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.