Thursday, August 9, 2012

Happy Derby-versary to me!

  Today is my one year derby-versary and I am celebrating it by going to practice! The last year has been so crazy and my life really has changed completely. There are so many differences between the me of a year ago and the me of now. I’m more confident, more social (still bad with social situations, but insanely improved from a year ago), and definitely more fit (considering I work out about 15ish hours a week between practice and Insanity). This year has been great for me. I want to continue to improve my derby skills and I know all of the other goals I set for myself will be accomplished.

  I thought it would be fun to post my very first “worry list” and address all of my concerns that I had a year ago. I originally posted this on August 3rd, which was three days before the recruitment information session and six days before the first practice.

  I’ve grouped them into some common themes: social anxiety, skill anxiety, and everything else.

Social Anxiety

No one will like me, I won’t like anyone, I’ll be too shy to talk and I won’t ever know if I would like anyone or they would like me, Anxiety will get the best of me and I will skip this Saturday’s recruitment event

  So I obviously didn’t skip the recruitment event, but I was kind of right with some of my other concerns. I had 10 girls in my fresh meat group and every single one of them dropped out by December, so everyone that I started with was gone by the time the new season started. It takes a while for me to break out of my shell and I didn’t start socializing or making good friends within the team until about February/March.

Skill Anxiety

I will break a bone my very first practice, I will never learn how to stop, My crossovers aren’t actually crossovers and instead are some weird mutant leg thing I made up, I won’t be able to stand still without rolling, I will never be able to get low enough, I will only be able to do 15 laps in 5 minutes, Heather and Itzel are lying when they say I’m good at skating, I will never be able to glide on my right foot for more than 5 seconds, I will be bad at everything

  I am not bad at everything. I am still bad at some things (like left-footed t-stops), but everything here has been taken care of. All of these worries weren’t fixed overnight and it took a lot of hard work and determination to get where I am now.  I still have things I want to be better at and I know that if I keep skating and keep working on them I will get it eventually.

Everything Else

My gear won’t arrive in time, My gear will be the wrong size,  Work will keep me from being on time for practice so often that the team will tell me not to bother to come to training at all, The team only has room for a few skaters and I won’t make the cut

Meh, little concerns. My gear did arrive. I adjust my work schedule to fit my derby schedule (because I am a bad employee, maybe?). How wrong I was about the amount of skaters. I wish our fresh meat had that concern. Our current league worry is having enough skaters, not having too many.

  I’ll die from the exercise

Legit concern. The first month was so intense I could barely move. Nine hours of off-skates practice a week really beat me down, but I’m glad I made it through. Sometimes we have super crazy endurance practices where I believe I’m going to die, but I push through it and I’m always happy I completed whatever horrible drill we did.

I will fall flat on my face while everyone is watching

  Ummm, yup. Often.

  I won’t like roller derby


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

One Intense Bout

Today is the first day back from my vacation at work. During the last (insanely awesome) week and a half I was at a Harry Potter conference, I had an interview posted on the Kate in Skates blog, and our team had one of our most intense bouts yet.

Our team is small because we keep losing skaters to pregnancy, job changes, and injuries. We decided not to borrow any skaters for this bout because the last time we played Lakeland we beat them by 246 points, and we didn’t want that to happen again. So we would be playing short with only 10 players. The day before the bout though, one of our players was admitted to the hospital so instead we went into the bout with 9 skaters.

The problems didn’t end there, though. The team’s venue we were playing at is an airplane hangar and right at turn 2 there is a very slick spot due to a past oil spill of some kind. The whole space is slick, but that particular spot is ridiculous. It was raining, so the air was beyond humid and the concrete was also just sucking up the water in the air, making it even more slippery (the team even said it had never been that bad before). It was hot as balls (as it tends to be in Florida during the summer; we’re so lucky the rain cooled it down). Also, the roof wasn’t that great and there were some drip spots on the track. So yeah, lots of problems.

We started out using our lines. Most of the team would be playing every other jam but 3 of us (me, Bone, and Fingaz) would play two, sit one, and repeat. By the time we reached the end of the first set of lines we had thrown them out. There was no point in having them, so they disappeared.

It was awesome, honestly. I was absolutely exhausted. I would skate three jams, and then I would sit one jam and do it all over again. I was in 4 jams in a row once and Bone was in 5 in a row once. Whenever we were tired we sat down for one jam before going back in. I even jammed once (didn’t get lead jammer or any points because the other jammer called it off when I reached the back of the pack). By the end we were so tired that we got a bit sloppy.

When it ended and we saw that we won 116-86 we were amazed. It was a miracle that we won and we didn’t die. Below is a video of the first few jams of the bout and some pictures by the amazingly awesome Phantom Photographics.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Insanity & a Review

I wrote a post about a week ago but I forgot to post it. You have no idea how often this happens. I write posts at work and forget to email them to myself, and by the time I remember to send them to myself they are no longer relevant and I have more stuff to write about. Anyway, the post was about weight loss, fitness goals, and healthy eating. That is to say, I’m going to be losing at least a little weight, improving my fitness levels, and start eating good food again. No more fried crap at the bar after practice.

Improving my fitness levels and losing weight is going to be a little harder than just skipping out on greasy food at the bar though. Today I officially started the Insanity Workout. Not just me, but BoneSaw is doing it too so we’ll have a lot of support and reminders and all that good stuff. The first day is just a fit test and it kicked my ass. I know for a fact that the fit test is the easiest thing in the workout, so I’m a bit worried about how bad I’m going to be hurting during the next two months. I have the (pretty crummy) results of my fit test here on my new tumblog that is all about fitness, weight loss, derby stuff, and stupid inspirational quotes.

Yesterday I got a tiny workout as well. We didn’t have practice because the rink wasn’t available, so Bone & I decided to try out the Roller Derby Workout DVD. I have to admit that I’m super disappointed with it. I think out of all of the exercises in the video there were only 2 that I had never done before. Everything else in there is typical of a regular derby practice, except we do a lot more of everything at practice. For instance, the dvd only had you do 20 bicycle crunches. At practice we do 50. If the team does Mason Twists (which I can’t do because of my tailbone injury**), I end up doing another 50 bicycles.

I was thinking this dvd was for roller derby players, but it isn’t. If you play roller derby you can already do everything in the dvd without breaking a sweat. This is for people either just getting into derby or outsiders. The thing that really bothered me was that there were no arm exercises at all. Ladies, you had weights in your hands, use them!! There should have been a whole other section just on arm exercises. If I do the dvd again I am going to add in the arm exercises we do at practice.

