Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Some you like, some you don't...

I think I'm just going to have to accept that sometimes I'm going to love the hell out of a practice and other times I'm just going to want to kick it in the face until it bleeds all over the place.

Thursday practice was not my thing. Well, parts of it were pretty great, but a few things made me so beyond pissed that I wanted to scream, cry, run away, and maybe punch someone in the face (emotions may have been amplified due to lady things). There was only one other fresh meat girl at practice on Thursday so we just joined up with the vets to do the drills they were doing. Thursday was all about endurance. We did a lot of paceline drills (calling inside/outside is what made me so pissed if you can believe it - two different people telling me opposite ways to do an insanely simple thing, argh!) and another drill that was pure hell. In the drill we would full out sprint for a minute and then follow it up with a minute of a skill (some skills were: backwards skating, plow stops, knee falls, tomahawk stops, lateral hops, lunges, and some other things I'm forgetting). It was a very long and very hard drill. I was glad when it was over, but very proud of myself for not dying. :D

Saturday practice was much better. I had gotten rid of the pissed feeling and the girl I was sort of angry at wasn't there, so it was all good. The theme of the Saturday practice was footwork. We started with a few off skates things and then put on skates for some hopping, grapevines, weaving, ducking, and tomahawks. We then got on the track for some roller skating dodgeball. It sounds scary, but it was seriously the most fun I've ever had. It starts out with everyone skating on the track and several people have balls that they throw at the skaters. If you get hit below the knees then you are out (and can throw the balls at the remaining skaters). We did the dodgeball game in a pack, too and it was really cool how the pack still stayed together even though a bright pink ball would be running through our feet.

The next "game" we played was Last Man Skating. With everyone an equal distance apart from each other, we skated around the track once. After the first lap, it was your job to knock someone down or get them off of the track. I lasted all of 1 minute the first time we played and then stuck through almost until the end on the second round. I took some pretty good hits and managed to stay planted until one of the amazeballs vets took me down. She told me she was going to give me a few laps and then she'd be coming for me, and she sure did! I don't think I would have ever been able to get low enough to withstand her hit. I fell hard and felt nothing. I LOVE MY GEAR!

After a few other games and activities we moved on to some scrimmaging (eeeek!!!). In one of the jams I actually had a really good block and was super proud of myself. In another jam I got to be the jammer and I actually made it through the pack a few times (although the vets were being gentle on us freshies!). It was very rewarding and yet scary at the same time!

Tonight's practice was also great (even though it only lasted an hour and a half). We weren't able to be at the rink tonight, so we practiced at the nearby park. All day I was dragging my feet and thinking that I didn't want to go to practice. Several times I even considered posting in the team's group that I wasn't going to make it, but I decided I would go. I wasn't really in the mood for trail skating, but we didn't do that. We went to a section of the trail that the team practiced on when they first started and didn't have a real practice space.

We did a paceline drill and then the freshies went off to the side with our fresh meat coach (I was so glad he was back!). This was another practice where it was me and one other fresh meat girl (although the other fresh meat girl changes from practice to practice - it'll be a miracle if everyone actually comes to practice!). We practiced one foot glides and then learned how to do a hip twist. I think I'm getting there while on my left foot, but as always, gliding on my right foot is just sucky. Oddly enough I'm better on my right foot when trying to hip twist. I think that because I'm so focused on getting my body to be correct I don't think about gliding on my uncooperative foot as much. We did a bit of weaving around some shoes, and that was that. There wasn't much to do in an hour and a half and it was getting dark, so practice was over.

I am so glad that I went to practice. Tonight was the first time I just didn't want to go to practice and forcing myself to go was the right thing. Also, I think the one fresh meat girl that was at practice tonight was quitting (or having some sort of emotional problem) when I left. A few weeks ago I was confident that we would all make it through fresh meat and now girls are just disappearing and dropping. It's pretty upsetting.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

4:58 and Jumping

Last night during practice we did the 25-in-5 again. I was doing pretty great in the beginning and our ref, who was timing, said, “Good time!” when I had reached 5 laps. After about the 7th lap, I felt like I was slowing down. I don’t know what it was, but I felt extremely exhausted (it didn’t help that we had just done some off-skates stuff that made my legs feel like noodles). I pushed through and tried to just finish instead of collapse right on the track.

