Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What happens in Newy...ends up in this blog.

The first half of this post will probably go down as the shortest non RDAU bout write up I'll ever do but I couldn't not mention the Newy bout :) It was the first time in over a year that I was watching a Newy bout and not doing a write up for the RDAU site. I brought along one of my sister's to her first Newy bout and she had an absolute ball. In the bout program there was a survey to fill out about NRDL and their bouts. I couldn't help it on some of the answers instead of just ticking yes or no I added my own 2c especially on bout suggestions. It won't take long whoever is reading it to work out which one was mine hehe.

With no writing resposibilities it didn't take long to get into rabid fan mode :) I was on my best behaviour so it was nowhere near as bad as what I'm like watching Liverpool play (the last time I went overseas to watch them play at Anfield I almost fell over the concrete barrier and onto the field celebrating when we scored hehe) All the personnel changes messed with my head, Danger as a Hellcat was the hardest one to get my head around. On the plus side GodJilla and Brigand Strong were both Smashleys :D

Although the teams have gone through some massive changes it was almost the same old. Close at the beginning, then the Hellcats took a commanding lead so that the Smashleys were forced to play catch up. One change I noticed was with the Smashleys Hippy High Rola. Most bouts I've seen her play she tends to favour going along the outside line when she tries to get lead jammer but at this bout she mixed it up and went along the inside line and managed to still get lead jammer. No idea if it was intentional or not.

The bout was an absolute roller coaster I was either pulling my hair, biting my nails or just cheering on the Smashleys. At one stage Joe Brown (one of Newy's biggest fans) and I were cheering on the Smashleys in tandem, it was lots of fun! I loved Quirky's never say die attitude as she'd launch herself often getting airborne at a Hellcats jammer as the last line of defence. Jilla surprised me a little. In the last few Smashley bouts I watched most of Jilla's blocking was backwards blocking which we all know she's boss at. In this bout she went back to the more traditional blocking during the night. In the end it didn't matter in which direction she blocked she still kicked arse. One of the funniest things was seeing some Hellcats blockers try and push Jilla out of the way or carve her. The only impact they made was causing Jilla to smile at their attempts before she sent them flying hehe.

Brigand Strong = BOSS! She put in another amazing performance which highlighted why she's one of my favourite skaters. In the final jam for the first half  she scored a 15-0 jam which brought the Smashleys back into the game to leave them just trailing 46-40. There aren't enough superlatives to describe how she played that night. She jammed so effortlessly and could withstand any hits the Hellcats sent her way. When it came to blocking she was marshalling her troops to where they needed to be, she laid off some cracking hits but when she wasn't putting on a massive hit she was positional blocking to perfection. Her efforts were rightly awarded with the Smashleys MVP of the bout.

I admit I was probably paying more attention to the Smashleys but there were some Hellcats players that stood out. Rum n Rola played a blinder and she's improving with each bout. Ohhh Dangerass, another amazing all rounder up in Newy and now a Hellcat. She didn't jam as much as usual but she punished the Smashleys with her blocking. She pretty much played the pivot role even when she didn't have the pivot stripe on her helmet. She stuck to the Smashleys jammers like glue that the only way to get around her would have been committing a major and getting yourself sent to the box but considering how awesome she was playing in stopping the jammers she probably would have positional blocked them all the way to the penalty box to stop them getting ahead of her. I was simultaneously yelling 'Far out Danger' while applauding her. She was unplayable that night even though it was to the detrimental to the Smashleys but I still applauded her.   

I've got to mention Cass. She had her serious face on jam timing and did her job really well. I don't envy her especially the end to the bout. With the bout literally going down to the wire the Smashleys only needed a few more seconds to win it but time ran out and Cass had to blow the whistle and she did which allowed the Hellcats to win it by three points. I'd hate to be in that position but she handled it cool as a cucumber.

One of my goals for the night was to meet Brigand Strong one of my favourite skaters. It was a switch flicked inside me because as soon as the bout finished I went from the intensity of the bout to starstruck, shy fan mode. My sister had enough of me putting off going up to Brig and ended up introducing the both of us to Brig. To make matters worse she spoke to Brig more than I did. Bloody shyness. It wasn't as bad as meeting Jilla for the first time but it wasn't a great performance from me either. It wasn't all bad though I ended up getting a pic with Brig :)

The tendon in my ankle is getting better but I wasn't confident enough to train on it last week. I'll be back at training this week all strapped up and ready to go. I went along to training to see what my team mates were working on and to jam time for scrimmage. I'm loving Jeremy's enthusiasm for merby and wanting to train. It's contageous. I can't wait to cheers him on when he bouts. Some of my fellow C1's past and got promoted to C2 so they're allowed to scrimmage. A massive congrats to Lara, Dee and Te'res :D After seeing Lara get unfortunately annihalated by Jac and then Apple in quick succession I'm somewhat shitting bricks for when I eventually move up to C2 one of these decades.

