knee rehabilitation so I just did what the physio told me to do - just skate. I joined in with my team mates to play the rules game that Rex came up with. It was actually a lot of fun. Being so competitive I raced to the next rule and did one foot snowploughs on my right foot and got no pain in my knee which was a great bonus. Getting through another hour on skates pain free was more than I could have hoped for :D
I was over the moon with how the weekend went and the return to skates had no side effects. Here's hoping it continues to improve over the next few weeks!