Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A picture is worth a thousand words

The ligaments in my right knee still haven't recovered so I went to watch my team mates train last Friday. It really is great watching my team mates give it their all and see them improve with each session, I find it inspires me to continue to work harder. As I watching them train a group of girls went on the other court and started playing indoor soccer and I was itching to go and play with them but then it all hit me like a tonne of bricks. I wanted to get back into playing football and the training and games wouldn't have clashed with derby but my knees are too wrecked to withstand playing competitive again and it hurts to admit that I can't play anymore although I suppose some people probably think I shouldn't do derby either because of what they do to my ankles and knees but I'm not ready to say goodbye to my derby dream yet.

I'm all about trying to improve my game on the track so when my team mate Sharni took pics at training the session I ended up getting injured I did look back on them to analyse the ones of me to see what I'm doing wrong so that I can fix it. Spot the errors (I'm the one in the white shirt)

The ones I picked up were: I STILL bloody skate with my knees pointed in, I don't squat down enough instead I just bend my upper body over, I go in for a hit with my shoulder instead of leading in with my hip. So basically I can't hit for shit on skates yet lol! If anyone sees anything else wrong let me know I'm always looking to improve.

Last Sunday I went up to Newcastle to cover their fresh meat info day for RDAU and to catch up with some of my friend's. I had a great time up there and met some more people, there was just one tiny little detail that stopped it from being a perfect day out. When I got in touch with NRDL a few weeks ago (before I injured my knee) about doing a write up on the day they said I could stay and train with them once the info session was over. Holy, freaking hell talk about a derby dream come true for me. Only problem was my knee hadn't recovered in time so that killed that dream BUT the offer is still open so I can go and train with them one day when I'm back on my skates so that's really cool! I know I may have mentioned Jilla possibly one or two hundred times on this blog already but there's other amazing skaters up there like Booga, Dino La Rogue, Brigand Strong, Belt'er Goodrem just to name a few so to learn from them would an amazing learning experience for me.

As for the write up here it is. I joked on my Facebook profile that considering most of the write up's I've done to date involve NRDL that I wondered whether I became their unofficial writer then Big Kahuna from VLD and South Side Derby Dolls completely surprised me when he said he hoped I'd be their unofficial writer when they start bouting so that was a huge honour considering I skate with another league.

Just like real life I've come across some dickheads in roller derby but thankfully they're in the minority. I've met lots of amazing and inspiring people, one in particular is Cahlee aka Beth LeHell from NRDL. She's got a blog which I'm recommending everyone on here read it too. The courage she shows in being able to not just write about it but put it out there on the internet is just amazing. I'm so happy for her and the progress she's making. It's all here. 

Lastly at HARD we're having a fresh meat info session. If you're curious about the sport, want to join etc then come, it'll be fun! Here's the details.

Monday, February 6, 2012

WARNING: Favourite skaters are bad for your health!

This week at derby has certainly been an interesting one, thrills, spills and strapping. Have I got your attention yet :P Throughout the week my right knee was feeling sore through a combination of the cooler weather and the fact that I've started exercising more throughout the week to get myself fit again so it was protesting. Roll on Friday and I went to training and while I was going through the warm up the pain in my knee got to the point that I couldn't ignore it. After last year and all my injuries I'm now paranoid when I feel a twinge but I'm still forever trying to work out whether I'm being a chicken shit for pulling out of training or doing the right thing by listening to my body. This time I decided to just skate on the other court because they were practising falls and other various skills so I probably risked screwing my knee up further if I did the training.

It wasn't all that bad though because I was joined by Santina on the other court. I can't say it enough but it's a brilliant sight seeing her back on skates :) We talked about various things while we were skating around, we got onto food and I was left with my stomach grumbling and having a craving for Mexican food and beer, thanks for that Santina ;) While I was sitting down resting my knee and ankle Bede came over and asked how I was and I told my knee and ankle were sore so he proceeded to playfully punch both of them and told them to stop to start behaving so that I could bout which made me laugh hehe.

