Tuesday, August 25, 2009

"The game is being played behind you...!"

That's what it says on the top of the second page of my notes from this past weekend's roller derby clinic held at High Country Sports Arena where we practice...(I don't write their name out so much so I thought I'd link it here...if you like hockey, or just roller skating or need a place to have a party give em a ringie.)...

Here's what I saw when I got there Saturday...These are the two ladies who so kindly gave up their time to teach us...Rowdy Piper and Hellbound Harlot of the OC Roller Girls. Hellbound was with the Derby Dolls prior, and Rowdy Piper will be with the Dallas Derby Devils after she moves there this week.

Somewhat menacing for a brief second as a novice to the sport. We'll see just how novice I am in certain ways by the end of this story...(STOP LAUGHING STIHL QUEEN!) ;)

Going through my notes here, I see that my first note came from talking with Nathan Rule. He came up with Rowdy and Hellbound. I was asking him about what my husband Pierce could do and he mentioned the skateless refs and scorekeepers, timers and what-not..so good there's something he can do if he ever wants to...He also mentioned that since MDG has no refs yet that there is such a thing as rent-a-ref. In combination with what Rowdy told us, a couple of times even, that the game is the ref's game. You can play by the rules or not, but it's basically the ref's game.

Nathan also told me about wearing weights like three weeks of practice prior to a bout and how much faster you can skate once you take them off....that kinda blew my mind...I used to wear those ankle weights a lot when I was a carhop...it helped me skate lighter then and so I'm glad I've been reminded of that now...Finally Nathan solved our first derby disagreement in the officer's meeting a few weeks ago, it was the compromise I suggested to us disagreeing about a practices attended minimum. He said they usually have no rules about minimum practices except prior to a bout or scrimmage and that is that the skater must attend 6 or 8 practices in a row prior to one of those events. Sounds fair to me...I didn't care for being the lone person who didn't want a practice minimum, it's never fun. But I am glad we all had that great discussion about it...it was important that we all felt heard and think we all felt we were heard. Plus it was our first test of getting over disagreements.

Rowdy and Hellbound taught us about that as well. How to have the HONEST discussions while were in our stretching circle together prior to practices and after warm-up skating. I think it's a great place to do it..Moral of all that was - LEAVE IT ON THE TRACK. Again, I cannot imagine being done wrong by a skater possibly in the future and then "leaving it on the track" but you know, I think men athletes do that all the time...so fuck it..yes we can too.

Let me write this again because it was a sorta AHA moment for me....


Equipment-wise, besides the fact that Rowdy's mum is married to the owner of Reidell Skates, we learned about knee-gaskets and TSG Force-3 knee pads, they don't slip-on, they velcro all the way on and off. I suppose you could wear both the gasket and the better knee-pad at once too. But it sounded like the Force 3 was enough on its own.

TSG Force-3 Knee-Pad
Also, we learned about metal being better than nylon plates, ceramic bearings and different toe-stops. As far as bearings, she mentioned Reds and Mini Logo. I won a set of Reds in the raffle so I'm saving them for my pink Mojo wheels if I ever want to switch to pink wheels...Maybe I will if and when I ever bout.

Last on my Saturday notes I see that Rowdy said she liked skating on wood and using Blue Zodiac wheels.

As far as drills went...WOWIE were they awesome! I see I didn't write them down like I thought I did, but Coach has a list I hear..I'll get that from her. I remember doing the hitting drill with Hellbound Harlot, making her the first actual derby girl I've hit...not to be confused with my first hitting with my own team mate Nikki Spitts. So these two ladies are on my dreamboat memories list. Ya never forget your firsts....

Another drill that was very new for us was going around the track acting as if you'd been hit out of bounds and practicing spinning back fast and getting back in the pack formation behind the person who knocked you out to avoid a penalty.

I also learned a lot about the importance of guarding the line...Being able to skate AT IT...not on it, not over it, not away from it..but AT IT...Even though great skaters can legally walk over the air above the line and sneak past you...it's a very important position to be in.

We practiced rotating from 1, 2, 3 and 4 positions, always having one of the found AT THAT LINE. Doing the waterfall, which looks REALLY cool when used at a fast pace. She said that it's not an all the time thing to stay in this formation or do this move, but it's a way I guess she meant....staying in a diamond or vagina shape :).. I can't find an image of the hand formation Rowdy used, but put your index finger and thumbs together and make a diamond-like shape...

We skated and went up and down, almost like walking, but on our knees...falling and recovering on each knee, one after the other.

The great thing I wanted to learn about was the toe-start. I used to be SO MUCH MORE comfortable on my toe stops, trying to sneak around my house in my skates without my mother finding out...walking in my skates through gravel and grass and what not...Then with these new skates it's just different. But now I feel way more comfortable again. We did like jumping jacks on the toe stops.

That's all from my notes from the clinic. I am forever in debt to the the three of them for coming up and laying it all on us..we needed it...and I think all the ladies loved it.

This brings us to tonight's practice...Oy...let's start with the organic lasagna I wolfed down before I left...that'll bring us to driving down the hill to practice and throwing up in my own lap...*shakes head*..whatever...that was a new one...

I felt much better when I got there of course and so even though I was a bit late from the barfing and the slow truck in front of me. I hit the floor about 7:22 p.m. We did some of the drills from the weekend with Sheedabomb and I guess there were about 10 of us there tonight...She'll be doing the next two practices as well. At one point, when we went to do our "touch three" drill we call it now, Ammo pointed out that my elbow was above my elbow guard... *blush*..So I skated out of the pack and went to fix it, and there I learned about the LEFT and RIGHT tag on each of my elbow and knee-pads...WHO FUCKING KNEW?! Not me..not Red Hot Ta Molli, and not Mermad....So as I took off the elbow pads...Stihl Queen pointed out that my one knee-pad was also upside-down...What a goofy roller-girl I am...If I had a dollar for every wardrobe malfunction so far...Anyway...before I get to sleep tonight I will be marking each piece to make dressing easier...

After practice, Trixxy, Nikki, Gerle and I hung out under the nice slice of low moon and yacked it up...Looked at pictures and talked about how fucking scary it would be to play Demanda Riot, of the Bay Area Derby Girls...

And Nikki gave me a pack of Roller Derby brand bubble gum cigarettes from the new candy shop downtown...pretty cool...

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