Category Archives: Skills

A Celebratory Post!

So now that I am back to derby regularly again, its time for some good news! I will be doing my minimum skills test at the end of the month. This came about because of the first time ever, I passed my 25 in 5! I just about passed out, but I did it. It was probably one of my proudest roller derby moments.

Once I learned we would be skills testing, I got a bit worried because I still havent mastered jumping. Its this big huge thing that I am super paranoid about. So veteran skater took me out last practice and we worked on jumping, and guess what! I can jump! Its not consistent, but I am capable of doing it.

It’s been a long, hard road, but I’m finally getting there!


Off Skate Training

Following up on my last post about weight loss and derby, I want to emphatically state that roller derby is an intense work out that requires a significant degree of athleticism and fitness. This is true not only of the top tier teams, but of my own recreational league as well. Although a large part of this athleticism is about skating skills, it is extremely important not to to overlook off skate training.

Thankfully, my league puts a significant emphasis on off skate training, and about 1/3 of each practice is dedicated to it. The things we do in training varies so we work a number of different muscle groups, and are often influenced by on skate skills our coaches think we need to work on (ex, footwork, getting lower, whips).

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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!

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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A New Blog!

Hello Everyone,

So I have been sporadically blogging my derby experiences at Fuck Normativity, but as I originally set up that space to share my anti-oppression thoughts, I decided I would create a dedicated derby only space.

So most girls seem to start a derby blog right when they start derby but, as I always toss out tradition, this  blog picks up 8 months into my derby career. I started derby in early November of 2010, and I have been (slowly) working at improving every since. The focus of this blog is to document my journey as a plus-sized skater in a recreational league. A purview of popular sites seems to me that there isn’t much focus on fat skaters or rec leagues. I hope to offer some little slice of that!

This blog is intended as a BODY POSITIVE space. I identify as fat, and while there are always struggles, I love myself and my body. This isn’t a space to talk about dieting or getting thin for derby. It’s a space to explore how, as a fat skater, I experience the amazing world that is roller derby.

My previous posts about roller derby can be found on my other blog, Fuck Normativity, however I will be posting a timeline to this point in an upcoming entry.