Thursday, December 30, 2010

Getting tired

It's really hard to stick to a diet, workout plan and not drink at the same time.

I'm doing good on all fronts, but I'm starting to get tired.

I do the gym 6 days a week.
I'm doing the diet everyday of the week.
I have kids everyday.
Take care of a little baby mon-fri.
Practice twice a week.
Work on the weekends.

Man is it catching up with me! This is the hard part of the beginning. My body is trying to hold on to the last of the pudge and isn't used to being used on a regular basis.

But it's coming along. In another few weeks I won't be so tired. And hopefully the crazy sugar cravings will calm down too.

And on top of it all, the whole not drinking thing sucks! Having an occasional drink at the end of a hard day was a nice treat. But hoping to not feel it the next day or affect my workout was really too much to ask.

I suppose if I was rich enough I could have a glass of wine or two at the end of the day. But as we're poor people it's ghetto liquor around here. And nothing good can ever come of any alcohol that comes in a plastic value size.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Carbs freakin everywhere!

Well at least I've been good about working out.

The gym and me have been pretty cozy of late. It makes skating sooo much easier.
The candy, cookies and chocolate have been cozy of late too. Not so good for the skating.

It's not like I was expecting to be perfect over christmas. And they say a break now and then is a good idea. I don't think a sugar binging 5 day break is what they were thinking. But I can't really change that now.

So my punishment for the past transgressions come in the form of negative carbs and coffee.
All the next five days I will go pretty much carb free in hopes of killing off the 3 pound gain.

Coffee may be my only solace.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve Eve skating!

On a random chance I got to go to the adult skate in LBS last night.
I missed practice due to a late arriving hubby, but he was home in perfect time for that lovely flat roller rink.

It was really nice to get out and use my skates, see some friends and in general socialize. I do miss skating at LBS. They have a really nice, if sometimes candy strewn, floor and a good open space.

I spent most of it trying to get a good workout in. I'm finding that carrying less weight makes it much harder to work up a sweat. The speed skate took care of that.

I really need to spend more time on skates at the faster speed as my crossovers are wobbly when I get going. And I am still the slowest person on the speed skate, no surprise there.

But my other skills are good, crossovers, drunken sailors, and I am definitely seeing improvement in my transitions.

I'd like to spend an entire skate session skating backwards. It's really the only way to get backwards skating down. A lap or two here and there just does not cut it.

I'm really trying to push myself to do transitions at a faster pace and I think I did that last night. It of course wasn't super fast, but it was better. I haven't had as much regular skating since we went banked and I would like to change that.

Anyways it was a very happy Christmas eve eve.

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry mimosa christmas!

Well mimosas are great and all, but I think two days of merry mimosa reveling has sealed the decision for me. I'm going to stop drinking.

I really don't drink much or very often, so it's not an "issue" decision. But the last two days I have been wanting to go to the gym and get a good workout in, which I have gone, but it's a lot harder with a hangover.

With derby I have found new focus and resolve to do and have the life I have always dreamed of and one of those dreams is getting my body running really well. Alcohol doesn't really hinder that, but it in no way helps.

I'm missing skate practice tonight for christmas stuff, which is fine. But when the holiday is over I want to kick into high gear and get my body into serious shape. And having the alcohol decision already made for me just makes it that much easier.

Besides, I am easily much more fun without it!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

When the bitches get you down.

And bitches are both guys and girls.

You have to remember a few things.

Why are you here? To be someone's best friend or to skate!
Do you love derby or just socializing.
Everyone else is just as much unaware of how they affect others, or they really are just bitches.

You didn't spend all your time and energy to become the prom queen. You spent it to skate, to feel physically good, to see derby, to be derby, to learn the rules and apply them. There are so many people that love you, you just have to trust in it and forget the rest.

Friday, December 10, 2010

On the track!

Well not the banked track, well yes that too, but that's not what I'm talking about right now.

So I am a cyclical workout/health person. I get into the exercise thing and usually have about 3-4 months of serious intensive energy before I get bored and a little lazy.

Well this is the first week of being back on "the track" and I am about as pumped and crazy as I can get.

I came home from practice last night and was practically boiling over with excitement. All I wanted to do was get back on the track and skate skate skate!

I worked out hard again today doing weights. I upped a few weights and definitely increased the repetitions. And now I am reveling in the crazy energy that makes me want to work out more!

Things that are cool. I can cross my legs easily now. When I use the stationary bike I no longer hit my beer gut with my knees. I have tons more energy. And it's a hell of a lot easier doing everything without the extra weight!

So for the next few weeks I've decided to hardcore it, Christmas not included, diet wise. I have the last 20-30 to go and I want to get it done with. While I would be happy if I didn't lose anything and replaced it all with muscle, sadly it doesn't always work out that way.

SO hard core time again!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ref Practice!

Don Juan is a wonderful ref from Rat City who has kindly volunteered to do some coaching for our ref group.

He led through a bunch of drills which I am still really working on. I can skate and I can even skate "ok" but I still have a long way to go before I am a competent skating ref.

We also did a bunch of laps on the banked track. This is what is so cool about our practices. We get the track all to ourselves.

So up until now I have probably only skated a dozen laps on the track. It's weird, I didn't know how to stop or get off, and I was kind of low energy.

Well tonight things were great! I skated on the track for about 20 laps and all of sudden it started to feel really good! I was able to crossovers in the straight aways, no corners yet though. And skating stop feeling weird and got a lot faster. I loved it!

Oh getting off is easy now too. Yeah banked track!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Getting Serious

So I had a real long hiatus with all the organizing and track work.

I used this time to do the crazy lazy ninja diet. Which worked really well in terms of losing the gut, but did little for my strength and endurance. But honestly, building up muscles is a cake walk in comparison to losing 2 children's worth of weight.

Anyways I've been waiting to get to near the end of my shrinking journey to start back up serious working out, cause let's face it, losing weight is hard enough as it is. That and I am a lazy fuck sometimes.

But once I get back on the work out bandwagon things tend to go pretty quickly. I've been pretty fit in my life, while always packing a bit extra, and tend to shape up easily.

This week, after starting up part time work (yeah!), I was able to rejoin the gym. This is extremely important for me as the fact that they have 90 minutes of free daycare is pretty much the only way I get to work out often.

So I'm definitely a bit out of shape, but not that bad. I did weights the first day and they were hard. I didn't push quite as hard as I could, but whatever.

It was the next day that things started to pick up. I did a cardio day, and while my lungs hurt from the exertion, my muscles had no problem with it. This is cool because the lung thing only lasts a week or so.

And today I did a heavy weights day. I've been reading a vegan body builders website and the tips for muscle building are really great. Basically you push as hard as you can, every time. And do 4-5 reps instead of 2-3.

What I found was that the first rep was really hard. Then after 20 sec or so of rest the next two reps were easier. Then the 4th was usually the most I could do. I did 4 on almost all of them, and 3 on a few. I'm a lot stronger than I thought I would be.

And everything is a lot easier when you're carrying 80 less pounds.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The big day!

It happened! We had our bout!

So we played in the Everett Comcast Arena. Which we only took up half the stands, but we filled them up pretty well.

It was an amazing day for our league. There has been a huge amount of work to get us to where we're at. We raised money to build a track and rent a warehouse. We rehabbed the warehouse and then started building.

In a little more than two years we made it to our first real banked bout and played like champs!

My ref crew worked extremely well together and even with a little bit of nerves we pulled it off.

I got to back up the Head Ref by taking care of rules questions. We had a ton of penalty challenges and I think I did very well answering and interpreting rules. It was actually my favorite part of the game!

The game ran, the teams rocked it and suddenly it was over. We did it and did it well.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Nuts are bullshit

Sorry but it's total bull.

Snack on a hand full of nuts! They are good for you!

Nobody mentions the fact that like 8 almonds is a 100 calories. Which doesn't seem so bad, but who the hell eats 8 almonds?!

A cup, which is like one big handful or two medium handfuls, is 800 calories!
I don't care how good it is for you, 800 calories of anything that fits in my hand is total bullshit.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What I've been doing

I actually had a request from a league mate to give more details on how I am eating and how it's made such a difference.

So here is the basic rules:

1. Eat an F-load of veggies, at least a pound of fresh veg and a pound of cooked.
2. Eat like a cup of super duper lean protein source, ie beans, meat analogs, chicken, ect
3. Eat a cup or less of starchy stuff, ie potato, rice, bread or pasta
4. Don't use oil in cooking. If you are going to saute, just use some water. Save the oil for when you can actually taste it like avocados, or nuts and use these super sparingly. Like a tablespoon of nuts.
5. Use vinegars, salsas, and spices to season your food. Salty stuff is ok as long as it's oil free.
6. Eat up to 4 servings of fruit. A good sized apple is 2 servings.
7. Drink an F-load of water.
8. Take a multivitamin.
9. Do at least a little exercise.

