Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Year Updates

Well I have been sadly remiss in keeping up with my blog, but why don't I make it a New Years resolution. Those work right? For now, here's some catch up (not ketchup, or even catsup though with me there are generally tomatoes involved).

Roller Derby World Cup
So I got to attend this extremely monumental first for the world of roller derby. My darling husband and good friend both accompanied me on my birthday (perfect present!), for the final day of the cup. It was really amazing.
Here is a fuzzy picture of us at the World Cup.

There is something very magical about big sports events no matter what, particularly if you do have a team or person for whom you are specially cheering. As human beings we are all affected in a crowd of chanting people, it does things to your brain. It's such an intensity that's so particular, screaming for your team to win, and really, really meaning it. Gotta love that adrenalin.
Here is team USA getting ready to start the final game.

It was so neat to see this sort of intense revelry that was also attached to some nationalism. That was cool. I don't really see or feel that that often from Canadians. Our nationalism is increasing but it's not often you're in a room full of people chanting CA-NA-DA, CA-NA-DA! I can really see why americans use nationalism to unite their people, it is SO effective. If someone had turned us (the screaming derby fans) on an enemy we probably would have just flattened them.

Also of course, the derby was just, well, world class. The Americans dominated the games heavily, but that was no surprise to anyone and it was amazing to watch. One of the things I love so much about derby is the openness to accepting what you are and working towards being what you want to be. If you know me as a Life Coach it will seem obvious why. Its okay to suck, I mean if you hafta, (and we all do some times in some ways), but if you want to you can try and get better, and with practice, you WILL!

The final score of the final between Canada and USA, and we got more points against them then all other teams combined.

So it was great at the world cup to see that ideal played out completely. Teams who were beyond outmatched by the Americans and others, faced them, and they all tried their hardest anyway, knowing they were fighting a losing fight. Pushing as hard as you can in the face of certain failure is a very, very difficult thing to do. Not everyone has the cahones to do that. But, they did, and they knew that they were gonna learn one hell of a whole lot from the experience.

Now each of those teams is going to go back to their home country and watch those tapes of the games and learn and learn and learn, and at the next Derby World Cup, the Americans are going to have to fight a little bit harder to win. That will be so super cool, but of course it won't be here in cold country again but who knows maybe I will be able to go.
Team Canada girls waiting for their turn to go back up. You can see Luludemon there on the right.

The Team Canada skaters were just awesome. My favourites were Smack Daddy, who won MVP of the games, and Luludemon. Both just amazing skaters and great derby players. There were of course SO many amazing skaters there playing and I'm sure every derby girl in attendance walked away from those games with dreams of being as good as one of the girls they had seen playing. I know I did.

League Business
All things derby have been going just swimmingly. The league that I am now a part of, the Renegade Derby Dames, is just really lovely. I'm very fond of watching the very different personality types that come together to make up a league. Sometimes it can be interesting watching women do their social dances, sometimes a little frustrating, but mostly I find when you're all going for the same goal it works out just fine.

At christmas the league had a little party and we did secret santa which was very cute. I was lucky and got a super secret santa who got me star socks and a squishy and warm scarf. I love both things. I felt lucky cause you never know with secret santas, especially since I am new and stuff and didn't/don't really know everyone yet.
My awesome socks and squishy scarf.

I attended my first league meeting yesterday, in a board room, for three hours. Sigh. I did have a headache when I got home but it wasn't because the meeting was horrible. We actually got a whole lot of stuff dealt with and it was good learning how the league actually works and who does what and that sort of thing. It's tedious, as minutea is, but very important, as minutea is, it's what keeps the machine running smoothly and I'm all for that.

So, I joined some committees and put in my two cents, as you know I am prone to do, and felt even more a part of the whole thing. It was also great to hear about the upcoming games that are scheduled and start to think about the games I will actually get to play for realz! I am very excited about that.

Also, it turns out I am now starting the Junior League. I was going to be helping whomever it was who was starting the league, but it turns out no one had really taken that bull by the horns. So, I will be learning a lot quickly and getting that rolling; luckily I do have three derby sisters who are all ready to help and be set to tasks, so that's awesome. I am excited about getting this rolling as I can't wait for Ingrid to get to take part in derby, and she's really into it too.

My Skillz
Let's see, what is going on with my skating? Things that are bothering me intensely that I can not do are all centred around my inability to do transitions. I can't do transitions!!! Gah!! Transitions, for the non-skating folk, are when you are skating in one direction, say forward, and you quickly switch direction, here is a video of it. (I like that one cause she does it slowly so you can really see the skills required, I also really like this one for sideways skating instruction) This means I can not change direction of skating quickly. This is very BAD!! One of the problems I have is "opening my hips" as shown in that second video linked. I'm working on it.

I need to be able to do transitions to keep up with the advanced skating, and to eventually pass that test to skate in the advanced class in hopes of being used eventually for the A team (travel team). In keeping with this I have to skate better backwards. I have absolutely improved in my backwards skating, in that I can actually do it decently now, but I'm certainly not a super comfortable backwards skater. I feel that if I was more comfortable skating backwards it would help with me my transitions as well.

I also have to jump better. The thing with this one is I can't really practice getting better at it as I can't really jump yet because of my knee. So, I do think about this and perhaps will have to think about some exercises I can do to practice the motion of pulling my knees up to my chin rather then just getting lateral height. There are of course many other things that I need to improve upon; many other things. Endurance, fast feet, getting low, more stops better, sharking, hopping etc.

I do have to say though that with each practice I feel I must be a tiny bit better because they are not easy. We are made to work very hard. I absolutely love it, as I enjoy being pushed hard in a positive way. I want to be better and the only way that will happen is if I push hard and keep trying. In keeping with that I shall now continue my ballet stretches to open my hips. Aaaand, stretch one, two, three, four!

Derby love from your Daemon Star

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