When I finished, I was told that my time was 4:58!! Sure, that’s only a 9 second improvement from my best time, but it’s less than five minutes. I was really stunned because I thought for sure my time would be around 6 minutes. Another thing that made it easier was that there was only one other fresh meat girl on the track with me. I really dislike passing people when we’re doing our 25-in-5, so I usually pace behind another person because it allows me to remember which lap I’m on (I lose count almost every time, especially if anyone yells anything to me – and I have ended up doing an extra lap before).

Anyway – the rest practice last night. So our fresh meat coach will be coming back, but he wasn’t at last night’s practice because he was having car issues. *sigh of relief* One of our skaters (she got MVP jammer at the last bout) was running the practice along with her boyfriend, who skates for a men’s team and was part of the old coaching staff. Oddly enough, there were only two of us fresh meat for the practice. One of the girls has officially dropped out for money and time reasons (but she had missed a lot of practice), another two or three don’t come in all that often because of their jobs, and another has school on Tuesday nights, so she usually comes late (but didn’t come at all last night).

She was going to torture us with some off-skates stuff, but since there were only two of us, she had to do it differently. We’d done crunches and leg lifts in the team stretching exercises after the initial jog, so we didn’t have to do more of those. We did some frog hops, suicides, high knees, and planks ; also, we did do a couple of new things:
  • Teabagging Squats – okay, there is a real name for them but I can’t remember, so they are officially teabagging squats to me. You’d get into a squat and hold it and then you’d bend up and down like you’re teabagging someone. The first set had 5 teabags, then 10, and then 11. It was a really great exercise and I’m going to try do it at home, I’m surprised I’m not sore from this one.
  • Squat Hops - Basically like the three hops and a squat but with one big hop rather than three
  • Squat with leg movement - No idea what to call this one, but we were in a squatting position and we would tap one leg forward and then back. Yeah, I can’t even explain it, lol
  • Leg Lifts - Standing on one foot and bringing the other leg up and then down without letting it touch the floor. This one helped create noodle legs since we did a ton of them.

After that she had us show her our falls and stops, I totally dorked up one of my 180s and another of my baseball slides – both on my left side, of course. I told her that we were still having trouble with left footed t-stops so we worked on those. The other fresh meat girl is now pretty good at them, but mine just blow hardcore. I can’t bring my left foot up and when I get it in the right place I don’t stick it down hard enough. Then we did plow stops. I’m feeling pretty comfortable with them and I love the sound a plow stop makes!

After that we moved onto some tomahawk stops, or rather, the basic turning around to get to a tomahawk. The guy, J, was helping me out while Y was helping the other fresh meat. The big mistake I keep making is that my left foot just wants to hang out somewhere else than where it should be. J even asked me at one point, “What is up with your left foot?” It just doesn’t do what I want it to do! I want it to turn around naturally, but the only way I am going to get it to be in line and not widely spaced out is to pick it up and turn it around to match my right foot. Rather than picking up my whole skate to turn it, I’ve started to get better at just lifting up half of it and turning it. The only thing I can do at this point is practice, practice, practice until I can do them right.

The other exciting thing we did was JUMPING! We did some hops on Saturday, but we did some actual jumping this time. The really exciting part is that J is basically amazing at jumps. He’s not quite Quadzilla, but I’ve seen him jump over 2 or 3 people, get 3+ feet of air, and he can go from a standstill to a fast skating 360 jump in a second. Not saying that Y isn’t amazing at jumping, she can jump ridiculously high.

The first thing we tried was jumping over a line on the floor. Once I was comfortable doing that, I moved to jumping over a broomstick handle. Once I made that handle my bitch (as Y put it), I moved to some downed cones. After the downed cones, J put a shoe on top of the downed cones put together (see the crummy drawing below) and I did that a few times. Except one of the times I hit the shoe with my skate and it fell off the cones. The last jump I tried was two cones standing together and upright. I did not clear them. In fact, I fell pretty spectacularly (last night I fell a ton, I have no idea what was up with me).

We joined the vets shortly after that and did a drill that I’m sure has a name, but I’m too lazy to look it up. We were separated into two groups of six with the slowest up front and in a tight paceline (physically keeping your hand on the person in front of you at all times) we skated 5 laps and then got off the track. Then the other group skated their 5 and we got on the track to skate 4 laps, then they did their 4, then we did three, and so on.

It was a good practice, but the lack of structure and the fact that there were only 2 of us made it feel kinda long (which has never happened at practice before). I’m hoping that Thursday’s practice has more fresh meat because just having two people is not awesome.