There's quite a few bouts coming up to look forward to. First up the SRDL finals this weekend. The Unicorns vs BSK bout should be interesting. On paper the Unicorns have the better team but they haven't managed to beat BSK who I think play better as a team. It's surprising that Torture doesn't jam anymore since she made the switch from BSK to Unicorns because she's a beast of a jammer along with her destructive blocking.

I'll be committing blasphamy on the 8th September when the Hellcats bout WSR's travel team the Boutlaws by cheering on the Hellcats. I know some people from WSR but the Hellcats are an NRDL team so that wins out plus there's some awesome players in the Hellcats with some of them ex-Smashleys.

The following week my HARDies bout against the Blue Mountains guys which will be awesome sauce. If our guys play like they did in their last two bouts I reckon we're in with a good chance. I'm looking forward to the workout I'll get on the sidelines jumping up and down cheering them on :)

The 27th October will be a massive night. HARD is hosting its first ever home out. We're bouting against S2D2 another fellow new kid on the derby block. There's also going to be a merby bout to start the night which will be lots of fun. I've dubbed it the 'Team Media' bout because I'm part of Roller Derby AU and the guys from S2D2 (Noms, Big Kahuna, and Ann O'War) are all Viva La Derby so that's added some bragging rights to the bout hehe. On the same night Newcastle are bouting against Auckland up in Newy so it's finally happened HARD and NRDL clashing on the same night. I joked on Facebook it was like picking your favourite child but the truth is there was never any decision to make. It was always going to be HARD and always will be because they're my league, doesn't mean I'm not slightly bummed out to be missing on the Dames bout.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

That was fun, can we do it again?

So it was back on skates last Friday after a month off and can you guess what happened? Yep I psyched myself out before I even put on my skates. I can do it so well that I'm on the verge of throwing up and my legs go to jelly. It's a talent I wish I didn't have and it's a puzzling one because all the years I played soccer and the grand finals I played in I was never like this, I was just so eager to go out there and play. Jacqui was a calming influence and the hug from Jeremy was the cherry on top. Simon suggested I spend the weekend training with the freshies while I got back into the groove and I completely agreed with him. It was the right decision especially since the guys were practising for the bout the next night. I started to get back into my groove the more I skated, and I identified the skills I was a little rusty or weak on. It was good in that I got to meet and skate with some team mates that I hadn't met yet.

Complete this sentence - it's all fun and games ........ I was going through the drills that Simon was giving us when I felt a tweak in the tendon that runs up my right ankle, yep one of the problem areas from last year. Suddenly I couldn't support myself when I did the hydrant moves on my right leg. Well that was just crap. I was only feeling it when I did that so I was able to finish off training without any further problems. It didn't go so well on Sunday when the pain kicked in just as I started skating and got worse. Doing the sensible thing I stopped instead of going on and being forced to lose a month off from injury.

It was down to the 'gong on Saturday for the WIRD double header and wow what a night it was for so many reasons. I was so proud of our guys against BSK. Yeah the score deficit was higher than against SAS but our guys played so much better and scored more points. They played to their own game plan instead of just worrying about how BSK were going to play. I've got absolutely no idea how I'm supposed to keep the Roller Derby AU bout write up as unbiased as possible haha.

From the last few WIRD bouts I've gone to it's clear to see they've stepped up a gear. They're still a hard hitting side but they've added more to their overall game and are playing really well now. It was the first time I watched the Melbourne Death Stars bout and they did prettty well in what was only their sixth bout as a team. They've got a pretty good core of players there and will no doubt improve. They've even got a player called Lisbeth Slander in their ranks haha, pretty similar to my derby name. I guess it's a popular choice.

Lastly from that night there was a skater from the Death Stars that I was hoping to meet after the bout. Her name is Bonnie Crash. Just as I started derby I read her feature article in a issue of HAM and it blew me away. Barring having a child, I could have easily written that article about myself, my experiences and the impact derby has had on me. It was such an inspiring piece and gave me hope that anything was possible. Of course I was too shy to say anything so it wasn't until a couple of weeks ago when I worked up the courage to send her a message on Facebook. I got to meet her after the bout and she came across as a nice person and an inspiring one at that.