This makes it so I can eat and stuff myself daily if I want. On days where I am good I eat more normal sized portions, but I am a chow hound so I usually eat til I'm stuffed.

I can be super lazy too. I try to get out and skate or walk but sometimes it doesn't happen. Fortunately I can be lazy and the diet still works.

I try to do the following daily exercises though that keep up muscle strength.

Do 8 reps of the following series:
25 situp/crunches
25 back ups/super mans (like a situp, but on your stomach to work back muscles)
12 Push ups (do these on your toes, if you only lower yourself an inch that's fine, you'll improve)
25 Squats
25 lunges each leg

You can spread these out through the day if you want. And if you can't do them all, just start with one rep and increase as you are able.

This works all the important muscles for derby and you can do everything with just a towel or yoga mat.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Good Gravy!

So I got tired of maintaining the double blog and I figured my derby readers should have some more veggie cooking in their lives and my veggies readers totally need derby in theirs!

Today's low calorie, high veggie, super filling meal is Gravy on veggies. When I first started eating better to trim down I noticed I was super tired all the time. I was eating low carb and while it is certainly effective, it can have some side effects with your skating.

I found though if I increase the total quantity of what I eat, ie more veggies and tofu or whatever protein source floats your boat, my energy level goes back to normal, without a significant increase in calories.

Anyways. I love gravy. Could drink it! I made a big vat of the stuff and heat it up and pour on whichever veggies are knocking around the fridge.

Mushroom gravy:
3 giant carrots
15 large mushrooms
1 large onion
6 cloves garlic
2-4 heaping spoons of veggie broth powder
1 tablespoon of cornstarch

Chop all the veg into small pea sized peas and saute in a little water until soft. Add the remaining ingredients and add water until you have a good soup sized quantity of gravy. Stir and let it bubble until it thickens. We're talking a big soup pot of gravy, it's thick, full of veggies and good on everything. Per cup it is about 50 calories so sauce it up!

In the mean time steam some favorite veggies, I did broccoli, and place on top of a big bowl of baby spinach. Pour gravy over the top and let the spinach wilt a bit. I topped it all with some fresh tomatoes and a little nooch (nutritional yeast).

Basically I treat the gravy a bit like stroganoff sauce but instead of ladeling it over a starch and calorie filled base like noodles or rice, which you could certainly do if you weren't watch the old bottom line so to speak, I put it over spinach or cabbage.

Spinach is great because you don't need to cook it. Cabbage you may want to steam a little, though if you slice it very thin, it should have just a little crunch to it and be slightly cooked by the heat.

Ghetto Mash

Yeah I had mushrooms and broccoli that needed to be eaten. And I am a big fan of ghetto mash.
So take out the food processor and shred like mad:

2 pounds mushrooms
1.5 large onions
1 bulb peeled garlic
3 carrots
6 cups broccoli florets

Dump it in a gigundo frying pan and saute over med high heat. No oil needed with the amount of moisture, but you can add water if you need to.

When it's cooked down and everything tender, add a little soy sauce. It should be kind of soupy at this point. So here is where I add a couple of tablespoons of gravy mix. Stir it up and let it thicken. Kind of like super chunky gravy!

At this point you could stuff peppers with it and bake em. Dump it over rice or noodles. I dumped a ton over baby spinach and a couple of chopped tomatoes.
In my huge salad bowl serving which I couldn't actually finish was probably 200 calories of chunky salty goodness. Ohhh yeah. It wasn't pretty, but tasted real good.

Thanksgiving this year

I talked to my mom last night about Thanksgiving.

In years previous when I was vegan, my family was always less than supportive. They tend towards the macho "let's kill something and then eat it"mentality. But eating good food always trumped the macho attitude so often if it tasted good, they would just go with it, vegan or not.

My mom would every once in a while sneak in the supportive vibes by serving the tofurkey I brought or swapping dairy products for non dairy.

Things have been running a little slim in terms of family these days. One of my brothers lives out of the country. One brother lives in Chicago. Dad died a few years ago. So it's just me, my mother and brother with his two girls.

This year we're having a small get together at my mother's apartment. She'll cook her food and I'll cook mine. It used to be a source of contention when I would cook vegan food. But now they seem to all like it. Mostly, I think, because they are all over 40 and don't have the metabolism to eat a 5000 calorie meal.

Funny how so much of that bravado goes out the door when you get old and fat.

Veggie beef soup

I had a bunch of mushrooms I needed to use up and was feeling like a good salty soup.

1 whole onion roughly chopped
1-2 pounds mushrooms roughly chopped (any kind or mix)
1 whole garlic bulb, each clove smashed and peeled
5-6 carrots roughly chopped
3-4 celery roughly chopped
2-3 tablespoons poultry seasoning

dump it all into a large soup pot on med heat. Add a half cup of water if it gets dry.
Cover and let it cook down for 30-40 minutes until everything is dark and hammered.

Add 2-3 tablespoons of vegetarian beef base, a couple dashes vegan Worcestershire and a good 1/2 to 1 cup vermouth. Let it cook for another 20 minutes.

At this point add 8-10 cups water or more depending on how salty it is. If it's not salty enough add a teaspoons of veg broth powder. I like to mix broths to give it more depth of flavor.

At this point you could add any roughly chopped veggies. I opted to add a whole cabbage shredded. Cabbage is great with a beefy broth. You could add a little tomato juice or a few tomatoes if it's too salty and heavy for you.

I also add a couple cups of baby spinach to my bowl before I ladle in the soup to give it a little extra veggies. And a sprinkle of vegan white cheese is nice too!

Cabbage and cheese

One of my favorite foods has always been noodles with parmesan.
Well I'm trying to cut down on calories and obviously eating vegan so change of menu.

So instead I do steamed cabbage strips, to be noodle-esk, sprinkled with a little daiya, or vegan parm, and a little soy butter with nutritional yeast. It was sooo good!

Balsamic Tomato Pesto

This is a total rip off from a packaged pesto, or maybe the packaged pesto is a total rip off. Technically I didn't buy the pesto so maybe it's somewhere in the middle.

Anyways I get this sun dried tomato pesto sauce from a friend whose spouse works for the company so she brings me vegan products from time to time. One of the incredibly annoying things though, is that they add sooo much oil to everything!

Now don't get me wrong, a little fat added here and there is good. But if you can't taste it, whats the point in getting all the extra calories? It's like a calorie roofie, you ate it, but never knew it happened to you until it shows up on your ass the next day.

Anyways I took the sun dried tomato pesto idea and revamped it. So a product that is essentially chopped sun dried tomatoes, oil, and walnuts. At a whopping 250 calories per 1/4 cup, and mind you this is not strong pesto. You really want to add the entire container to be even able to taste it! So 750 calories later... Total Bull!

Here's my 50 calorie version.

4 cups big chunk cut tomatoes, depending on how big they are. Cherry tomatoes would work great here.
Lay out on a broiler pan (you could saute, but then it just ends up like pasta sauce) and broil on high until wilted and starting to brown a little.
Boil some pasta!
When the pasta is done drain the water into a bowl with chopped broccoli, or whatever your favorite veg on pasta is.
After a few minutes the broccoli should be well cooked.
Toss the tomatoes, broccoli and pasta with balsamic vinegar and some salt and pepper.
The tomatoes mellow the vinegar, the vinegar sweetens the tomatoes and well salt just makes it all work.

Oh yeah and it tastes like exactly the same. Total rip off.

Soymilk Oatmeal

Nothing fancy, but my favorite kind of hot cereal.

I use mostly rolled oats, but depending on your grocery store, there are other "rolled" grains, like rye, wheat, triticale, ect. These are good to mix with rolled oats and give a little more texture.

I mix 2 cups soymilk with 2-3 cups rolled oats/grains and put in a pot over medium low heat.
Keep an eye on it after a few minutes as the soymilk may burn if it gets too hot.

Soymilk or whatever milk, makes it just sweet enough and really creamy. I add a chopped dried fruit and nut mix as well. But keep it too a minimum as it adds a lot of extra calories.

Rice and tofu casserole

Casseroles are great, cause pretty much if you dump enough stuff and bake it with some sauce, it's going to turn out great!

This is my tofu casserole recipe designed to use up broccoli. Though just about any veggie would be good.

