Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What a pain in the arse

Do you ever get the feeling you're taking one step forward and three steps back? Right now it feels like I'm in free fall with roller derby but that's not to say it hasn't been educational. I finally had my first training session on Friday night after I had injured my right ankle a few weeks ago. Once again I had managed to psych myself out on the way to training but at least this time I put all my derby gear on but while everyone else was getting up and warming up on the track I felt as though my back side had been superglued to the steps I was sitting on from fear that I would fall down during training and get injured again. I eventually got up and started skating then a few minutes later out of nowhere I managed to stack it on my arse. I know I have a huge arse but it doesn't mean it didn't hurt when I landed on it. I eventually got up and made my way to the sideline but it hurt to sit down. It finally got to me and I thought I was going to start crying in frustration. I hobbled to the toilets because I didn't want to start bawling my eyes out in front of everyone but I was too gutted to cry so I punched the wall instead :) That helped so I made my way back. At this stage I'm starting to think I must be the leading contender for Guinness world record for most injuries sustained at roller derby training.

Cherry has a knack of making me agro when I'm injured :) I almost kicked her when I did my ankle and then last Friday she kept nudging my feet with her's when I was on the sidelines with my busted arse. To be fair I keep telling her I want to one day be able to knock her down at scrimmage training so I suppose all is fair in love and war :) I've got no idea why I do stupid things like this, I must be a sucker for punishment :)

The next day the strangest thing happened, I dragged my sore arse to Skatel to try skating again and would you believe it I skated 100% better than I did the previous night and I didn't injure myself. For some reason my brain is having a freakout at training but not when I go to a general skating session. Leo and Mon were also there skating. They were great to skate with, I got lots of advice and tips as we were skating and of course they're fun to hang around with.

I've already had someone question whether I should stick with derby due to all the injuries I've already picked up. I gave it a thought and decided no. To be honest I'm a little surprised I haven't already quit it's what I usually do. Despite the frustrations and obstacles in my way I still really want to do roller derby. I want to be part of a team and help them out and dish out punishment to those that try and hurt my team mates. So I say screw you to my own mind for letting fear get the better of me and screw you to court we train on on Friday night's. I'm sick of both of them getting the better of me. I'm sick of writing about getting injured and I'm sure it doesn't make for interesting reading. So how do I fix this? I'm thinking about tackling the things I struggle with the most (and which scare me the most) and just practise doing them as much as I can throughout the week (I still can't get up using my toe stop, I can only do it if I have my skate flat on the floor ohhh the shame that I still can't get the basics right). I just have this feeling that I'm going to be a lot of work for Cherry (sorry Cherry) but I'm hoping that I'll be worth the hassle.

Derby just isn't about being on skates so I've been looking at what I can do off skates to help improve me on skates. I've decided to go on a health kick and lose weight because I've quickly realised it doesn't matter how fat you are it still hurts when you fall down at training. Cherry is also looking at losing some weight so she offered to be my online training buddy. Hopefully we can help each other out. I'm sure if I fall off the wagon she'll kick my arse back onto it :) In other news it looks like my Coke addiction may just be over. The headaches and mood swings are gone and I've been drinking a lot more water lately. That's not to say I'm not craving it from time to time but my need to lose weight is stronger than my want to drink Coke right now.

Lastly, to my followers on here thanks for reading my blog :) I've got no idea who Mendulica or bignoiz are or which of the two Mel's is reading this blog but it's nice to know that some people find my ramblings interesting :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Onwards and upwards!

Although this past week has mainly been off skates that's not to say it hasn't been busy. First off I finally went to the doctor to get my ankle checked out. Yep it ended up being a bad sprain so she prescribed me some pills and advice on how to treat it and I was off on my merry way. I decided to be proactive and researched some ankle strengthening exercises to build them up and try and reduce further injury. I've been doing them while I'm watching TV so far its been alright. Next up I wanted to give my ankle some more protection since I've managed to injure both of them so far from doing derby. I did some research and found that the McDavid ankle guards appeared to do the best job. I ordered a set from the US so they should be here sometime next week. Wait until I wear them on the outside of my socks (just like the pic) at training, I'll be the coolest looking person there :P

Perhaps it was fate but I couldn't attend any of the training sessions last week as I had something on each night, on one hand it gave me a chance to let my ankle heal but on the other hand I was missing even more training which I wasn't too happy about. I'll finally be back at training again starting tomorrow night. Fingers crossed my injury streak is now over and I can get a good run of training under my belt.    

Roller Derby must be one of the few sports in the world where it's an advantage to have a huge arse. Problem is when you look in the mirror and think 'christ what a fat arse' you know something needs to change. It really sucks when you're playing indoor soccer and you can't keep up with the opposition, when you start running and you're completely knackered after a few meters or you're skating laps at derby practise and you're completely stuffed while everyone else is skating by without breaking a sweat. I've decided to do something about. Exercise wise I'm going to take up boxing classes again. Not only is it excellent cardio work but it'll help build up my upper body strength which I discovered was severely lacking when Cherry showed me how to do a proper derby hit. I made no impact on her but I went flying when she hit me. I'm sticking with indoor soccer, I'll take up running again, plus roller derby training. I'll implement all this slowly and properly so that I don't overdo it and have to spend more time off injured. 

