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.