**Yes, my tailbone is still in pain every single day even though I injured it over 3 months ago.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I was getting worse, until Tuesday

In the last few weeks I’ve had a few crappy practices. You know the ones. You just don’t feel like you’re on your game, you get endlessly frustrated with yourself, and you think that everyone is wondering why you’re even there. Of course, they’re not thinking that, but you imagine they are. I caught a horrendous cold, so I’ve been dealing with that sapping my energy, but I can also say that I was doing a bit crappy pre-cold as well.

Tuesday night shifted my attitude back to the positive (because we know when you’re having bad practices it is not at all about your skills and 100% about your mind). It was a Gainesville practice and was one that I was actually kind of dreading because I’ve been in a funk. Some parts of it were hard and I felt stupid because I’m not as good as them, but I really needed that practice.

The last thirtyish minutes of the practice we scrimmaged and I jammed! I’ve never jammed at Gville’s practice before because a) they have awesome jammers and b) I am not an awesome jammer. A couple of their primary jammers weren’t at practice (LeBrawn was there but she was working with the fresh meat), so it gave a chance for other people to jam.

I put on the jammer panty, my team got down on a knee, and when the jammers were released Atomic Mel-Down (I think it was her) perfectly screened a girl away from the outside line and I got by. I dodged an incoming hit as I was getting out of the pack and by the first turn I was called lead jammer! I came back around to the pack to get some points, and before the other jammer got to the pack again I called it off. It felt really great! For the rest of our scrimmage time I only blocked, but I definitely think I held my own.

I can’t wait for our normal practice today so I can get back to improving working hard. We have a bout this Sunday and I have no idea what’s going to happen. We’re short a few girls, but we’ve been short most times. We’re going to work as hard as we can. Also, I’ve been signing up for scrimmages like a mad woman (I have three scrimmages and one home bout in June) because I figure I’ll get better faster if I’m in more scrimmages (weird logic, I know). Bone signed me up for one yesterday and this makes me extremely happy:

I can no longer call myself a beginner when I sign up for stuff. I’m now calling myself Beginner/Intermediate. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it really is to me. I’ve come a long way since my first scrimmage in December.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Thinking about changing my picture on the side...

Because from May of 2011 and May 2012 there is a bit of a difference...

So yeah, I might be changing my picture. :D

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Our First Win of the Season! OCRD vs LDD

We won! We won! We won!

Okay, now that I’ve celebrated, I am going to admit that I feel a teeny tiny bit guilty about our win. Why?

Ummm, yeah…

So not only did we win, but we won by a lot! Almost 250 points, which is an insane amount. It is the third time the team has won (with two wins during the last season) and the second time the team has won a home bout (the first time was against a team that had only been skating about 6 months and they beat them 212-17).

About two weeks ago a few of us went to see Palm Coast’s bout and they just happened to be playing Lakeland. The ending score was very close (by about 7 points, I believe), so we started thinking that maybe we would get our first win of the season. We’ve been training hard and having really great practices in hopes that we would win. Well…we definitely won.

One reason why we won by such a high amount was that we played the entire game. Even when we had a giant lead we didn’t stop giving it our all. With about 15 minutes left in the second half the other team was absolutely exhausted. Our coach kept telling us to get lower because things were starting to get sloppy and dangerous on the track because they may have been tired. Should we have taken it easy on them? Maybe. We were having such a fun time playing that I didn’t really even notice the score until the game was over.

Unfortunately, I kind of suck and was the only jammer on our team that went to the box and created a power jam for the opposite team. Actually, I did it twice. The first time I was going into the pack way too fast and hit Poni causing her to fall and my leg must’ve caught someone else because I ended up with a major low block. The second time I went to the box was because I cut the track. I am pretty sure I was straddling the line, but I still should’ve just stopped and went back behind the person that was pushing on me, but I was thinking I would be fine. I really need to shake that because cutting the track is something I did a lot at the last bout, too.

We’re just about a month away from our next away bout, so we’ll see what happens. We’re losing one of our players because she announced her pregnancy last night, but we’re gaining two that just came from the fresh meat side (one is a freshie and the other is a returning skater that just went through her mandatory time in fresh meat). My older sister NSO’d last night and now she wants to get some skates and join in. I knew that when she saw derby she’d want to do it, and I was definitely right! I think it helped that there was one insanely badass player that we borrowed for our team that is a pretty big girl.

Scrum starts aaaaaaaaaaaall day

Derp jamming!

At the front of the Lakeland train, woo woo!

Sitting on the jammer

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Practicing with another league

Last weekend a group of us went up to Gainesville to watch and play sloshball (kickball + beer), and left with an invitation to join in on some GRR practices. Last month (or the month before?) we were invited up to one of their practices to join in on a scrimmage before their bout against Tampa and it was pretty cool. After that, two of their players, LeBrawn & Rage, came and coached part of our Saturday practice. Well anyway, at sloshball Rage let us know that the board had talked it over and said they would like to have us practice with them twice a month.

While I’m sort of embarrassed that they were talking about us at their board meeting and decided we suck enough that they want us around twice a month, I’m really excited about it. Because hey, we do suck when compared to their awesome WFTDA apprentice selves, but practicing with them twice a month is going to make us a hell of a lot better. It worked out really well though because every last Tuesday of the month our rink is booked because of a ballroom dancing class and we have a bout this weekend and need all the practice days we can get.

Because of the short notice I wasn’t able to get off early from work, so Bonesaw and I arrived about 45 minutes late when they were just finishing up land drills (kind of glad I missed them, tbh). We geared up and did a weaving forwards and backwards paceline and then this one pushing out line (everyone is on the edge of the track and each person pushes them off the track; I’m glad to say I did better than last time, but I’m still pretty bad at it). Then we sprinted as a line and the girl leading the warm ups yelled for us to tomahawk when the whistle was blown, and when the whistle blew I did a tomahawk and I didn’t fall and nothing bad happened! The fact that I’m doing tomahawks is still a surprise to me.

We did a four wall fanning type drill and then a 3vs2 type of drill where 3 girls were blocking against a jammer and a jammer assist. I was the jammer once and I sucked. I couldn’t get through even though I had one of the most badass players as my assist.

I look up to LeBrawn Maimes so much, she’s beast!

After that we did some scrimmaging! I had no idea that we would get a chance to scrimmage, but I brought my black & white scrimmage shirts just in case (I still need to put my name on the back, my number is there but I’m going to put my name on there when I get a chance). I was put on the white team because I was the only one out of our 5 girls that remembered to bring scrimmage shirts (and all of us were wearing black), and one of the girls from my team wore someone else’s shirt to be on the white team.

