Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Words of wisdom

It's been a pretty good week overall, I've learnt some things and this is what they were:

First up Vanessa and I went for our weekly roller skating session at Emu Plains and we bump into Ivy again which was cool. Both Ness and I are getting more comfortable on skates which is good but no doubt we'll get a reality check when we start the fresh meat course and realise how much we need to learn hehe. Without being too cocky I started weaving between the little kids like a jammer would (more like how I imagined they would) and didn't stack it or injure any kids which was a plus. I tried skating in the proper derby stance and yep it's still a killer on your legs and backside. My feet of course started hurting again but the pain wasn't as bad as it has been in the past so I'm hoping this is a sign that the pain will start decreasing with each skating session. We also came across a husband and wife who were decked out in all the proper safety gear. The husband gave me my first good bit of advice for the week - I was wearing my wrist guards the wrong way around. Feeling like bit a goose I swapped them around and would you believe it they fit so much better! For those who don't know the correct way to wear your wrist guards it's like this

This past week I've exercised almost daily which is a major improvement for me. I've hit the gym to do more cardio and weights and some jogging outside. I took onboard some advice my cousin Mark gave me when I first started all this - set yourself an hour each day to do some training or skating or basically anything to do with getting into roller derby. make sure you do it EVERY DAY and after about 2 or 3 weeks you wont even think about having to do it, you will just do it :) Funnily enough the more I exercise the more I want to do it so I think he may be onto something. One thing I've noticed is the brief attempts at jogging I've had so far have been quite enjoyable once I get over gasping for air by the end of it. I put my iPod on and switch off from the world for a bit. The more running I do the more helpful it'll be for both indoor soccer and roller derby. Mark sent me some podcast links on going from the couch to running 5km's. I'm going to give it a go, I'll let you guys know how it goes.

Thanks to Mark I now have another goal, this one won't be until 2012 but something tells me I'll need that long to be ready for this. Mark's doing the Warrior Dash in 2011. It looks tough but also a load of fun, it reminds me of that cool show Gladiators that used to be on TV

My last bit of advice comes courtesy of GodJilla Sold Separately a kick arse blocker from the Newcastle Roller Derby League. When I went to my first roller derby bout she was in the side that versed the Western Sydney Rollers. Unfortunately they hammered the WSR's but I didn't forget GodJilla or her partner in crime The Cramp. They were brilliant in defence knocking the WSR's down like bowling pins while protecting their jammer from the WSR blockers. I sent GodJilla a message and after gushing like a little fangirl I asked her for some advice and she was cool enough to give me some so here it is:

The best tips I can give anyone is:
- falling is a good thing, you a pushing your limits
- have your skates on as much as possible - balance is everything
- abuse what you got - learn your centre of gravity and smash everyone elses

I'm also the queen of cheap talk - love the intimidation (nothing mean, just a bit of 'is that all you got').

I'm sure you will be fab, but don't put yourself into a box. Every good blocker can jam - Every good Jammer can block.
So there you have it folks, hopefully there was some useful bits in there. Until next time, I wish you and your loved ones a safe and Merry Christmas :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Pain, pain go away

I have a new best friend and its name is Radox. I discovered this little gem after reading some roller derby magazines and some people recommended using it after training. For the most part it's working pretty good. For those of you involved in the stock market here's an inside tip: buy stocks in Radox because I have a feeling I'll be going through a lot of them over the next year hehe.

I broke my record and went skating 3 days in a row. I'm happy to say I feel a bit more confident on skates. The extra skating has bit of a downside; my body is freaking aching especially the arches of my feet and my lower back. I'll skate for a while, the pain comes so I sit down for a bit until it goes away, then start skating again and so the cycle continues. From the skaters I've spoken to and what I've read the best way to get rid of the pain in my feet is to keep skating. It should stop after a couple of months. Some other things I'll be doing are trying to lose some weight as I know all the extra weight doesn't help and turning to my friend Radox.

