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Whip It!

December 15, 2010

To start out, I’d like to be honest about something.  Drew Barrymore’s movie Whip It did NOT inspire me to try roller derby.  In fact, I didn’t watch it until, after attending a bout in October, I scoured the internet for All Things Derby.  Yes, my first exposure to roller derby was the Mission City Brawlin’ Betties v. Bakersfield Diamond Divas.  I left that bout thinking, “Those girls are rock stars.  I wish I could do that.”

Last night we did whips.  It was just about the most fun I’ve had at practice so far, and I didn’t suck at it horribly.  Whips are basically where you’re transferring all of the forward motion of one skater into another skater (the jammer).  We also skated around trying to push each other down.  I loved it!

Reading over my blogs, I seem to be on a confidence roller coaster.  Practice is that way too.  Yesterday I was dreading practice, not because I’m afraid of falling or getting hurt, but because I don’t like feeling like I suck.  All day, I thought to myself, “Why am I going to practice knowing that I’ll leave feeling crappy about myself?”  Of course, I was wrong.  The feeling crappy about myself bit comes from me, not from practice.  Last night I left feeling pretty incredible.

I think what it comes down to is that I’m good at some things and not so good at others.  Duh, right?  Except that I’m used to being able to be good at whatever I put my mind to.  No, I’m not perfect by any means.  Far from it actually.  Some things just aren’t worth putting my mind to and so I continue sucking at them.  But most of the time, when something matters to me a lot, I can at least eek out a reasonable amount of skill.  Skating is different because some of it requires muscles and flexibility I don’t have yet, and some of the more agile moves are just beyond me.  I feel like my strength is in my ability to get low, engage my core, and stay stable.  I discovered that yesterday while doing pushes and whips.  No, I’m not a star pupil, but I was in my element.  I can’t wait until we actually start blocking.  I think my hips were made for blocking.

We also did speed drills yesterday.  I’m not fast enough to pass assessments yet, but I was somewhere in the middle of the group.  Before I write about the speed drill yesterday, I have to share another story.

On Sunday, I went to a kids birthday party at the skating rink, and spent the whole time practicing.  It’s awkward practicing skills that require me to fall in that kind of setting, because hardly anyone else is falling, but I did go down on a knee a few times.  Anyhow, when it comes to the organized races, I got off the track.  I did not need to embarrass myself like that.  Until my family started taunting me.  I saw my brothers in law get out there for the race, and somehow I decided that I needed to at least beat them.  Which I did πŸ™‚  I finished somewhere in the middle of the group, not the fastest, not the slowest.  I did not do crossovers during the race because I’m not quite confident enough with them yet.  Part of the problem is that crossovers make me go so freakin’ fast that I feel like I don’t have much control over the turn.  I was proud of myself for getting out there though, and I didn’t do a face plant like my brother in law did, hehe.

Anyhow, back to the speed drills.  We did as many laps as we could in 5 minutes.  At the end of the 5 minutes, I should have been spent, but I still had some energy left in me.  It’s good to know that I’ve got endurance (running pays off!), but in order to go faster, I need to feel more comfortable on my feet, err, skates.  I need to feel like I have control over my turns even when I’m going fast.

I’m getting my family addicted to skating, but this blog is long enough already, and I’ll save it for another blog.

Also, I should note that I learned how to change my blog settings and now anyone can leave a comment, even if you’re not a registered user.  I love comments.  Just sayin’.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. December 15, 2010 5:42 pm

    You are a rock star, too… or at least an opening act! :^) I wish I had the chops to do what you are doing. You are living my dream!Trish aka CodeMauler at SP

  2. December 15, 2010 6:08 pm

    I was totally impressed with you last night. You kicked ass! Especially given how you were feeling at the beginning of the night. I love this: "These hips were made for blocking." LOL, so much so, I think I'm going to have to borrow a variation for my own blog. :PAnd you ARE right on the verge of passing the speed test assessment. You'll get there. I have no doubt. And you're right, it's your cross-over. Once you get used to feeling comfortable cornering with speed, your cross-over will loosen up. You're this close!Btw, I'd been watching the Betties practice since their inception. Because of hockey we were always at the rink. I watched with a combination of envy, admiration and utter fascination. But it was MCBBs vs the BDDs was when I first thought, "I can do this. I WILL do this." πŸ™‚

  3. December 15, 2010 9:01 pm

    Right on! I'm glad you changed your posting setting, because I read all of your blogs. πŸ˜€ They are doing assessments in our team too. I haven't even hazarded to try them..I just watch in the corner and do mini-practicing. πŸ™‚ lolIt's awesome that you have endurance. That is one of my biggest downfalls. I know a LOT of our team, even the vets, were freaking out about it last night. So it seems like you have a lot going for you! Keep it up and you are going to be a HUGE badass! πŸ˜€

  4. December 16, 2010 10:28 pm

    I've only done whips in scrimmages, and some of them are involuntary. There is nothing like the first time a skater grabs the back of your shirt and flings herself off of it. I am so jealous of your endurance. I am currently not a fast skater at all. Being asthmatic and chubby, I've sort of got the short end of the endurance stick. But what I find is helpful is finding one skater who is just a little bit faster than me, and push myself to keep up with them. It may feel like you are chasing them the entire time, but nothing will feel better then when you are keeping pace with the fastest girl (something I can only dream of!) And I wanted to let you know you are my our official "derby blog" link on the Library Derby Dolls blog. I'm enjoying reading your skating adventures!

  5. December 17, 2010 8:27 pm

    Passion is contagious!

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