It took a while for me to get my head into the scrimmaging mindset, so in the beginning I was just awful. The scrimmage really showed me what I need to work on when I’m blocking (getting out of the jammer’s way, being more dynamic in the pack, not doing a job the other blockers are already doing, slowing down). The problem with our team is that the only time we can actually play like that is during bouts. We have anywhere from 6-11 people at any given practice so when we “scrimmage” we just do jam after jam of the same people and it is exhausting; sometimes the coach likes what we’re doing so we’ll have jams longer than 2 minutes and jammers are never allowed to call it off so our scrimmages are never similar to bouts at all.

GRR had enough people at practice to have two full lines on each team. I want our league to be big enough to do that! Honestly, I’d love for us to have enough people to fill a roster without having to borrow from other leagues. I remember when the season first started and I was worried I would never roster because there were so many skaters. Half the team basically up and left due to scheduling issues, burnout, and injuries. It sucks.

I’m so grateful that we have the opportunity to practice with them so we can work with players above our skill level and actually get some real scrimmaging time in. Also, they’re super forgiving about the fact that we’re not at their level and I love that. I sound really mushy about it all, but that’s because I am. I just want to hug ALL THE DERBY PEOPLE.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

And then she took my toe stops

Work has been super busy so I haven’t had a chance to write about Saturday’s practice, but it was interesting and scary as hell at the same time. We had Lethal Dose, a coach and player from another league, come down and lead us in some footwork drills. She was a very awesome coach to have and I’m glad we got to work with her.

We started out doing 180° turns by making your legs wide and stepping. I noticed that I could do it 100% fine when I was going right but I couldn’t turn left (I’m not an ambi-turner!). We then moved onto a back spin move where you would slide one foot from center in a semi-circle while the other foot was on the two front wheels and pivoted the turn so you were facing the other direction. I could do it just fine if I was going right, but going left was a disaster and every time LD looked at me I was messing up on my left side. She told me to try it one more time and if I didn’t get it right then she was going to take my toe stops, which I guess were messing me up. I didn’t do it and she removed my toe stops for me and said I could have them back at the end of practice.

And then I fell like 800 times.

New bruise for my troubles

Not having toe stops is bad for me. I go up on my toe stops a lot, and when that happens when you’re not wearing them you straight up bellyflop. After falling over and over again trying to do a backspin we moved on to hopping 180°. I was just fine with that, but still very bad at doing it on my left side (I eventually got it down, but it took a while).

Then came some cone work. We weaved, lateral hopped, galloped, hockey stopped, and a few other things. There were some other things worked in there, but my mind sucks because it happened several days ago. Last night before practice I put my toe stops in and it was so, so nice.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The bruises have faded, but the pain remains

Three weeks ago today I had a couple of crummy falls at practice. The first time I fell I landed really hard on my skate (or the other girl’s skate, I’m not really sure) and I ended up with extreme tailbone pain. At first it was just pain on the impact, pain that my skate had tried to go up my bum. I tried to skate it off a little and then I took a short break where I just stretched and didn’t sit down because the pain sucked. The rest of practice was pretty craptastic because I was distracted and scared by the other fall. That distraction caused me to fall super hard on my side resulting in the beauty that was Claudia

Well, Claudia has faded completely now, but my tailbone is still giving me problems. The first day after the fall I could barely move or get out of bed and sitting was an absolute nightmare. That weekend I still went to practice and the Rock vs Rap scrimmage (even though several people told me I should probably not skate in it) and I continued to go to practice and our home bout the next weekend and all that good stuff. But yet, the pain remains. Any time I sit down or get up I’m in pain (although it’s considerably lessened since it happened). I told myself that I would go to the doctor if it was still horrible after a week, but it has gotten a lot better than it was before. I also looked into tailbone injuries and saw that the only thing a doctor can actually do is take an x-ray to confirm it is broken and then write a prescription for pain pills and stool softeners (which is very understandable because for the first 5 days it hurt to even fart!). I’m 99% sure mine is just bruised, so I should not be complaining.

But yeah, three weeks ago I landed on a skate and my butt still hurts. I’m not saying derby injuries are all that glamorous, but I know for a fact that I have one of the least glamorous injuries ever.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Helping the new meat!

So yesterday’s practice was interesting. Earlier in the day I had gone home because I was sick and ended up sleeping the entire day away. I wanted to go because I thought that once I got there I would want to say, “Screw this cold!” and skate anyway. Instead I decided to watch the brand new fresh meat do the land drills (because it is hilarious to see people in pain) and then I helped them put on the gear from our donated gear bag. I eventually got sick of not being on skates so I put mine on (I had loaned out all of my gear, so I was gearless) and went to go help a girl on the wall (she eventually came off of the wall by the end of practice!).

The vets saw me on skates so called me over to watch what they were doing so I skated in the center of the track with our ref and tried to see what it was like to be a ref. Clearly you have to be super observant, and my brain is just not trained as a ref. I was just seeing where there were holes in the walls and what the girls needed to do. I have skater brain rather than ref brain, I think. When they were taking a break Looney, who was coaching fresh meat, asked me if I would come over and work on the basic stuff with the super new fresh meat while she went over more advanced stuff with our soon-to-be- testing fresh meat.

I have learned that I am not a good teacher by any stretch of the imagination. We skated in a circle for a while working on scooter pushes and attempting crossovers, and then moved to a bit of sticky skating. The biggest problem I had was that my fresh meat just kept going off to the edge of the wall because they hurt. What? You can’t just quit in the middle of the drill! But yeah, they just took a minute at the wall and got back to it, so I figured I would let them since it was their first practice and they were all hurting even though they’d only been on skates for an hour. Plus, they’ll never have another coach as forgiving as I am. Everyone else can be the slave driver.

I got bored with just going in circles, so Looney suggested I set up some cones so they could try one foot glides. Out of our five brand new freshies, three of them could already do it (and do it well!) on both feet. For those three, I had them move on to t-stops while one worked on one foot glides and the other worked on just skating and staying up. The girl that was on the wall in the beginning eventually fell (forward) and then couldn’t get up by herself. She’s going to have to learn pretty quick once it comes time for their falls and everything like that. Last week at practice we did laps where we started on our stomachs and backs and then had to spring up and sprint. She’s got a long way to go if I had to use both of my hands and a lot of force to get her up off the floor. I really hope that she sticks with it because out of our 5 freshies she was the only one ready with all of her gear.

