Saturday, December 3, 2011

Time for New Stuff

The Test

Well I took WFTDA basic requirements skills test and written test a couple of weeks ago and... (cue music) I passed! Yay me! 

How on earth was I even able to take the whole test, you may be wondering, what about the knee injury? Well the Friday before the test I thought, lets just try this knee out and see, because it had been feeling so much better. I put on my skates and tried some knee falls, very slowly. I did two on each. I was gleeful.

It got me thinking, you know maybe I will be able to do the whole test, although, I must say, I had sort of forgotten how many falls there are and how many skills actually strain my knee. But, in any case, my plan had changed, now I was trying to figure out ways of making my knee get me through the test instead of just planning on not even trying to do those parts of the test.

So when the test came I was pumped of course, test days always get the adrenaline flowing, but I felt good. It just so happened that everything happened in the perfect order for me. There were a number of league derby girls there to help out with testing and everyone was very friendly and helpful. It was clear everyone wanted you to do well. 

We did the endurance first. I did not get twenty-five, which annoyed me, but twenty-four is nothing to scowl about, so I didn't. Then I was happy to be in the group that did the non-fall section first. This was just lucky because all the skills with derby stance skating would have been a LOT harder for me after the fall section. 

So the fall section which also included hops and weaving was straining for me. There is now doubt. At the end I was just willing myself to do them perfectly so I wouldn't have to do anything more then once. Luckily this was nearly always the case but it was still a lot of pushing myself up on the bad knee which it isn't really that fond of. I had to do the weave a second time, also the hops, which I ended up losing marks on anyway, but that was fine. I just couldn't bend into the end of the hop like you are supposed to, my knee was hurting too much at that point. 

But it all went beautifully. I was so pleased I got through it. After the skills we wrote the written which they told us to expect to fail, much as they had told us at ToRD. In both cases I was told that the test is very hard, most girls do not pass it, it's not a big deal, you can study harder and retake it. 

Most of us Freshies who had taken the test met at Crabby Joe's after the testing and waited for our coach Keri Daway to get there and let us know how we did. I really enjoyed getting to hang out with some of the girls from freshmeat in a more real way and starting to know them a little bit. They are some funny girls. I love funny people.  

Most of us had passed the skills test, a couple of the girls would return to retest parts they had failed. I happened to be the only one who passed the written and Keri made me feel special about that which was very cute. I felt like a million bucks sitting there, having passed, finally having reached that goal, surrounded by my new teammates and friends. A million bucks. 

Isn't life interesting like that? What a little thing you have to accomplish in your life to make you feel like a million bucks. Pass a test to play a sport you want to play. I know I try not to leach Life Coaching stuff onto this blog but I tell you folks, you should think about that a bit. What would you have to accomplish in your life to make you feel like a million bucks? Is there one specific thing you can start working on right now? I bet there is.

League Practice

This was an experience an a half. There was little time to stop and catch your breath between drills or think about what was going on or meet any of the other girls on the team who were smiling or saying things to you. There were four other of my freshie buddies there and I thought we all did pretty darn well for our first time.

We first did some intense aerobic/skate skill drills. These included things like skating fast to a pylon, dropping into a deadman (laying on the ground on stomach) then jumping up to return to start line, then skating to further point doing another skill, return etc. etc. Lots of skating and dropping and getting up. My knee felt this one but I ended up just not doing as many falls as everyone else cause it was too much.

Then we did an insanity drill where we skated around the track as fast as we could for thirty seconds before stopping to do thirty squats, then the thirty second fast skate then stop and do thirty push-ups, then skate, then sit-up then repeating the pattern dropping the rep number of squats, sit-ups and push-ups. This. was. insane. Even the really super fit skater girls were skating a bit slower in that last thirty second speed round.

Keri then did a teaching session of a couple of the moves she learned at the latest clinic she had attended. This was super neat too, I learned a move! The one that I liked and could do the best is called the burrito. This is something to capture and move a girl who is skating away from you. From behind her you lean forward and then sideways across the front of her with our arms outstretched, the side of your torso pressing agains her armpit/torso. Anyway, when you are doing this, holy shit, you can just skate them off the track, the only way to get out of it is to transition backwards around the skater who has captured you. Good move. Definitely going to have to become more adept with that one.

The other move was similar but wrapping your ass around her, sort of. I could't really do this one that well as my transitions require work. They are a serious weak spot. Though, I must say, at that league practice I got a bit better at them after getting a little help from a freshie buddy and some good practice time trying to wrap my butt around someone. Good times.

At the end of practice we got to scrimmage. Favourite! I love scrimmaging. So much fun. It was so cool to get to play with real derby girls, just like I was some kind of real derby girl. Hee, hee, hee. I love my life. 

I ended up blocking kind of okay but when I got to jam, which I only did once and it was at the end, I failed miserably. In freshie scrimmages in the past I had been pretty great at getting through the pack but here I was just completely held at the back by one of the blockers. I didn't have a lot left in me by that point either I must admit. But I'll show them soon enough.  I am going to be a jammer and a blocker, double threat!

So, not shockingly, I have stuff to learn. I shall learn it! I'm excited about how much more comfortable I have been feeling on my skates lately, and that is even with a hurt knee. I'm very anxious for it to heal all the way so I can try harder stuff and push harder to learn new things.

World Cup

It's here!! I'm so very excited. I have been watching the updates and some live coverage on DNN which is absolutely amazing and great and awesome. This is my birthday weekend and I and my darling man, and my good friend will be heading to the Cup tomorrow to see the finals. Whee! I'm so excited about it. I will be spending money on t-shirts, and as I have yet to buy a shirt at an event I won't even feel bad about it.

Everything is turning up derby and I'm loving it!



  1. Congratulations on everything derby related! World cup was awesome to watch. This will be my second season skating with my derby team. Last year I was honored to have taken clinics with both Coach Pauly (Team Canada) and the ever amazing Bonnie D.Stroir (USA)- if you get the opportunity to take any clinics, jump at it! Derby IQ is infectious!