Tuesday, January 24, 2012

You put your Whole Self in, you put your Whole Self out...

Weight loss felony counts:

Count #1: Do not stray from your exercise regime, especially if your only exercise at this point is roller skating practice.

Count #2:  While straying from said exercise regime, do NOT, under ANY circumstances, drink an entire pitcher of peach ale.

Count #3:  After ditching roller derby practice in order to drink an entire pitcher of peach ale in a foreign city that boasts a local Trader Joe’s, DO NOT, under ANY circumstances, shop at Trader Joe’s unsupervised.

Guilty on all 3 counts.  And that, my friends, is why the scale mocks me.  It MOCKS me.  Back up to 167.  Seriously??  WTF.

Who knew that an entire pitcher of peach ale, while so refreshing and cool, could actually cause a person to gain two pounds?  Well, I didn’t know.  No one warned me.  Actually, I split two pitchers of ale with my friend Angela, but I remember being particularly thirsty that day.  As I continued to refill her glass every time I refilled mine, I have a foggy memory of my glass being always a bit emptier than hers.  It was sort of a special occasion; I was thirsty, and the Saints were losing.  And then they were winning!  Order another pitcher!  And then they lost…

But that’s not why I’m here blogging with you today, folks.  I’m here to tell you that although I did return from that foreign city with a belly full of peach ale and a grocery bag full of Trader Joe’s brand name chocolate-covered whatnots and whizzos, I did manage to finally make it to my first official Saturday roller derby practice.

It’s Tuesday now… the feeling in my fingers has gradually returned, allowing me to type this very blog I’m typing now.  The rest of me, however, is not faring so well.

Okay, so picture yourself in boot camp, or if you’ve never been, picture it like it looks in the movies (Full Metal Jacket might be a fairly accurate portrayal).  Now, picture yourself in said boot camp – with roller skates on. 

NOW imagine that the drill sergeants have names like Holly Ween, Aftermath, and One Man Wolf Pack.  

If you saw Full Metal Jacket, well, you know...
I’m not really sure what all transpired, but I do know that I managed to somehow drive myself home, barely make it through the hottest shower of my life, and collapse on the sofa, where I would spend the next three days in on-again, off-again, somewhat agonizing PAIN.

Good Lord Almighty, what have I gotten myself into?

So here’s the low-down on what actually happened, delivered in present tense so that you, dear Reader, can experience the journey from the perspective of mine own eyes:

Get to practice, greet the girls, put on gear.  Feel like a Badass.
Stretch out, start the drills. 
After 15 minutes of intense drills, notice lots of pretty stars floating around peripheral vision.  Realize possibility of passing out.
Ignore stars, chastise self for freaking out, continue drills.
After 20 minutes, begin to wonder – no, marvel – at how such pretty stars could suddenly converge into a warbly, globular black tunnel which seems to be rapidly closing….. … .

Fully comprehend that "the possibility of physical and mental collapse is now very real."

While hobbling toward benches to sit out the next drill, mentally pat self on back for managing to quote Hunter S. Thompson in your head verbatim, despite the obvious insufficient delivery of oxygen to the brain.

Sit on bench and watch everyone else continue the drill.  Feel like a Dumbass.

Rejoin the group for the next drill.  Watch the pretty stars turn into rolling black tar again.  Notice a creeping feeling of nausea.  Finish drill, tell Thompson’s persistent and needling voice in your head to go f*** itself, slowly roll back to bench.

Catch breath, drink water.  Begin intense meditation on keeping water in stomach.

Rejoin the group for the next drill.  Rinse.  Repeat.  And so on…

That’s pretty much how it went.  I don’t think I’ve ever, in my entire life, been to a training session that intense.  And I ran track in high school, my friends.  I’ve had crippling shin splints, I’ve run long distances until my legs shook, I KNOW intense training.  I just didn’t know DERBY training.

How did my camera know exactly what I was seeing??
So here I am, three days later, still recovering.  It’s not so much the soreness in my thighs, upper legs, arms, shoulders, and neck that bothers me, it’s the muscle spasms in my chest and back that are the most annoying, because they WON’T GO AWAY.  Just when I think it’s over and I’ve taken an overdose of ibuprofen and applied a heating pad and everything seems to calm down, I remove the heat, get up, and attempt to move around, and CRRRRRRRWK!  There it goes again.  No sleep for you again tonight, missy.

I think I may have over-exerted myself a little.  *grin*

Anyway, the worst part of it was having to sit out some of the drills.  It was so embarrassing.  But then I realized I wasn’t the ONLY one to sit out… just the FIRST girl to head for the benches.  So that made it not so awful.  But since this is a team sport, I sat there thinking, “What are they going to think of me now?  Are they going to try to talk me out of joining?  Will they be disappointed that I may, in fact, NOT be derby material?”  All of these self-deprecating and insecure thoughts were racing through my mind as I tried to recover just enough to force myself back onto the track.  And at the end, when it was all over, do you know what these chicks had the NERVE to say to me?  Do you KNOW what they SAID??

“Great job Margo.”
“Nice work, lady!”
“You go, girlfriend!”
“You were awesome!”

Um.  Whaaa? 

I had to realize, of course, that what they were really saying to me was, “You stuck it out, you kept going, and you made it through a three hour long mega-intense practice without giving up and going home.  For that, you rock.”

And the rest of the girls weren’t exactly streaming through practice unscathed, either.  It was one helluva workout, with Endurance being the key in how long you could keep going before you had to take a break.  Some took a few breaks, others none at all.  No one took as many as I did… but you know what?  Not one eye rolled in my direction.  Not one person sighed, scowled, snickered or pointed.  I only expected to see crap like that due to some residual PTSD from Jr. High & High School Phys Ed.  It’s pretty nice to be a grown-ass woman, and suddenly find yourself in the company of other grown-ass women.  Tell your daughters: It gets better.

As I’ve mentioned too many times already, roller skating had always been my #1 favorite pastime as a kid.  I frequented the “Great Skate” in Glendale, proudly carrying in my own skates as they opened the doors, and skating and skating and skating until they kicked us out at the end of the day, only to return the next day… and even before that I pretty much lived at the “Roller Palace” (R.I.P.) right here in Flagstaff.  Oh how I looked forward to the Mr. Roboto light show, and the backwards skate, and I probably would never have even learned how to talk to a boy if it hadn’t been for the couple’s skate. (For the record, though, I kind of always hated the "Hokey Pokey".)  But this roller derby thing is completely different – WAY the frak-hell out of my comfort zone.  I’m not even sure I’ll make it onto a team at this point, but I have to at least give it a go.

So I’m in this, and I’m going to have to do some training outside of skating practice, and it’s going to be hard, and it’s going to continue to be so far outside my comfort zone for such a long time that I won’t even recognize myself, but I’m in this.

And anyway, this roller disco bunny-turned-derby girl wannabe has already learned one thing for sure:  The Hokey Pokey is, most definitely, NOT what it’s all about.  (Thank God.)

(Oh – and by the way… the scale went back to 165 after derby practice.  Boo-yah!)