Apologies to anyone actually reading this blog; it’s more for me and a way to talk through and remember what I do from week to week. Once I get started talking I can’t really stop.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Three practices (long post is long)


In my last post I was worried about my ankle. It swelled to an outrageous size all through Tuesday and I was planning on telling the fresh meat coach that I wasn't going to be able to skate. I checked my email before leaving work for practice and saw a reminder that we were meeting at Greenway rather than the rink since they had an event. I decided I would give skating a try and if I had trouble skating to where the trails started then I wouldn't skate.

Practice started with an hour long league meeting before we donned our skates. I laced up my skates and skated with the team. I was able to keep up much better than I had on Friday. In the end we only skated 3 miles before it got too dark to do anything else, so we packed it in. When I took off my skates I noticed that the swelling had gone down about 90%. So yes, healing powers of skating!


Thursday practice was great! One of the girls that has been in fresh meat with us was testing out. She's a former vet of the team and per the team's bylaws, she's eligible to test out of fresh meat after her 4th week (this was the 6th). So while we did our jog, stretching, and a few drills she was doing her minimum skills (she passed!). I'm excited for her, but kinda sad that she'll be leaving our small group (although we're halfway through, so the group won't last all that long).

We freshmeat were lucky enough to be able to do some drills with the vets. I'm kind of an idiot, because now I've sort of forgotten what they were because I waited so long to post about them, but I'll remember to the best of my ability.

The first one we did after our initial warm up laps was a paceline drill. As we skated in the paceline the very front person would skate ahead and pass the line on the outside and then skate around again to join them in the back. After that we worked with a partner on staying in the blocker's blind spot by weaving from side to side as well as some positional blocking and a bit of pushing.

After that we did a sort of "pass the panty" type of thing. Everyone was skating as a big giant pack and one person would be wearing the jammer panty, they would skate around the track, find holes through the pack (with no blocking - except on some we were told to make it hard for them) and on their second pass through the pack they would hand the jammer panty off to someone else and they would do the same. I ended up being the last one to get the jammer panty (IT FELT SO WEIRD TO TRY AND PUT IT ON WHILE I WAS SKATING!!) and as I was making my final pass through the pack someone yelled something like, "Shae wants to be a jammer, make it hard for her!" and EVERYONE THREW THEIR ARMS OUT TO BLOCK ME! I crouched low and went through on the inside. Just as an fyi - no, I do not want to be a jammer, she just wanted to make it hard for me, lol.

All of that was in about an hour and a half of our practice, and then freshies broke off to go do our normal thing. We did the normal falls with the addition of 180 knee slides and some plow stopping. We focused a lot on stopping for our part of the practice. We're all pretty good stopping with our right leg, but the left is a mess. I really need to figure out a way outside of practice that I can work on stopping with my left. About 10 minutes before practice ended we joined the rest of the team to do backwards laps. I fell 3 times, one of them forward! When I fell forward I got a large round of applause, lol. I am not awesome at backwards skating.


Today was a very different type of practice. First of all, our fresh meat coach wasn't there. After the meeting we had on Tuesday, I don't know if he just wasn't there or if he's not going to come back because of all of the main team coaching changes that are happening right now. I guess we'll see how Tuesday practice is.

As I said, it was very different than normal because our fresh meat coach wasn't there and there were only 2 freshies, 6 vets, our captain (who was leading the practice), and the team's head ref. Also, a couple of the ladies had gone to part of the matinee skate that happens before practice to drum up some interest in the league and the sport. Several people, including a bunch of kids, were allowed to hang back and watch us practice for a bit. Rather than doing our normal run and stretch we immediately geared up. We started with some warm up laps before forming a line for some paceline drills.

In the line we did: regular weaving, backwards weaving, butt swipes (you get in real close and swipe your butt across their lap/vag area), and hip whips (my first time trying them!). After that the vets did a little mock 3 on 3 scrimmage. Right as they were finishing up a jam the spectators left, so they ditched doing that since they never start practices with scrimmaging.

We got back into a line and did an exercise where we had to cut across from one side of the track to the other when a whistle was blown. Never having done this, I fell (of course) and it made the girl behind me fall. The tight paceline separated and practiced the actual movement involved. Once I got exactly how the lunge to the inside/outside worked, it became a lot easier. I really liked that one and want to try it some more!

The next one was getting from one side of the track to the other with *ominous music* lateral hops! Now, we've done lateral hops in fresh meat, but that was during off-skates training. Big surprise though - I didn't fall! Not even once! I think I did several good ones, a lot of mediocre ones, and one or two bad ones.

