Friday, July 8, 2011


So I missed a few more practices due to a cold, and allergies, a migrane from hell, and being out of ton over the 4th of July weekend.
Last night I wrestled with my demons and decided to go. While skating with the new group of fresh meat (about half of my old fresh meat class, the girls who started when I did in March, graduated to become rosterable skaters!) I started to feel discouraged.
Some of the new girls can skate circles around me. During a couple of the drills I was fighting back tears because here I am, having been doing this since March, and I am still slower than some of the girls who are just starting. I realize we all have to start somewhere, and my first time ever on skates was 2 weeks before my first derby practice! Some of these new girls have been skating all their lives.
When I first arrived at practice last night, one my teammates said hi, and asked where I'd been. We chatted for a while and she has been involved in derby forever--she was one of the founders of our team. She said that she has seen people who improve fast and those who improve slower, she said that some girls start off great and then plateau. There are so many different people. She told me not to give up, and I admitted that the thought had crossed my mind a time or two.
Yes, it has been frustrating at times that I can't do a crossover and that I feel so much more awkward at times on the rink than the other girls look. But I have improved SO MUCH from when I began. Do I still lose my balance and fall a lot? Sure, but I fall small :)
And last night, while skating laps on the outside of the track, one of the veteran skaters doing drills on the inside, was knocked out of bounds and into me, and I didn't fall, in fact, it barely phased me. My Meat Mistress saw me take the hit and smiled and nodded at me. I gave her a thumbs up. If that would've happened a few months ago, I would have been on the floor.
Small things like that keep me going, even when at other times during last night's practice I was holding back tears at not being able to do a few of our drills...
I know I have to keep trying, and I have been missing a lot of practices over the past couple of months, but I definitely plan on re-prioritizing derby in my life-as well as my physical fitness in general- if I get in better shape, derby will hopefully get easier!
In the words of Andy Grammer (and the video I am about to share below (hopefully it works)), I just gotta keep my head up!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

long time no update

I had a 3 week hiatus from derby. I took the first Thursday in June off to pack for my trip back to Canada. Surprised my grandparents with a visit and then saw my aunt (the daughter of the grandmother who died in May)
It was a whirlwind trip, but it was great to see family again.
Upon return to the East, I was too jet lagged to attend Sunday practice (getting into town 90 minutes before practice began). Monday night was spent doing laundry, groceries and watching game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals. On Thursday I fully intended to go to practice, but I was just exhausted and wound up in bed by 8pm.
Sunday was my first practice in the month of June. It was kind of awkward, because my other fresh meat buddies were either practicing with the vets (having passed their minimum skills tests) or testing on the final few skills they needed to perfect in order to pass. Sunday was also a recruitment night in our league, where I think about 8 new fresh meat girls joined. I sort of floated around near them for a bit, but I ended up leaving early since I was tired.
Monday night I practiced with the new meat girls and it was a little frustrating to me that most of them are already so good, and I've been here three months and still can't do a crossover.
Still, I know it will be good to keep practicing with them and hopefully I will be able to do the minimums in September and pass them.
The good news is, that having been on the team for 3 months, I was able to submit my name and number, although I won't be able to use it until after I pass minimums! just another reason to keep pushing on!!!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

the serious side of derby

Every derby girl knows the dangers of her sport. The risk for injury is something we are well aware of. We've all fallen, or taken a good hit, and shown the bruises off proudly as a badge of honor.
In my short time in derby, I've had a few bruises, and am currently sporting a large one on the inside of my left calf from landing on my own skate on Thursday night. But there are many more serious injuries than bruises.

During a scrimmage a week or so ago, a girl on the opposing team lost a temporary cap from one of her teeth, and banged up her chin. A ref skated into a wall head first about a month ago, in an attempt to keep from further injuring a previous injured shoulder, and that resulted in him needing a few stitches from jamming his helmet into his forehead.
There are some girls who get injured so badly they can't skate anymore. Some of them stay involved as coaches, NSOs, or volunteers.
One of my close friends, a girl who I've known for years, who lives back in Canada, and joined derby a few weeks before me, well, she broke her tailbone on her first practice. She continued to go to practices, learning the rules of games while she officiated the scrimmages for the girls who were skating. When she healed from the tailbone injury, she went back on skates. Unfortunately, on Thursday night, as she was leaving the rink, she fell and broke her ankle in three places. She had surgery yesterday to put in pins and plates. It will be six months before she'll be allowed back on skates. Some girls might refuse to do it again, but I have a sneaking suspicion she will lace up her skates again one day, because as dangerous as derby can be, if you love it, it becomes a part of who you are.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Slowly but surely I am improving.
Last night we were doing one footed glides (lifting one foot and just skating on the other). Up til now I hadn't been able to do it, but something clicked last night and I got it. I skated most of the width of the rink on one foot. Don't know if I'll be able to do it on the other foot anytime soon, but it felt so good to finally get it!

