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Roller derby is starting to really kick my ass.

Last weekend was really awesome. I did a lot of practicing, but I am *still* sore like 5 days later. I always knew that there was a certain degree of athleticism but I guess I under-estimated just how rigorous it can be.

After warming up, we did this drill called Stomp the Yard. You pretty much just get in derby stance and do a constant quick-feet movement – picking your skates up and down, up and down, really fast, like a football player shuffling (or whatever). A rollergirl stood behind us and randomly blew the whistle. Every time the whistle blew, we had to look at her, see which direction she was pointing, and then turn our skates that way and then instantly go back to derby stance facing forward, doing the quick feet. (I hope that made sense – if it doesn’t, just comment below and I’ll try to explain better.) We did another set on our toe-stops.

Words cannot explain how many times I wanted to stop moving my feet and catch my breath – my shins were on fire, my thighs felt like they were being punched, and my feet felt like dead weight – but I couldn’t. A few of the rollergirls were watching and I didn’t wanna look like a punk or whatever. So I kept going. I honestly hate this fucking drill, lol. No pretty way to say it.

After that, we did partner pushes – this is where one girl tries to block another girl while she is moving laterally. We’re both pushing our weight against one another the whole time. This drill was also hard as fuck.

(Sorry I’m cussing so much – long day at work.)

Anyway, after that, we did the same pack drills as last time. Thankfully, they are getting to be more and more fun, just because we’re getting comfortable hitting one another. I tried to work on hitting backwards, but not skating backwards. There’s apparently something called direction-of-play penalties, and if you’re ever caught rolling backwards, something bad happens to you or something like that (I obvs need to start studying my rules). So I worked on not rolling backwards either.

We also did an intro to quick starts, which was awkwardly fun. We learned something called a “duck walk,” and you really do run around like a crazy duck. Toe stop running is sooo hard (are you noticing a pattern here? everything is hard.) because I’ve always had shifty ankles. I kinda look like an old person when I’m trying to do a toe stop run. This is not good – I’m supposed to look like a gazelle or something but I look like I’m using one of those walkers. And we all know that this is roller derby not stroller derby. Ha.

We spent so much time on these drills that we didn’t have time for any games.

On Sunday, we were graciously invited to practice with one of the league teams. This practice was eye-opening, and I’m so happy we got the chance to attend. Everything was fast, fast, fast – the pack drills, the suicides, everything. I realized that even though I have my basics down when I do them at a snail’s pace, I need to start being able to do them at a moderate speed in order to pass minimums.

And plow stops. Damn you to hell. DAMN YOU!

That’s basically how I’m feeling right now. I heard a nasty little rumor that this week is our last class, which I totally didn’t realize. I still feel like I have so much further to go, but fuck – looks like I’ll be trying out sooner than I thought… Cue the nerves.

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2 thoughts on “Boot Camp Recap, Week 8: Almost There

  1. I could write such a long list of all the drills and skills I hated in my first year. Weirdly though – I practised the stuff I hated so much that now it is some of my favourite stuff…. sounds like you are putting your all in , even when you hate it, and that is what gets you places in roller derby. Good luck with your try outs.

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