Friday, April 29, 2011

Things That Go BUMP!

I may not be filled with air, but I kinda look like this dude when I'm skating!
Holy Toledo! As usual, last night we divided our group into 2. Level ones were to go to the banked track, whereas level 2s and 3s stayed on the flat track. As I picked up my water bottle and started heading towards the banked track Kiki (the coach) asked me where I was going. "Uh, banked with the other level one girls" ??? Duh, right?

"No MarrBulls, you're a level 2 now!" ??? "No I'm not, I'm still a one!" ??? "No! You're a 2" ??? "Since when?" ??? "Just stay here on the flat track, you're a level 2."

And that's how I found out I was once again to be thrown outside my comfort zone. But you know what they say: "To be a top skater, you need to skate among top skaters." that and "Pass the butter" but the second saying is irrelevant. Here that is. It's so relevant when you're eating BBQ corn on the cob.

Mmmmm... barbecue... corn... on... the... cob...

WHAT A NIGHT! We skated in a pace line, pretty close to the inside line and each had to make our way up the pace line as the other skaters tried to bump us outta zone. It was SO hard! We each got to do it twice. My second time around, thanks to my nano speed and cat-like reflexes I managed to avoid some of the hard hitters, and I even slammed before getting slammed so I could avert the hits.

This is where I take a little pause to apologize to those I may have hit with illegal body parts (i.e. elbows and possibly hands or even fists - oopsssie!). Yeah. I'm a flailer. My arms are still acting on their own will and I may or may not look like Phoebe from Friends when she went for a run in Grand Central Park with Rachel.

Oh yeah, and on my 2nd time around I pushed myself so hard I actually thought I was going to throw up. Honest to god I did. That was a first for me. And at the end of the night I was thrilled by my results. OK, so I'm not about to be seen in an actual bout but I totally dabbled with that comfort zone and moved beyond its limits.

Stoked is the key word here.

See you at the track!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I'm Stoked!

I wrote an article for Yo, Roller Derby and this article was snagged and featured up front on The Roller-derby Daily!

I know what you're thinking: "Man, this chick sure gets excited over nothing!" But to me... To me? This is like as cool as being published. Writing is not my top craft. My style is spunky, ya sure but it certainly lacks finesse and tact. I'm aware of it, because it sure has hurt me in my more professional endeavors. Hee hee, some of the emails I sent out required some serious live talk time to cover up!

Oh well, its not my fault some people have no sense of humor!

Anyhow. I'm also totally stocked because this is good exposure for my league! Of course there's a link. And since it's MY league I want it to shine like the disco-ball'ish roller skate hanging above our track!

Have I mentioned I'm thrilled about this? And I owe it all to the Yo, Roller Derby queen herself - Robin!

Thanks Yo, you rule! Word.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Hit That Pavement!

Thought roller derby could replace your work-out regime? Or that going to practice could count as working out?

Think again!

You want to be a derby girl? Then start building your endurance now! And the best way to do that is to go out and hit that pavement! You can start by running. You don't need to run a marathon, but just go outside and run. Go easy at first, like a mild jog around your block. But sooner or later you will have to increase your endurance and longer runs is the only way to build that.

OR, better yet: GO OUT AND SKATE! Skating on a nice smooth surface where you practice is one thing, but skating outside on uneven terrain (like going over those ba-bump lines on the sidewalk) with occasional inclines and wind will add to that oh je-ne-sais-quoi degree of difficulty the French judges love slamming athletes in the Olympics with!

And modify your pace, skate or run at 70% of your speed capacity for 5 minutes then insert a death defying 100% capacity sprint for 15-20 seconds where you're teasing that line of in-control-and-outta-control. Keep alternating between both paces until you are blue in the face!

Go home. Shower. Rest. And repeat.

Again and again. Think about the nice lean hard body you'll get! 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Change of Pace

Last night's practice was handled by superstar Crushin Cuban.

The practice was amazing. Our group was at it's smallest in numbers: only 8 Level 1's showed up. This gave us an amazing opportunity to get one on one coaching tips from Cuban. And she upped the ante by pushing us in giving it our all. One by one we had to sprint around the track then had about 15 feet to stop before slamming into our peeps standing in a line across the track.

We had to do this over and over again. I'm loving the over and over learning strategy... And if she felt we weren't giving it our all she'd yell at us. It was amazing! I crossed the line between comfort zone and slightly out-of-control zone and even in the way-beyond-control-zone. Have I mentioned it was amazing?

Also, last night was orientation night at the Dollhouse. Once a month (the third Monday) the Dolls have an orientation night to initiate new recruits. This is the 2nd New Meat Night since I joined. Just like in the movies, military boot-campers stand and watch the new recruits running and smile thinking "Aaaah, welcome to my life and finally somebody new to replace me in the role of worst dude out there".

The March recruits disappointed me. These new girls were all instantly better than me. I was still on the bottom of the totem pole. I'm hoping April will bring in a new wave of freshness where I may start feeling better than average!