At the end we had a mandatory league meeting (which was the only reason I went to practice in the first place), so practice was cut a bit short. I imagine the freshies are going to appreciate the shortened practices today and Thursday (the rink isn’t available for our full practice time so we can only be in there for an hour), but next week? They’re in for some pain and I don’t have to be the one to give it to them! I’m actually pretty excited about a few of them because two of the better skaters are guys that want to be refs, and we could seriously use some more refs! Right now we have two, so if we had two more that would be awesome!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

OCRD vs South Florida

On Monday we got some homework from our coach, “Homework assignment Vets! I want you to write down a list of pros and cons about the bout for me. What are your thoughts about yourself, the refs, your team, and the coaching. This gives me a chance to hear your stories without using our practice time to do so.”

I was going to do a full write-up on the bout, but I think my homework really says a lot about the bout without me having to do a new post. Below is an edited version of what I sent to our coach.

  • Good communication in the pack
  • Pack aware of jammer location, informing others of upcoming jammer
  • On the knee starts were awesome, I enjoyed that they got us moving faster and we didn’t have any super slow and drawn out starts
  • Very few out of play issues on our side as compared to the last two bouts
  • Played as a team rather than individuals

  • Too many penalties
  • Too many mistakes made near the end, possibly due to tiredness? (still skating short, one day our team will have enough people to have a full roster and it will be awesome!)
  • Umm…we didn’t win?

    Thoughts on myself:
  • Way too much falling, could be due to bad stance, no balance, unpreparedness for hits?
  • Majorly need to improve: balance, stance, endurance, hits (especially hip checks), quick feet, lateral movement, general skating skills, breaking up walls, getting up faster, and rejoining the pack quickly
  • Need to be more aware of the other jammer’s location when I am jamming
  • Need to fight more when trying to get out of the pack, I don’t believe I pushed the wall as hard as I could have; I would like to be a more aggressive jammer
  • I’m proud that I got lead jammer twice, and I want to work hard to make sure that I get lead jammer and points more often when jamming; I seriously need to improve my speed and endurance for this to happen

    Thoughts on refs:
  • Made very fair calls on my majors (not counting my first major, because I have absolutely no idea what it was, so I have no idea if it was fair) – their calls made me realize that I straddle the line without even realizing I’m doing it, so I need to make a concentrated effort to stay on the damn track so I don’t get more track cuts in the future
  • Did not like how the refs were slow to call off the jams, especially when the jammers had to signal for an entire half of the track.

    Thoughts on team:
  • As a team, we didn’t use our learned skills in the bout (stepping into a hit, turning and hitting, putting our chest into the blockers, gut hits); I want to make an effort to try to use them more during our scrimmages at practice so they can possibly become second nature
  • Bench was more supportive than at the last bout
  • In my opinion, everyone’s level of playing and spirits were more elevated

We lost 212 to 160, but the score was within 10 points for a majority of the bout. We tried our hardest and can only get better!

BoneSaw and I hitting each other during the warm-up
photo by UnSENCERed photography

Clearly I found something interesting on the ground
photo by UnSENCERed photography

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Rock vs Rap

The Rock vs Rap scrimmage was Sunday and it was amazing! I’ve been in two scrimmages before and both times I heard people say that scrimmages are so much more fun than regular bouts, but having no real bout experience I had nothing to compare it to. Now that I’ve been in a couple of bouts, I could not agree more. There were four other girls from my team that were participating and none of us were in any lines together (well, one was on the Rap team, the rest of us were Rock), so it was really awesome that I got to watch my teammates in action.

The score was insanely close almost the entire time and it ended up being 160-159, with Team Rap winning (although at the after party one of the refs said that our jammer got a point at the very end and it should’ve gone into overtime, but it doesn’t really matter). It was fun and exciting, and still so weird to play with and against people that I idolize. A year ago I could not have even imagined that I would actually be playing derby, let alone be told that I’m doing a great job.

After a bout or scrimmage I always think to myself, “I wish I would’ve done ___ better,” or “I’m so mad that I ____.” This time wasn’t like that. I played my hardest and to the best of my abilities and I have absolutely no regrets.

I’m all pumped up about this bout, but of course today I’m realizing that I have a LOT of other things I need to do this week before our home bout next weekend. I still need to make cards for the refs, make more buttons, make the flyers for the April 29 bout, and the programs. On Friday I started a cool project: The Florida Derby Calendar. Here’s the post about it on tumblr on the Fuck Yeah Florida Derby tumblog that I help mod.

Also, tonight we are visiting another (really really amazing, WFTDA apprentice) league for practice and I’m terrified. I feel like I’m going to look like an idiot skating with all of these amazing players. Eeeeeeek!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Bit Different

Last night’s practice was a bit different than normal, and that was a good thing. There needs to be a bit of backstory first though.

When the team first started there was a group of guys that were coaching. Due to several conflicts (I’ve heard so many different snippets from everyone but in all honestly don’t know very much about it), the male coaches were asked to leave. The fresh meat coach was not part of the problem so he stayed, but the other guys did not stick around. I know that they discussed if one or two guys would be willing to stick around, but it was an all or nothing situation with them. I vaguely talked about it several months ago back when I was fresh meat.

Well anyway, we needed an occasional practice coach (when normal coaches couldn’t be there) and one of the guys offered to coach us on those nights. He’s an amazing skater and derby player with the Magic City Misfits and brought some really great drills to practice.

A Magic City Misfits highlight reel

We started out by making two 4x4 squares on the floor with some tape. It was kinda funny because we had no idea why we were making the squares (and to be honest, they were some wonky squares because I am bad at shapes). Once we did, J told us what we would be doing. It was like sumo wrestling in that two girls would be in the square and could only use legal hits and pushes to get the other girl to either fall down or go out of the square. Once she lost on that square, she’d move on to the next square. So basically there would be two “matches” going on at any one time. It was so much fun and I hope we do it again in the future!

After that we did a last man standing type of thing, but rather than the typical spread out way, it was closer with a ref at each end about 15 feet away from the pack. There were two hitters that would go around and try to hit you out or down, and if you went behind or in front of the ref you were out as well. The first two rounds were fun and then the third kind sucked a little because I was one of the hitters and I just failed so bad. Ugh.

The next thing we did was a Push & Pull Pyramid. With a partner you start out pushing them for one lap then they push you for one lap. You go to two then they go to two, and so on until you’ve done five laps. After five you start pulling them rather than pushing and work your way down until you each end with one lap. The one thing I didn’t like about this drill was that it was not fair for me or my partner. We needed to find a partner that was similar in size so it would be fair, but everyone else had already paired up and I ended up with a much skinnier girl. She’s one of our fresh meat that was a great skater already, so I got to push and pull a very light girl and she had to push and pull heavy me, but it wasn’t too bad because she’s already a strong skater (although in the pulling drill I cheated a little and sticky skated so she wouldn’t have to work as hard).