After that we worked with a partner and I did not do well, in my opinion. I didn't fully understand the drill and was a little lost. We combined the cutting movement and the butt swipe for blocking someone, but I think we were supposed to be passing them, and I wasn't passing my partner. I don't know. I felt like a bit of an idiot during this part (especially because my partner is an amazing skater with a lifetime of skating experience).

Rather than keep practicing that one on each other, our ref changed from skates to sneakers and got out a large hitting pad so we could practicing hitting it. We did some of the same butt swipe hits; none of my attempts were right. After that he held the pad to the side and we had to cut from one side of the track to the other to deliver a hit with our whole body. I think out of all of the ones I did, I landed 1 or 2 correctly. Kind of discouraging, but this was the first time the fresh meat practiced any type of hitting at all.

The next drill the vets were going to do was skate around the track and when a move was called they would do it (tomahawks, falls, stops, etc). We were pulled aside and worked with the skater I had partnered with before. She wanted to know what we had been taught to do and correct a few of our falls. Our knee falls were good, but we were falling a bit too hard (and me leaning a bit too far back) in our double knee falls. Our pornstars/superman falls were good, but our baseball slides were wrong. She showed us another way to do them, so we did one of two of those. The one we learned before was a bit harder than the new one. I don't mind either though.

We did some t-stop practice after that, and I came the closest I ever have to actually stopping with my left foot!! So yays, hopefully I'll keep improving! We did some plow stopping after that, not too much since we both had the basic concept down, it's just a matter of perfecting it. Then we did...TOMAHAWKS!

The other fresh meat girl has already been able to turn around (and around and around and around) since we started, so she got those really easy. As long as I think about the steps involved in turning around, I can kinda do them. So I was able to do 2 good, but very slow, tomahawk stops. I definitely want to practice the hell out of those! Then we did hockey stops. The same turn around as a tomahawk, but with one leg out in back. I did one good one of those, and definitely want to work on it (I need more work with the turn around rather than the stopping motion in both the hockey and the tomahawk). The captain announced that it was time to start picking up the track, but the skater that was with us wanted us to try some regular hopping. We hopped in place once, and then started rolling, doing 3 hops down one part of the rink, and then 3 hops down the next part. I am happy to say that I only fell once, and I knew exactly why I fell (put too much weight on the front of my skates rather than the middle). I was kinda bummed when that was the end of practice, because I was very excited at the new skills we were able to tackle today.

I've also decided to stop going to Monday night skate because I need more time for homework type stuff and this week I have two tests (also, I don't like spending money). On Monday I'm going to study and prepare for both tests and on Wednesday night I'll go ahead and take both of them. Right now I'm skating at practice Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday and then I will be doing trail skating on Friday and Sunday (except tomorrow since I'm going to Orlando in the early morning). After this coming week, I think I want to start doing zumba or another kind of cardio on Monday & Wednesday when I'm not skating.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Trail Skating: The good, the Bad, and the Worrisome

When I first started skating and announced my intentions to attempt to join a roller derby team, an awesome friend in Michigan told me that I really needed to try trail skating to build muscles and endurance. It’s now 2.5ish months since I got that advice and I finally gave trail skating a try. One of the biggest reasons I hadn’t tried was that I had no idea where in the world I would find a place that I could actually skate. I now feel kinda dumb for that thought, and this is why: when the team trail skates, they skate at a park that is literally a block away from the rink, which is five minutes from my house.

The Good

On Saturday there was a skills and strategy camp that most of the team went to, so we didn’t have practice. Instead of practice a few girls suggested skating on Friday in the morning and I jumped at the opportunity (I don’t work on Fridays). It was pretty cool outside (only about 77), and we skated 4 miles. We did two trails, one of them was 1 mile and I think is considered the “easy” trail. The second was a 3 mile trail and it was much harder than the first. There was a hill on the trail, and while it seemed like a tiny incline, climbing it on skates was pretty tough. I imagine if I was biking or running it would seem like nothing, but on skates it was kinda hellish.

I felt pretty great afterwards and I while I was much slower than the girls on the team (I kept up with them at the beginning, but ended up about 30ft or so behind them after the first quarter mile) I think I did well.

The next day was one where the rest of the team was going to meet up at Greenway, but it kinda went wonky. I thought we were meeting at 10am, but one girl said the team agreed on 9am (in the end, only she showed up at 9, I went at 10, and another girl said she skated a few miles sometime that morning). Still, I skated three miles alone (I did the easy route three times because I couldn’t remember which turns and forks went to the harder ones and I didn’t want to get lost), which maybe I shouldn’t have because…

The Bad

I fell. I fell and it was scary. On Saturday I was alone and while I was getting to the trail starting point I fell. I turned the wrong way down a teeny hill and in an effort to stop, I turned towards the grass with the plan to knee fall down, but I hit something and my ankle turned. I heard a pop sound as I crashed to the ground and I felt all of my derby dreams slipping away.