OK, so I'm joking. Totally. I'm a better person than that. I think. Maybe. No seriously, I really am just kidding as I'm sitting here sipping my morning latte madly typing away on my little laptop (I thought you needed visuals, you did didn't you?)

AND LASTLY... Monday is also the weekly night for scrimmage! I stuck around and volunteered to be the videoWOMAN and tape the entire bout. YAY me! It was such fun and excitement. I'm a tekkie geeky kinda person, and when there's buttons and technology involved I'm in heaven...

That's all for now... See y'a at the track peeps!

Friday, April 15, 2011

I'm A Momfia Gangstah!

Read me over here today! Yup, just chillin with my Momfia gangstah peeps! 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Derby Dolls Need Your Support

It's that time of the year again when the banked track roller derby teams from across the country come together to battle it out for the coveted "National Champions" title. The San Diego Derby Dolls are hungry to hang on to their back-to-back championship trophy and are gearing up to head out to Phoenix, AZ for the Battle on the Bank IV from June 10 to 12.

And they need your help! Since so much of what the team does for travel is out of pocket, they need your help to cover their costs.

They're not asking for much... a $2 contribution will keep a girl hydrated for a day! And I know a lot of sweating is involved in this sport! Imagine doing it in one of the hottest area in the country! Insane...

Click here for more info on the BATTLE ON THE BANK!

...and then click here to make a donation!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

It's All In Your Head!

Last night we focused on a specific skill: turn around toe stops. This video demonstrates exactly what I'm talking about, minus the mach 5 speed caused by cliff diving off the banked track.

Sounds easy?

We started at the upper point of the banked track, rolled straight down, dropped off the 2.5" ledge then had 10' to stop. On my first attempt I tried my most successful stop: T-stop. I was thrilled I didn't slam down on my butt with the cliff dive when I dropped off the track, but my stop only got me a little past the 10' line.

Not good enough. As I stoically skate back up the track at the end of the line I can't stop from shaking. I was frightened! And I had to do it again. And again. And again. Etc.

Noticing only 2-3 girls mastered the toe stop within the 10' limit, the coaches lowered their expectations. We skated to the other end of the track, lined up at the top, but this time we rolled down to the side of the track rather than directly down the steepest line. With this new approach our success rate now hit over 10 girls.

I cheated. Before dropping off the ledge I'd slow myself with a mild T-stop. And I got yelled at... Why am I so scared? These coaches see everything. Everything... Do you think they made it there by letting sly details slip by? No way!

Why did I cheat? I've got some un-rational fear of pain. Totally not rational. I'm not afraid of dying, I'm afraid of NOT dying after going through extreme pain. True story, word yo. So, now I need to work on my head to rid it of stupid fears so I can do a quick turn around then apply pressure on my toes.

p.s. Ever since I started stuffing my shorts with homemade butt pads, I haven't slammed down on my butt once, coincidence? I'm ready to make it a science project and see how long I go with the pads as some kind of placebo effect... Worth a try.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Velcro Is Part Of The Process
There are nights where, to be honest - you just don't feel like it. You're home, all comfy, enjoying a cold drink or thinking of grabbing one, wondering what you're going to cook for supper when it dawns on you: derby practice is in 45 minutes!

What are you going to do? Close the fridge, and change your clothes? Or proceed with a drink selection?

I say close the fridge. Go to practice. As hard as it may be, especially if you don't have a buddy honking the horn out your front door hustling you... Keeping up with your personal engagement is the hardest part. JUST DO IT! And even if you do get yourself changed in stripper derby clothes, get your ass out to your secret derby headquarters and make it in time - you may still sit there surrounded by the other dolls still wondering if you really want it!

Then you hear it. The scratchy ripping sound of the velcro straps. It's like music. It's almost hypnotizing, but in a good way. For me - this sound is an elixir and instantly puts me in the derby mood. Gets my inner gears running. I close my eyes and start picturing myself on the rink. And suddenly my body is screaming and howling. And I am finally ready to rip it up!

Friday, April 1, 2011

she is covered in tats and is a kick-ass coach

Let me tell you...

We have an amazing coach. I don't know what her day-job is, but I wish she could quit it and dedicate herself entirely to coaching. This is her calling. She's covered in tats, skates like she was born with wheels on her feet (oh her poor mom, that must have been sooooo painful - feet first wheels and trucks pushing out?) Is that visual stuck in your head now?

Yeah. Me too.

Her skater name is Kiki. She's a jammer. I watched her bring our league in the last bout from a 89-101 in points to a 100-101 in less than 3 minutes. She was amazing to watch. We still lost, but the audience will always remember her as the one who almost saved us...

Last night's practice had us split up into 3 groups. Kiki took our little group of middles, or intermediates rather. She worked us on the banked track until we all mastered every stop style: t-stop, snowplow and toe stop. There must have been some weird thing going on with the moon, we were all so tired on the verge of coming apart at the seams. But we hung in there. That's what derby girls do!

And I dare say there is definitely some bonding taking shape among us all. I guess it comes from yelling "Get back up and HUSSSSSSSSLLLLLLLLE!" with a red-blue face when we fall. (The screamer would be me)

p.s. I need bum padding.