What's the point of doing all this extra work if you're not eating or drinking properly? I decided to tackle my biggest problem which was my consumption of Coke, Cherry Coke and Dr. Pepper. I've been drinking this stuff for years, almost on a daily basis. So I bit the bullet and stopped drinking them. I'm getting crazy headaches and I'm crashing bad during the day because my body isn't getting its daily sugar and caffeine hit. I know it won't last, I just have to ride out the withdrawal symptoms. Bloody hell I sound like a junkie :) Cherry had posted some before and after shots of herself from doing derby and I was amazed how much of a difference it made to her, however, out of fear of getting punished at training if I posted the pics here you'll just have to take my word for it :)

I decided to test out my ankle last Sunday and headed out to Skatel. My ankle pulled up ok YAY but the pain on the bottom of my feet returned with a vengeance because I hadn't skated for a few weeks. It's really going to feel like I'm starting all over again tomorrow night as I had that problem when I first started skating. I tested out the new bushings on my skates and I can't believe how much of a difference they make to your skating. At first I felt as though I skating while I was drunk but once I got the hang of it it felt a bit easier going around corners.

Lastly I wanted to give a big shout out to the guys and girls that make up H.A.R.D. I don't tend to make friend's that easily but I've already made a few new friend's there (plus the few I made from WSR). They're a great bunch to hang around with, we have fun and train hard. There's fellow smart arse's which I love :) and people from all different backgrounds so you get to hear some amazing stories. Combine that with the training we're getting and I reckon we'll make a bloody amazing team on the track when the time comes to do battle against other leagues.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

It's not about how many times you get knocked down, it's about how fast you get back up...and repeat until it sinks in your head

The title of this week's post could almost pass for a title of a song by Mogwai :) For those who haven't heard Mogwai you have no idea what musical goodness you're missing out on, do it!

The write up that Cherry I did for the Rouse Hill Times appeared in the paper. Only downside was they chopped most of what we wrote and they put the pic of me half dying during a drill instead of someone actually skating. It's a great feeling seeing our league given some exposure though. The editor for the paper wants to actually keep track of our progress, so who knows we may overtake the sport section one day! Here's the article:

It's funny how one little incident can make everything else spiral out of control. It's only now that I've managed to bring it under control. It was at training a week and a half ago, we started doing marching drills and those of us that wanted to could try and cross one leg over the other to practise the cross over motion. I thought I'd give it a go. Right on the very first attempt, I didn't do it right and I overbalanced. I knew right then that I was going to stack and stack it I did. As I fell it felt like my right leg ended perpendicular to my ankle, needless to say the pain kicked in right away. I'm a pretty mellow person but something snapped inside in me while I was lying on the middle of the court with my ankle iced and elevated while everyone else was skating around me. The more it hurt, the more angry I got with myself. Cherry tried calming me down and was telling me not to be so hard on myself but had no luck, she even threatened to kick my injured ankle as a joke (at least I think she was). I was so pissed off by that stage that if she had done it I would have kicked her back with my left leg and then live to regret it :)

Thankfully my ankle wasn't broken and I managed to get myself over to the sidelines but I had to spend the rest of the session with my leg elevated and iced. While I punching the wall in anger all these thoughts were swirling around in my head - 'I was so crap at derby, every time I tried something new I'd fall down and injure myself, at this stage I'd be 65 before I'd be able to bout, maybe I wasn't cut out for derby, frustrated that I wasn't progressing fast enough, I'd fall even further behind everyone else now' etc etc. To their credit everyone was nice and checking up on me. Once training was over I hobbled to the car and a certain smart arse said 'now you'll have something to write about in your blog', bloody smart arse :)

My mood didn't improve when I couldn't last the training session on the Monday and that was off skates due to my ankle hurting too much. I decided I needed to get out of my negative mindset so I thought I'd get some inspiration from Lisbeth Salander so I went to the movies and re-watched The girl who kicked the hornet's nest. Without giving away too much of the movie she goes through a lot of rehab work from her injuries. She didn't sook about her injuries, she got herself better and went on to kick arse in her usual fashion

I walked out of the cinema thinking hell yeah I can do this. A couple of falls weren't going to stop me. The plan was to last as long as I could at training on Friday night as my ankle still wasn't right. On the way to training the weirdest thing happened. I was overcome with this paralysing sense of fear about skating. I've never felt this way before so it freaked me out. I think it was because it's been twice now when I've tried something new and twice I've stacked it and injured myself. I was worried it was going to happen again. I felt like I was going to throw up, so I chickened out and sat out the training session and felt pretty stupid.