Brown rice crust
use about 2 cups cooked brown rice
season with a little salt, or tamari or braggs
sprinkle with nutritional yeast or sesame seeds
press into a pie crust or casserole dish
Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until it starts to crisp

Tofu filling
1 block silken tofu mashed
3 cup chopped broccoli
2 tablespoons brewers yeast
3 tablespoons braggs
mix together and set aside

In a saute pan cook
1 whole chopped onion
3-4 cloves garlic
5-6 chopped mushrooms
add to tofu mixture

Mix 1/3 cup whole wheat flour with 1 cup plain soy milk or veggie broth
Add to hot saute pan and cook until just thickening
Add to tofu mixture and stir well

Taste the mixture and adjust seasonings.
Pour mixture into pie crust pan and bake at 375 for 1 hour

In the last 5 minutes broil until the top is browned.

This recipe is good to add more veg or different veg. Or add grated vegan cheese to make it creamier.

I served this one over a bed of spinach. I'm a big fan of fresh veggies mixed with cooked veggies.

Hippie Popcorn

Whirly pop, oil, popcorn, salt, brewers yeast.

Nuff said.

Veggie enchilada salad

I like to take the more calorie dense foods and dilute them out into a lighter and larger meal!

So I took the basic idea of a veggie enchilada and turned it into a salad.
This recipe has 3 parts, cooked veggies, raw veggies and bean sauce.

Raw veggies, or the salad part.
1/2 romaine head chopped
2 roma tomatoes chopped
1 red bell pepper chopped
Lay this out in a large salad bowl or on a plate

Cooked veggies
In a saute pan add the following over med high heat with a little water to keep from sticking:
.5 cup chopped onions
.5 cup shredded carrots
.5 cup chopped mushrooms
2 tablespoons taco seasoning
When the onions are soft add:
1 cup chopped broccoli
3 cups baby spinach
cook until broccoli is soft

Bean sauce
In a small pan heat .25 cup of refried or whole beans
add .25 of salsa or enchilada sauce

Assemble the whole deal as so:
Layer the lettuce, then tomatoes and peppers
Add the cooked veg on top
Add the bean sauce and spread over the cooked/raw veg
Add a few tablespoons of guacamole

The last bit is to add tortilla chips, or for a leaner version, broil a couple of corn or flour tortillas, or just stick them in the toaster. When they are crisp, tear them up and serve on top.

This whole meal has about 400 calories and will stuff you to capacity no matter how hard you've been skating or working out.

Garbanzo tomato dressing

I was making a salad for lunch and didn't want the usual dressing. I was thinking of making hummus and then thought maybe I'd make a salad dressing along those lines.

1 can garbanzo beans
2 roma tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinagrette

Use a food processor to first grind up the garlic, then add the garbanzos and tomatoes. Add the remaining ingredients until it is smooth.

You may want to back off the garlic and oil. This can be a very lean dressing without the oil. And I like raw garlic, but it can be a little overwhelming for some.
If you use less tomato it's more like a dip.

Off the cuff applesauce oatmeal muffins

I like experimenting with my kids when I cook. It's easier than following an exact recipe and the kids dig it.

Today's experiment is applesauce oatmeal muffins

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups rolled oats
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup applesauce
1 cup soymilk
1.5 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla
1.5 tsp baking powder

mix the dry ingredients, mix wet ingredients, mix it all together until combined.
Divide into 12 muffin tins and bake at 375 for 25 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean.

Mushroom gyoza

I love gyoza. But who doesn't love fried doughy goodness?

I made the filling a little too blended. Next time chunks of mushrooms, onion and carrots would be better, but they still turned out tasty!

Mushroom filling:
5 large mushrooms chopped
1/2 onion minced
4 garlic cloves minced
1 carrot shredded
salt to taste
1/4 cup tofu mashed
2 cups baby spinach blanched and chopped
1/4 flour

Mix everything together except the flour and spinach and saute until the onions are translucent. Add the spinach and flour, mix well.

I used store bought gyoza wrappers. Add a heaping teaspoon of ingredients, wet one side and press together, crimping one side.

Saute dumplings in a frying pan until crisp on both sides then add a little water and cover until all the water has been absorbed.

Enjoy with your favorite dipping sauce!

Oh the leftover filling mix went into a couple of split red peppers and then were baked at 350 for an hour. Awesome!

Mini Pizzas

Pumpkin party today! And I wanted to make something easy so I opted for pizza!

I made a basic dough last night with just a pinch of yeast. I let it rise overnight, then put it in the fridge until an hour before the party.

Basic Pizza dough
3 cups water
6 teaspoons salt (about 2 teaspoons of salt per cup water)
5ish cups bread flour- enough to make a sticky dough
1/2 teaspoon-ish yeast
Mix just until incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap and leave warm overnight.
Refrigerate until ready to use. (Keeps in the fridge up to a month)

I have a wonderful electric tortilla maker that presses and cooks tortillas at the same time. So I made up mini pizza crusts with the press and only cooked them half way until they were solid but still all white.

When people came over I would sauce them up with some Super Simple Sauce, add cheese and pop them in the oven for 5 minutes or so.

Super simple tomato sauce:
1 tablespoon oil
4 cloves garlic minced
1 whole onion chopped finely
1 tablespoon italian seasoning
3 cups crushed tomatoes
Cook garlic, onion and herbs until browned. Add tomatoes and simmer until ready to use.

I made myself some with sauce and mushrooms. Who needs cheese!
Having the pre-made pizza crusts was awesome. Totally going to be making these in the future and keep the extras in the freezer.

What's for dinner?


I've been digging on tomato based soups the past week. First I made classic tomato soup. Ate myself sick.
Then I made carrot tomato soup with the leftovers. Ate myself sick again. And by the way, organic carrots are sooo much sweeter!

Today I made a turnip green, onion, carrot, celery, garbanzo bean with tomato base soup. The first two were pureed. This one is wonderfully chunky.

I will not eat myself sick today. One of those little tricks I'm learning is to try to eat normal portion sizes. Not easy for me. I was taught to eat large portions of very bland food. Ah the 70's, the era of really bad diet ideas.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

One Hundred Entries and One Banked Bout!

SO!!!! I haven't posted in a while. I haven't lost my love for derby or for blogging. Just there has been a lot of some stuff and not so much of others.

To catch you up on "How the Wheels Turn" this has been the past several months.

We have a large ref group. Larger than what most leagues have. Larger than what most small businesses have. So it got a little chaotic trying to stay organized, utilized and on track.
We voted on a management structure, appointed positions and started getting shit done. Yeah us!

I am now the interim secretary to the Director, also know as Chief of Stuff. I basically listen to the director, give my two cents, remind him of stuff to do, do stuff, organize stuff and try to be helpful. I am also the Rules Training Coordinator. This means that I teach rules, get other people to teach rules, teach positions, get other people to teach positions, make sure it's all written down and in a timely manner.

About the track. Well we have one. It's big, really big. It's in our warehouse. I've skated on it twice now. We finished on Saturday night at 7pm so we've had all of four days on it.

It's kind of freaky to skate on a banked surface, but also not really freaky at the same time.

Oh by the way did I mention the bout? Yeah. We're having our first on a banked track, roller derby bout!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
On December 4th, Saturday, doors open at 5pm.

I'll be an Outside Pack Ref. Which means I won't be skating. Which I am just fine with for my first bout!

Oh and today I went to open skate. Cavina showed me how to start side surfing. I did like 2 laps with 2-3 second side surf touches, which is freaking awesome!

I'll be posting more and more photos soon, now that derby has, as they say, started rolling again.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Book reports

So recently we've reorganized our ref group and divided up duties. One of the duties I've taken over is rules training.

I'm not the smartest, most experienced, or most knowledgeable ref we have. And I don't have to be. Creating a curriculum, teaching and organizing is really not about being the best, it's about gathering information to provide to others.

That being said I actually have done a lot of training over the years. I worked in emergency veterinary and did a majority of the training of the front office staff.

The information we needed to understand utilize was for the triage of emergency cases, internal medicine, oncology, radiology and surgery. This involved having a basic knowledge of all of these disciplines and how to ask the right questions and relay the right information.

This is actually fairly complicated as an animal's life is on the line. I learned how to do this confidently and accurately and then taught it to the rest of my staff all the while under stress and chaos of a busy work environment.

So training on rules should be a piece of cake. Well a lot of it is. A lot of it is not particularly complicated. But, like in any discipline, there are the caveats, the tricks, the weird situations and the obscure writing of the WORD rule set.

The rules are pretty well laid out. They are in plain English. But they can be kind of a bitch sometimes to understand.

This is where the experts come in. I don't have to be the best, I just have to bring in the resources of the best. Understand them and see the places where I don't understand.

Last night we had our first rules training with the league. Able and myself presented the basic differences between WORD and WFTDA. We did fairly well only coming up with a few scenarios where we weren't sure the answers. Fortunately I was able to text my local Enforcer and get most of them.