We also did some pack work, practiced wheel locking (touching wheels with another person) this happens a lot when you are trying to stay tight with your pack and it is such a weird feeling. You feel like your going to fall (and I did a couple of times) but once you get used to it you can keep your balance and recover quickly while its happening.

We were practicing scooter pushes last night too. Combined, the right scooter push and left scooter push make up a crossover. I can do the right scooter push, and thats pretty much how I skated for the first several weeks. I eventually was able to start pushing off with both feet, which has helped a lot! But I still can't figure out the left scooter push. I know you're supposed to be able to get your left leg behind your right leg, but I just can't figure out how to make my body do it.

Small steps tho right?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

so who is derby newbie anyway?

On Monday's practice another team came to scrimmage our team. They brought a photographer with them. In looking through the photos he took, I came across one of myself. It was during our 25 in 5 (in which I only got 16 1/2 laps) But In case you were all wondering what I look like in all my gear, here is a pic!

Thats me in all my derby glory!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

new discovery

Way back in March, when I first joined my league and was talking with some of the veteran skaters about gear, someone mentioned knee gaskets. I didn't order any at first, because it wasn't part of the fresh meat package I ordered online, and I totally forgot to look for them on the website I ordered from.

Fast forward to last night. One of the NSOs and part time ref for our league owns his own skate shop and gives our league members discounts on his stuff. A while back I had asked him about knee gaskets, to which he had said to let him know which size I wanted and he would get back to me. Well, I never did get back to him as we never managed to be at practices at the same time. Until Thursday. He came near the end of practice with the gaskets. He said he'd be back for Monday's practice and I said I'd bring my money.

Let me tell you, falling is so much more comfortable with the gaskets. They are completely made of neoprene, and they are extra padded right around the knee cap. They offer an extra layer of cushioning and as a bonus, have velcro on the top and bottom in front, so they stick to the inside of your actual knee pad which helps to prevent slippage.

The only complaint I had about the gaskets, is that they are skin tight. Even tho I did get the extra large, my lower legs really bothered me as practice went on, and I wonder if it had anything to do with the tightness of the gaskets. I guess time will tell, maybe they will stretch out a little with use, as my kneepads themselves did.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

back on wheels

Well, sorry for the hiatus folks but things in my life outside of derby have been going a little less than perfectly so I had taken a little break.

Over the past two weeks I did manage to get my skate sent away to have the toe-stop repaired so when I went to Thursday night's practice, I was able to wear my own skates. Originally I had thought I would have to wear rental skates for a couple of practices, and I would have had I not missed the few practices while my skates were away.

The rink had been resurfaced, so we had a couple of practices missed because of that.
Stepping out onto the now super shiny wood floor I felt a mixture of a home-coming and a sense of it all being brand new again. A few strides around the track and I was feeling fine. It was great to be back on skates again.
I only stayed for a little more than half of practice, as I had been suffering with a migraine for most of the week and didn't want to make it worse by dehydrating myself or sacrificing one more hour of my precious sleep.
I think I did ok, even tho I did fall a few times. We spent a lot of time on pack-work, which is something I really need to work on still. I am not good at keeping pace with the other girls and I always feel like I am falling behind. We did some weaving and some whips which were fun as usual.
I was about to take my skates off when we did the 25-in 5 drill. I was really worried that I would not do well with our new grippy floor and having been off skates for a while, but I managed to do my best yet! 17 3/4 laps!
One of the girls acted as a personal cheerleader for me, skating inside the track and encouraging me. It's also really awesome to hear some of the vets cheering me on from the sidelines.
It's awesome to have such a supportive team. they've all been new before so they all know what its like. I can't wait till I'm on the sidelines cheering on some new girl who is fighting through it. I know I'll get there eventually.