I went for a run on Saturday morning and by night both my knees were sore so I was icing them in the hope they'd be ok so that I could train on Sunday arvo. My knees weren't feeling much better by the time I arrived at training but I figured they wouldn't be as bad when I warmed up. During warm up we had to weave when Matron blew the whistle and as I was coming around the bend I went to weave as Cherry was doing the same thing while coming from the other side and we almost collided. Thinking back on it now it was pretty much the same spot where the drama happened later on.

I really loved the stuff we went through at training on Sunday arvo, they were all focussed on pack/scrimmage work. Practising wall formations while skating on the straight and then adjusting while going around the bend was a good drill and an eye opener. When it came to hits I find I'm still going in with my shoulder instead of my hip and I'm still struggling with getting my foot in front of the jammer to be able to hit or block them. Although I'm guilty of feeling frustrated because I'm not picking it up that quick, I am enjoying doing the more advanced training drills. Team Zebra had a surprise for us, Hayley found a Team Zebra song that goes through all the hand signals so we had to do the correct hand signals while skating around to the song which was actually quite fun!

I got to do the scrimmage based exercises again this week, yay! They broke it up a bit and different drills which I enjoyed because it was new ways of learning new scrimmage related skills. To make it more interesting Team Zebra would randomly call out a skater and show them a hand signal which we had to identify, if we gave the wrong answer we would have to go off and do 10 push up's. In one of the drills the jammer would have to get past the opposing pack solo without any of their own team on the track.  It meant that I got to be a jammer for the first time in my life, I don't have the grace or body to be a conventional jammer PLUS to make matters worse I was lining up against a side that had Cherry in it. She was playing the sweeper role so I had to get past her first. Cherry the smartarse skated backwards so that she was facing me so I gave her the I'm watching you gesture which she gave back to me but try as I might I couldn't get past her. It's one thing knowing how she plays but it's another thing being able to execute it to get around her. If anything I'm noticing my footwork is improving when I come up against her because she's making me work so hard to try and get past her. I actually enjoyed the jammer role, I'll never be like Winnie Bruise but I like learning more about the game from another perspective. Sharni took some photos at training so here's the proof that I got to play jammer and tried to get past Cherry, the last pic makes me laugh talk about us two having a mirror image hehe (thanks for taking the pics Sharni!)

When it came to me doing pack work I kept getting caught out with the jammer getting past me on the inside line so that's something I'm definately going to have to work on. I did enjoy the drill where we couldn't look behind us to see where the opposing jammer was, only our pivot could and she'd have to tell us where to go. That was excellent for communication and trusting your pivot.

We finished the training session by playing queen of the rink with the added twist that Team Zebra were throwing cones onto the track that we had to avoid so we had to be really alert which was cool. I was going around without too much drama when I came to the corner where I had the near collision with Cherry earlier on in the night. I could see Cherry lining up Keiryn out of the corner of my eye but then Keiryn moved so Cherry came straight towards me and took me out before I had a chance to react. It all happened so fast that I can't even remember how I landed but I do remember the pain in my knee, that was the cherry on top (pardon the pun) I couldn't get up from the pain. Bede and Mick were playing doctor or should I say murses. Trying to move my knee was agony, I could feel the pain on the inside of my knee, the same spot where I damaged ligaments a few years ago. Bede and Mick were really helpful and the pain went down a bit that it wasn't consuming all my thoughts but then the feelings of frustration kicked in. I worked so hard to get to the level that I could participate in the scrimmage based exercises and here I was bloody injured again.

So this is the end result after being hit by Cherry (and it was the first time she's actually knocked me down). Sod having favourite skaters if this is what happens to you. God knows what's going to happen when I come up against GodJilla hehe.

I have being using humour to try and distract myself but the truth is I'm absolutely gutted right now. In no way am I blaming Cherry I know the risks that go with doing derby I'm just gutted that after last year I thought my injury dramas were behind me and here are they are fucking me up again. My knee isn't any better today so who knows how long I'm out for. What kills me is that I was starting to make some progress on the track. I'm just gutted :(