The hard part was not the information. It was being up in front of group, giving my "book report" like a kid back in high school. I'm trying to understand and teach a subject that I am just learning. I'm not going to get anything perfect. And that's ok.

But I couldn't help feeling like I was the unpopular kid at the front with the cool kids laughing and thinking I'm some idiot who shouldn't be up there.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

New levels

I've been pretty hit or miss with the blogging of late. Our ref group has been going through some restructuring, which has been a bit stressful. But we've finally got things sorted and are making significant progress.

My skating has been taking a back seat to the hubbub and so has reffing. My endurance has tanked and track time minimal, but things are turning around.

The past couple weeks I've been getting on my wheels at least 2 times a week and usually 3-4. I'm lazy, I'll fully admit that, and often the hour before practice is filled with "I don't want to go!". But I'm working out again, staying with the diet, and rolling consistently.

Today I really felt it pay off. I don't know that my speed is in anyway improved, but my skating otherwise sure has. All of sudden I got that lean, the angle you get when gracefully gliding and not pounding through. Yeah graceful, that is exactly how it felt today. I have no idea how it looked, but that's how it felt.

So there is this whole thing when you skate on a rink where you are going in a slow oblong circle. What I was not getting before was how my body needed to be angled. I had finally gotten to the point where I lean a little in, but I did not realize I need to lean, ever so slightly, forward too.

Also I feel more stable and it's because I'm finally thinking about using my leg muscles during cross overs. Instead of them sliding around and my feet catching up, I'm tensing my legs to control it. It feels fucking fantastic!

Oh and I can skate both ways. Now that I have the lean thing down, I can crossover the other direction smoothly and comfortably. Drunken sailor's are kind of my favorite thing!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Still on the short bus

And that's freakin just fine! The important part being that I'm on it.

Had practice. Did the whole thing, except for 20 minutes to chat with a league mate.
Which is still really good!

Did all the drills, not well!

Am super freakin sore!

Feeling crazy f-ing faster!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Month 7 don't worry about the time off

Wow I am always so blown away at how much the time away doesn't slow me down.

Yes it does effect my endurance, but that is so fleeting. Last Saturday my lungs felt like they would bleed after 10 minutes. My salivary glands were working on over time. It felt awful. But today, I felt great!

We have this really good coach, like shockingly good. Her name is Eva, or at least that's her derby name. She's one of those coaches that watches you and really focuses on what you need.

Honestly she probably knows more about what is going on with me and what is going n with me in derby than anyone else. Not because she's a friend, but because she is a coach who takes the time.

It doesn't take much, but the five minutes she spends let's me tell her and tell myself what I need. We have great coaches, but she is by far the most effective and the most impressive coach for me.

When you have this many ladies who join a sport, a non-professional sport, you need someone who is watching and calling you on it. And she supports you in the plain and simple way you need it.

My goal from last week was to do the warm up worm by end of October. I knew I wouldn't need that long. Just some carbs and a couple of times skating. And it was true. I skated the worm great, did hip and arm whips, which I have never really done before, totally easy by the way. I did half of an endurance drill, which I stopped due to an injured skater. I'm on sports med so I work with the injured skaters.

Basically skating was great. I got a good workout and could have done about ten times more. It really doesn't take much to get back on track.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Month 7 Back in the saddle

I started this journey with tennis courts, hallways and all ages open skates.

Well it's rainy fall so the tennis court is out of the question. And the hallway is a little too small these days. But there is always room for the open skate!

Took the kids and hubby to open skate today. We each took a turn with the kids. They made it one lap and were over it. And then David and I took turns skating while the other watched the kids.

I use the time skating with so many children as time to work on speeding and slowing, dodging and skating low and slow. It really is a good workout.

I lasted much longer than I did at last nights practice. I love how each day is a significant improvement at this stage.

If you ever have to take time off from derby due to injury or just life, don't worry. When you come back the catch up time is quick and honestly you may find you are a lot better than when you stopped.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Month 7 Starting over, again.

So it's official. I have been skating for 6 full months and am now starting my 7th.

Things I have learned are; how to skate, somewhat fast (for me), ok crossovers and semi ok reffing skills.

The past two months have been crap for me doing consistent skating and my endurance has tanked. Also I've been crazy diet person and lost a bunch of weight (yeah!) but have lost strength because of it. Losing weight is hard work!

Anyways so today is my first real day back on skates. I've been to a few practices here and there, but my heart ache and frustrations have really taken their toll.

I felt like I did back when I would start working out. My lungs would hurt and my glands would salivate. My muscles felt weak but not tired. I would do a few pretty fast laps and be totally winded. My body is relearning how to use that oxygen and carbs.

But from here it really only takes a few short weeks of pushing to get back to where I was. And I still have the advantage of being a better skater, so it's really not back where I was.

So the plan, with the blessings of my family, is to spend the next few weeks hitting a lot of practices and open skates. I just need hours on wheels. Some people start out in good shape and get better. I haven't been in good shape in years so it slips away very quickly.

Anyways. Back on track. Again.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Week 29 We lost one.

Today Harry Situation died.

It was an end to nearly a month of worry and sadness.

Rest peacefully Nicole we all miss you terribly.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Week 28 On the bright side

So draw backs to life interfering is that skating just sometimes doesn't happen.

I've dabbled on and off since the bout but haven't really got back into the gun hoe mode.

I'm starting to get back on track and I'm feeling the progress after the second skate practice in a row.

But on the bright side, getting back into shape isn't so bad when you're don't have to learn how to skate too.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Week 27 Starting Over

So this has been a crazy month. With the vacation, the bout, Harry, and general restructuring of our group, there has not been much skating. Actually there has not been much of anything.

This has kind of been a hiatus month for us. We took a week off and then only had a few practices anyways.

Our ref group is pretty big for a new league and we are looking to get organized. We're trying to figure out the best strategy, ie the flat track method of a Head Ref in charge of everything, or by breaking it up in multiple people taking charge of different aspects running the organization.

I'd like to think I know what is the best way to run the ref group. But I don't and we won't know what works until we try it.

So that has been draining, frustrating, exciting and generally taking up a lot of time.

Then there is the switch to banked track. We don't have the track yet, but that won't stop us! We are learning the positions for banked reffing. Everyone was a bit freaked out, but once we got into, it really was easy.

We took about 45 minutes talking through the flow of information and everyone had at least a cursory knowledge of how banked runs. It was great!

We'll have another practice on Monday, that hopefully will key in the new information even stronger.

Now I just have to get back on skates.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Week 24 Working through the pain

Tonight I went to do stats with Rat City. I've been in a fog the past few days over my league mate and I had some concerns about participating in derby today.

So I'm thinking it's something like any injury. You get hurt, you rest, you feel the pain. But if you do your therapy and get back to working hard again, you not only work through the pain, you're stronger for it.

I did my thing. I watched the actions for and against. I talked to my fellow stats people. I watched beautifully executed derby.

And it felt good. It felt good using my brain, being focused, being in the moment and doing what I do well.

I've had concerns about what practice will be like next week. We had a week off coincidentally after the accident. I think this was good. People need to freak out and break down. Sit with the reality of what's happening before they can go back to work and practice.

So next week when we get back to practice we will have rested. We will have felt the pain. And while the pain will still be there, we will probably cry, and we will feel empty and betraying by skating. We will feel better because we have begun the work to work through the pain.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Week 24 Support System

I'm not close to my family. I would never call them for comfort or need. I have friends from before derby but not many I really talk to.

When I joined derby part of it was to make friends. Have some social time. Get a new skill and get some good workouts.

I figured I would make friends and I figured I would have people to go and spend time with. What I didn't figure was that I would find a support system. People I could call and be with when I needed them.

Well last night that time came. My friend and league mate was hurt falling from a roof. She sustained brain injuries and now is in the ICU. She is one of those friends who while I feel is totally out of my league, she still would hang out with me at a moments notice.

Harry is just a good person, ready to be your friend and hang out. She's the kind of person you want to have in your life. She's good and funny and I'm pretty sure all of us love her.

But now she is hurt and the rest of us are hurting too.

We are not all super close. We are not all best friends. But we all hang out together. We have little groups that are close that are connected to the other little groups. We fight and annoy each other, but we manage to be a pretty powerful group of people that stick together.

Before derby I would not have had the support to deal with Harry's situation. I would have been on my own, feeling all the worse for it.

But now I have derby sisters. We don't all pinky swear, or share all our most intimate secrets. But we know when to pull together and be the support that each of us needs.

And right now I need that.

Week 24 This is what it's all about.

I finally reffed a bout. I have reffed a few scrimmages as outside pack ref, like 10 and a couple as inside pack ref. I've also NSO'd lots of scrimmages and bouts. But I had yet to do the final step of reffing a bout.

