Wednesday, January 12, 2011

And away we go

Well its certainly been an action packed week. Ness and I went for usual Saturday session at Skatel, it was packed with little kids so it was hard to get going. We didn't stay too long but I managed to win one of the games they have and got a free slurpee for my troubles woohoo!

On Sunday Ness and I went to Skatenance it was a skate maintenance workship held by Squeaks Bye! one of the members of WSR and it was brilliant. We were taught the best way to maintain your skates and how to clean the wheels and bearings and what to look out for in terms of wear and tear. We also learnt some tips on how to maintain our pads so that we don't stink to high heaven. Ness and I met some other members of WSR and they were all nice and offered tips and advice.

Roll on Monday night and all signs of nervousness were gone about starting the fresh meat class on Tuesday night. I was rearing to go even though I knew I was going to suck at it. Tuesday night comes and we get there 20 mins before it starts, Ness is nervous to the point of almost making herself ill and none of us could calm her down! We were training at the Penrith PCYC and sharing the basketball court with the white stars (the next level up from fresh meat). There was 20 of us fresh meat which I'm told was the biggest fresh meat group they've had so far, they had 5 in the last intake. There's no other way to describe the whole scenario except that it felt like starting kindergarten all over again. There's us fresh meat, most of us not knowing each other and then you've got the white stars and some fully qualified derby girls looking on. There was all different levels from those skating for the first time to those who had a good idea on what to do and the rest of us in between. Major Dil-Emma was training us with Pollywanna Hackher helping out too. The first thing we did was learning how to stand up without using your hands which is easier said than done especially when you have all the gear on, it requires a lot of strength in your legs. Ness was the first person to stack it. We were told that whenever anyone stacks it everyone has to clap, so fair to say there was a bit of clapping throughout the night! Here's a pic of most of us freshies listening to Lil' Miss Payne giving us some instructions

I wasn't pissed off in that picture, it was more I was trying to stand still without rolling away haha. Bit of a side note why the green helmet and skate laces you ask (if you are in fact asking) well it's because WSR's colours are green and black. Bit of trivia the helmet I have is the same one Ellen Page's team uses in Whip It. When it came to stretching I was discovering muscles I never knew I had.

Major Dil-Emma takes us through various walking drills which is a little hard as you start rolling. She then starts teaching us a couple of stopping moves like the snow plough and t-stop. For those non-derby folk it's the first two stopping moves in this video

I was trying the t-stop for the first time and it was a bit hard at first as one leg is going straight and the other is dragging on the ground in a perpendicular direction to stop you. I almost stacked it a couple of times, then I got the hang of it after a while, it wasn't quite a 100% but nothing a bit of practise won't sort out.

It was so humid and there was no fans or air con so after a while it felt like I'd jumped in a pool with my clothes on. My feet were hurting but surprisingly I coped alright, I only stopped once and that was to loosen my laces as I was getting pins and needles in my toes because the laces were probably on too tight. We also learnt the correct derby stance which was described by Major Dil-Emma as 'picture going to the public toilets and they don't look too good so you have to squat down' haha. Towards the end of the night I started feeling physically sick but thankfully I didn't end up doing an Exorcist impersonation

During one of the drills I noticed I wasn't as un-co on skates and I could stand up without feeling as though I'd roll away which pleased me. One of the drills towards the end was skating up and down the court while practising the t-stop and snow plough. Getting a bit more cocky confident I started to pick up some speed and try the t-stop, a few times I almost landed on my backside. I quickly discovered that my wheels are grippy on the basketball court surface so to do it properly I needed to get power from my thighs which I knew I would pay for dearly the next day. Here's a pic of me during one of the drills while smiling. I was smiling at random moments as I was having fun even some parts took a while to get used to.

Once we finished and stretched to cool down I cannot describe the relief I felt taking off the pads and skates, I felt cooler right away. The girls from WSR were brilliant they were happy to help no matter how un-co you were or however stupid your question was.

So while I've started fresh meat I won't be bouting anytime soon. It usually takes at least a year to work your way up the grades until you're ready to bout. It goes like this:

Fresh meat - no scrimmage work (so no smashing into people)
White star
Yellow star - you're allowed to bout in your own league
Orange star - you're allowed to bout in inter leagues

So for now I'll be working my way up and one day I hope to be in a bout up against GodJilla Sold Separately (my favourite opposition blocker) seen here about to take out Major Dil-Emma

Today I woke up with sore legs but I got out of bed without any trouble. My legs just felt stiff and sore the whole day. I've caught the roller derby bug so it's safe to say I'll be sticking with this. Until next week folks!

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