The next drill we did (yes, we did a lot of new drills; fun new drills are always awesome) was a competition between two girls. The two girls would start out about 15 feet behind the rest of the skaters who were in a pack. When the ref blew the whistle the entire pack would go on a knee and just stay there. It was up to the two girls to race through the downed skaters without touching anyone and do a lap around the track. Whoever made it to the back of the pack first was the winner. I lost my first one (because I was literally stuck right behind the other girl going around the track so I didn’t lose by much), and I won my second one.

We did several other things including building and holding walls, scrimmaging, and some very in depth scrimmage strategy but I think I’ve gone on a bit long already. I left practice feeling really pissed off at a few people and it sort of spoiled my good practice happiness, but typing this up has made me feel a lot better about how fun of a time I had!

Friday, March 16, 2012

My First Away Bout!

I meant to post this several days ago but I have been super crazy busy

This past Saturday was our first away bout! It was at Barber Park (the outdoor rink where Heather and I sometimes go to skate) and the weather was awesome. We were all worried that the weather would be suffocatingly hot or it would rain, but it was just slightly warm and breezy.

We lost 198 to 98. The thing is: no one was really upset about it (unless I completely missed it). We were skating short as we only had 10 people and one was a borrowed person. Our normal team has 2 regular jammers but Poni was unable to come, so we only had one normal jammer, Brawl. A lot of us have been training as jammers, so there were 4 other girls that jammed every other line to give Brawl a rest (I was one of them).

We started out pretty strong, keeping the other team under 10 points for quite a while, but then they got the lead and ran with it. Everyone felt that we played better than we did at the last bout, though! We were against a better team with only one of our regular jammers; we really did well!

For my own performance? Meh. I did horribly as a jammer. I never got lead jammer, but I did manage to make it out of the pack every time. Unfortunately, every time that I made it to the pack to get some points, the other jammer called it off. I was a pretty okay blocker in the first half, though. I made some pretty good hits, but I also fell way too much.

I got hurt, too! Not seriously at all, but enough to show off for funsies. One of the times I was knocked down and got my hands completely dorked up and the other time was a hit to the mouth with a helmet which resulted in a busted lip. I’m actually kinda disappointed and slightly pissed off that the girl that hit me with her helmet didn’t get a penalty (if the refs don’t see it they can’t call it, but yeah, ow). When my fingers got ran over I saw they were bleeding a lot, so two of the girls helped me put bandaids on. It was a pretty amazing moment because the jam could have ended at any time and we’d be back on the track (every person played every other jam). And even though I was a bit rattled and bleeding I got right back on the track for the next jam. It was the same with my lips. It was bleeding quite a lot and the only thing I could taste was blood, but I still had to go out there and I’m glad I did.

I had my first trip to the box, too! I had 4 minor penalties, so I had to spend a minute in the box. I was one of the few people that spent time in the box. At our last bout we constantly had people in the box and it was tough for our bench coach. This time was so much better.

The feedback I got after the bout was awesome, too! Several skaters from the Orlando league complimented me and it made me feel great! It meant a lot because they are the first roller derby players I saw and cheered on before I ever knew that I was going to do derby myself. I’m excited to get back to practice and start putting in the work and the time to become a better player.

Because we didn't have the rink Tuesday we watched the bout footage instead of normal practice. It was interesting, but still sort of hard to watch in parts. I am still a really awkward person. Speaking of awkward, here are some bout photos!!

Photo by Phantom Photographics

Photo by Phantom Photographics

Photo by Phantom Photographics

Photo by Phantom Photographics

Photo by Phantom Photographics

Photo by Notalie Unsencered

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Back to "The Diet"

Starting March 1 I am going back to eating how I used to when I first started getting ready for derby. In the last few months I’ve slacked off and had bad foods and in the last 2 weeks I’ve completely turned into a bad food eating fiend. Hell, for lunch today I had Girl Scout cookies, ritz crackers, and spaghetti-os. This weekend I not only ate at McDonalds, but at Burger King & Taco Bell, too. Yeah, I am officially off the wagon and onto the ground (which is made up of delicious, delicious food).

One of the reasons I got into eating fast food was to “reward” myself and to put on some weight. I am really really uncomfortable with the idea of getting below 170lbs, so every time I get near it, I eat a bunch of bad stuff so I stay around 175-180. Is that an unhealthy attitude to have? Yes, probably. I just want to fit in all of my new clothes and I’m insanely sick of my co-workers always telling me how much weight I’ve lost. Yes, I realize I was larger before and now I am smaller. Why does everyone insist on bringing it up all the time?

In June I felt great. I was off the horrible food and working out regularly. I remember having so much more energy. I’m going all the way back to how I was in June, too. I will be measuring, weighing, and logging the things I eat into Fat Secret (link to my profile). I will eat well and it will be awesome. And then when I inevitably eat something bad, I am going to log that in, too and be completely okay with it.

The month of March will be a sort of “reset” to good behaviors. No more crap. I am an athlete and I need to start acting like it.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Putting the BUL(L) in Militant Bulstrode?

At Infinitus, a Harry Potter conference in July 2010, I attended a lecture on “Living the Harry Potter Lifestyle.” The couple that presented it lived their lives like the characters they loved. They called each other by the character names, adopted wardrobes and speech patterns of those characters, and used little things to make their lives more magical (calling the post office the owlery or their favorite bar The Hog’s Head). One of the activities they had us do was to pick a character that we identified with or who we saw strength in and then find a way to incorporate an aspect of that character into our daily lives.

I cosplay Dolores Umbridge so she was an obvious choice. She’s one of my favorite characters and I knew it would be very easy to incorporate some kind of Umbridge “power item” in my daily life. In the books she always wears a bow or a headband, and I had actually collected a couple of headbands at that point.

After I got home from the conference, I kept thinking about that advice and decided to use it to my advantage. 2010 was a really horrible year for me and being able to have a sort of talisman to draw from made my life a lot better. Umbridge is a powerful woman and wearing a headband (or a headband with a bow on it!) really helped me tap in to my inner power (I sound like a moron, but this is the only way I can think to describe it). After a while, wearing headbands wasn’t about Umbridge, but about me. I wear headbands and bows and try to be a strong, confident person.

