Monday, August 23, 2010

Practice - August 19, 2010

JFK Coliseum.... The bane of a skater's existence! It should be called Slip and Slide Stadium....

I had to make the splurge and get new wheels before practice... Just to see if it would make a difference in my performance, or if I really am THAT bad.

I'm happy to report it made a HUGE difference!! Still slippery (of course), but I was completing crossovers like nothing.... without thinking! It was a great feeling! One of my favorite drills was the "tree" (where some players form a moving non-contact pack, and some are in a moving pace line... The first person of the line races ahead to catch up to the pack and navigate their way through, finally ending at the back of the pace line.) Racing ahead to catch the pack felt awesome :) I was a little slow but I felt confident and I just knew to do my crossovers on the turns.... Because I wasn't sliding as much as I normally do, I was able to concentrate more on skating than trying not to fall.

You can buy Radar Shadows at The Bruised Boutique! :)

The one thing I really need to focus on now is transitioning from front to back/back to front. I need better form, and I need to break my mental block of fear at the thought of turning at any rate of speed... I'll get there :)

This practice was a good one for me, but seemingly cursed for a bunch of other people. There were toxic paint fumes in the building making some people sick, and a slew of injuries. I hope all my skater sisters
feel better soon... Xoxo

It's unofficially official!! - August 15, 2010

I made it through enough practices to submit my rollergirl name for approval! Woooohoo! There is quite a process for earning a derby name... It has to be approved not only by the league but by a national roster. No two skaters can have the same name! The national list takes a while to let you know if your name has been accepted.... (months!)

Sooo, my unofficial/official rollergirl name is:

 Atari JoyKick

See how I made the Atari Logo look like a JK for JoyKick... haha I'm such a genius ;)

It doesn't seem real, even though I'm allowed to put my name on my helmet (bye bye raw meat!). I mean, I'm still not a great skater and I haven't even had an assessment. I feel kind of weird about getting a derby name when I'm not sure I've earned it yet. But, according to the league I have... So I'll take it! :) Its an amazing feeling!



p.s. Okay, so why? WHY pick a name that really has nothing to do with derby? Well, anyone who knows me at all knows that I'm a video game freak, and the Atari 2600 started it all! I will never forget the day my sister brought the system home... first we popped all the bubble wrap, then we started playing games, and never stopped! One time my family even had a Pac-Man competition party. haha! The Atari 2600 represents my childhood, my competitive side, my fun side, and really just brings me tons of good memories.... I wish I had a working one now!

Soo, I had a list of about twenty five names to choose from. I kept narrowing it down, but I really didn't want to choose an arbitrary name that didn't represent anything about me. I mean, this is MY name and I just went with my gut. (PLUS this name had a great number to go with it - which is also part of choosing a derby name!) :)

Unfortunately, its tricky for others to pick a catchy nickname for me... I think I'll just remain Atari. ;)

Circus Atari!! SO FUN!! boing boing boing POP!

Robey Park with Family - August 14, 2010

My husband, son, and I went for a picnic and some skating time at Robey Park in Nashua, NH today. It's a fun place to go, and rare to have an outdoor skating rink so easily accessible! Unfortunately for serious skaters, the rink is usually filled with toddlers moving fast and in random directions.... But today we were the only ones there. (nice!)

My husband likes to rollerblade, and my son likes to use his trike. I was, of course, trying to practice a bit and my husband even asked me to show him some moves... Which was awesome :) I showed him a couple
different falls, and we tried to do some hip whips but failed miserably and crashed into a big heap. :) whoops!

I don't know what it is about skating at Robey that gives me such a huge mental block. Is it the outdoor cement surface that just gets to me? My husband asked me to show him how fast I can go.... But for some
reason my brain wouldn't let my body go at its top speed. I walked on my toestops for a bit and tried figuring out how to transition into a backward turn while putting my toestops down for a complete stop (the move I couldn't do during those suicide drills). I had the biggest block there too and could only get it while moving slowly (when we're supposed to be able to do it at full speed).

I did practice skating like a canonball, then doing a jump to get out of it. Another brain block on jumping, but I finally got myself to do it (although they were little jumps). My husband could jump right up and down with his rollerblades and that put the pressure on me to show him I could do it too! :) I will get it without hesitation soon!

I felt frustrated with my skating performance today, but it was more about my fears holding me back this time, rather than anything physical. I think the more I keep at it, and the more I fall and get right back up.... the better I'll get!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Practice - August 12, 2010

It's been a few weeks since I've remembered to write, but things have been going okay. Endurance and agility practices... Weaving in and out of cones, skating till your legs get wobbly, fall drills, stopping drills, etc etc... I had to miss a practice last week, and of course it was the first newbie contact practice (learning how to hit!!) I hope we do another one soon so I can try it!! :)

So, last night's practice was overall a disaster for me. I was disheartened, frustrated, angry with myself, angry about the slippery floor, angry at my weak back and lack of coordination.... Gah!!

We started out by doing suicide drills of falls, and I just couldn't seem to stop slipping clumsily all over the place. I couldn't get one transition (to turn around)... I'd try to t-stop and just keep going full speed. I was a frustrated mess. (Thank you to Tank'd Girl for spending some time with me on transitions... Like you said, I wish my body would cooperate with what my mind wants it to do!!)

We did "shopping cart drills" where you push your partner around the track and then switch places. Easy enough? Not when my lower back almost sent me to tears, and my legs were giving out. I kept looking around and nobody seemed to be struggling as hard as I was. I felt bad for my skater sister who got stuck with someone so clumsy and weak... Thanks to Bam for encouraging me anyway!

How can I strengthen my back? I had to drop out of a pace line - hip whip drill... I got knocked out of line near the end and I couldn't physically catch up. My back felt broken. I just don't get what I'm doing wrong... I never want to quit a drill, but that was the end for me. And where is the line between pushing yourself and taking a break so you don't injure yourself? I am having so much trouble figuring this all out.

Pyramid drills again last night too. That's where you skate laps in a group from 1 up to 5, and do exercises in between while the second group does their laps. Last time we did this drill, I admit I couldn't even complete it. I had to fake my way to the end because my entire group was done and I was still one and a half laps behind. It was so embarrassing, and I felt like I was holding everyone up.

This time, I deliberately focused on going as fast as I could. I did crossovers, and really concentrated on getting it right. Unfortunately, I was still last every time. I would take a turn and my wheels would slip out from under me. I would be going as fast as I possibly could and still be last. Will I ever get faster? At one point during a lap I felt myself questioning what I was doing there... I have never been an athlete... Maybe I'm not really cut out for this, and how could I ever make it onto a team???

Oh well, I kept going. And although I was last, I did complete every lap asked of me.... For which I felt proud and surprised that I had seen an improvement over the last time. Go me?

Thank you to everyone who was so encouraging to me last night, especially Sin D. and my fellow fresh-meats. I know I was pretty angry and frustrated but I took every word you said to heart and I love
skating with all of you! (even if I'm last.)

You know what's weird? As pissed off as I was, about twenty minutes after taking my skates off, I wanted nothing more than to put them back on and skate again!! Addicted? Hell yes :) I love roller skating!! See you at the next practice......