now the real work is beginning. the first time was enchanting. i was so excited to be there, so intrigued by the newness of it. the charm held, even after the First Fall. the exhaustion was alluring and I didn’t really feel it.
this past saturday was a different story–training really kicked my tail. we did squat pyramids, which involve increasing timed squats. We did fall drills, where we practiced a baseball slide (fall) and I ended up bruising my right hip (it was awesome). We had a serious warm up, stroke challenges, stepping & cross-over challenges. and by the end, were skating backwards in anticipation of next week’s lesson/practice.
it was hard. i sweated a lot, had to take a few breaks. my thighs burned, i have a few bruises and scrapes (before I’ve even hit anyone!) and my head ached. and it was great. i love a good workout that pushes me that hard. my feet went numb at one point, and I have a hard time with crossing-over/up the track, but the whole time I was just so glad to be there. my favorite part about it is how I think “I can’t actually do that, she-makes-it looks-easy-but-I-know-that’s-hard”, and then we practice it for ten minutes and suddenly I too, can slide down into a perfect baseball slide fall. like. a. BOSS.
there comes a point each week, when Lacy is demonstrating those incredible skating maneuvers (skating backwards, skating sideways, stopping on a dime, doing a box turn), or describing how useful a plow stop can be (the basis for several advanced derby techniques) when I start feeling overwhelmed. There is so much to learn. There is so much I don’t know. I don’t even know how much I don’t know!
My friend Theresa (wisely) pointed out that even though we have so much to learn, we should be excited, because that means we have years to master it. She has such a great perspective on it–learning how to do it is just as fun as doing it, and the more we have to learn, the longer we get to be involved with this. Which is true, and I”m so glad to have a friend who is just as derby-headed about the thing as I am. We’re keeping each other engaged and involved.
I just happen to be a little impatient. I don’t want to spend years in preparation to do it–I want to be in there doing it! I am not excited about the idea of empty months in between “official” derby training boot camps or tryouts. I want to be around other girls who are just as excited about it, other girls who want it and are willing to work for it. I know myself, I know I work best on momentum and a slight degree of vanity–it’s why exercise classes are so much better for me than a treadmill. I need someone to keep pushing me. I’m not afraid to admit I can be a little lazy, and having a coach helps me.
So now my goal is to be completely ready to for tryouts for the New Girl Training League, whenever that may be. I don’t want to feel unprepared if they’re in a month, and I still can’t manage a proper T-Stop. I need to live in my skates so I can be so comfortable with them that I can focus on learning plays and skills instead of the basics. My plan is to spend at least three nights a week skating at the nearby elementary school, practicing basics and getting as comfortable on my skates as possible. I can’t just strap them on on Saturday mornings only. It means I have to commit. If I’m going to do this, I need to do it all the way. I want to do it right. It means eating like an athlete–protein after a workout, cut down the chocolate, more nutrients in every meal. Keeping my salts in balance, drinking plenty of water, plenty of sleep, making sure I have time to recover properly. Skating, stretching, and practicing whenever I can.
This is what I want. I watched a documentary this weekend about the Seattle revival of flat-track derby, and it was, again, so inspiring. There was a part of me that was like, “ok, I’m not where they are yet, but I want to be, and I’m already started down this path, so one day, that’ll be me too!” And it still isn’t the costumes, the booty shorts, or the dramatic make-up. It’s the courage, the brass-balls, the absolute nerve of these women to be awesome and look awesome doing it. it’s the same thing that led me to pledge ZZZ in college–girls who were unequivocally unafraid to be themselves and own who they are.
bring it on.