But enough complaining, I have some good news. Ness and I went skating on Saturday morning at the roller skating rink and not only do we find some other beginners we come across 2 skaters from the Western Sydney Rollers Lil Miss Payne and Pollywanna Hackher and I admit I'm a little starstruck. When I grow up I want to be a good blocker just like them. Jammer's may get all the glory but blockers are where the action is! My aim is to become a mobile brick wall, none shall pass (due to my big backside hehe). I'd love to one day take on Suzy Pow who is the best jammer I've seen in the few bouts I've been to. Anyway back to reality...Ness and I get talking to the other beginners and tell us about the next intake for fresh meat (beginners course for roller derby) in January. Lil Miss Payne makes her way over and asks us if we're interested in joining, I have to control myself from almost screaming out HELL YES! So we get told to meet up with her on Sunday to fill out the forms which we ended up doing. So from the 11th January we'll officially be fresh meat! Even better the 3 girls we met on Saturday will also be starting on the same date.

I'm excited and nervous as at the same time but it's given my something to focus on. So in preparation of getting my backside kicked on the 11th January I'll be skating in the morning's before work then hitting the gym at night. I'm also doing lots of squats, lunges and balancing on one leg to get used to one day doing a crossover. The easy part was signing up, now the hard work and pain really begins.  

Listening to Silverstein. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It's building up...

Hello once again, I hope you're all well on this warm Sydney night.

It's been a pretty interesting week. I've discovered a few new things about myself. First up last Wednesday I had a shocker of a day at work. I had my PT session at the gym at night. As much as I love my trainer Joe in the way that he pushes you all the way, I just wasn't in the right frame of mind to have a session with him. Usually this is the part where I'd stay at home and knock back a few beers or buy ice-cream. This time I didn't, no folks I went to the gym instead and had a good cardio session by myself while listening to Silverstein on my iPod to keep me going. Could it be some of my bad habits are changing?

On Thursday I watched Rocky. Yeah you can't understand Stallone for most of the movie but I can totally relate to starting to train and being completely rubbish and building to the level required to reach your goal. That movie and Million Dollar Baby are pretty inspirational so too Whip It of course! Don't worry I won't be shouting Adrianne repeatedly at the top of my lungs at the end of my first roller derby bout haha.

I planned on going to the beginners roller skating class on Saturday morning, as I was getting ready I started throwing up and feeling crap. No I didn't have a hangover and no I'm not pregnant, thankfully it was just a 24 hour bug I picked up. I was pissed off though as I wanted to go to the class.

On Sunday I headed to the roller skating rink at Emu Plains and see two roller derby women skating amongst all the little kids. They come over and talk to me. One of them has already been in five bouts for the Sydney Roller Derby League and her friend is taking the fresh meat course with the Western Sydney Rollers. My skating was a lot better this week and I didn't stack this week either YAY! Lauren the skater for the SRDL asked me if I had any questions or show me some moves. She showed me the correct stance and boy was it a killer, it's like being in a permanent squat it kills your backside and legs. She showed me the correct way to fall, ways to stop and lots of other little tips. So far all the roller derby skaters I've met have all been great, they're all nice and happy to help out all beginners.

On Monday I got up early and went for a run with my neighbour Monika. First the pain come back in my feet from Sunday's roller skating, my shoes filled with water due to all the rain we copped the past week, then I got blisters on both heels so it was EPIC FAIL!! Later that night I had indoor soccer and was crap as my blisters burst so I couldn't run. I bought supplies and managed to tape up my heels to help with the blisters so they've been better the last couple of days.

Some things I'm working on, I still haven't implemented more exercise apart from what I'm already doing (except for Monday's disastrous running attempt). I'm hoping the good weather holds up so that I can go roller skating in the mornings at the car park down by the footy fields to get more practise in. Also I've been lazy most mornings and hit the snooze button on my alarm so that I don't get out of bed in time to get some exercise done in the morning. Feel free to kick my arse people, I really need to change this lazy attitude and get my butt out of bed and moving.

Also I've set myself some goals to keep me going:

Firstly I'm going to start the fresh meat (beginner) course with the Western Sydney Rollers in January! It's not compulsory to know how to skate but I want to be comfortable on skates at least a little. So this is a big step towards my roller derby dream!