Well last night that all changed. I did it for real and it turned out good.

Basically this is the accumulation of all my hard work. Learning how to skate and learning how to call penalties.

While both require a lot more practice, I have officially gotten to the point where I am ok. Not good, not great, really just mediocre. This is just fine. I don't expect to be farther along than I am right now.

But I am pretty blown away that I made a plan, stuck to it and now here I am happily and safely within the arms of mediocrity.

Yeah ref!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Week 24 First Bout with TTRB

Today is our first bout. Officially, with our teams, our refs, our nso's.

I'm leaving from my house in 25 minutes and will be showing up to outside pack ref.
I am pretty nervous. Occasionally think I might cry. Trying not to feel like I want to throw up.

In about 3.5 hours it will be over and I will have survived. And I'll tell you all about it then.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Week 24 Back from vacation

I went on a vacation for a week and a half, and I'm not going to talk about it.
But it ate up a lot of time before and after.

Now I'm back in the swing, starting to work out again, starting to skate again. Two weeks off. Which is ok. Except that there is our first bout on Sunday.

I'm trying not to get nervous. I'm trying to not even think about it.
But I'm outside pack ref. Which means I have to skate fast. And I don't currently skate fast.

Basically I have a test coming up with 200 spectators and I'm hoping not to eat rink.

It'll be ok, right?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Week 21 Speed F-ing Demon!

Ok so that means speed demon on my standards, which means I was able to keep up with the pack and even stay ahead sometimes. But fuck yeah!!!!

So a couple of weeks ago Gary had us "loosen up" in practice which apparently means do the cha cha.

I don't actually do the cha cha all that well so I did the meringue. What I found was the quick shifting of weight from foot to foot made me go surprisingly faster.

I pondered this finding over a few days and today put my musings into action. I did the same shifty stepping and fucking cruised!

After an hour or so of practice I was running through the turns too. Hell yeah, I'm a fucking speed demon and I'm pretty proud of it.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Week 20 Derby wives and men

I had a baby 4 years ago. Then another one 2 years after that. I had a great job, but the pay was not enough to cover childcare when the second one came along. So I happily stayed home.

Staying home for some people can come natural, and I definitely settled into domestic bliss with little complaint. But the bits that are lost when you no longer maintain a constant relationship with the outside world can be disheartening.

I'm not a park mom. I don't take the kids in the stroller on walks. I don't go to the zoo and I'm not the kind of mom to get together with other moms and swap recipes. I drink coffee on the couch and watch cartoons.

This is totally fine with me. But by reducing my social life from work and family, to just family it changed my relationship with my husband. He became my adult world. The only one who really spoke english. He could help me with the kids and give me a break from the chaos. I went from somewhat independent and worldly to scared and shortsighted.

I longed for the moment he came home, I hung on his every word. When he wanted to go out at night to play poker I would be sad and obstinate. I hated that I was stuck at home and after only an hour or two of relief he would leave again. The weekends were the same, he would fish and again I would stay home, resentful of his life outside of home.

He was living a normal life while my horizons shrank smaller and smaller. This may sound kind of lame, but I don't think it's such an unusual story. The first year or two of childhood is very demanding. I had two kids so I had to sink into my small version of parenthood for three and half years.

Once my daughter turned 18 months things changed. I wasn't so exhausted. They didn't hang on me constantly, they didn't even notice me as much. My time, chained to the house, was over and my life was going to begin again.

Enter derby. Now I go out a few nights a week. Every other weekend or so I have social outings or games to go to. I have made friends with an unusual and surprisingly cool group of people. I have a normal life again. But my time locked away had done it's damage.

My husband had grown used to years of me hanging on his every word. He had been the center of my world and now my world had grown out away from him. Had I not stayed home for so long, or had continued normal social interactions during early parenthood, this may not have been a problem. But I didn't, that wasn't me. Now he has become the derby widow and derby has become my new wife.

The concept of the derby wife is all about supporting each other. Helping each other through the rough bits, being there. I have to wonder how many derby wives provide the support that you wish could come from your significant other. My husband wants to be supportive, and he tries. But it's hard to be completely OK with your wife's new mistress who consumes her thoughts and time, when you used to be number one.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Week 19 Some reality

Yeah I'm still on the lose some weight track.

You see I had some babies and got like super fucking fat. The whole please try to gain some weight card was sorely overused.

I got an 80 extra, and I've kicked 35, but I am really looking forward to having my old body back. Even just having my old face back. With the extra pounds I look like my grandmother, and I'm not digging it.

Anyways the suckage about dieting is that you eat significantly less, and have significantly less energy. So today at practice, day 2 of diet, I could barely keep skating. I thought I was going to puke like every 5 minutes. It sucked, but whatever.

There aren't that many practices this week so it's cool. I planned to start the diet during a slow week so I wouldn't suck ass every time. But la la la, in a few days I should be used to it and back to a somewhat fighting self.

This whole getting in shape thing is a bitch!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Week 19 Making friends

Well there are certainly a lot of people who join derby to make friends in addition to all the wonderful things that come with skating. I am one of those people.

I have two children and a husband so technically my "socializing needs" box is checked, but it's nice to have more friends. Over this experience I've actually met a lot of really nice people and even reconnected with a few old friends.

I used to always make friends through work and that can be problematic. If you are too social sometimes your less-than-professional quirks can come back to haunt you. Also someone who seems to be a friend at work may only be socializing because they enjoy it more than doing their job.

Enter roller derby.

When I was younger it was easy to get hot and heavy with a few people, blow my social wad and feel the drunk nights remorse. But being older and not actually requiring a social scene, being married with children you have a built in social life, I can actually enjoy the process of slowly getting to know people.

At this point I've hung out one on one and in groups with quite a few of the derby people and am little surprised at how much I really like them.

It's nice having some new friends.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Week 18 Making the transition

So we've been skating as a flat track league. This makes sense as we have no banked track and the other leagues around here are all flat track. And it's likely there will always be some residual flat track action so that we can competently bout with the flat track leagues from time to time.

In terms of players flat track to banked is not hugely different. Yes the physical aspect is, but the penalties are similar with minor differences involving swimming and whatnot.

What is significantly different is how the game is run. For some people they may not like it as much. There is no crazy outside pack ref careening through, constantly on the edge of wild hitting women and the crowd a few feet away.

Also in banked track there is much more space for the inside team to move in. Granted banked has a lot more going on in the infield, but the amount of skating space is much larger and there is less of the congo line effect with the refs. This makes the super hairball tight skating "slightly" less of an issue.

This is cool for those of us still working on our skills. While we will always need to work towards improving our skills, there are less obstacles in our way to get there! I think what are my favorite changes are the differences that will come to the ref/nso group.

When I met the reffing groups in San Diego, I was struck by the cohesion and camaraderie of the groups. The ref positions are so much more integrated that the tightness of the individuals was almost palpable. They had their shit together and it showed.

Right now our two groups, and they are definitely two groups, are fairly aloof. This is going change, even before we go banked track. I've always liked both groups and all the positions but I am looking forward to us being a cohesive unit that works and plays together.

The changes going to banked track are going to shake things up and mostly in a really cool way.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Week 18 Geek Out Moment BOBIII #2

So we met a lot of really cool people. Really cool. Like the people you would have kept hanging out with had they not lived in another state.

I remember back in the days of less brain function when I would travel the country following some here unnamed bands, meeting people and friends. Then the sad reality of life would creep back in, that once it was over I would likely never see them again.

Enter Geek Out Moment #2, Facebook.

Facebook has been instrumental into my reintroduction of social life after children.

Pretty much everyone I met at Battle of the Banked has acquired enough nerd points to be on Facebook.

So when we left San Diego we brought all our new friends home with us, via Facebook.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Week 18 Geek Out Moments BOBIII

I met Smarty Pants from TXRD. She was driving a van and stopped to see if I needed a ride.

I totally pretended that I hadn't just watched 3 days of Rollergirls back to back.
She totally pretended she didn't know I knew who she was.

Stars in Roller Derby are most likely not stars anywhere else, but the geeking out is just as good.

Week 18 Introducing Banked Track

Holy Fuck! Sorry this blog is not rated PG.

This weekend I went to the fabulous world of Banked Track Derby. So thus far in my derby career we have been learning and playing by flat tracked wftda rules. We have been trained by the local flat track gurus, Texie Scoldem of Rat City and RPOD previously of Jet City.

These guys know the rules and regulations, the in's and out's, the do's and don'ts. As far as flat track goes we have been in very good hands and I believe our progress has shown that.

This weekend was spent learning, training, studying, working, and of course drinking. I met a lot of super cool people and made some new friends. But most importantly I have learned how different banked track is from flat track.

