It's been bit of a rollercoaster kind of week but it proved to be a defining one. It didn't get off to a good start though. Cherry planned a massive hitting/blocking training session on Friday. I was REALLY looking forward to this because I've never done hitting practise on skates. Earlier that day though I went to a funeral for someone I've known all my life and it hit me harder than I thought it would. I couldn't snap out it so I couldn't concentrate properly which meant I was skating really crap. I was getting the shit's with myself because I couldn't snap out of the way I was feeling but then there was a moment which made me smile. I'd gotten through the endurance drill and was stretching my ankles out when Jeremy came over and said I did well with the endurance, after having such a shit day that just made me smile. Jeremy is a sweet, lovely guy. No one says a bad word about him, if they did I'd deck them :)
I started doing the blocking drills and I was practising positional blocking with Blood Red Penny and during one of our attempts I think our skates clipped and we both went down. Since my head was all over the place I didn't put my arms out to do a four point fall so I landed on my shoulder and momentum propelled me forward until I landed on my jaw to break my fall. Not cool. I was left sporting a sore jaw and I realised if I kept continuing I was going to injure myself worse because I wasn't concentrating so I sat out the rest of the session.
Fast forward to Sunday night training and I was feeling a lot better and switched on. To my joy Cherry was going to go through the hitting/blocking training again. For most of the drills I was partnered with Danger Blond which was good because she's an experienced skater so she was helping me out a lot with how to position myself for a hit or block. I was laughing for most of it though because whenever she had to block or hit me I was always pushing her off the track hehe oops! These exercises taught me how important timing and good footwork is. I was really struggling with getting my foot in front of the jammer so I either over shot them or hit them in the wrong spot. Another thing is that I lead in with my shoulder instead of going in with my hip. So much to learn but I can't wait to learn more! There was one time when I was against Cherry and our skates clipped, I stacked it and somehow I accidently grabbed one of her wheels and then she went down too. YAY I've finally brought Cherry down haha :P There was another drill where there were walls of two and we had to block and hit our way past them. I kept coming up against Red and Cherry and I won't lie I was pretty excited coming up against them because Red gets down so low that my arse would have to touch the ground to get as low as she does and Cherry well she's just a brick wall that most people can't get passed her so I was loving the challenge which lay ahead of me. I didn't have any luck getting on the outside of Red and when I tried getting around Cherry she kept executing her favoured carve move but I wasn't going to let her have it all her way so I pushed her back and we gave as good as we got with neither conceding any ground. I didn't knock her down but she didn't push me out of bounds either. It was great fun :D
We had another 'I can't believe it's not scrimmage' session and I got picked again :) I'm still new to this so I'm still rubbish at it but the more I improve the better I'll be. A problem I have is that I'm extremely competitive, I hate losing a game of Uno that's how bad I am, and throw in that I'm not so shy when I put my skates on that I'll find myself in lots of trouble if I'm not careful. In my first jam I had my arm up high and the opposing jammer hit my upper arm as she went through but not my elbow and I got called for a minor use of elbow. I protested that she hadn't hit my elbow and got warned for insubordination so I shut my mouth hehe. I was struggling in most of my jams and was leaving too many gaps in the wall so the blockers and jammers were getting through so I was swearing a lot at myself but I was listening to the more experienced skaters in my side and trying to get myself in the right position.
For those that don't know my younger sister Ness also plays roller derby with HARD. She's developed quicker than I have and she has her heart set on being a jammer. When she played jammer I was proud as punch at how well she's improved playing jammer. She was finding gaps to go through and using Cherry as a battering ram to create space for her to get through. After one particular jam she had trouble breathing so Bede took her outside and helped her get her breathe back and I stayed with her to make sure she was alright. Bede was brilliant and helped her get back to normal. I re-joined my team mates and found out all us Corporal level one's were going in the same jam with no experienced skaters to help us on the track and I was going to be a pivot for the time in my life AND we taking on more experienced skaters - ohh shite! It didn't start well they went with a no pack start and their jammer went straight through our wall. I got us to regroup our wall but then Sharon went to try and break our wall so I tried pushing her out of the way but I dropped behind my wall so it left a gap for their jammer to get through which she did. I caught up again but I was slipping into my full back role that I've played all my life with football/soccer so instead of us having a straight wall I slipped behind them and we had a V shaped wall with me trying to co-ordinate my other blockers from behind so I was screwing up our tactic, bloody idiot! The tactical part of me loved the extra responsibility of having to organise my blockers and yelling out where the opposing jammer was. Those that only know me off skates are probably shocked reading that haha. That jam highlighted how much I need to learn but I'm so eager to learn :D
My last jam I had Apple and Wee General in my side. It made such a massive difference having someone like Apple call the shots. Whatever she said I did.Up until that last jam I wasn't really getting stuck in and I felt like a headless chook. I think I also had that fear of my skates getting clipped and me going down. I don't care who are I'm sure most people felt like that when they started doing scrimmage exercises. It was weird it felt like something clicked in me with that last jam I got more involved and started getting my body in the way to stop their blockers getting through our wall. Hell I even pushed Bailee to the front before I cut in front of Sharon to re-form our wall again. I think that's the best jam I've had to date. I even let out a 'fuck yeah' when the jam finished hehe
Despite ending last night's training session on a high, I had the thought of 'was that my last ever training session?' hanging over my head. Like I mentioned before I screwed both my knees playing football/soccer when I was younger so now both my knees click and I've had ligament problems with them too. I went to the physio tonight to see whether I could manage my knee problems or if I'd risk mobility issues later in life if I continued playing derby. When she was working on my right knee it sounded like it was making crunching noises and it felt like there was stuff grinding in my knee. It appears that my right knee cap is moving too far to the side so it's wearing and tearing at a quicker rate hence the problems. According to my physio with the right amount of strapping, strengthening exercises and stretches I can manage my knee problems and still do derby, I'm sure I can live with those demands! I left the physio feeling a massive relief. Yeah training is getting even tougher but I'm improving and my two roller derby goals a) making it into one our intra league teams and bouting and b) making it onto our travel team and bouting against NRDL are still alive and well. I think that deserves a big :D and a massive FUCK YEAH!