Next up in my attempt to lose weight I've set myself the goal of losing some weight before the Soundwave festival hits Sydney on the 27th February. I want to wear my And you will know us by the trail of dead shirt to the festival but I don't want it to be so tight that it looks like it's been spray painted on me.

So folks feel free to kick my arse if I start straying, you have me permission :)

Listening to the best band in the world And you will know us by the trail of dead. 

Monday, November 29, 2010


Hello to the one or two people who actually read my blog haha. It has certainly been an interesting weekend. First off my sister and I took my dad to the roller derby on Saturday night and he actually loved it! He even said he wants to go watch more bouts. It was pretty cool seeing tactics played out but I suppose most people are interested in the big hits and equally big stacks and both sides didn't disappoint. Twice players ended up crashing into the crowd and one skater lost one of her front wheels twice during separate jams and had to go off for running repairs. It's great fun to watch and I highly recommend going to see a bout.

Next up I lived up to my promise and went to the indoor roller skating centre in Emu Plains yesterday morning. I won't lie I was crapping myself thinking how many stacks I'd possibly have. I get there and there's lots of little kids roller skating. To make matters worse none of them had any safety gear on whereas I had the full kit and was the tallest and oldest one about to hit the rink. I thought bugger it all roller derby skaters have to start somewhere. Some kids stare at me while I put all my gear on and I think to myself 'Keep staring and I'll deliberately fall on you when I get on the rink'. Yeah I know I'm shocking. While I'm getting the courage to get up and skate a lady about my age sits next to me and she has the same brand and coloured helmet as me. I ask her if she does roller derby and she said yeah she's fresh meat (the term given to beginners of roller derby). We have bit of a chat and as we get ready to skate she says she hopes she doesn't stack it, I tell her I hope I don't break anything haha. I get up and go, so far so good, I stop every few meters and grab to the walls which are waist height. I'm extremely pleased to say I didn't stack it all during that session YAY! Anna was cool to give me some pointers while we were skating. The only downside was after a while my feet were killing me. I'd sit down let the pain go away, skate some more then it would come back. Anna said it's quite common and takes a couple of weeks until your feet adjust to the skates. So I'll have to grin it and bare it for a while.

An amazing thing happened though during my first proper roller skating session. It was like some injected me with great enthusiasm. I can't explain it, I think maybe because I didn't fall and got a bit more comfortable with it the longer I skated that it triggered something in me that makes me want to skate every waking moment, hit the gym more just so I make this dream a reality.

I've decided to tackle a real weak spot of mine and inject more running into my exercise. My goal is to be able to run more than a few meters without feeling as though I've just run a marathon. I want to be able to last indoor soccer and my boxing classes without fading fast in the first few minutes. Plus it'll help me with roller derby so bonus points for that. I've decided to try and get up early before work and hit the park near my house. For some reason I can't get this image out of my head when I picture myself running in the park:

Ahh you've got to love Rocky!

Until next time...

Currently listening to songs I'm planning on putting on my iPod for my morning runs.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Back to school

There were a few developments this past week. I ordered myself some indoor wheels for rollerskating and they arrived today. This now means I can get some lessons on how to skate. There's an indoor roller skating rink in Penrith called Penrith Skatel which offer lessons on Saturday mornings and they have general skating sessions on the weekend so more time for practise and hopefully shed some of this extra weight I'm carrying. I admit I haven't skated outdoors since my first attempt due to the fact that a bit of fear crept in because I struggled so much with it. I went ice skating on Sunday arvo and I had no problems, for some reason I'm struggling with the roller skates. I didn't have any problem when I tried skating on the carpet in the house maybe learning to skate on bumpy concrete wasn't the easiest way to start off. I've decided to go to the roller skating rink this weekend and try my luck even if it means spending most of my time swapping between falling on my arse or holding onto the side walls for dear life to stop myself from falling on my arse. In fact I'm making it a goal to go at least one day a week to the roller skating rink to make a fool of myself practise :)

