Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Derby hangover

Supermegaderbyweekendexpialidocious was just over a week ago and I ended up suffering bit of a derby hangover but what a weekend it was! Lots of screaming, fun to be had and lessons learnt. It didn't get off to the best start as it took me two hours to get home from work on Friday night after the truck overturned on the main road I use so I just got to training on time. Whether it was being stuck in traffic for two hours or it was something else something felt off as I walked into the training venue. I just wasn't feeling it which was annoying because Womb Raider was taking us through some really good drills. No matter what I did I was absolutely rubbish and as the night went on the worse I got. It did suck that after making some regular progress the last few weeks that I was now hitting a wall. It came down to how I handled this setback. Up until now I'd get the shit's for days whenever I had a setback and be extremely critical of myself. This time around I decided to write off this disasterous session and start again on Sunday which is a pretty big change for me.

Saturday morning and it was up to Gateshead for NRDL's fresh meat info day. I wasn't joining NRDL instead I was going up there to give Cass a little birthday present and for a social skate. I love Cass, she's such an amazing person, Newy are lucky to have her in their ranks. After seeing her reaction to the little Newy and HARD lego skaters I made for myself I decided to make her a set of Dames skaters and her reaction when she them cracked me up once again :)

I saw a few familiar faces and I met Tootsie Turbo, she knew who I was before I even opened my mouth which surprised me because I'm not sure how she knows me. I got to have a skate and although I was just skating it felt a lot better than my attempt the previous night at training. The track up there is nice to skate on. I'm figuring I'll add another ridiculously high target to my list of bouts I'd like to be in. One day I'd love to be able to bout against the Fort Smashleys with whichever team I eventually get drafted into in HARD. I sure love dreaming big hehe but at least it gives me something to aim for whether it's realistic or not. One of my highlights from that session was Danger getting a sneaky whip off me while I was chatting and skating with Cass. Danger's one of my fav Newy skaters so I was like WOW hehe

Saturday night saw me head out to Penrith to do reporting duties for the WSR double header. I had the best seat in the house, I was sitting next to Big Kahuna at the commentators table so we got to have a good chat in between jams. He was such a gentleman whenever I came back to my seat he'd always pull out the chair for me, bless him! It was good to watch some of my derby friend's bout who I hadn't had a chance to see bout yet. I enjoyed watching both bouts and there still hasn't been a bout where I haven't learnt something new.

Sunday morning I headed off to the airport to pick up my relo's from the airport. I was home for half an hour before I headed off down to the 'gong to watch my league in their first ever bout. They were bouting my fav SRDL home team: SAS. I wasn't doing reporting duties which meant I got to be a fan for the day YAY! A funny story I was about to walk into the bathroom just as Freyda Cox was coming out. I wanted to say Oh my gosh you're one of my favourite SRDL players but it wasn't the best time to say anything except hi. I was so proud of our guys, they did a great job especially those bouting for the very first time like Phat. I was on my best behaviour so I wasn't as vocal or animated like I am when I watch Liverpool play otherwise I would have paced up and down the sidelines living every hit and move. Poor Bede was standing next to me though filming the bout so all you're probably going to hear on the audio is my screaming and swearing haha. We play BSK at the WIRD double header on the 18th so I'm really looking forward to watching my fellow HARDies go and skate their hearts out again and do us proud.

As soon as the bout finished I went back home grabbed my gear then headed out to training. I was really impressed with Cherry and Cheya because they bouted against SAS and then came back for training, what machines! It was inspiring. It ended up being one of the toughest training sessions I'd had in a while because I was doing a lot of skills for the very first time so I was really pushed out of my comfort zone. I sucked arse at them but I persisted until the end. I ended up doing a proper transistion for the first time after persisting at it until I got it right and improved on the attempts I made the week before.  No surprise by the time I got home on Sunday night I was feeling pretty shattered from the big derby weekend but I learnt a lot along the way and had fun in the process.

Another lesson I learnt from the weekend was not getting ahead of myself. Most of my derby goals involve different sorts of bouts and training between HARD and NRDL. As much as I'd love to see all those goals happen I'm a LONG way off from that happening. I know our training committee won't pass anyone unless they're 100% sure a skater has passed and while it can be frustrating at times to not be at bouting level it would be even worse to be at bouting level before I'm ready and then getting absolutely annihilated by Newy and not offering any sort of contribution to the bout or training. After such an injury ravaged start to derby I'm slowly starting to make progress and if I keep my head down and keep working hard I'll eventually make it to bouting level even though I'll probably go down in the Guiness book of records as taking the longest to get to bouting level.  

