Monthly Archives: July 2011

Adventures in outdoor skating!

So today I went out for my first honest to goodness outdoor skate. I have had outdoor wheels since May, but my first short venture out into a nearby parking lot had scared me seriously.

So today I decided that I was gonna go out and give it another go. When it cooled down this evening, I packed up my stuff (yes, I wore all my protective gear), and headed to a nearby tennis court. That worked out well, until the park I was in was over run with kids. I wasn’t feeling confident enough to dodge running children, so I took my skates back off and headed up to an empty government parking lot.

There, I was met with some crappy pavement, but I did some investigating and found a newly paved parking lot towards the rear of the building. I headed off that way, did some laps focusing on technique (derby stance, really pushing with both legs, sticky skating), and generally got used to the feeling of skating outside. Its bumpy. You feel every little thing, even with my Radar Pure outdoor wheels.

Overall I think I skated actively for thirty minutes or so. I didn’t fall down at all, although one non confident attempt at a bracket stop nearly had my flat on my butt. Now that I know the joys of outdoor skating, I will be looking forward to doing it more often. Maybe once I am more confident in parking lots I will give the bike trails a try!

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Minimum Skills, the heart-breaking bane of my existence (Or, How I learned to put things into perspective…)

So I started roller derby on November 14th, 2010. Almost exactly 8 months later, on July 9th, the girls from my fresh meat ‘class’ were set to take our minimum skills. Now, there was a lot of us who started out in November, but our numbers had dropped significantly, which probably only 6 or 7 of us regularly attending the Freshie practices each week. For the few months leading up to minimum skills, I was absolutely dreading them. I was not ready, I was always in pain, my skills were not at the level of the other girls in my class. I was freaking out. I did not want to be the only girl who didn’t make it through.

In the weeks before minimum skills testing, I spoke with our head coach. I was hemming and hawing about whether or not I should do them. Down the wire, the week we were set to test, I had to make a decision. I took 30 seconds to run through the pros and cons, was over taken with a sense of confidence and opened my mouth to say “Yes! Lets do it! I am a badass roller derby player with mad skillz!” Before those words could actually leave my mouth though, my coach announced “I think you should wait until the fall.”

I felt like I had been kicked in the gut.

I nodded okay, and said I understood completely. That I was fine with it. That it didn’t matter. That I agreed with her. But inside, I was devastated. On the way home I called my partner, and cried. Then I called my mom, and cried. Then I got home and talked to the cat, and cried. I felt judged. Was I really that bad? My partner told me that it just meant I needed to really commit myself to working harder. I got angry. I was working hard! I worked my butt off every practice! Kindly, my partner pointed out that yes, I worked hard at the practices. But I only went to one practice a week. I never skated outdoors despite buying outdoor wheels. I never worked on conditioning outside of practice, even though I said I would.

All of these things are true. Does it mean I don’t work hard? That I am not committed to derby? Absolutely not. I have just mistakenly believed that eventually derby would be easy for me.

Derby is not easy for me.

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