Off the track I've been eating better and engaging in more physical activity and strengthening work. I don't want derby to be my only physical exercise and I figure if I'm doing other sports or activities it'll probably help strengthen my body for derby too. I'm planning on going back to doing boxing classes and once my knees are in a better condition I'll probably switch over to kick boxing. I've got some fun races lined up for the end of this year and the beginning of next year that I want to do - think mud run, warrior dash etc. Eventually I want to go back to playing football aka soccer (Suzie if you're reading this, I can't extinguish this flame no matter how hard I try!). I figure this mixture of strength and cardio work will help me out on the derby track down the line.

The withdrawl symptoms can finally subside because there's a Newy bout on this Saturday and I can make it haha. My sister who recently got married is coming up with me to watch her first Newy bout and we're making a weekend of it so it'll be good to catch up on all the old haunts we used to go to when we were kids. Also I'm pretty stocked because both Jilla and Brig will be on the same team and they're both Smashleys woohoo! Plus I get to cheer like crazy and be a fan only. The only thing I'm worried about is meeting Brig for the first time because given my track record when I met Cherry and Jilla this one will also be a nerve wracking, blushing, stuttering disaster hehe. I guess that's a part of me that never grew up - feeling like a kid when you meet your fav musician, sport stars etc for the first time. Wish me luck that I don't fuck this up ;)  

Monday, August 13, 2012

Finding the match to light the spark

This past month is the longest I've gone without derby training and for ONCE it wasn't injury related! I've had two weddings to go to, playing tour guide for my relo's from Germany plus I managed to pick up a cold in between. I don't regret any of it (except for getting sick) and would do it all again it just made for a manic month which ended up messing me up for a while that I've had to make changes both in and outside of derby.

For year's I've overfilled my life whether it be working two jobs and going to TAFE at night or not having a single night free during the week that whenever I've stopped to have a break even just for a few days I've gotten sick because my body is used to going 100% all the time. No surprise it happened again this time when I took a week off work to show my relo's the sight's of Sydney. I can't do this anymore, it's not healthy so I've had to re-organise my life to have some spare time but still feel like I've been productive.

One of my major decisions was to go on an indefinate hiatus from doing bout write up's for Roller Derby AU. I've already spoken to Ivy who is in charge and she's cool with it. Truth is they take up a shit load of my time during the week when I work on them and it was starting to get to the stage where I missed the experience of being able to just watch a bout and go ape shit cheering on from the sidelines instead of making sure I got down as much info as I could for the write up. I would like to finish up on covering the WIRD double header this Saturday because it would allow me to do my first write up on my fellow HARDies bouting as a team but then it would mean that the next bout I go to as a fan would be the Smashleys vs Hellcats bout next week so that ties it up nicely! At the very least I'd like to be able to cheer on both HARD and NRDL (if they're participating) at the ERRD finals in October. I will go back to doing write up's I just don't know when at this stage.

The longer this last month went on the more I found myself going down a slippery slope of negativity. Sure some of it was down to sickness, and the longer my routine went out the window and I could feel the weight coming back on, the more lost at sea I felt. There were times where I'd look at that monster Jilla pic and think godammit I'm never going to get to bouting level because I was missing out on training then I got the news last week that pretty much extinguished whatever spark I had left when my grandmother said that the doctor's told her they found a spot on her lung during her latest x-ray exam. My family is the most important thing to me which is highlighted by the tattoo on my left arm so when I heard the news the panic set in for me. My grandmother has had cancer twice in her life and pretty much has her own pharmacy in her room from all the pills she consumes. So now comes the nervous wait to see what the tests will show up. By last Friday I was struggling to get my head above a sea of negativity and derby felt like a million miles away BUT then...

I ended up going to the CCRG bout last Saturday night and something just changed inside me. I saw some of my team mates for the first time in weeks and even though I was doing reporting duties and taking down a shit load of notes I had an absolute ball. The merby bout killed me I was in absolute stitches and the Astro Naughties vs Voodoo Dollies was an absolute nail biter and tense. Don't get me wrong I laughed a lot when my relo's were here but it was something different at the bout on Saturday night, it was like I found the match to light the spark back up that was missing this past month.

It's back to training again this Friday and I know I'll suck arse because I haven't skated for a while and my fitness levels went backwards fast but dammit I'm really looking forward to it :)