I came across a book called Kick the fat by Anne-Marie Millard and I have started going through it. She has some interesting ideas for example through away the scales and instead set yourself some goals like trying to fit into a particular item of clothing, you're more likely to notice that change than you will weighing yourself every week. The book is mainly based on incorporating kick boxing related exercises into your weight loss program which interests me as I love taking boxing classes. My quest for roller derby greatness goes hand in hand with my goal to shift my excess weight. Believe it or not you need to be an athlete to be involved with roller derby, sure there's women of all shapes and sizes but roller derby involves pacing yourself but getting ready to sprint plus knocking down your opponents and helping your own team mates out while looking after yourself. I'm trying to vary my exercise so that way my whole body gets a workout which I think will be more beneficial in the long run. I've been buying Women's Health magazines, I've got various books, I've downloaded training and exercise tips from roller derby skaters to the point it's a bit of information overload so I'm trying to sort it all out to get an initial training plan and modify it as required. 

Right now one of my biggest problems is minimising my addiction to junk food and soft drink. I curse the day I ever heard of Macca's, Coke and Red Bull. Sure it's good that I'm exercising more now but any benefits disappear from all the unhealthy food and drink I'm consuming. Yeah I know everything in moderation but I've developed this habit over many years that I'm really struggling with combating it. Oh self-discipline where are you? I've long since discovered you're not hiding in the wrapper of a Mars bar.

I've come to realise that if I want to make it into roller derby I need to develop some aggression. Wait a second have I looked in the mirror? Yeah I may look kinda tough but I'm a big softy under all that body fat. Take for instance all the years I've played football/soccer I've never received a yellow or red card in my life. Up until recently I've continuously apologised to people on field if I've accidently injured them if they were unfortunate enough to stand in front of the goal when I've taken a shot. I'm not saying I want to become a dirty player who illegally hacks down opposition players, maybe I need to develop bit of a hit or be hit attitude and not feel so bad about it.

One last thing a big thanks to my cousin Mark, he's been kind enough to give me some advice with goals and motivation. I got the idea to do this blog after shamelessly stealing getting inspired by his own blog 4minmark It was indeed quite inspiring. The amount of running he does each week makes me tired just thinking about it. Being Mark of course his blogs are also quite funny so check them out they make for interesting viewing.

Listening to My Chemical Romance.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

That didn't go as I had planned

Today I had my first attempt rollerskating outside on the concrete in the backyard and wow was I shite. I thought since I did roller blading when I was a kid and I've ice skated numerous times it would be pretty easy to pick up, how wrong was I! I stacked it twice, once my arse and the second time I fell forwards and did a nice little roll on the grass. It has shattered any illusions I may have had about joining roller derby in the foreseeable future. It basically means I have a LOT of work to do before I get to the stage where I'll be joining the Western Sydney Rollers (green team) in action

It was amazing how tense I was this evening. My calves and feet were sore and I was sweating even though it wasn't hot. I think I was way too worried about trying not to fall. Hopefully with more practise I'll get rid of this fear and worry more about skating. It's made me think I might have to get in some sessions at the ice skating rink to build some confidence up. If anyone has any tips on how to improve feel free to let me know, I'm all ears!

Given my previous track record I'd probably start giving up and drop the whole dream but I really want to do this so i'll be sticking with it for a while even if it does become quite painful from all the stacks that are awaiting me :P

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Roll with it

Welcome to the latest update on this hot and humid night.

The skates, helmet and other various pads and mouthguard I ordered have arrived in the post. It's really happening! I swapped the indoor wheels (which are a lot harder and grippier for smooth surfaces) for outdoor wheels (which are softer and absorb the bumps on concrete/asphalt a lot better). Being a Liverpool supporter I naturally selected red coloured wheels hehe

I also decided to decorate my helmet. If you were cool enough to grow up in 80's and 90's you would probably know about the Garbage Gang Kids (or Garbage Pail Kids if you're from the US or UK). I found a sticker that'll probably best sum me up while I'm getting the hang of roller skating, allow me to introduce Pat Splat

I haven't had a chance to try skating outside yet, I'm hoping to have a go on Tuesday night after work. I've had a go in the house it was alright overall, there were a couple of times where I overbalanced but no stacks yet! I'm trying to get used to stopping with the toe brake I feel as though I'm going to stack it when I try to do it as motion is carrying me forward.

