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!