The unthinkable happened last Saturday night - I missed a Newy home bout for the first time in a year haha. I was a bridesmaid at my sister's wedding. The thing's you do for family :P They were completely changing the line up's and it wasn't being revealed until the bout. I made a few predictions on Cass' FB wall before the bout: 1) Bermuda Thigh Tangles was going to be a Smashley based on a Smashley spa party she mentioned on her FB page a few days before. 2) The Danger/Jilla combo was going to be split based on the fact that they said there were going to be lots of changes and new combo's forming 3) Brig and Jilla were going to be on the same team. This one was wishful thinking on my part because I would have loved to have seen them on the same side but knowing my luck if it happened they'd be both put on the Hellcats and not the Smashleys. Funnily enough all my predictions came true except that both Brig and Jilla are both on the Smashleys YAY!! Truth be told even if they both ended up as Hellcats I'd still remain a Smashley fan and cheer them on while hoping their side lost. Confusing? haha. I'm looking forward to the next Newy bout on the 25th August because not only will I be bringing my sister to her first Newy bout, I'll be going as a fan for the first time in over a year and not doing a write up so I'll be able to scream my lungs out. I wonder if you can get thrown out of a bout for being too vocal ;)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


So I learnt a few new things at training last Sunday. Firstly the thought of backwards blocking scares the shit out me. We were practising some drills and it was the first time I'd even attempted doing it so of course I freaked out, got caught in two minds and ended up leaving a gap in the wall for the jammer to get through so that was an epic fail on my behalf. I think I really need to learn how to skate backwards. It wasn't all bad news. I've discovered that I'm feeling a lot more comfortable when it comes to being hit by a back block. Before I'd freak out and would almost certainly stack it, now it's more like 'yeah I know you're behind me and if it takes you back blocking me to the ground to get past me then I must be doing something right'.

Another thing I've realised for a while actually is that I'm probably not the best person to be NSOing. I really can't be impartial. I've only ever done jam timing so once the jam is under way I'm too busy watching and cheering people on so I'm really not a good example of when it comes to NSOing :) 

Those that know me know I'm not really the affectionate, big kisses and hugs kinda girl. I am however willing to make an exception. At HARD we have the most aptly named Team Zebra member Stunt Muffin. Jeremy's always smiling at training and always appears to be in a good mood that it's infectious whenever you're around him. I swear whenever I see him I just feel like giving him a hug. I wish there was more people like him in the world.

To the explanation behind the title of this post. If I'm not sick of roller derby by the time this weekend is over then I'll never be :) This is how my weekend is looking.


7-9: Derby training


10-1: NRDL freshmeat info day

5-9: WSR double header bout


9:05: Pick up my relo's from the the airport

1pm: WIRD double header bout

5-8: Derby training

It's funny how some things work out better than you had initially planned. I had planned to go up for a NRDL social skate on Saturday and give Cass a little birthday present without realising it was NRDL's fresh meat info day the same day. So not only will I get to watch a demo bout, I'll also be allowed to join in on the free skating session afterwards and get to skate with hopefully some of the NRDL big kids!!! A derby dream come true for me. Excited much?? haha. Sadly I can already see how this will turn out. My shyness will kick in so I'll spend an hour skating by myself, too shy to talk to anyone then I'll spend the trip home cursing myself for not having the guts to talk to anyone.

I promised Pepa la Pow a while back that I'd cover one of her bouts so I'll be rushing back from Newy to cover both bouts at the WSR double header so that's two write up's to look forward to next week.

Sunday morning some of my relo's from Germany are arriving for my sister's upcoming wedding. The plane is due to arrive 9:05am so by the time they get through customs and we get home I'm going to have to leave right away to head down to the 'Gong for the WIRD double header. This one is extra special though becauase it'll be HARD's first ever interleague bout as the CamoKazi's. If everything works like clockwork I should be there JUST before the bout starts. I'm going there to cheer my league on especially my team mate Fear my Phat. It's her first ever bout so I wanted to be there to cheer her on. She forms the other half of the Phat Slam so there was no way I wasn't going to be there. So from there it'll be back to Sydney for my normal derby training session and then I'll eventually have to start working on the two WSR bout write up's.

Lastly I felt the time was right to get my derby related tattoo. No it doesn't involve skates at all. For those that don't know my derby name Lisbeth Slammed-her is taken from the character Lisbeth Salander from the Millenium trilogy books and movies. In the Swedish movies (which is the only version worth watching) she has a dragon tattoo on her back like this:

From the second I watched the first movie I fell in love with her character. I could relate to some of the shitty stuff she went through and how she didn't use it as an excuse, instead she kept fighting. Even though it's all a work of fiction I really admired that and found it inspiring. I've decided I want to get that tattoo on my right calf. It's as much as a nod to the character who inspired my derby name as it is for me and a reminder to never stop fighting. I've already found the tattooist, it's none other than Kiki Chaos from CCRG who is also a qualified tattooist. I've seen some of her work and it looks really impressive plus I thought it would have been a nice touch to get a derby inspired tattoo done by a fellow skater. It's just a matter of having a proper chat with Kiki to organise the logistics so it'll hopefully be done some time this year :) I did manage to track down the artist who actually created the dragon tattoo in the movie and he was kind enough to send me a high res pic so this will give you a better look of how it'll look.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The great balancing act

So much derby stuff has gone on since my last post surprise, surprise! I went to the CCRG bout which featured some of my fellow HARDies. It was a cracking bout which went down to the very last jam. Here's the write up I did for RDAU for the bout. Kiki Chaos from CCRG actually asked me if I wanted to cover their bouts on a regular basis which completely took me by surprise because I've never actually had a league ask me to cover their bouts on a regular basis.

