I’ve done very little skating in the past 3 weeks of the new year. That’s partly down to me getting sick (sad times) and also not being where my team is. However, I did get to go to a new skater night at a different team’s venue (which they own, how cool is that?) and took one of my best friends with me so she could experience roller derby for herself.
The new skater night was awesome. The floor was purple (super exciting for me as it’s in my name) but wow was it slippery. I had just cleaned my wheels earlier in the day but I kept sliding around the apexes and when I tried 27/5 I only got 23 but fell over twice due to the floor sliding out underneath me. (One time I was trying to slow down as I got stuck behind other skaters but ended up falling over, apparently I fell over ‘really well’ according to my friend). It was really cool to see other people at various points in their journey, one even passed her 27/5 which was good. Some of them were total newbies like my friend but were still pretty good and others looked like they’d been going regularly for weeks. I had to explain that I’d been skating for almost 2 years (wow, time flies!) and just have my 27/5 to pass before I’m ready to face the world. Even so, some of the others were probably way better than me (faster too, damn them) but it was a good experience. I might go back in the future.
The last time I did 27/5 with my normal team, I got 26 laps and had a period in the middle where I’d majorly slowed down for some reason (probably fatigue) but I also remember one of the team skaters coming on track to chase me down and I’m not sure if that worked or not but the others seem to think it did. Hopefully I’ll be able to try again on Saturday and I’ll have some new wheels which might stop me sliding everywhere.
We had our fresh meat taster session last Saturday and loads of people came which was really good. The real test is to see how many come on Saturday to the first ‘real’ session and how many stay on after that. It was really fun though and this time I got to demo some game stuff (as I’m scrim passed and apparently looked ‘ready’ to go). It was fun but I’d forgotten what it felt like to get hit right in the collarbone. Yeah, ouch. Gonna have to get used to that again now that the off season is over!
Exactly a week ago we had testing where I (once again) tried to do my 27/5. However I made the mistake of not asking to be the only one on the track at the time and that really screwed me over. Majorly screwed me over. I don’t think I even made 22 laps because I got stuck behind someone else but wasn’t fast enough to get around her so I ended up giving up about half way in and just followed her around the track. It wasn’t one of my best moments and I was really frustrated that I hadn’t thought about asking to be tested on my own because it’s the very last thing I need to pass. I think everyone noticed I had been slacking and said I should test on my own next time…and yet no one else thought about me having the track to myself but I should also think about that next time. Still frustrating. We had a team meeting after but I wasn’t in the mood at that point to go and knew that I would’ve just sat sulking in the corner when it was supposed to be a fun social.
Training on Saturday was fun, although my shoulders/upper arms are quite bruised from all the one-on-one blocking that we did, and a few attempts at seal clubbing. I tried my 27/5 then too but had to stop because my foot was cramping and I didn’t think it was a good idea to go on (it wasn’t numb but as soon as I took my skates off the pain got worse) so hopefully I’ll be able to have another go soon but I’m also wondering if I just need a bit of time off to heal and come back feeling better.
My laps on Saturday (even though I only did a few) were around the 27/5 pace so I need to see how long I can sustain that for and then build it up from there. It didn’t feel much faster than any of my other attempts so I’m still not convinced I was faster but the floor at our Saturday practice is my favourite (at the moment) and has an actual track painted on which might help psychologically? I’m definitely going to try again another Saturday and see what happens!
I did it! Yesterday I finally got scrim passed!
So I can’t celebrate too much as I’m still not minimum skills passed but I’m almost there. To be scrim passed with my league you have to have passed section 5 on the WFTDA minimum skills, passed the rules test and have 80% passed overall.
Last night I just hit the 80% mark which meant that today I actually got to scrim with everyone else. Although the scrim felt pretty similar to other scrims I’d done, there was definitely less hitting than usual but still as confusing as I remember. I didn’t find it as scary as some of the drills that we do where someone barrels straight into you because technically I could do scrim drills before I was scrim passed but I couldn’t scrim. It was always confusing because drills can be scarier than scrimming (in my opinion anyway). The others were grinning like crazy though at the prospect of hitting me with their full force (and a few hits did knock me over spectacularly) but I sort of got the feeling that they were being a little easier on me than usual (which was fine because I’m recovering from a cold so wasn’t ready for full-on scrimming).
