Saturday, February 4, 2012

Hit. Block. Fall. Repeat.

To quote the late, great Johnny Cash (or Trent Reznor, depending on your preferred version of the song), I hurt myself today.

Not very badly, just enough to make typing a bit of an effort.  And sitting.  I took a couple of awesome hits on the derby track during the scrimmages – one of which laid me out flat on my back.  Luckily on that one, I caught myself with the first three fingers of my left hand.  I’m sure that softened the blow.

Later on, I took a hit that sent me straight onto my keister, and my tailbone went, “AYEEEEE!”  I wasn't aware that my tailbone could talk until that very moment.

The fingers are fine, for the most part.  At first I thought I’d just jammed them somehow, but after I got home and two of them swelled up to the size of small sausages (not to mention the pretty purple color underneath, just where the joint bends), I figure they’re probably sprained. 

So it’s official:  My very first derby injury (although minor), and I’m okay with that!  Booty and fingers will be a bit sore for a few days, and I’ll be fine.  I did call the local skate shop and ask them if they can order those sexy padded shorts.  I’m not too keen on what might happen if I take another bum plunge.

Which leads me to my next point:  I need to learn how to fall.  Obviously.  Duh.  Which leads me to my NEXT point:  I need to learn a LOT of things.

You see, there’s this list of things we need to learn.  It’s called the WFTDA Minimum Skills Requirements.  It’s the one where you find out you need to be able to do a list of basic stuff in order to play on an official team.  Stuff like, be able to skate 25 laps around the track in under 5 minutes, come to a complete stop from a “brisk pace” using two approved stopping methods, fall on one knee and do a 180 degree turn and get back up in under two seconds without your hands ever touching the floor.  You know - basic stuff.

So I’m going through this list in my head and we’re doing drills where you skate in a long line around the track while each person in the back of the line weaves her way up through each girl all the way to the front of the line, and I glance over at the Fresh Meat group.  They’re learning the stops, the knee falls, you know – the basics.  I can skate.  We’ve established that.  I can even skate pretty fast and do pretty decent crossovers and weave through a line of girls.  I’ve never tried what’s called a “T-stop” in my life.  So I moseyed on over (wait, I guess I rolled over) to the Fresh Meat group and gave those drills a try.  Not bad!  Still could use some work though… and my basic skills test is coming up in a matter of weeks.  It’d be pretty ironic for me to be able to burn up the rink with my lightning fast skating and not be able to actually come to a regulation stop, yes?

Anyway – I’ve started a separate workout program at home where I do 30-50 minutes a day of strength and cardio training.  Gotta build up that endurance.  And weather permitting, I switch to my outdoor wheels and go skate around Foxlgenn park during the week.

So far, the scale hasn’t moved.  Still the same weight I was at the end of my last post.  But at least I’m getting exercise.  (I will admit, though, after that Pratt fall, I don't much mind having a little extra junk in the trunk.)  However, I’ve managed to cut extremely down on my cheese intake *whimper* and ever since I really got into derby, I think I’ve had something like two vodka/Perriers at home and two 10 oz brewskies at Mother Road Brewery downtown – with the derby girls.  That’s it.  No mimosas, no sparkling wine, no experiments with the leftover Captain Morgan’s Private Stock that I save for, well, experimenting.  It’s funny how your body can sort of tell you what it’s craving and NOT craving, based on your conscious lifestyle choices.  So that’s good, at least.

What?  I sound a little down in the dumps, you say?  Geez – first my tailbone talks to me, then I start hearing the voices of my readers.  (Maybe I hit my tailbone harder than I thought.)  Well, yes, you could say that right now, I’m seriously questioning my ability to do this thing.  We had some awesome scrimmages today where I was usually a blocker, but I felt like every time I had an opportunity to take someone out, I “sort of” bumped her, but deep down... deep, deep down in the furthest recesses of my mind....

(wait for it...)

I didn’t want to hurt anybody. 

My brain just couldn’t go there.  I didn’t want anyone mad at me for pushing them down. 

Yeah.  I know.  I can hear you all screaming and laughing and carrying on.  Something about “You joined roller derby and you don’t want to push anyone down?  BWAHahahahahaha!”  That’s okay.  I’ll wait…

Everything OK now?  Have you caught your breath?  Have a sip of water, it’ll help.  Alrighty.  Where was I?  Oh yes.  Hitting.  Blocking.  Bumping people out of play.  It’s not in my nature!

Of course then you suddenly realize that there’s only one way to avoid having a bunch of derby girls pissed off at you:


So I need to learn how to get tougher.  Meaner, even.  Not vindictive mean, just... more aggressive.  Besides, this is exactly what I meant about trying something out that's way the frak-hell out of my comfort zone.  I said that, did I not?  And now I'm faced with it, head-on.  It's time to decide.  Do I do this thing, or do I hang up my skates and piss it all away?

Well, for one thing, I've spent a lot of money just to get started in this.  Would be a shame to quit now.  Besides, if it wasn't challenging and scary, I might as well just go back to belly dancing or perfecting my Pirouette turns and "jazz hands" - stuff I've already done over and over again throughout my life, because I always do what I already know how to do. 

Enough of that.

Let's do this thing.

"Gee, I hope the ground is soft..."
You fall a lot in derby.  And I fell today.  A lot.  So my brain is going, “You kept falling down!  That’s a bad thing!  You suck!” because that’s what brains are conditioned to say when you fall down.  Like, you know, on the sidewalk.  Or walking around your house.  Or running track.  Falling down while sprinting a 100 yard dash is not good.  Falling down on your way to first base:  No bueno.  Falling down in derby:  Muy bueno.  That means you’re actually playing the game.

I’m hoping that my brain sees this as I type it out, and processes it, because right now, I’m feeling kinda pissed off at myself.  Like maybe I just can’t cut it.  I must be able to learn how to:  A. Fall without spraining something, and B. Block that girl.  If I can’t figure out how to do these two things, I will A. Hurt myself very badly, and B. Never make the team.

So I’m going to end this blog with a derby joke, because I’m running out of jokes of my own right now.  Peace out.

Three men were sitting together bragging about how they had given their new wives duties.

The first man had married a secretary and had told her that she was going to do dishes and house cleaning. It took a couple days, but on the third day he came home to a clean house and dishes washed and dinner cooked.

The second man had married a school teacher . He had given his wife orders that she was to do all the cleaning, dishes, and the cooking.  The first day he didn't see any results, but the next day he saw it was better. By the third day, he saw his house was clean, the dishes were done, and there was a huge dinner on the table.

The third man had married a rollergirl. He told her that her duties were to keep the house clean, dishes washed, lawn mowed, laundry washed and hot meals on the table every day. He said the first day he didn't see anything, the second day he didn't see anything, but by the third day some of the swelling had gone down and he could see a little out of his left eye, enough to fix himself a bite to eat and load the dishwasher.

o=o o=o   o=o o=o  o=o o=o   o=o o=o  o=o o=o   o=o o=o