Last Saturday’s boot camp was a lot of fun – thankfully, that’s starting to become a every-weekend kinda thing.
Overall: I took my own advice and just decided to try and have fun with it, and let go. The end result was a lot of falling, but also a lot of laughing. Derby really has become a special place in my heart, and I’m starting to look forward to weekends just because of the skating and the girls I’ve met. Good times.
We started off with our usual off-skates warm-up, which I do in my stocking feets because it’s just way more fun that way. We do a bit of running around the rink, followed by lunges, walking stretches, some weird push-up inchworm thingies, and other unique forms of mild torture.
After that, we gear up. I’m always one of the first few girls on the track – not because I rush or I’m trying to show off, but because I always do shit insanely fast. Seriously, I’m that friend that’s ready a full hour before everyone else. I think it’s my Aries.
Anyway, after gearing up, one of the Rollergirls led a few drills that KICKED MY ASS COMPLETELY. No joke – the sooner I get these big ass Triton plates off my babies, the happier I will be. They felt like anvils. My shin splints kicked in immediately as I tried to lift my feet and skate… my ankles started to numb up, couldn’t feel my toes. I felt like I got some kind of numbing shot straight to my calves, and the only thing I could feel was the weight of the skates. I kept skating through it, but I was not a happy camper. Another one of the Rollergirls looked like she was taking notes on how we were doing, and she probably duly noted that I was sucking. At everything.
I tried not to let the searing pain followed by the confusing and scary numbness fuck up my attitude, but I could feel myself getting frustrated with my feet. I knew that if I stopped, that would look like bad business. So I just pushed through, grimacing and fighting my way through the pain. By the end of the 10 minute drill warm-up, my legs felt dead – like they weren’t even a part of my body.
(Sidenote: None of this is normal. I’m changing out the plates on my skates ASAP and they should be delivered to the local skate shop this week. If this type of pain continues, I’m definitely asking my doctor what I can do to help protect myself. I seriously thought I was going to break my ankle, and that shit happens all the time in derby. Not cool.)
After that, we got to rest a little bit (thank God) while the Rollergirls introduced us to the basics of roller derby. There were a couple of times I felt my ADD kick in, but I held it together. There was also some stuff I was confused about, but I’m the type of person that needs to see things in action in order to “get it”. We got a homework assignment to watch a shitload of derby this week, which I’m excited to do in order to see some of the rules in practice.
After that, we worked on pack drills, blocking and hockey stops – the fun stuff to me. I fell a bunch of times doing the hockey stops, but I’m getting a lot more comfortable with the sharp turn motion that’s required to make the stop. Blocking is fun even though we’re still stationary. I love the fact that they are introducing us slowly to this stuff, because it’s pretty dangerous to just throw someone in head first.
We were invited to one of the team’s practices, but unfortunately I was too sick to go (no clue what happened – ugh). I honestly felt like crying/dying – not because I was sick, but because I couldn’t make it. Cue the derby violins.
So yeah, things are going smoothly. I’ll be practicing all week on the following stuff that I still suck at:
1. Crossovers: I have to work on making a big, huge step with my right leg and really balancing and getting power with my left leg’s back push. Right now, my back leg feels like I’m doing the Oompa Loompa dance every time I try to extend. This probably has something to do with not being low enough and being 4’11.
2. Plow Stops: I don’t really know how to work on these except to just keep doing them over and over. Usually when I go to open skates, an experienced derby skater will come along and tell me what I’m doing wrong – and it’s usually not getting low enough, not sitting in my plow, and not pushing out with my outside wheels enough to get that plow motion in effect.
3. Laterals and Static Stepping: I put these two together because I prefer to work on them at home. My house has wood floors, so I can skate indoors. And it’s always messy, so I have to constantly step around things. I also go up and down my hallways swerving.
4. Balance, Agility and Endurance: I work on all this stuff at the gym, off-skates. They have these little rolling pins that I jump over a bunch of times. I jump rope for one minute, which will increase over time, and also do jumping jacks, squats, lunges, and wall sits. The wall sit kicks my ass every time, I’ve only worked my way up to 45 seconds before I feel like passing out or something… but hey, I’m a newbie. I’ll get there.