It has been a little while between posts. A couple of weeks ago my grandmother lost her third and final battle with cancer. Despite her poor health it came out of the blue. She was well enough that she was two days away from being discharged from hospital when she suddenly developed internal bleeding and from there she never recovered. In those last four days it broke my heart seeing her struggle to breathe and unable to talk from all the medication. The one thing I’ll never forget though is still seeing her fight to live right up until the final time we saw her alive. That’s the biggest lesson I can take out of this huge loss. Hopefully I can show some of that fighting spirit in derby and life in general too.
It was back to derby training last week. My league is in the 5x5 tournament again this year so the training is tailored towards preparing the kazi's for their first bout on the 29th March. It was good getting back into the swing of things again. We had a new team mate join us Myna Bingle transfered from WSR and it didn't take long to get stuck into training. She's certainly a welcome addition and I'm looking forward to training with her more in the future.
One thing that stood out for me was my lack of speed especially when we were doing pack work. I'd slowly drift to the back and then struggle to catch up when the pack sped up. It's something I'm going to need to work on. Continuing on with my hopes of finally making this my bouting year I made the decision that this year I really needed to step outside my comfort zone so whenever we have to pair up with someone I'll pick one of the more harder team mates to come up against for that particular drill like lining up with Foggy for the fast feet shuffle which left me feeling knackered but extremely challenged by the end of it!
At the end of training on Friday night I found out the next assessments are on the 7th and 9th March which means NEXT WEEK! I need to pass one final assessment before I can try and fight for a place on the kazi's. I don't know if I'll pass this time but the worst that'll happen is that I attempt the assessment and flunk. It'll just mean that I have to keep working hard and try again in May. It's also hit me that if I pass this assessment I may just be bouting next month in 5x5 and then it all felt so sudden. That's probably the last thing anyone would expect me to say after getting up to three years and still not bouting. With the chance to bout maybe not that far away it's made me question myself whether I really am up for it physically and mentally to start bouting. The one thing that sticks in my head is what Glitter once told me 'bouting is just scrimmaging with people watching'. When you put it that way that's a pretty accurate definition, that and you're bouting against people you don't train with so there's the element of surprise too. Even though I'm not bouting yet it's a good thing to remember.
One of the things I loved about training on Sunday was training with Toad. I'm loving the fact that we get to train with a guy because they play the game differently in some ways. The beauty with Toad is that he gives as good as he gets so I'm absolutely loving the physical aspect of it because I fully expect to be hit as hard as he does. One thing most of my team mates have said once they started bouting interleague was being shocked by how hard they were being hit by opposing teams. It was a lot harder than what they were used to at training so it's something I have kept in mind to try and prepare myself as much as I could so it wouldn't be as much of a shock to the system when I do eventually start bouting. Besides coming up against the likes of Toad and some of the harder hitters in our league I've also started doing boxing with my brother in law by getting my body used to copping impact.
The training committee announced they had formed two set scrimmage teams. We'll be in the same teams each week so that it'll hopefully allow partnerships to form and give the training committee a chance to see how works well with who or not. The aim is for it to hopefully to lead into home teams for proper bouts in the second half of the year EXCITEMENT! I'm relishing the challenge of being in the opposite team to the likes of Cherry, Lola and Posh. That's going to a massive challenge for us to stop to those three on a weekly basis. I can't wait :D
During scrimmage on Sunday I discovered my best position on the track - covering the inside line. Bugger all agility - check, not that easy to be forced off the track - check. I found that this position plays to my strengths. I can postional block and hold my ground while protecting that inside line to stop any opposing skaters from getting past. It may not sound glamorous but if doing that role means that my team mates can trust me enough to do it so that it free's them up to do their jobs on the track then I know I've done my job. It gives me a foundation to build on and help improve my skills so that I can hopefully become more versatile on the track and be of more use for my team in the future.