If you’ve read as many fresh meat blogs as I have, you’ll know that so many girls end up with broken ankles. The ones that break their ankles are usually: large (check), not fit (check), clumsy (check), don't have a background in skating (check), and aren't as careful as they should be (CHECK!). The first thought I had was that my ankle was snapped and I would have to give it all up. It was awful. I reached down to my ankle and it moved fine. A tiny twinge of pain, but that was it. I could rotate it just fine, and when I stood up it was good. I skated three miles on my ankle without a single bit of pain, and I think it was a bit mistake.

The Worrisome

When I got home from skating I noticed my ankle was just a bit puffed up so I iced it. Another few hours later and it was still kinda swollen and there was some pain in it. I wrapped it and decided not to go skating on Sunday morning to save it from agitation. I did go to the bout (and got to NSO!) yesterday, and I noticed that as long as I moved it around I didn't have any stiffness or pain. Today is different. The pain is dull feeling, but only if I move it around. The swelling is another story. My foot is so swollen right now I could feel the fluid moving around as I was walking around the house. I bought a compression sock type of thing because I don't want to use the bulky wrap and as soon as I post this I'm going to start elevating and icing. I'm also going to skip my normal Monday night skate.

The worst thing is that I'm afraid it isn't enough. Tomorrow is practice and I want to go more than anything. We're 6 weeks into fresh meat and with only another 6 weeks to go it's starting to get insanely important. I don't want to miss a practice and completely miss out three hours of skills that I need to know.

I feel so sick to my stomach just thinking about missing out on anything and wondering if my stupidity and lame fall will keep me away from this amazeballs sport. What if I've completely screwed myself over? I'm so scared, more scared than I would like to admit, and all I want in the world is to be able to strap on my skates tomorrow and give it my all.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Fresh Meat Mom

Okay, it is official. I have been declared the mom of our fresh meat group! Since we started I've been a bit of a mother hen, and apparently everyone realizes it. When someone falls I'm always trying to help them in any way I can, when someone needs water I've got my giant 1 gallon jug of ice water ready to fill up their bottle, if someone starts their period I've got pads and tampons in my bag, if someone needs a bandaid and blister pads I have those, and if someone is breaking in some new skates, you know I have an extra pair of super thick knee socks that I'm ready to give away (they were white and I've been toting them around in my bag for a few weeks, so I do need to buy another pair of socks for my bag). So yes, while several girls are older than me and at least 1 or 2 are younger than me, I am the mom.

I really want all of us to make it through fresh meat, and I actually think most of our group will. Out of the 9 girls that started only 2 have dropped out, both of them within the first week. It may sound weird and mushy, but I freaking love these ladies! They're so much fun and the practices always go by way too fast!

Tonight's practice went by super fast (and it was awesome as hell!). As soon as we geared up we joined the vets in a 20 lap warm up, and then laps in the opposite direction around the track once we finished those. I think I'm getting a little closer to an opposite direction crossover, but I need a lot more confidence with gliding on my right foot.

After that we did a pace line drill. With the team. Oh my god.

I was super nervous and in the back of the line (one fresh meat girl was behind me, but she wasn't able to do the drill), so the captain showed us how to do it. AND THEN I WAS UP. I was seriously nervous and trying to figure out how bad I was going to destroy the line when I fell, BUT I DIDN'T. I yelled my inside and outside as I weaved through the girls. It felt amazing once I got to the front (and then I accidentally sped the line up way too fast and had to slow down until one of the vets came up in front of me). Usually when the team does the drills they'll do regular, hip whips, arm whips, and something else that involves putting your butt right into another person's lady area; luckily we just did the normal pace line and went off to the other side of the rink for fresh meat stuff.

We did some sticky skating and a whole lotta falls! Apparently I was totally on my game tonight because our fresh meat coach told me I was doing awesome and gave me a high five. After one of my baseball slides he said, "I want you all to do that!" while pointing at me. YAY! Baseball slides. How awesomely fun are they!?

I really should get some sleep since I'm going to be meeting some of the awesome vets for some skating in the park in the morning. In conclusion - my night was perfect. I'm so glad I had such a great practice!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

5:07 and Clarence the Bruise

In my last post I said something along the lines of “I had a post, but I deleted it because it’s no longer relevant.” The reason being is that I said that I wasn’t pushing myself hard enough because I wasn’t sore. In all of the derby blogs I’ve read, it always says that you should be sore or else you aren’t doing it right. Well, now I’m definitely doing it right.