These are details I will go into later. Our league has a lot of decisions to make on how to approach the change over, how, when, where, ect. And I haven't a clue what that will look like. Stay tuned.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Week 17 Battle on the Banked

This is a very cool day. Today I will fly to San Diego to contribute my mad NSO skills to the Battle of the Banked.

Well actually my skills aren't that mad, and the rules are a bit different, so even if my skills were mad, they wouldn't really count for the banked track. But whatever.

I'm flying in a plane. Not excited.

Learning some new rules, totally excited.

And participating in my first and most undoubtedly bad assed banked track roller derby!

I got the line up yesterday of what jobs and when I'm working bouts. Hah! They listed me as an OPR. Outside Pack Ref. Which first of all, on banked track, I have no idea what that means. Second of all, I have only OPR'd 3 times. Not well, not fast, probably not a good idea. But not to worry, they switched me out for another position.

But whatever. I leave tonight, first solo trip, first banked track, first for reals.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Week 17 Back in the saddle

Yeah!!! After 2 and a half weeks off skates I finally made it to practice.

I missed two entire weeks of practice due to home projects and the last scrimmage I had been an NSO. These were projects that needed to happen and could not wait for my skating schedule. I put the time in and now life can go back to normal.

I had still been able to go to the gym most days so I didn't regress at all. And I wasn't actually worried about how it would feel to get back on skates.

Skating has been somewhat stressful for me the first few months. I always would wonder if I still knew how to skate every time I went to practice. Fortunately after several months I have convinced myself that I do know how to skate.

So last night's scrimmage finally arrived after days and days of longing for derby. I strapped my skates on and hit the floor. A couple laps later I was right back where left off. It felt so good to skate.

I've been doing a lot of weight lifting and the extra strength is paying off. I was the outside pack ref, which is currently my favorite position. I get to skate skate skate, crossover crossover crossover. It's weird how 2 weeks off and my crossovers are greatly improved. I'm skating much much lower now. I was never winded, never tired and it all just felt really good. Now I just need to figure out how to get faster!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Week 17 Finding some balance

I completely skipped week 16. You see the first four months of derby, I hit hard and heavy. Pretty much everyday was at least partially devoted to derby or skating. But the month of June has been a little tough for me.

I made a deal with my husband that I would get 3-4 months to get my skating up to a basic level and he and the family would sit in the sidelines for me.

The kids didn't really notice any difference because I am home with them all day during the week. But my husband was missing out on us spending time together. Evenings and weekends were devoted to skating and he took over with the kids.

So now I am trying to make a schedule that includes a good combination of working out, skating, derby, and family time. I think I have the schedule well worked out but the month of June has required me to take a significant break from derby.

We had to get the house cleaned up. All the work from last year and the winter had fallen to the wayside while my husband was injured and now that the weather was sort of turning we had a lot of catch up.

Also we decided to turn the storage area in the studio into a gym. Specifically this gym is being made available to the skaters on my league so those who are injured, can't afford a gym membership, have kids, or just want to work out together can come and get some exercise in. It's also for me too, so that I can be motivated to exercise more.

And finally the chicken coop is being remodeled. We had gotten a little out of control with the chickens and our backyard had become unusable because of it. This weekend we will demo and rebuild the roof and separate it from the studio.

These are all projects that needed to happen and I couldn't skip out on them. Trying to balance things I need to do and things I want to do is just not always easy. And because the house and family needed time I had to miss out on derby.

I've hit a few practices off and on, but nothing like I need or want. And while it's hard to be ok with it, I have to just sit back and chill. I read the posts of the other girls talking about practice. I miss going, I miss them, I miss being a part of it.

But what keeps me going is knowing that they will be there when I'm ready to go back. Knowing that they miss me and look forward to seeing me again too.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Week 15 Part of the gang

Today was a suck ass day at practice. Maybe I'm getting old or maybe I just need to get into better shape, but last nights alcohol kicked my ass. I felt like a freakin noodle, no strength, no energy. I'm ok with days like that, they happen and I get through them.

But the bummer part was after practice Don Juan asked if I wanted to stay and ref for the PFM scrimmage. I really wanted to do it. And honestly I was so excited and flattered to be recognized as one of the refs. Even though Don Juan knows I am learning and not particularly skilled.

See that's one of the misconceptions about joining teams or activities. I think a lot of people think that if you aren't awesome or one of the best then why bother. I've gotten very far in life being mediocre at a lot of things and being good at very few things.

I don't look to be the best. I work hard to always be better but I don't measure my success at being the best. Success for me is showing up, being part of it, and being known for working hard.

If I am ok, then that's good enough for me. If I work hard and become good, well that's ok too.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Week 14 Hell's to the Yeah!

Scrimmage tonight! And I was an outside pack ref.

Did I do well? Not really.
Did I call great penalties? Highly debatable.
Did I make any calls? A few.
Did I keep up with the pack? Not well.

So why was this so good? Because I am no longer in the category of "probably not going to make it as a skating ref".

Now I am in the category of "beginning ref that total sucks but with a lot of work she will probably do fine".

It's a good place to be.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Week 14 Getting good

Well the break seems to have worked miracles because today was awesome.

I was tired and not looking forward to the rat's nest floor and as it turns out I have pulled the muscle behind me knee a bit. So I got to take it slightly easier.

Anyways somewhere between the beginning of practice and the middle I once again was fast and it was easy. I started stepping and doing crossovers through the entire turn and cruised!

It wasn't even that hard.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Week 14 Payoff

I haven't posted in a while, again. The past two weeks I've been kind of taking a break. I think something that is important to any activity that takes a lot of effort is to take breaks.

And I don't mean one day, I mean a week or two where you might have a practice or two, but mostly you are chillin. This gives the much needed rest and keeps you from burning out. So like every 2-3 months, take a week.

Anyways I have skated twice in the past 10 days. This is the biggest break I've taken since I started skating. One thing that is nice is that 4 months in I no longer wonder if I know how to skate. I know I can do it and may just need a warm up. So much of skating is mental.

I needed the break even though part of it was due to a brief food poisoning episode followed by a poorly chosen drinking episode. Strangely a sensitive stomach from food poisoning is not helped by tequila. Lesson learned.

So tonight we had practice with Eva Destruction. I love all the coaches we have but Eva is special to me. She doesn't take any shit, pushes hard and pays attention. If you are slow or injured she gives you good skills to practice for your level. I really like a coach who notices you are there. She has always been very supportive to me and I really need that.

Today we did worms, like always. Worms are tough because there is no getting out of them. You have to skate with the group and weave through each person.

My first worms were spent with me trying to catch the group. There were months of that. Then several weeks ago I make it a third of the way through a worm. Then Wanda pushed me through a worm, then I made it through my first worm, on my own. That was big, it was hard and I wasn't sure I could do it.

Then today happened. I'm stronger now because I go to the gym. Somehow when I step on the rink I forget that I'm getting stronger so I don't realize that it will be easier than last time.

Today I joined the worm and skated through it. Three times. No struggling, no panting, no pouring sweat. I kept thinking "Are they going slower or am I going faster?"

Friday, May 21, 2010

Week 13 A long road to haul

So I haven't posted much the past week. Basically I have reached level that feels really good and I'm taking a little bit of a break.

The break technically isn't so much of a break as I'm not pushing extra hard. I'm still doing the same stuff but I'm trying to do lighter exercise on days I have practice. And often if I have practice I don't go to open skate that night.

I wanted to take a week or two off from the heavy push to give my body and mind a break. Now that I'm starting to feel less exhausted I'm working on more specific goals. Like stride.

I have been very slow up til now and with a better focused stride I am much faster. I never really felt all four wheels when I pushed. Now I can feel the increased friction due to proper pushing. With the additional speed I have to get lower to feel stable.

Then there are my crossovers. While I've been technically been crossing over I haven't really been using the power of the inside leg when it pushes. After a practice where my head ref spent time working with me, I can now see where I am and where I need to go.

So it's all about speed and form, crossovers and transitions. If you're going to go fast you need to be able to stop quick too.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Week 13 Hard Earned

Something really really small and totally insignificant to the rest of the world, but hugely significant to me, happened.

Today I was listed as an SO. SO means skating official. It wasn't on anything important. Just on a list for a scrimmage. But it meant a lot to me.

I have so far to go in learning to ref and learning to skate. But today my Head Ref put me on the list to be a skating official.

Now comes the hard part, proving that it wasn't a mistake.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Week 13 First Tilted Thunder Scrimmage

Today's milestone was really important.

I reffed for Tilted Thunder. I was the inside pack ref. It was my first time with my league and my second time ever.

I shadowed Hateful on the rear inside pack ref. I made three calls, two majors and one minor.