So what does this have to do with derby?

Well, we’re getting there. It’s just going to take a little longer…

Another fun thing to know about me is that I really enjoy caricatures and I have had several done.

My brother and I (2005) / Slightly lopsided (2006)
Weird skinny neck (2007) / Zombie!Shae (2007 – done at Dragon*Con)

And here’s a giant secret that I’m about to reveal. There is one that was done that I do not have and that I refused to buy. Actually, just thinking about it is making me feel sick to my stomach. At the time I was wearing my septum ring. I’ve had my septum pierced since 2006 but I always wear it up in my nose with a septum retainer with only about 20 exceptions during the last 6 years (I’ve always worked in office jobs, so wearing it out has never been a thing I could do on a daily basis). The worst part about having a caricature done is that you’re just sitting there while the artist is working and you have no influence over which traits they choose to emphasize. The part the artist decided to emphasize was my large size and the fact that I was wearing a septum ring, which some people call a “bull-ring piercing.” I’m sure you can see where this is going. I ended up looking like a flabby bull with all of these neck skin wrinkles (sort of like in the photo of the bull below)

At the end the caricature artist does the big reveal (which is about 30 minutes after you originally sit down) and my stomach sank to my toes because I was so stunned by the finished piece. This is how strangers see me? Was I walking around looking like a flabby, disgusting, bull and no one bothered to clue me in or put a bag over my head? I am not exaggerating when I say it absolutely annihilated my self-confidence. I have worn my septum ring out maybe twice since it happened. It’s hard to admit something like this at all. I can’t believe that a picture that some art school dropout did almost 5 years ago still affects me, but it does. There have been so many times that I’ve put a fun septum ring in only to take it out again because I think it doesn’t suit my face at all (and hey, it might not suit my face but that shouldn’t matter if I want to wear it out).

So here’s where this post gets to be about derby. Since I came up with my name, Militant Bulstrode (based on a character named Millicent Bulstrode), I’ve been toying around with wearing my septum ring out to emphasize the BUL(L) part of her name; Like I was a rampaging, heavy hitting bull out to get the jammer. I almost did wear it to the Santa vs Elves scrimmage before I took it out at the last minute and I had it in my gear bag when I went to the Cats vs Dogs scrimmage but I didn’t put it in then either. I didn’t even bother at our first bout because I knew I would chicken out.

99% of the time I feel amazing and great about myself, but when it comes to wearing my septum ring I seem to be a chicken rather than a bull. I want to be a bull. I want to wear my septum ring with pride and use it as a Millicent Bulstrode talisman that will give confidence to Militant Bulstrode both on and off the track.

Tomorrow I think I’m going to go buy a new cute septum ring and wear it for the rest of the weekend, just to prove I can.

Monday, February 13, 2012

My first (official) bout!

So yesterday was the day! My first bout playing with my teammates. We lost pretty horribly (don’t have the score available now, but I think it was like 150+ to 80 at the end) and I know I should be upset about it, but I can’t be. I had an amazing time. I think once the excitement wears down I’m going to be more bummed out about losing, but for now I’m extremely happy.

I wish I could recap everything that happened, but it’s a total blur. I remember a few moments during the actual bout, but that’s it.

    Some Highlights
  • My goal for this bout was to knock someone down at least once in every jam I was in. I would say that it was a definite success. There may have been one jam that I didn’t hit anyone down, but I know I hit someone in every single jam I was in, and I was pretty solid every time I got hit.

  • No one got hurt! That was a big problem in our last scrimmage and a constant worry at practice, but I’m glad to report that no one on either team was injured!

  • During one of the jams I was able to keep the jammer in the pack for a long time. I kept positional blocking and hitting her down and out of bounds. Unfortunately, our jammer was also stuck in the pack during that same jam. I’m super proud though because we were able to hold her for so long. I wish we had been able to do that more.

  • With a bit of a push from another girl, I completely laid the jammer out. It also resulted in me being flat on my stomach and sliding on the floor. Apparently the team went crazy and once the jam was called everyone was congratulating me and my coach told me, “That was the most sacrificial hit I’ve ever seen.”

  • So much of our team spent so much time in the box. One of our players was even ejected for accumulating so many majors (that’s a first for our team!). There was one point in the bout that our jammer just kept going to the box over and over and over again. During the bout I got at least one minor that I’m aware of. If we have the penalty sheets at practice tomorrow I want to find out what it was.

  • The other team kept trying to trap me in the back, but they were really horrible at it. Or at least, they were horrible at it with me. There were some other girls that got stuck in the back, but because everyone always tries to trap me at practice I’ve become very good at getting out of traps.

  • I jammed and it was awesome! Our bench coach (who did a freaking fantastic job and was probably gutted that she’s still on the mend and can’t skate) handed me the jammer panty and said that after all of the jammer drills she had me doing at practice, she would feel awful if I didn’t get to jam during the bout. She told me it was the last jam of the night (which surprised the hell out of me because the whole thing went by so fast!), so I pulled it on and went to the line. It was a power jam in our favor, so I was the only one at the line. The whistle blew and the other team was stopped. They were running the clock to get their jammer out, but then the whistle finally blew to release me. Of course, I’m intensely clumsy and was so excited that I completely wiped myself out at the second turn, but I got back up, made it through the pack, and started a second lap around to get my points and as I was going through, the other jammer was released from the box, so I called it off and the bout was over. We didn’t win, but it felt like a huge win to me!

  • The after party! I now know what it means when someone says they lost the bout, but won the after party! I was on cloud nine from jamming and just had a fun time hanging out and talking with the team. I drank beer (I’m not at all a beer drinker, but some awesome fans bought the team several pitchers) and I joined in on some leg wrestling! I almost had a Ted Mosby “I LOVE EVERYONE IN THIS BAR” moment.

I’m sure we’re going to get reamed at tomorrow’s practice for our horrible playing, lack of communication, and bad teamwork, but I can say with certainty that I’m proud of the way I played and that I noticed a real improvement in my performance compared to the Santa vs Elves scrimmage two months ago. Now that I've proved to myself that I can be an asset to the team, I'm going to work more to be part of the damned team and maybe open my mouth when I'm in the pack. I will communicate more and we will follow our coach no matter what!

Video of my jam!

photo by ACR photographer

photo by ACR photographer

photo by ACR photographer

photo by Heather

Monday, February 6, 2012

Less than a week away!