On Thursday I fell pretty hard, but I got right back up. I had a sore spot that I had a feeling might turn into a bruise, and boy was I right (pictures at the bottom of this post). Saturday was pretty awesome. We did the 25-in-5 again and I had my best time yet! 25 laps in 5 minutes and 7 seconds!! It means I’m really getting close and shaved off a hell of a lot of time from my crummy Thursday time. The vet that was watching me/keeping track of my laps told me that I was doing great for the first 15 laps, but around the 17th lap I started to wear down and get slower. If I can get my endurance up then I’ll definitely be able to make it under 5 minutes! Of course, the vets got their chance to shine and had to do 30 laps in 5 minutes (a large portion of them succeeded). After practice I rushed home to shower because there was a derby social at SkyZone, a trampoline place. It was really cool, but I felt a bit out of place.

Sunday and Monday were spent trying not to die from the soreness. I also spent way too much time looking at Clarence (the bruise). Once I got to practice last night all soreness was forgotten (or it could have been the advil, who knows). We did some more weaving (getting better!!), sticky skating, double crossovers/pushing hard with both feet in a crossover (which I am totally nailing, but am sort of scared of because they make me go super fast), falls (single knee, double knee, porn star), and one foot glides.

Okay, now the reason you’re here – bruise pictures!! This is my very first official roller derby bruise. The initial fall happened on Thursday, so almost a week ago.

Clarence on Sunday 9/4

Clarence on Tuesday 9/6

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Three Nights in a Row? YES PLEASE!

I had a post all typed up yesterday but I was at work and didn't get a chance to post it. It's not really all that great or relevant now, so I'm just going to forget about it.

This week we had an extra day of practice! Which means I got to go to practice on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday (today). It was AWESOME. On Tuesday we did off-skates stuff for the first 2.5 hours and then did some skate stuff for the last 30 minutes. Yesterday and today we were on skates the whole time. We did knee slides, double knee slides, baseball slides, and porn star slides (also known as four point slides). My entire right leg was dirty from the baseball slides. It was pretty gross!

At the end of practice (tonight and last night) we did planks to derby stance (planks for a bit then up into derby stance and then down to planks and derby stance again). Those things KILL me, but I'm actually better at planks when I'm wearing my skates and gear (not sliding as much). I can actually feel the muscles that are being worked. After that we did laps where you had to be in low derby stance on the straight aways and one by one we left the laps to do 20 crunches. I never thought that I would be excited to get off my skates and do crunches, lol.

Today we did a bit more with our falls. We would skate a few feet, then do one footed glides from one cone to the next, do cross overs around the corners, and then go fast until we got midway to the next cone and have to be stopped by the time we reached it (that sounds confusing but it's not, here's a crappy paint version of what we did):

And of course, I am occasionally crap at my single knee falls. I don't know what it is, but I just cannot keep control and I usually end up turning a bit or falling right onto my bum. I wish there was a good place to practice these (I could practice outside on the concrete, but the idea of it just freaks me out). At one point we were doing them and our fresh meat coach was skating along with us and when we got to the point between the cross overs and fall he would bump us with his hip. One of the times I was bracing myself for the bump and I tripped myself hardcore. I think I have a pretty major bruise developing on my left thigh/butt/hip area. If it gets nice looking I'll shave my legs (at least in that spot) and take a picture.

The last thing we did before we left was get low into derby stance and the fresh meat coach was giving us hip checks. It was pretty cool and I'm glad I didn't fall and embarrass myself.

And because I'm feeling talkative, let me talk about the girls in our fresh meat. There are a couple of vets in with us. Two of the girls have skated with the team before and another did fresh meat in another league a year or so ago. Apparently the vets are just going to be in our fresh meat for another week or two and they may just test out and join the league. One of the ones that showed up for practice did the crazy awesome pace line drills with the team at the beginning.

Finally, a bit of bad news. We did the 25-in-5 again and I got 5:45 this time. *ultimate sadface* BUT I am going to qualify it by saying that I was not up to my usual form at all. I took today off of work so I could have an ultra long holiday weekend so I barely drank water (actually, I didn't drink ANY water before practice) and the only thing I had to eat was frozen yogurt for lunch and an apple that I ate on my way to practice. I will be much more prepared when we do it again on Saturday.