Pretty cool.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Week 12 another milestone

Tomorrow is exactly 12 weeks from when I first got my skates and put them on. 3 months of work and stress. Studying rules, learning to skate, working out to skate better. And last night was the big milestone. Reffing my first scrimmage.

I wasn't very good. When I outside pack reffed I had a hard time keeping up. When I inside pack reffed I did better, but I didn't make any real calls. I saw a few. Tried to call them but then second guessed myself and weenie-ed out.

But I reffed, on skates, with two teams playing. There's really not much more I could ask for.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Week 12 First Milestone

My first milestone was to make it through a worm. Wanda kind of showed me how to do while pushing me through it yesterday. And every since then all I could think about was doing it on my own. I just want to make it through.

Well today I didn't go to the gym, Meza had been sick in the night. So when I went to practice I wasn't tired. It was a scrimmage day so I only had the warm up. We started a worm drill.

I skated in the back as usual, then started to try and catch the back of the worm. One person skated ahead of me to start the worm. But then the person in front of me said to do it.

And I did. I skated up, and moved in and out. I took arms to get going faster, but I did it. I skated an entire worm. That was really cool.

After my death defying feat we had a scrimmage and I was the jam timer. Now the position of jam timer really does not seem all that complicated. But apparently pushing buttons, whistling and waving my arm at the same time is beyond my immediate capabilities.

I took pretty much the whole scrimmage, until the last 4 jams. Two of which I did correctly. And I didn't run the period clock or learn how to deal with time outs. Apparently it is one really really small step at a time.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Week 12 empty tank

I've been working really hard. And apparently at this point in my weak ass journey, a little too hard.

Today at practice my body was still aching from the day before. My muscles seemed to have little energy that tapped out quickly.

I made it through a worm warm up one time, but it was because Wanda pushed me the whole way. Man I want to be able to do these on my own. I hate being the special ed skater.

Anyways, this is a phase that I have to work hard through. And I am. Weights, cardio in the morning, skating in the afternoons and evenings. Sometimes I take a whole day off. But I'm working out at least once a day 6 times a week and 2-3 times a day 4-5 days a week.

Yes, that is workout in the morning. Go to practice and then open skate at night. Usually I can only manage 2 in a day. But every once in a while I can push it. So I'm working about as hard as I can, for now. Hopefully soon my body will catch up with me.

But today the workouts caught up with my body. I got home from practice, so sore and stiff from both days. I took a shower, got a drink and went in the hot tub.

Apparently this was not a good idea. Or the fact that my husband fried fish before practice and I ate a bunch of it. And I am quite sure I am off fried anything and fish anything for a very long time.

Anyways the exhaustion hit me after about 5 minutes and I was ready puke. I crawled into the house, onto the couch and alternated between trying to puke and laying and panting.

After about an hour it passed and the bone chilling exhaustion set in. I shivered and lay there waiting for the pain and nausea to completely go away. When I felt ok again I was able to get up and go with the family to dinner.

I am still so sore and tired, all I can do is lay here and stare at the computer.

What is totally stupid, is that for anyone else on the league, I'm not really doing all that much. But for me, and my horribly out of shape body, it's all I can do. For now.

I have two goals. By June to effectively ref for the scrimmages. And to keep up with the pack drills. Eyes on the prize.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Week 12 good practice

I feel like a horse chomping at the bit. I went to the Y today and did weights with Megsi. Then I waited around for practice. I wanted to skate. I wanted to keep moving.

Then practice happened and I once again had my ass kicked. It felt so much better today. I'm so tired all the time. But it's coming and I see it every practice.

I couldn't keep up with those freakin fast bitches. I tried and tried until my legs were shaking and I felt wrong throughout my body. But I'm so close. I can feel how much faster I am.

The hard part about speed is your form has to be good or you go out of control. So whenever I speed up, I feel like I can't control it. But today my crossovers felt a lot stronger. If I can do crossovers faster, then everything can go faster.

I need, I love, I crave working with the league. Every time I have a practice where we work with the team, it just pushes me in all the right ways.

And everyone tells me how well I'm doing. It feels good. I always have such a hard time with compliments. But I try to look at them as progress reports. Half of the beauty of joining roller derby is giving me drive and purpose to push myself physically. The other half is being able to spend time with such amazing women.

People discount themselves because they haven't reached "whatever" milestones in their lives. They forget that those are just mile markers. It's the road you ride that is important and makes you who you are.

I have all the milestones. I have all the experiences. What I don't, or didn't, have is the people. They are all there. I like most of them. There are a few I just haven't gotten to know. I'm not in a rush though. So I'm getting to know them slowly and enjoying the process.

As usual I am experiencing the post practice high. I want to skate more, right now. But I am exhausted even if my brain won't acknowledge it. Tomorrow I will be sore. I will go to the gym. And go to practice, to do it all again.

Thank goodness for roller derby.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Week 12 Off skates

You get to a point in your progress of skating where just going to open skates and practice four or five days a week stops you advancing as quickly.

This is the point I am at right now. So along with all the fabulous skating, I am also doing a lot of conditioning off skates. I go to the gym 5-6 days a week working on skating related exercising.

I have terrible knees so I have to moderate everything to keep the pressure off them. And this is really cool because in the past month I haven't had a single problem with my knees.

On days that I have practice later on I focus on weight lifting. Which seems to surprise me on how much pain it causes the next day. Good, sore pain, but yes pain.

I start out with the treadmill. I crank it up to the highest incline it has, set it to 2 miles an hour and do a variety of squats. This lasts anywhere from 15-30 minutes depending on how much energy I have.

I set my limits based on how my body feels. Instead of using arbitrary numbers, I just go until it burns, go as long as I can in the burn and then slow down until my breathing and muscles are mostly recovered. Then I do it again!

I do the same with weights. I go as heavy as I can until I can barely do that last rep. Then I stretch forever!

Cardio days are on days where there is no practice later on. I do the same workout on the treadmill but start with the elliptical machine. I don't stand in a normal stance on the elliptical. I hold onto the bars and hang back so there is no pressure on my knees and all the burn is in the back of my legs and abs.

I do at least 5 minutes of toe walks and ball of my foot walks. Keeping my toes, feet and ankles strong is super important too.

Right now these workouts are detracting slightly from my skating. I'm tired and sore when I go to practice. But it's just a matter of time before my body catches up and does that slingshot improvement as it gets stronger.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Week 11 Jackass in the Penalty Box

Sadly it was me who was the jackass.

Yesterday was my first scrimmage as penalty box keeper. I was working with Zilla, reading through the rules, making sure we were ready for first penalties.

Everything was going good. I was getting the timer started and stopped quickly, alerting players of mouth guards and helmets. I was feeling good, no big deal.

But there is the one little trick about the penalty box. The double jammer. When both jammers are in the box all sorts of little rules apply. I was ready, I knew them, and I choked.

My jammer came in, time started. Zilla's jammer came in and nothing. I should have released my jammer immediately and given the short time to Zilla. Nope. Just sat there, getting dirty looks and gestures from the jammers.

Finally Rpod came over and released them, properly informing me of the rule that I so very well knew and screwed up.

How lame.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Week 11 Bring the Pain

So this is my 10th week skating. 2 and a half months on wheels.

We've established a few things.
I can now skate.
I really really like skating.
I really really like roller derby.
I have a lot to learn.
I am really out of shape.

So this is what my life has become. For the most part. Occasionally there are birthdays and anniversaries or the occasional late husband to interrupt the schedule. Gym during the day to do cardio and squats or weightlifting and squats. Diet food. Practice at night and open skates.

There has been a bit of pain lately. Ever since I realized it was time to step things up I have. But it hurts a lot.

Practice yesterday was brutal. It was my first full practice with the players. I did the entire practice with them, all the drills and no extra breaks. Well I did lame out on part of drill as I was concerned I might vomit.

It is really quite shocking to see the physical condition of my team mates in contrast to my own. I expect that I am still very out of shape. I don't expect the power and endurance of everyone else to be so incredible.

When you work with a league it's almost like having 70 new mothers/sisters/friends. Everyone has their 2 cents of what you should be doing, and if you're smart you'll listen to them.

So I spent the practice being bossed around the track by my group. It hurt, it was hard, and it was good. I'm still so very slow, and weak. But they keep at me. I think that's the mothering thing. They don't give up on you even when you want to give up.

And when you do succeed. There is no pride like being cheered on by the people who coached you.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Week 10 Crossovers at Skate King

I haven't been able to skate much this week. Monday was a scrimmage, Tuesday David came home late so I missed practice, and Wednesday was a ref lecture.

Anyways, I almost didn't make it to Skate King tonight, but I was meeting a friend who lives out of town so I couldn't bail.