It’s now less than a week until my first “official” bout! I’ve been in two mixed scrimmages, but this will be the first time I’ll be skating on my team and opposing a team of people I don’t know. I don’t know why I’m so relaxed about that, but I think it’s because I’m excited to hit someone else other than people I enjoy being around. I know my teammates and what kind of hits that I get from them and it will be interesting to get hits from people I’m not familiar with.

I know the women on my team: there’s the one who can knock you out with a mean Johnny Crash, the one that can go from one side of the track to the other in a second in order to lay you flat, the one who literally takes your breath away with the force of her hit, the one who will cannonball you right into the jammer because she can’t get there in time, and the one who will just go galloping past it all as she makes her way through the pack. Obviously, there are a lot more girls on the team all of them with their own strengths and weaknesses, and I know I have my own. I think my biggest strength (as told to me by one of the vets) is that I’m good at breaking up walls, and I think my biggest weakness is that I hesitate too much.

In an effort to stop being negative about my skills or lack thereof (because Heather told me to stop being so hard on myself), I won’t list all of the things I really feel like I should improve on. Instead, I’m just going to work harder to improve on my skills at my own pace. I can’t force myself to get better, I just need to keep working on it.

Also, I feel like I need to get back on my old diet without all of the crap I’ve been eating and drinking. That will of course be helped by a bit of “detox” after the bout next week because I’m getting my wisdom teeth out. I figure while I’m healing I won’t want to be drinking super sugary caffeinated things and won’t want to go buy any fast food. The oral surgeon was going to schedule me for this Wednesday, but I told them I play roller derby and I absolutely had to be able to play on Sunday, so they scheduled me for the 15th instead. I’m going to go to practice like normal on Tuesday, then wake up Wednesday for the surgery, miss practice on Thursday, and possibly return on Saturday. If I don’t go to practice on Saturday I’m going to use one of my “sick days” so I still make practice requirements and am able to participate in the March 10 bout. Fun fact though, I’m the only one in the league that had perfect attendance in the qualifying times for next week’s bout. I would say it’s a good thing, but I think it just means that I have no life, lol.

Monday, January 30, 2012


So tonight I had a great night at the rink. After many months away, I finally returned for Adult Night! It was weird going back to it because when I stopped going I was just getting the hang of skating and when I did one crossover around the curve I felt like I was doing magic. It was our Zebra's (we currently have one because one moved and another is training) birthday, so we all went out to adult night to hang out and skate.

I felt really great. I skated a lot (and fast, but I made it a point not to be sprinting, just skating at a good pace) and had conversations with people. I'm finally opening up to the girls and it is nice. It only took 5 months, lol (although in comparison that is a lot less time than it took for me to open up to my co-workers, that took about 9 months before I shared anything personal or entered into conversations).

I meant to only stay for about an hour and a half, but I ended up being there for the full 2.5 hours. Near the end of the night I was talking with one of the girls on the team about our jammers for the upcoming season (she's now our primary jammer) and while she was listing off who would be jamming she mentioned me. Umm...what?

So apparently they've been scouting me out and testing me as a potential jammer. I'm just completely blown away by this idea. I've been working really hard to become an effective blocker and when I jam at practice, it's just because everyone has a turn and I might as well make the best of it. Now that I know they're looking at me as a potential jammer, I really want to work on it more. I'm just still really taken aback by it and I'm insanely flattered!

This has made me want to work on myself that much more. I'm excited, I'm scared, and holy hell, I might just have a jammer in me somewhere!!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Skater of the Month!

I wrote a very lovely post about it, but I wrote it while at work and forgot to email it to myself, so it is lost forever (or at least until Monday). Anyway, I am the Skater of the Month for January! When they announced it at practice on the 12th, I was in shock! I though back to the previous year and, no, they hadn't run out of people, they had actually picked me!

Obviously it's not because of my skills (although many people said I improved a ton and I am starting to feel very confident with several aspects of derby), but because they wanted to recognize and thank me for sticking around and being helpful wherever possible. One of the main things I've been doing for the league is designing the flyers, which I've put below.

An ad that is appearing in a local magazine for 6 months


Also, I had a photoshoot for my skater picture near the beginning of the month and I completely forgot to post about it (I don't know how, because this picture is amazing in so many ways). I cannot thank Not-A-Lie Photography enough (and of course, her girlfriend Oxy, an amazeballs skater and occasional coach, for directing me during the shoot).

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My Second Scrimmage

Photo by Phantom Photographics

Sunday I skated in my second ever scrimmage. I am very glad that it was not my first scrimmage, because the experience was not that good. My first scrimmage was at the rink I’m used to with tons of my fellow teammates and we had specific lines without much strategy other than to have fun and play hard. The scrimmage last night was quite a bit different.

Rather than set lines, we moved along the benches provided and were put into lines based on that…kinda. I don’t think it really worked all that well because the bench coach switched it up completely to a point where I was skipped over 3 jams in a row despite being the next person to go up (this happened several times to me and at least 1 other girl, maybe 2). Obviously it was because I’m not that good, but I still wanted to play, too. One girl said I should be more assertive and I have to agree. I think if I had been more aggressive and assertive, I would have been in more jams and not skipped over so much.

While our coach was insanely cool, we started off on the wrong note. He told everyone not to hit very much and do more positional blocking because that is what he had talked about with the coaches on the other team. It wasn’t until the 2nd jam when someone on the opposite team completely took out someone from our team that he changed the game plan and just let us play how we would normally play. Because he plays on a nationally competing broller derby team and practices with another top level team, he wanted us to focus more on strategy plays (which are definitely made for more experienced, existing teams rather than a group of varied level players on a mix of several teams). There was one play he tried to do that, in theory, should have sent pretty much the entire other team to the box, but instead just ended up costing us a ton of points. Complex strategies like that are good if you’re experienced, but with a less experienced player that has no idea what the strategy is and what’s supposed to happen it just turns into a mess.

In my first scrimmage I hit several people and know I actively helped my team in almost every jam I played in. In this one I didn’t feel that way at all. In one of my jams I knocked a jammer out of bounds on the outside and in another I held the jammer off on the inside through the straightaway before getting her out of bounds. Looking back I can see exactly what I should have done in the other jams.

I know that as long as I keep practicing and playing I’ll get better, and I’m okay with progressing at the rate I am (which is the complete opposite of how I felt on Thursday & Friday). After reading a few blog posts and talking with Heather I felt better, but then I also spoke with the girl from my team that was also in the scrimmage. We rode to Lakeland together and she told me how she thought she would never improve or be a good player and now she’s one of the best on our team. Girls just bounce off of her during hitting drills and she was the first person to lay me flat when I joined the vet’s side. I will get there, it’s just a matter of time and practice.

