Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wake-up Call

Its a long way to fall off that pedestal you build up in your mind. That image you have of yourself speeding around the track, crossing over in all the right places, dodging and weaving through holes in the pack looking like that hot, awesome derby gal in Blood and Thunder magazine........
Until you are in that pack, trying to dodge and weave but the blocker in front of you is really good and not getting out of the way. Yes, you are speeding around the track, but you haven't yet completely mastered the art of controlling your speed and you put your hands out on impulse and slam into the back of her - if we had a Ref and we were jamming for real - that would cost me some time in the penalty box and I might have cost my team the game. Reality sucks!!! A wounded ego sucks even more.
I have to practise more, my league needs to practise more (because there is quite a lot of us in the same boat) - but how can we if we don't have the extra time in the building we have at the moment. I HATE NETBALL AND BASKETBALL and all the prissy fucking sports that have really good floors to skate on but are afraid of their floor being ripped up by skates! I hate the council for demolishing all the roller rinks and leasing out the remaining ones to useless fucking companies that keep them empty and wont share!!!! Aaarggh!
Now that I have that rant out of the way and I have projected my anger towards something else, I can get on with my blog!
Its our first time at scrimmaging properly, playing by the rules and jam times and its a bit of a let down to realise your not as good as you think you are. I'm not only bruised physically. I really need to bury my head in the rules book and get to know my jam formations. I need to remember to keep my hands to myself and I need to find holes in the pack instead of thinking I can just barge my way through. I need to remember that if I'm Pivoting, I need to control the speed of the pack and not go speeding off chasing the jammer and causing the pack to speed up also. I need to realise that as a blocker, my job is to block other blockers and make way for my Jammer and not just focus on the opposing Jammmer. Its a lot to learn, its a whole different mentality from just skating round and round and concentrating on my own ability. I have to switch to pack mentality and team mentality - not me, myself and I.
I must say also, that I'm a bit nervous of going up against some of the other teams. Fuck, they have some good blockers - I know, I was on the receiving end of them at practise! We are going to have to start forming strategies amongst our own teams and holding back some of what we have from league practise. Don't want to show our colours too early, going to have to be devious now. Its going to be hard, cause I think our girls are awesome and I want to hang out with them and skate with them all. Its not going to be long before we are splitting the practises. I don't know how its going to work with the lack of space and time, but I'm sure that will be another story. For now, im going to take my frustration out on my boyfriend..............

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Old Meat

Doesn't sound all that hot, does it? We (the not-so-new-meat) are gonna have to stop calling ourselves that now. We are league members now, we have earned our place in the league and we deserve to be there. We have new fresh-meat now and we paid them an impromptu visit the other day, we gate-crashed their practise to see how they were doing and also to complete our skills test.
Its easy to forget that not too long ago we were there. Its amazing and encouraging to see just how far we have come in such a little time. I remember when we were all falling over in our skates - some of us could barely stand in them - and now look at us!!! We are blocking and jamming and bettering our 5-lap and 20-lap times every time we put our skates on, so come on the new fresh meat!!! We are all rooting for you, we will all be there to guide you and push you on to becoming bigger, faster, stronger, better - just as long as you don't become better than us!!!!
'Cause then we will have to beat you up...........

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Skills Test 101

Skater must have good skating posture - check
Must be able to bend at knees and hips with shoulders back - check
Must be able to swing arms fluidly - check
Have steady, confident strides and use both feet to push forward on the straightways - check.

Have a kick-ass attitude, CHECK!!!!!!

We are being skills tested at the moment. The coaches have had enough of skating round and round in circles practising T-Stops, snow ploughs etc. Not that its not important, believe me it is, but we want to scrimmage, we want to get in there and shoulder check, practise at playing Jammer, Pivot and Blocker and generally kick some derby ass!

Before we do, we need to prove that we are safe and confident on our skates and able to dodge/jump our way out of trouble or over our teammates if they fall. Safety should NEVER be under-estimated (or is that over-estimated?), look at what happened to Tequila Mockingbird.

So, skills test...... Everyone in our league is doing quite well in that area, we are pretty much all safe and able to tick the necessary boxes, just little niggly things to iron out. For example, I cant skate on one foot along the length of the straight way. I can pick up my foot if I need to avoid objects/heads etc and I can pick my foot up and skate on the other for part of the straight way, but I'm buggered if I can do it all the way! I put that down to my crappy skates and so do my coaches, so I'm not that concerned as yet. I can shoulder block, ass block and lean people out of bounds. I can fall small - a skill found out when a team mate blind sided me and knocked me clean off my skates!!! I also have a habit of catching people on the back of their arms when I'm coming in for a shoulder check from behind, but some extra work with my coach has sorted that one out. Although we are not WFTDA, we still base our skills, rules and regulations off them and its good to have a list of standards to work off. To see a list of all the rules/regulations and skills, check out
Its so good to see us all progressing so well, its giving us all hope that we will be doing this all in competition soon. Light at the end of the tunnel, as its hard setting up a new league from scratch. We don't have girls to watch bout and compete, we just have DVD's and the hope that when we do crash onto the scene, this city that we are in, wont know what hit it.............

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Fight! Fight! Fight!

Ever been in a playground and had people crowd round you with that chant? Remember that 'oh shit' feeling? NOT ANY MORE!!!! No-one is getting through my pads and helmet and mouth guard, no-one is taking me out! I'm a freaking awesome, hard ass Derby girl with a capital D and I'm gonna bring it this time!!!!! F*** YEAH!!!
Now, in derby, we don't condone fighting, but you have to have a little bit of showmanship now and again. You have to learn how to give it and take it and you never, ever give it to someone without them knowing its going to happen.
If you are reading this, you will be forgiven for thinking that I'm writing porn - and you will be right!! I'm writing my style of porn - derby style!!! You all know it, you all feel the same about Roller Derby! I am on a high after a totally fabtastic training session.
We had a blocking frenzy at practise. We were booty blocking, hip checking and shoulder bashing our way around the track. We were pack blocking and we all had our turns at playing Jammer. I'm gutted I don't have my new skates yet, I know I would have been a lot faster with them and I might even have given my opposing Jammer a run for her money.
Towards the end of practise, the skates came off and real scrimmaging started. We all started tackling each other and trying to bring each other down. It was like full on wrestling derby style and it was great! There was one on one wrestling and yes, there was the dog pile! I didn't realise 4 or 5 girls diving in a pile was so much fun!
Fuck, I love Derby! I have never had so much fun playing sport in my life! As I'm writing this, my legs hurt, my ass hurts and my arms hurt from blocking but I don't care. - derby is worth it!