Saturday, February 5, 2011

Hit Me Baby One More Time

I am just back from our Saturday morning practice - so recently that I'm still breathing a little heavy.  And I must say, today's practice was really a huge surprise for me.

I've missed several practices recently due to my knee problems, so I've really been feeling out of the loop, and way behind the pack.  I went on the track today expecting to lag behind, skip the drills that were beyond me, and generally feel a little frustrated with myself.  Yeah, I'm not good at cutting myself slack sometimes.

Instead, as I rolled onto the track for warm ups, I was amazed to feel myself stronger and steadier than ever.  Faster, too.  My confidence, which my knee issues had really done a number on, started to return.  It was wonderful.

After stretches, we started drills.  And what did we start with?  The dreaded shoulder check.  Now, I haven't been involved in any hitting drills yet.  We were just doing positional blocking when I began my latest streak of missed practices, and the few that I managed to attend, I had to skip the hitting drills for my knees' sake.  But I decided to participate this time.  If I didn't learn to hit, I'd never be a real roller derby girl.  And you know what?  It was fun!

And I mean really fun.  The first few times I felt kind of tentative, but I got the hang of it and started hitting harder!  It's a really great feeling when you slam up against another girl and feel them give way.  I even managed to knock someone down who is really much more skilled than I, and it felt wonderful!  (And I got knocked down myself, but that's just part of the game.)

After that, we did some scrimmaging.  That's another thing that I've been having to bow out of recently, even when I can be on skates at all, but of course, this time I had to go for it.  And I'll be truthful, a lot of time I was straggling along at the tail of the pack, scrambling to keep up, and doing little more than playing sentry, to tell the stronger girls when the opposing jammer was coming their way.  But it was still a blast.

I really have come a long, long way since last September when I first joined the team, the freshest of all fresh meat, with no skating experience, barely able to shuffle my way around the track, and falling on my rear.  I still have a long way to go before I'm ready to bout, but today's practice gave me hope that I will get there in the end, and be an asset to my team.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Roller Derby is such a pain in the... knees?

There's a practice going on tonight, right now, as I write, and this does not make me happy.

Why is this?  When I was a young, indestructible thing, I used to play volleyball a lot.  We played in a gym that had a very hard, tile floor.  My knees made the better aquaintance of that floor over, and over, and over, and over again.  No knee pads for me - I was proud of my pain tolerance and saw protective gear as a good way to wimp out.

Fast forward about fifteen years, and here I am, 30 something, and wanting to be a roller derby girl in the worst way.  I've got the skates.  I've got the drive.  I've got the protective gear (and my 19 year old self is shaking her head in disgust.)  And I've got a pair of traitor knees that have stored up every bit of pain from every time they slammed into that tile floor, and are punishing me with it now.  If I only knew the secret of time travel, I'd be heading back to those long-ago days and giving myself an earful!  But unfortunately, I do not know the secret of time travel, so instead I am sitting at home while my teammates practice, doing web searches for the best way to care for a pair of seriously abused knees.

It really makes me feel distressingly adult and responsible, but I must say to all those young things who think that you can get away with not taking care of yourself properly - yeah, you're going to be soooo pissed at yourself someday!  If you're going to be held back a couple decades down the road because of something you did when you were young, at least make sure it is something that you will still believe is worth it, not just playing tough and dumb!

Luckily, I still have enough pain-free days (or at least low-pain days) to get a significant amount of practice in.  I'm certainly not going to let the folly of my youth stop me from fulfilling this dream.  I guarantee you I'll be back on the track next practice!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Freshmeat Infernal Combustion's Stat

Another awesome practice today. Seems like I'm improving so quickly my mind can't keep up with it. Where is that timid girl stumbling around on her wheels? And who is this rough, tough roller derby girl who's taken her place? I'm feeling a little disorientated, but I like it! I got a slightly bloody lip while doing some scrimmage, and I don't know how I did it. I am quite pathetically proud of it!