Diaries of a Wannabe Derby Girl: Week 4

Ay! It’s been almost a week since my last entry… Sometimes life gets crazy and you get caught up in it all, but I’m back now so cheer up! :)

First, I’ll need to catch you up on what’s happened since last time. At endurance last Sunday I wasn’t able to participate. Actually, I chose not to because I did something to my back and I couldn’t get it loosened up enough to comfortably skate. I’ve had back problems in the past, so I decided to just sit out and rest it. It was really frustrating to sit back and watch everyone else skate, and I especially hate when the reason is because of an injury. But, I’ve learned that you have to listen to your body or you end up doing more damage than is necessary.

The next day, on Monday, I went to a two-hour, one-on-one lesson with Smack Ya Sideways. It was awesome and hard all at the same time. I asked to work on crossovers, T-stops, and 180° turns––that took the entire time. But Smack was so helpful and so patient. We worked on crossovers first, and Smack broke it down into small steps and tried to get me to focus on the proper form. She even took videos of me on her phone so I could see myself and what I was doing wrong. I fell a lot during those two hours, but I got some value track time by myself to really concentrate on my skating.

I decided to take it easy after that so I could give my body a rest. I felt like I’d been going and going for weeks, but I didn’t really physically feel it until Thursday––and then it knocked me on my ass. I felt run down, both physically and mentally, and I was too exhausted to do anything but sleep. I ended up staying home from practice, which at the time was an easy choice to make because I felt like total shit, but when I started to feel better I was bummed that I’d missed out on one of the last boot camp practices. And I missed out on all the glorious aftermath of the draft.

Hip-check hitting drills with Bash Her Bones (left) and Awnry O'Hulligan (right). (Photo by Sharkey)

So yesterday was the first day back on skates since Tuesday, and let me tell you I could totally tell I’d taken a break. I felt stiff, shaky, and unsure. I tried really hard to focus on my form and crossovers while we skated laps for our warm-up. Smack, who was the guest coach again, could tell I was tensed up and she told me to relax.

We practiced weaving and hitting yesterday, and we also played a few relay-type skating games. We did some weaving drills with cones and then with a partner. Next, we worked on hitting, and we did a different kind of hitting.

Trying out the new hitting drill. (Photo by Sharkey)

In previous practices, we had been working on hip checks, but yesterday we worked on cutting in front of a skater and then hitting them in the chest with our shoulders. It was fun, but you had to really concentrate on your form to prevent committing a major penalty.

We did a few more hitting drills and then we did a couple of relay games. The first one incorporated skating fast and giving your teammate a push. The second one was the same relay game Smack had us play a couple of weeks ago. It was a lot of fun, and it’s nice to hear your “teammates” cheer you on even if you’re doing less than stellar.

Falling after a hit from Norah. I did that a lot during this drill. (Photo by Sharkey)

After the relay games, Smack, Draggin, and Wench gave us some info on the basics of roller derby and what each position––jammer, pivot, and blocker––does. We got into a little bit of strategy concerning those positions and that made me super excited for next weekend’s Hometown Throwdown.

But before I get too excited about that I need to keep concentrating on improving and getting down my basic skills before the Fresh Meat Tryouts next Thursday. Stay tuned for updates from the last day of boot camp and my own preparations for tryouts!

XOXO

Wannabe Derby Girl

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About Alicia Hankins

Alicia is a huge fan of roller derby. Although she would like to be out on the track skating and hitting some bitches, she loves writing about the kick-ass skaters of RCR and spreading the derby gospel.