I am really glad I did too. I worked on crossovers a whole heck of a lot. And squats. Lots of squats. I'm definitely improving. Crossovers feel ok. Not great, not natural but ok, and I'm ok with that.

And I was able to squat for an entire lap and did at least 6 of them before I was totally wrecked.

Hells to the yeah.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Week 10 Who's your Head NSO?

I was! It was totally by default. Texi couldn't make it. And apparently after you hand out assignments to those who've done them before, you're pretty much done.

But it was cool anyways. I got to chatter away at everyone and be bossy. How much better can you get?

The scrimmage was good, but I didn't skate yesterday. Practice tonight!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Week 10 a good practice

Today's practice was full of all sorts of fun.

Jumping, I've never done jumping. A little anticlimactic. I think it seemed like it should be freakier, but when you squat down to jump you're really only a foot from the ground so if you fall it's not really falling.

Obstacle courses. I kind of sucked at this one. I was supposed to step over and around better and I didn't really. But whatever.

Today was really good for one thing. I pushed really hard. I followed the pace line as long as I could. I had to take short breaks, but I kept skating as hard and fast as I could. Fortunately the pace line wasn't that fast so I sort of kept up. But it was still a lot of work

I pushed until my legs would start to burn and then I just kept saying "burn burn burn" to get myself through it and going longer. I took breaks when my legs were shaking really bad.

It was good.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Week 10 time to start pushing

Today's practice was a mix of good and the inevitable. We have a different coach on Saturday who is a former derby girl. I don't remember her name, but she very clearly see's through my bull.

You see today I did what I usually do. I skated, I tried new stuff, whatever. But a month ago just the usual would have left me sore, tired and feeling like a noodle.

But that's not enough anymore and it appears to be obvious. I'm not tired. I'm not sore, and there are no noodles anywhere. It wasn't for lack of coaching. The coach had us do annoyingly difficult drills. Then when the group was doing whips and hitting drills we refs went to do our usual skills, like transitions, ect.

Well apparently when she took on the role of coach she had intended to coach everyone, even if we were shirking in the corner. She had drills for us to do, in ways that were hard, practical and of course a really good idea.

You see it was enough before to just show up and get through. We've gained enough skill that we need to push, a lot more, and it seems it is obvious to the coach. One of the tell tale signs was there was no falling. Not even fumbling. So she gave us the next step and let us know next time, it's time to do more.

I like this.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Week 9 new milestones

Today's practice was awesome! I know I say that a lot, but at this point in my training I hit new levels at pretty much every skate.

What was the biggest improvement was I made it through the whole practice. Usually the warm up kills me. Usually the next drill then continues to annihilate my nearly dead muscles until I have to go sit down.

This is ok, it's a learning curve and an endurance curve. But today was my first day that I only took breaks with the players. We had 2 1-minute water breaks. There were a few times I had to skate on the outside to just barely keep moving as my legs were shaking so bad. But I did it!

Dude they wrecked me, but I kept skating! I sucked at squats! But I kept skating! I still cannot do knee dips, but one step at a time.

So we did line drills. The person in the front of the line had to skate around to the back of the pack. So I actually was not able to catch the back of the line. Details details.

Gary asked if I wanted to participate in the drill, I said "Hells Yeah!" I think we are all comfortable with the fact that technically I am not able to do the drills completely, but I will try and gracefully suck it!

We did a worm next. I made it through about a third of the line. Hey at least I caught up to the line!

Then we did pack drills. It took the entire drill for me to catch up to the pack to actually touch someone. Do I suck? Hell yeah! Do I care? Hell no! Because in another month, no one is going remember how bad I sucked, cause by then I won't be sucking anymore!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Week 9 Gay Skate!

Tonight's skate was awesome! I was sore and tired for the first 30 minutes. Yes I am still that out of shape. But then I turned a corner and stepped up a level.

It was really freakin packed so pretty much I was maneuvering in and around people. This is super good practice for ref types like me. I think I'm going to be spending a lot of nights like this.

This is such cool part of learning to skate. Each time I go I feel a significant improvement. Very gratifying.

I don't know what I am going to do tomorrow. No open skates and David is working late so no outdoor skate. Looks like hallway skating.

Week 9 Drinking and Skating

So last night was derby skate and I didn't make it because I got drunk and passed out by 6pm. Lame on pretty much all fronts.

I think I might quit drinking for a while. I don't need anything to slow down my skating progress and I think I'm old enough that a few too many drinks really takes it out of me.

Another reason skating is cool. When you have the drive to really get into something it makes you want to make healthier choices so you can further your success. That's a really good thing.

Tonight I'm making up for it. 3 hours of gay skate at Bellevue skate king. Let's see how long I can skate for!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Week 9 open skate and Oly Bout!

I've been off skates for two days. I usually take Thursday and Friday off to rest and recoup. I want to start skating 6 nights a week but it can be a hassle with Thursday being at Bellevue and Friday being teen night.

Anyways I always feel weird after a day or two not skating. I think the best remedy for this in the future will be to do an hour at home in the hallway.

So I've been pretty low energy with the whole slim meals thing so going to skate has been difficult. I got on wheels that seemed completely foreign and of course after a few minutes I warmed up and got rolling.

I was so tired and had to really dig deep. As I've said my body is trying to revolt against the idea of eating like someone who is not a football player, and does not like the lack of easy energy.

But I got to the point where I could start really working. My biggest goal right now is balancing on my right foot. My left foot is my strongest and as I am goofy footed. If that is a term. I lead with my left, but for transitions I need to have more strength in my right.

Anyways my right ankle is weaker and I have been working on strengthening it. And today I was able to do 3 second balancing in a fairly straight line. Yeah!

Then I am still working on crossovers. I did a few of those too!

Then I headed down to Olympia and worked my first bout as an NSO! That was really cool. I was working the penalty board, which is fairly straight forward. But it was a really crazy game. Penalty tracking is awesome!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Week 8 practice and open skate

Yesterday and today are actually being combined into one. I didn't skate a ton during practice as we did a mini scrimmage.

I did drills with the team. It actually felt really good. Even though I sucked and
was the slowest and had to skate outside the line. But I've progressed enough now that I am at least included. Before I had to skate on the sidelines.

Worked on some good drills that I desperately need. It's a little frustrating as the one basic skill I need to do a lot of other stuff is currently way beyond my grasp. The open position side surf skate. I don't need to side surf, but I need to balance on my right leg enough to put my left foot behind me and in open position. Not even close yet.

But the next 30 days are likely to be spent working on that a lot.

Tonight I went to the open skate. So I'm trimming back my food intake a bit and trying to hurry up the "in shape" part of this endeavor. I know that if I can get close to the pre-baby size it will help immensely.

Unfortunately my cushy assed body has been happily gorging itself the last three years so it's not super happy about the restrictions in food. When I got out on the floor I was pretty shaky. I had last eaten at 5pm and it was now 8:30. But I worked through it and got a sports drink to get some quick sugar in.

I worked on strengthening my right leg for the most part. I was really too shaky to try and do much more. And when I have days like this I'm really just looking to get some floor time in and not super worried about longevity.

My right leg needs some serious time and attention. So I did sticky skate with using my left leg as the push and focusing on my right leg moving in a straight line. Harder than you would think and I definitely am lacking in a bunch of muscles in there.

Tomorrow I am going to go to Bellevue and do another light skate night. Unless I get it together enough to practice drills at home. Maybe both.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Week 8 Scrimmage

Last night was another scrimmage. When we have scrimmages, until my skating skills come up to snuff, I usually NSO.

This is good as we don't have a ton of NSOs and I have a lot of time on my hands, so I like to get involved as much as possible.

The skating part I did do was just the first 30 minute warm up. It's kind of a bummer when I don't get any real skating in. I'm trying to get up my endurance, I'm trying to work on skills, and I am really trying to get into shape!

But on days where you can't get a full skate in, or you're just too exhausted physically or emotionally to do a full skate, a few minutes is actually fine and really important.

Something I've found with newer skaters. I don't know if this is true for more experienced skaters, I'll let you know when I get there. Is that when you put your skates on there is this warm up period where you have to remind your body why there are wheels on your feet.

You feel weird, unbalanced and a lot like you've never skated before. If you didn't skate the day before or missed several days skating it's even worse. So my recommendation for newer skaters is that if you are not going to skate today, put your skates on and do some skills in your kitchen or hallway.

Even if it's only for 10-20 minutes. Just remembering how to move on skates for a few minutes will make the next skate practice that much easier.

Anyways last night was not a huge skating triumph for me, but I am feeling the flow of what to do for a scrimmage and hopefully soon a bout.

After practice we had a ref meeting and then a few of us went for food. While meeting and making friends has not been my primary focus, am I really glad this is a benefit to joining derby. I really like the people I'm spending my time with.