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Boot Camp Orientation

November 3, 2010

I’ve been dreaming about skating every night.  I’m embarrassingly enthusiastic and nervous about starting roller derby. I could barely sleep last night.  But here I go…

Tonight was the boot camp orientation meeting.  I voted at my polling place (yay me!) and then went to the track where the practice will be held.  There were way more people than I was expecting, and apparently more than the organizers were expecting too, because they had only made 50 copies of the forms and there were quite a few more than 50 girls (and a few guys) in attendance.  The explained the basic expectations…

We will attend eight weeks of boot camp, two hour practices, twice a week.

At the end of the eight weeks, there will be an assessment to determine whether we’re ready to join the team.

Part of that assessment includes skating 100 laps around the track in 20 minutes.  Cardio endurance helps.

Those who don’t pass the assessment still have a place (as referees and such) and will also have an opportunity to re-assess later in the year.

Those who pass, get to join the team.  Even then, they aren’t likely to participate in real bouts for at least 6 months to a year.  They don’t want newbies hurting themselves and other people.

Bottom line is that I have to pass the assessment.  I do like a challenge, so I’m going for it.  I’m going to need to find some places where I can practice skating on my own, whether it’s in empty parking lots, basketball courts, or taking a trip to Ventura every now and then to use the rink.

The other thing that this reinforced to me is that I have to keep running.  I’ve been working on running off and on for the past (forever) year and a half, and finally got to the point where I can run (slowly) for 40 minutes, but have had issues with my bio-mechanics which have led to pain.  I am seeing a personal trainer for a few weeks to help me correct that.  I’m also going to continue working on my core strength and I’d love to be able to do more than a couple push ups.

I’d say that overall, the scariest part of today was showing up by myself and feeling small in a crowd of lots of girls, many of them with people they know.  I hung out afterwards to watch the real roller derby girls practice, as did some of the other loners.  It was nice because I got to sit and chat and learn a bit about skates and wheels and what kinds of adjustments I need to make to my skates so they’ll work for me.

First off, I need to change my wheels to indoor wheels (the ones I have are better for outdoors).  I can handle that.  Someone already offered to sell me a pair off her skates that she’s not using because she’s out on an injury.  The other thing I need to do would appear to be a simple fix.  Adjust my toe stoppers, and adjust the trucks.  It would be simple if I could get the damn nuts to turn.  The wrench that came with my skates appears to be made of pudding and just stretches out when I try to loosen the nut.  Hmm…looks like I’ll be making a trip to a skate shop to see if I can get a better wrench set.

I overheard one of the team members telling some of the other girls that speed gives you an advantage and that being big gives you an advantage.  Being fast and big is a ginormous advantage.  No matter how much weight I lose, I’ll never be a small person, so I’ve got that.  Must work on speed.

But first, learning to fall…I’d hate to fall and hurt myself right off the bat.
Hopefully falling well will be my first lesson.

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 3, 2010 4:04 pm

    I just came across this through a google alert I have set up for roller derby things, which pointed me to your SparkPeople post (I'm also a member, though rarely use it!), which pointed me here. I just got through my own roller derby probation and what you've said in this post is so, so familiar. I just wanted to drop by and say good luck!

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