Monday, August 25, 2014

I'm still here :)

I've realised that it's been a few months between posts from me. Lots and nothing has happened in that vague of me. In more recent times there's a couple of bouts I watched which I will go into further detail later on in this post. Like every other year since I started derby I've had no shortage of niggling injuries which kept me off the track at various stages. I missed my first chance to bout this year after tearing my calf muscle while doing an obstacle race then missed the rescheduled bout because I didn't meet minimum attendance levels required due to all the training I missed from the torn calf muscle. I had absolutely no issue with that one, it was the right call.

The biggest issue I'm finding this year is that I've lost my spark. No, I'm not quitting derby. If I haven't quit by now after all the injuries quite frankly I don't think I ever will. Well at least until I can't physically skate anymore! Going into this year I was injury free and had an awesome pre-season and I was feeling the fittest I had been since I started derby. I genuinely felt this was going to be my year in derby but then my world went to pieces when I lost my grandmother in February. Her death has affected me more than I've ever let on but I've discovered that it has come out in other ways. I've felt really flat in general and things that normally leave me on such a natural high like roller derby and Liverpool just aren't having the same impact for me this year.

Don't get me wrong I have experienced some amazing moments this year both in derby and outside of it. I really do have some awesome people and team mates in my life which I am so thankful for. Personally this year is a write off for me. I just want to get through this year and try and get my spark back again in the process. Even if I don't fulfill any of my derby goals this year that's ok they'll just get transferred over to next year or until I finally achieve them. I can be stubborn like that sometimes :)

This month has been bit of a funny one for me. Personally it has been absolutely rubbish but derby wise it has been absolutely fantastic. A couple of weekends ago it was the ULTIMATE derby weekend for me. On the Saturday night I travelled up to Newy to watch the Dames bout for the first time since the Great Southern Slam. It kicked off with the Brisbane City Rollers boys taking on a mixed mens team from skaters all around NSW. I got there late and missed most of the first half...oops. I do like watching the guys play. I love their different playing style. The BCR boys came away with a pretty comfortable win but the mixed team certainly gave them a scare at the beginning of the second half when they started to claw away the defecit.

The night was even more awesome because three of our refs were officiating both bouts and another zebra in training Thomas was NSOing both bouts. HARD represent ;) Last year I won Jilla's actual team jacket in the auction that the NRDL guys had so this year I've worn the jacket to all the NRDL bouts I've been too. The only problem is in the last two home bouts that I've worn it I've had people come up to me from behind thinking I'm Jilla only to disappointed when they realise I'm anything but because clearly Jill and I look the same. Should have gone to spec savers hehe.

The night was made even more special due to catching up with some old familiar faces like Deathrow, Quirky and Stotty. Sure I love the Newy league but given all the year's I've spent watching them it's evolved into more than just derby. It's the social aspect of it that I also love which is pretty huge for me because I'm such an introvert. I lost count of how many times that night I had my arse pinched or slapped and felt up by various members too. I guess I'm 'in' with them!

For the main bout it saw the Dames take on the Brisbane City Rollers. I've never seen BCR bout so I didn't know what to expect but the Dames didn't have Babycakes who was still tearing up all the half pipes in the US. It was all Dames at the beginning. It doesn't matter how many Newy bouts I watch it never gets old seeing the same things happen every bout. You can bet your life that Fannie and Reggie will be amongst the pack belting the crap out of opposing skaters with ridiculously good, solid blocking or they will just get in their way and stop them from passing. Danger and her ghetto arse blocking as I like to call it stopping an entire team by herself not to mention the wicked angles she gets her body to positionally block another skater. Then there's Jilla. With all her backwards blocking she sets her team up like a conductor from the front of the pack. Surprisingly this bout was a mixture of how she currently plays with all the backwards blocking and all the non backwards blocking when I first started watching her bout. I haven't even mentioned the jammers. Champain and Ruddo were phenomenal that night with their jamming. They were unplayable. BCR had no chance of resting because the likes of Drop Bear and Thunder were just as effective when they jammed. It was just such a good all round team performance. It was all Dames with a convincing victory :)

The next day saw a derby dream come true for me. My league were taking on NRDL's B team the Star Riots. Before you ask, of course I was cheering for my own team but I won't lie the bout was an absolute head fucker for me because I have never cheered against an NRDL team before. Hell I even cheered on the Hellcats against WSR just to prove my point haha. My guys started the stronger and it all went to shite for the Riots initially. They lost their jammer Vanilla to an ankle injury in the opening few jams then Tanties broke the plate on one of her skates. The Riots were short on personnel and had Champain, Kali and Thunder backing up from the previous night's bout. Champain's quality stood out. She was doing backwards blocking and bracing at a high level, Jilla would have been proud. I kept yelling to my guys to avoid Champain because once they were in her sight they weren't going anywhere. My guys dealt out some big blocks and walls and Posh as jammer was a guaranteed points winner. The change in lead see-sawed and it was a fairly close bout in the first half. My fingers were actually hurting  from how much I was biting my nails from nerves.

The second half was more of the same but then the Riots hit some tempo and Missy was picking up points as jammer as they started to edge ahead. My guys kept fighting on but it wasn't to be as the Riots held on for the win despite ending the bout with only seven skaters. My guys did some good things and hopefully they got a lot out of it. Outscoring the Riots jammer who was lead on a couple of occassions was a major plus. Rex is very sneaky :) Hopefully there's a re-match down the track. I watched the bout with Tox who had me in stitches. She's awesome company :)