Another problem was that I was worried that I'd continue my bad habit of giving up if it all got too hard that I pushed myself too hard and made the situation worse. I took a step back and analysed the situation and came up with the following solutions. I'm hitting the reset button and starting over again. Due to my injuries I've spent more time on the sidelines than on the track so I'm not at the same level as the freshies I started off with. When I go back to training when we have certain training drills I'll train with the freshies who are still at the learning how to skate stage and work my way up with them.

Next up it's plain to see that roller skating and all the moves that go with it aren't coming naturally to me as it is with others. I've come up with a plan for extra training on my own time and build my confidence up again. My good friend and fellow teammate Mon and I are planning extra training sessions at Skatel on Saturday morning's so little kids you have been warned :P

My ankle is still swollen and it still hurts. I'll be booking a doctor's appointment and get it checked out, hopefully it'll be alright in time for training next week. So folks it's been bit of a bumpy ride the last week and a half but you can't get rid of me that easily, besides I still need to knock someone down on their arse at training :) I can't wait for the day when I finally pull off a successful crossover without stacking it or injuring myself, just try wiping the grin off my face :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The good times are killing me

Since Friday night was a pretty big night for everyone involved with H.A.R.D I figured it deserved its own separate post, so here it is.

Before I begin a certain someone mentioned that they were surprised how many times I've mentioned them in previous posts so for this post they will be referred to as she-who-must-not-be-named :P Through my own stupidity I had playfully antagonised she-who-must-not-be-named the last few weeks on Facebook about knocking her on her arse when I got up to scrimmaging level and how she wouldn't break me in training. The thing is she's the head trainer so I may have screwed myself up big time with my comments :D

Hawkesbury Indoor Stadium was the place to be on Friday night if you're involved with roller derby as H.A.R.D officially kicked off with a info session and first training session. Silly me thought it would be an info session and just a general skating session, how wrong I was.

There was a pretty big turn out with a mixture of freshies to those who have bouted and everyone else in between. Those who weren't able to skate were treated to a running commentary by Squeaks (who was also the paparazzi for the night), Frazzle and BumbleLing so everyone was involved regardless of whether or not they were skating.

Now this isn't an excuse but I got hit with the cold on Tuesday evening so I wasn't feeling 100%, I'm incredibly unfit, plus this was my first training session since I injured my knee and ankle at derby training. No lie kids I was already sweating by the end of the warm up and thinking to myself I'm in deep shit with the rest of training as it'll only get harder.

As we had all different levels we had the more experienced skaters help the freshies out which was of great help. Everyone then got grouped into their appropriate skill levels but it doesn't mean any one group had it easier than the other, everyone was pushed to their limits. I got the shit's while doing the t-stops as I haven't got it down 100%, I'm so un-co with it. Then the sickness hit, I started feeling like I was going to throw up. I kept a look out for the nearest bins just in case it got to that stage.

Next up was the endurance skating, depending on the whistle you'd go from normal skating to speeding to skating in the opposite direction. It was during this drill that I made a self discovery. There's been times in my life when the going gets tough, I bottle it. It was like a switch got flicked on inside me and I decided there and then that I wasn't going to stop doing this drill until we got the orders from she-who-must-not-be-named. It felt like it was going on forever, I thought I was going to hurl, my left thigh felt like it was on fire and I was massaging it while skating to try and make the pain go away. By that stage my form went right out the window, I wasn't in the correct stance, I felt completely stuffed but I wasn't going to stop moving even if it meant having to crawl around on the track. I know some people might be enthralled by the glamour of roller derby but if you want to get to the highest level, the glamour means nothing. It's doing things like these drills that help get you to the top. The drill eventually finished but we weren't finished...

Next up was an alternative version of the 'Cherry death wall' *cue scary music* It basically involved doing ten push up's or sit up's, getting up and skating to the other end of the court, doing the push up's or sit up's again, skate back and repeat until we were told to stop. Here's a pic of Ness and I during this drill, I was either attempting a sit up or I was dying, or perhaps both

I had a few people asking me during the endurance and death wall drills if I was ok. I can only imagine I probably looked pretty crap :) Eventually it came to a close and started doing the cool down. Once that was over I did my 'lay down Sally' impersonation and just lay on the court with my limbs in various direction waiting for the sickness to pass before I attempted to get back on my feet.

I'm pleased to say we all survived the first training session, it's no surprise we were all sore over the next few days, getting over it just in time for Monday's training session.

On a personal note I got asked by she-who-must-not-be-named if I wanted to help do a write up of Friday night for this week's edition of Rouse Hill Times. I was completely chuffed to have been asked. Both she-who-must-not-be-named and I came up with a final copy and its since been sent to the editor so we'll have to wait and see how it turns out, pretty cool eh?

Have a good week folks and remember if it doesn't hurt you're not skating H.A.R.D enough ;)