I went to the SRDL bout and had a load of fun. I didn't have to do a write up so I got to be a fan. I'm a SAS fan and unfortunately they lost again. Freyda Cox was once again their star player. She may not be tall but it's proved virtually impossible for any BSK blockers including the awesome Great Bolz of fire to get past her when she was playing pivot. I watched the bout with my sister and a few friend's one of them being my friend Lyndall's fiance Michael. He was great to watch the bouts with because we're extremely similar when it comes to watching our teams play. We're both extremely vocal and get really caught up in the game that we forget that there's people sitting around us.

Some pretty huge news (for me anyway!). Our head trainer Lola Ebola is working with GodJilla to send some Newy skaters to come down and scrimmage with us! Holy fuckola I was like a kid on Christmas morning when I heard that. There's just one tiny little problem, I'm not at scrimmage level yet. I'm currently a Corporal level one but I need to be at least a Corporal level two to scrimmage. As far as I'm aware there hasn't been a date set yet for this awesome derby moment. I've had more setbacks than I've had wins with derby to date so while it probably wouldn't mean much to other people it would mean the world to me if I was able to scrimmage with or against them when this does happen. Even though I'd probably spend more time on my arse than on my skates it would feel like such a massive win for me. So I've basically used this as extra motivation to try and get myself up to scrimmage level. To the derby gods out there although I'd love for the entire Dames side to come down and scrimmage with us I'd happily settle for Jilla, Brig, Danger to be among those coming down for scrimmage ;)

As for training I seriously don't know what's happened and I really wish I haven't jinxed it now but I'm still injury free! Last Friday night I had bit of a crisis in confidence because the week before I really struggled to keep up with everyone else during the pack work that all those 'I'm not going to make it to bouting level' thoughts were bouncing around in my head. Phat was great and she helped snap me out of it. Remembering my goal of wanting to scrimmage against NRDL I instead turned to some advice for some positive motivation. I kept repeating 'confidence' and 'live the dream' to myself. If anyone saw me they were probably wondering why I was talking to myself haha. As for the significance for the word and phrase it comes from this:

For some reason I found them to be extremely helpful for me. I kept repeating them while I was working on learning how to do transistions even when I was getting extremely frustrated because I couldn't do them and SLOWLY I got to the point that I could do them. Yes they were extremely rough and I need to do a lot more work on them but I finally could do them for the first time! I may have expelled some liquid from my eyes in happiness and crushed a few people with bear hugs but I was just so relieved. I'm going to keep confidence and live the dream as my motto's because they certainly helped me out.  PS thanks for the inadvertently inspiring words Jilla :)

On Sunday we were doing hitting drills. I was all lost out at sea the more advanced the drills got but I couldn't remember the last time I had so much fun at training. My biggest problem is that I still have this fear working in close packs that I'll clip my skates, fall down and get injured. That's also why I struggle with trying to get through a wall and end up hesitating on the track. I loved blocking with Phat, she's definately someone I'd like to form a partnership with on the track. She's going to be an amazing blocker, it's amazing to watch her improve with each session. There was one drill where I got to block alongside Cherry and Phat which I absolutely loved. Hopefully I'll get to do that again with them in a bout. There was a funny moment. some of the ref's joined in on some of or hitting drills. During one of them Daniel was on the opposite team, he was looking at Phat who was coming up on his right hand side so he completely ignored me. I found a little gap so I decided to go and lay a hit on him and I did. Only problem was someone had already fallen down so there was a stray leg on the track that I didn't see so I tripped over that and landed on both of Phat's skates. So while I was on the ground in pain I was also equally happy with my hit on Dan haha. Now I'm sporting two swollen bruises on my right leg hehe.  

I got myself a skater ticket for the Aussie Rollercon and I'm already questioning whether I did the right thing or not! Seeing some of the high level skaters who are going is kinda scaring me because I'm nowhere near their levels. Maybe I can bring out cut oranges to them in between training drills :P I haven't even organised accomodation of flights yet so looks like I'll be going solo. So much for me and my bright ideas!

We all joke from time to time that derby will take over your life. With training, bouts, extra training on our own, learning rules plus in my case doing bout write up's it's not difficult to see how that can happen. While I'm single and have no kids I've noticed that I've allowed derby to have an impact on my relationships outside of the sport. In particular my relationship with my best friend Chris. He and I have been friend's for over 12 1/2 years. After my family, he's the next most important person in my life. I've been guilty of going into fan mode with derby that I've neglected Chris lately which I'm extremely disappointed in myself about because I don't want to lose him out of my life but I find it equally as scary that I've neglected other areas in my life so fast all in the pursuit of derby. I'm so desperate to make up for lost time with derby due to all my injury problems that all my focus went into the sport instead of finding a healthy balance with my life. It's something I'm currently trying to address.

Tomorrow I'll be updating a previous post that I've wanted to do for a while. It'll be ace and informative!