My two goals were to have fun and not get hurt (it was explicitly stated by several of my teammates that I had better not get hurt at the scrimmage), and I consider it a success. The whole experience was fun (except for those few negative points), and I definitely learned from it.

Team Dog FTW (except not really because we lost)

Yes, my tongue is out. No, I don't know why it is.

Photos by Clarke Moffitt Photography

Friday, January 13, 2012

How to be an unhealthy and look like an idiot at practice

So my sister was visiting last week and while she was here (and during the holidays) I wasn't even paying attention to calories or what kind of food I was eating. I really should have been. I realized this after practice last night, where I made a fool of myself during the last 10 minutes.

We were skating in a packing holding off a jammer when all of a sudden both of my legs completely cramped up. From my calves to my toes, I was frozen. I was thinking I would just skate it off, but I literally could not stand. Rather than just skating off the track for a second I just slowly fell over because I had no control of the bottom of my legs.

The pain was intense, too. I've had the occasional leg cramp in the middle of the night (hasn't happened in a while though, maybe 4 or so months ago) but nothing like this. I was literally useless for the entire length of the jam and I felt like an idiot. I massaged my calves until they weren't completely locked up and skated in the final jam of practice (yes, we were literally done with practice at that point).

I don't eat many foods. Seriously. I'm a very picky eater and eating healthy is a major challenge. I'm also still sorta doing a low-fat diet, so I'm missing out on all of the nuts I should be eating (hahahahahahahahaha, I am 12). So yes, I need to eat more potassium. I realized that last night, but I think I also got a major wake-up call today when I saw my arm.

As soon as I noticed the weird bruising (like I'd had a horrible time having my blood drawn) and the red dots I became concerned. A normal person's mind might immediately go to "Oh no! Health issue!" but I swear the first thing I thought was, "Oh god! It's the Zombie Apocalypse and I'm infected! But I had a plan!!!!" Obviously, I ran to the internet to see what was up (after consulting with my mother, who said I should go to the doctor immediately), and found out that being low on certain vitamins and nutrients including potassium can cause it. I'm hoping that's all it is, but if it gets worse or I start to feel worse, I will go to the doctor. And if it's still there on Friday, I do have a doctor's appointment anyway and I can just ask her then.

Other cool things happened during practice, but I will get to them in another post.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Goals for 2012

Since the new season has started, I think it’s time to set some goals. Rather than post a whining list of vague things I don’t think I can do, this is going to be a list of stuff that I will do this season.
  • Skate once a week outside of practice – I don’t care if it’s on the trails, at an outdoor rink, or at session, I will skate at least once a week even if it means going alone*
  • Work out once a week – I am going to do some kind of cardio at least once a week even if it’s only 20 minutes or a 1 mile walk/jog
  • Work on hip checks – I think they are getting better, I did one that felt really right on Tuesday and I want to continue to improve there
  • Get lower – basically a requirement on every derby girl’s goal list
  • Hesitate less – I miss a lot of hits because I am timid and hesitate to hit
  • T-stops – Seriously, I need to get this right
  • Tomahawks – I want to be able to do them quickly without having to slow a lot beforehand
  • Get on the roster – I’ve decided that it won’t be the worst thing in the world if I don’t make it on the roster for the February bout. If I don’t that means I need to reassess my goals and figure out how I can improve. If it doesn’t happen in February then I will keep trying and working hard until I’m good enough to make it.
  • Right-foot glides – I am improving, but slowly
  • Get better – blanket statement I know, but I want to look back at the end of the season and know that I made it a goal to get better

*I’ve been advised not to skate the trails alone, but with the way my schedule is, it’s impossible to meet up with other people to skate. I think the way I’m going to solve the problem of skating alone is to get a one of those lightweight string backpack things that I can take with me so I can have something to hold my water, keys, phone, small first aid kit, and possibly ipod so I am able to carry my pepper spray in my hand or keep it on my wrist

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Aaaand, we're back!

Last night was the first time back to practices since the scrimmage on the 11th and I nearly died. Okay not really, but I realized about an hour into practice that I should have worked out and skated more while we were on break. But let’s start at the beginning, and I’ll get to the “holy crap I am unfit” part in a bit.

The practice started out with a league meeting and the fresh meat recruitment. The vet skaters went over to the other side of the rink for our meeting and I found out one thing that I’m kinda bummed about. Now that the team has more than enough skaters to fill a roster, there are stricter requirements to make the bout roster. Last season there was a problem filling the roster so skaters that had poor attendance and were behind on their dues were still allowed to skate in bouts. Now that the team has enough skaters, each person must be fully caught up and have good attendance but that does not guarantee that you will make it onto the roster. Now skill is being considered. So if I’m caught up on dues and have good attendance, I might not roster for any bouts because I’m not that great of a derby player (compared to everyone else on the team; I’m one of the lowest, which is to be expected). While that is obviously a good thing for the team, that really bums me out and at the same time motivates me to be a stronger player.

I’m hoping this weekend I can hang out with Heather maybe at a park in Orlando so I can work on skills with her (also, I’ve heard that Itzel gives great hits, so I want to be hit by both of them!). I really just want to be great and be confident on my skates. One encouraging thing that happened at practice took place during our scrimmage time during the last 30ish minutes of practice. I not only managed to hit someone hard during a jam, but I hit one of the most skilled and experienced (talking 6+ years of derby) skaters HARD and I believe she either went down or out of bounds (I didn’t get to see the results of my hit). After that jam was called she congratulated me on the hit I gave her! It makes me smile just thinking about it. I freaking love derby. :D


Anyway, onto the part about the new fresh meat. There were about 10 or 11 girls for recruitment. One of them is a returning skater who is going to do fresh meat for the required weeks before testing out to come back to the vet side. I don’t know how skilled the others are or if any of them have skating backgrounds (although at the end of practice I did see one of them trying out her skates along the wall, so she’s definitely a beginner), but a couple of them must not have realized that they would be starting right away because they were wearing normal clothes and didn’t have good work out shoes.

Later in the practice I looked over while they were doing lateral hops and squats and felt extremely nostalgic (is it weird to feel so nostalgic for something that happened just a few months ago?). I kind of wanted to join them. I miss being sore in the way that the beginning of fresh meat made me. I was completely unable to move for several days, but it was awesome. Now I’m sore in a different way, and that’s awesome, too.


Also, this is totally braggy, but I got the best x-mas gifts from Heather and Itzel. Heather got me custom Dark Mark toe snouts from Derby Vixen and Itzel commissioned a picture of my derby persona!