In the first training session I had acquired a blister on one of my feet, where the tongue of my boot rubbed on the front of my ankle. I hadn’t actually noticed while skating but as soon as I undid my skates it started to hurt; funny how that is. One of the roller girls had sent out some helpful tips specifically about foot lesions and blisters and how to do deal with them when skating again the next week. Very helpful.
It was suggested to first put a blister pad around the blister (or in my case open wound!) then bandaid and then tape around the ankle so the tongue of the skate slides over it more easily. I knew I would be skating no matter what but I hoped that it still didn’t hurt so much which all the layers never mind about rubbing more skin off.
I bandaided up and brought the tape with me and taped over my sock. The rigging seemed to work very well for me and I felt no pain from the blister the whole night. When I took the tape off at home there was as new blister formed but it didn’t hurt at all so I consider it a win.
There were a lot less ladies at this second session which was in keeping with what I had been told about the rate of dropouts. There were eighty to start and I would say that there were about twenty less for session two.
I also noticed that there were a few women who were in attendance but not on skates. I have to imagine they had been hurt but didn’t want to miss; but, to note, they could all walk around just fine (not even limping) so I don’t get why they couldn’t get on skates. If you can’t take a bit of pain then I think you’re in the wrong sport.
As I skated around the track for warm up my legs felt a bit funny. There was a muscle at the top of my right thigh that felt… strange. The first drill was knee drops, not my favourite but needs improvement so I threw myself into it. Then, BOING! It was like that muscle, the funny one, stopped laughing and started screaming. Either that or some invisible person was stabbing me in the leg. (Why would they do that?)
I knew the drill wasn’t going to go on forever so I switched to dropping on my left leg. Not to be left out the same muscle in my left leg also decided to get angry, though not quite as angry as the right leg. So, I stuck with my left leg for drops, which I am not as good at so it forced me to become better. Painfully. That was NOT a good drill. But, what doesn’t kill ya’…
The next drills were about learning the plough stop. I was excited to learn a new stop until halfway through the drill I realized that this is really how I already stop I just didn’t know that’s what it was called. I had been wondering why I couldn’t do it faster, but learned that in fact it is not a quick stop, so I felt like less of a failure.
In learning this stop we did a drill of push out and pull ins to learn the technique necessary. That is, we widened our legs out and forward to meet and then pulled them back in and together, making a sort of circle in totality.
There really are many things in this world that look so easy when other people do them aren’t they? This is one of them. I did really like this exercise though, you could feel your inner thigh muscles growing stronger with each movement. This will be one I will absolutely add to my exercise regime. (The one I haven’t started yet but have REALLY been thinking about.)
I have been really impressed thus far with the roller girls who are there doing the training and TORD's Freshmeat programme in general. I have no basis for comparison of course, but I feel like I'm getting a really good deal. Each session there have been at least five roller girls there doing demos and skating around helping. This is a really big deal considering the number of women as well as the varied skating levels.
Some of the ladies are really just starting on skates and obviously can use more one on one, hands-on time, and they get it. This is pretty cool considering you're not really paying to be taught to skate, it's just part of the deal for joining derby. I mean, I guess it makes sense (and having to pay more money would have impeded me from joining, the skates on their own cost SO much), and they do need skaters and most people don't already have that skill, but still - I recognise that we pay for our kids to attend progammes like this to learn new skills. It's pretty neat that if you are really interested in this sport and want to take part in it they take you in and teach you how so you can participate. It's so communal, what's not to love.
We also did glides on a single leg which is easy peasy for me to do on my left leg and for some reason was hard on my right. I guess I couldn’t balance as well as usual because I was having intense pain in my thigh, but it still seemed odd to me. It’s different muscles so it made me wonder if I may be having bearing issues of some kind. I will have to learn more about this as I have been informed that it’s a big deal, there will have to be a an exciting post about bearings at some point. Oh what intrigue there is in store for you.
Coming Soon: Session Three – will the coughing have ended…? Stay tuned to find out.