I've been reading up on the official rules and what the minimum skills required are and it has really highlighted how much I need to learn before this dream becomes a reality. They say it can take a couple of years before you're ready to bout, now I can see they're not kidding.

Currently listening to Metallica's Master of Puppets album

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Reality strikes (damn you)

Rightio so I went to the gym tonight for my PT session with Joe and we're doing leg work so squats and hitting various leg machines. I'm thinking this is going to leave me walking like an old lady tomorrow but it's all good as it's perfect training for roller derby or so I thought. Problem is that my body has developed this amazing trait over the years, if I start getting back into any form of exercise it starts thinking 'what the hell are you doing to me you should be at home lying on the couch watching TV, I'll fix you up' and then some injury occurs. Well tonight not once but twice, first while doing squats with a metal bar on my shoulder blades I could feel pain in my lower back so Joe gets me to something else which takes the pressure off my back. Then when we hit the leg machines I feel this sharp pain in my left hamstring possibly from overstretching it.

At this stage I'm getting pissed off as my body once again turns against me. I'm also annoyed because I can't keep up with the other guy who is training with me which is irrational since Joe has been training him for five months and he's lighter than me. This is usually the part where I'll start making excuses and begin missing classes until I eventually stop going and get lazy again and so the cycle repeats itself. Problem is I can't do it so easily this time because by publicly humiliating myself with this blog it means I'll look like an even bigger idiot if I stop now. So it's time to suck it up and continue on.

It's also highlighted the fact that although I can picture it my head finally making it in roller derby it's also shown how far I've got to go before the dream becomes a reality.   

Oh and to add insult to injury my sneakers have died so I need to buy a new pair tomorrow. : (

Here's to hoping for a better day tomorrow, preferably with the news that I won a decent share in the lotto : )

Listening to my ipod on the random setting so it's all over the shop Weird Al to Explosions in the sky to Foo Fighters etc

Monday, November 1, 2010

So what's this roller derby lark?

Hello and welcome to the latest installment. I haven't posted for a few days but it's not because I've given up but I was getting things ready for our Halloween party which turned out pretty well, tiring but it was lots of fun.

Right now I'm focusing on losing some weight and gaining some fitness before I hit the skates (you have to walk before you can run and all those cliques). I've gotten in touch with my old personal trainer Joe and I'm having some PT sessions with him each week. I had 3 last week, they left me so knackered I couldn't lift my arms up for a few days, trying to wash my hair or answer the phone at work was interesting to say the least. Part of me is finding it annoying because I've been inactive for so long my fitness has gone to the crapper so it's so hard doing various bits of exercise that I used to do so easily. Using this blog has brought out my competitive hate to lose streak so I don't want to fail.

In relation to the heading what is roller derby? Contrary to popular belief it's not just women crashing into each other while wearing roller skates. If you ever get the chance to watch a bout live you'll see it's quite tactical, you're trying to help your team score points while at the same time preventing your opponents from scoring, it's a good mixture of attack and defence. Here's a video that briefly shows what roller derby is all about The basics of flat track roller derby Pretty interesting eh?

I'm off to get ready, I have an indoor soccer match tonight.

Listening to various old school theme songs

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

And so it begins

Hello and welcome.

I'm about to attempt something crazy and thought I'd take you all along for the ride. Ever since I watched the movie Whip it! and went to watch a roller derby bout a few weeks ago I've been totally entranced by the world of roller derby to the point I thought 'I so have to do this'. So here we are.

So why bother blogging about it? I'm a lazy arse who has been known to quit things when it all gets a little too hard so I figure by posting about it it makes me accountable. Plus I'm pretty shy (unless it involves Liverpool then I become a nutter) so it'll help me get of my shell a bit.

I'll try and make it fun, interesting, provide facts, list the highlights and not so good moments (I'm sure there will be a lot of stacks to look forward to).

If I can get over the embarrassment of having my pants fall down in front of the whole school at an athletics carnival when I was in high school then this blogging business shouldn't be too bad, right?

Listening to The sweet and the severe by Envy Parade