I had two skills that needed passing before I was scrim passed, and I chose backwards skating and giving inside whips. I’d tried the inside whip one before but failed because my arm basically collapsed and caused me to lose my balance. This time I got the team skaters to break it down (really break it down) and get them to show me how it’s done (although inside whips aren’t used as often as outside ones we all agreed). Then I added some speed and got passed! Backwards skating was something I had been meaning to pass for awhile as I’ve probably had my laps under 20 seconds for at least a month, maybe more but the last time we did testing I was so tired that I couldn’t do them which was really frustrating. The second time I tried to test them they didn’t count as I needed 2 testers but only had 1 even though everyone knew at that point that I could do it (like my freaking transitions which I did fine for 2 hours of free skating until someone looked at me and then I fell over. Didn’t pass those for another week)
I’m still a pre-mins which means I can’t play in games and stuff like that but that’s fine (for now) as I can at least scrim and practise some jamming/blocking/anything in a sort of game environment. The only other one who is left is Crusher but she has around half of her skills to do and she’s super close to finishing section 5 so hopefully she’ll be passed soon.
Now to finish the last few skills!
I’m meant to be uploading another post about the second block of Fresh Meat but I just got back from today’s session and I’m still pretty buzzed from actually doing something (sort of well) today 😀
We were practising transitions, I don’t know the exact name for this one but it’s where you pivot on your front wheels and then skate backwards after. It was hard to not jump and do it since jumping wastes quite a bit of energy and I fell over at least half a dozen times. It was easier when I was moving though, doing it standing still was really hard and I barely moved at all. I wasn’t sure if I felt stable enough to actually do it but I managed it a few times, although I did have to practise going up on my front wheels to get used to the feeling.
The last twenty minutes were full of scrimmage drills. Only the team skaters can do actual scrimmages but we can do drills, which seem very similar but not at the same time, if that makes sense? We were split up into two teams (white and black, half team skaters and half pre-mins) and had 10 on each team so we could split into two groups each time. I was in the second set and put myself forward to jam (I’m usually one of the first to put myself forward even though I’m still pretty bad but I want to get better and the only way to do that is to actually throw myself into it, not literally, of course).
Jammers had two options for this drill, to transition on the edge of the track around a blocker or to push them out of the way. I don’t have enough strength (or anger) to push anyone, I could barely push two blockers in an earlier drill, so attempting to get past four was not going to happen. So I opted for the transition instead. And I actually did it. It’s a small thing, I know but I felt like I’ve achieved something. I couldn’t do the transition in the normal drill but throw me the star and somehow I can transition around a blocker (although I did fall over after and have to do it again since one blocker got in front and I for some reason assumed I’d have to do it again when I could have just skated around normally) but the fact that I actually did it made me so happy. I was so not expecting to get around the blocker to be honest, figuring that I would need a few attempts but somehow I found a gap and took advantage of it. Everyone seemed impressed (and equally surprised) that I did it and it felt so awesome to have the team skaters say that I did something well (even though they probably find it super easy).
It’s just a minor thing, but it makes me feel like I’m progressing and actually getting somewhere with my skating, even though there’s a long way to go.
My days of coding haven’t left me quite yet, since I’ve titled this ‘hello world!’ as I was taught when I was at school (does this still happen?)
This is a blog to track my roller derby progress (I should have started it when I started Fresh Meat but it’s too late for that now)
I finished Fresh Meat about two weeks ago (which seems like a long time) and am now a Pre Mins (I initially thought it was Pre Mince but now I get it) and am going to training twice a week to improve my skating so I can pass the minimum skills and hopefully be on the team in the future.
I’ll hopefully write up some posts soon about Fresh Meat and my new experiences of being a Pre Mins.