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Adjusting, Falling, and Getting Up

March 18, 2011

This is going to be a long one because I have a lot to write about.

When I first got my new skates out on the rink on Saturday, I felt like a brand new baby skater all over again.  It was Jr. Skate at the rink, so I fit right in.  I go every Saturday with my girls after their lessons, and am usually one of a handful of parents skating at Jr. Skate.

My crossovers felt like mud.  My DA-45 trucks struck me as something that wasn’t supposed to be.  I’ve heard great things about the Invader DA-45’s, but wasn’t feeling it. I wondered if I had chosen the wrong plate for me.  My wheels felt too grippy on the rink floor.  From there, I went to our dirty outdoor track to see how they worked.  I felt just as unstable, but in a different way.  My wheels felt slippy and my crossovers still felt like mud.  Viva suggested some adjustments to my trucks, which helped with my stability a bit, but I still felt like I was skating in really wobbly mud. The boots were great. I was worried because I know that no single boot works for everyone’s feet, and I’ve heard stories of people having a lot of pain with the 265, but they fit me just as well out of the box as they did in the store. After four hours of skating, I had one little spot that felt like it could eventually turn into a blister, but never did.

My success that day was that, just for fun, I did my timed laps for the first time since asessments, and I passed 🙂  I felt so sluggish the whole time, and there were other people practicing their own thing on the track, so I was sure I wouldn’t reach 25 laps in 5 minutes, but I actually got 26, so yay me!

However, I still left the track with a little sad trombone playing in my head.  How long would it take for me to learn to skate on this new setup?  Could I learn to skate on these?  The physics seemed wrong.  As I pushed off, the wheels seemed to stop rolling, making me slower.  I can’t afford to lose speed.

The next day, I was back at the track for ref practice.  I practiced my t-stops, first on my comfortable foot, then on my less-stable foot until I couldn’t remember which was which.  I did drunken sailors which used to be my enemy. I practiced clock-wise crossovers, which is something I’ve never been successful at.

On Tuesday, I felt better.  Actually, a lot better.  I drunken sailored all over the place. I practiced cuts. I practiced being a skating ref during scrimmage. While my penalty-calling skills are still too slow to be able to react to such fast action, my feet sure did. I was able to weave around other refs, not get run over, and step out of the way when skaters were blocked to the inside of the track. I felt nimble! I don’t think I’ve ever described anything about myself as nimble.

And then Wednesday night night…
I went to the skating rink again for cheap skate night. I was determined to follow my own advice from this blog and fall down a little, even in public. So I did. I practiced my forward to backward transitions, which still terrify me at speed. I practiced mohawks, which I’d love to post a photo of, but can’t find any. I don’t know that they have any practical application for me yet, other than helping my transitions and overall stability. I tried, I fell. I tried, I fell. I fell again. And then I DID IT. AND DID IT AGAIN. Pretty soon, I was gliding sideways in a mohawk position along the length of the rink and around the turn. Matt gave me a baby whip and I stayed up!

I feel so much better on wheels than I did a few weeks ago. I’d like to think that I’m just a better skater, but I wonder how much of it is my skate upgrade. Maybe my old skates were holding me back? Or maybe I was holding myself back by being afraid to fall where everyone could see me? I’m not afraid to fall at the track during practice where falling is that status quo, but most of my practice time has happened at the rink lately due to my messed up schedule and not practicing with the team anymore. At any rate, I’m proud of myself for continuing to push myself to do things that are uncomfortable, even when no one is pushing me. Like so proud that it keeps me up at night fantasizing about my skating future.

The other great thing that’s happening is that I’m getting my derby butt back. During the month of sick time and exercise restriction, I got kinda fluffy and I lost my muscular legs and butt. The other night during one of my better falls, I fell right on my cheek and bounced. Yes, bounced like a superball. If I were a cartoon character, I would have bounced right back up to my feet and kept skating (maybe someday…). That doesn’t happen with a jiggly butt. It only happens when that butt cheek is supported by a nice, sturdy muscle underneath. Thumbs up.

Saturday is the next Brawlin’ Betties bout! Recap to follow. I’ll be the one holding up the scoreboard white board a la Vanna White and I’ll get to watch the action from inside the track. Doing my no rain dance!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Engel permalink
    March 19, 2011 5:51 am

    Great blog, Im reading the past entries and some of them are giving me a real good laugh, thanks! 😀

  2. Trish, aka QAGeek permalink
    March 19, 2011 4:26 pm

    My goodness! You really got back on the horse – so to say – and things are going SUPER well (at least to my interpretation). And I love mohawks; it’s the only way I know to transition between forward-backward-etc. I did mohawks in roller and figure skating (thanks for digging up THAT memory!).

    I cannot way to learn how this weekend’s bout goes; BETTIES FOR THE WIN!!

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