Tuesday, April 19, 2011

week 12: so much for the pattern

Tonight was tough. That stupid turnaround toe-stop is still the boss of me. I did so much decently ... I stayed down, I crossed over, I followed the leader and did the obstacle course and spun out on one knee in awesome fashion ... but this damn stop I have got to get on top of. It's one of the basics, and I cannot work around it or do without it.

We did a little more contact tonight - booty blocking, which resembles the bump and/or the hustle, and shoulder blocking, which is easy if you're skating with someone your height but otherwise not so much.

I'm starting to think I need nothing but turnaround toe-stop. All the time, every time, until I get it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

as expected, a rough night

Since I started roller derby training in February, I have noticed a pattern: one week's practice goes great, the next one is tough as nails. Each Tuesday I am curious to see if it will bear out the pattern. Tonight did, for the 11th week in a row. It was on the tough-as-nails side. My feet would not stop cramping (yes, I have been eating bananas, and yes, I have been taking magnesium supplements), so I had to take my skates off twice to work out my stupid arches. Lost a ton of time that way.

Newbie practice was actually better than usual. We had a lot of advanced skaters working with us, so generally a newbie would partner with an advanced for the exercises, or if we didn't need partners they'd just skate alongside us being encouraging. Hot Mess and Mary Choppins continue to be two of my favorites. We also had someone named Speedy something, and she is great - very supportive. The guys are a little less intimidating than formerly, although during suicide drills (where we skate full-bozo in a big ole pack and then when they whistle we stop on a dime, spin around, and skate full-on again) they terrify me.

We got lots of work on turnaround toe-stops, which I am still not quite getting except in theory. We also got to do contact for the first time. We paired up and would skate the width of the rink right there together, trying to drive the other off-course, hips and shoulders. I growled at all my partners because that's the only way I could keep from giggling, and giggling isn't tough unless you do it maniacally, which I can't do so I growled at 'em instead. My partners all thought it was funny, and once you get 'em laughing they're off-balance. SCORE. And I managed to avoid elbowing anyone.

To stop, if we were working something that didn't require us to stop a certain way, I decided tonight I would do a one-knee spin. It's easier than it sounds - while you're cruisin' along, you drop to one knee and let the other foot curve in a big semi-circle in front of you, which leads your body around so you spin. I look too sharp doing that. If there were a position on the team that required someone to spin around on one knee like a rock star, I would own that job.

Plus, let's face it, the booty shorts are awesome. That's at least 40% of the reason I'm doing this.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Thursday update: YAY for not busting ass!

Tuesday evening, we had our first practice in our new venue (Houston Indoor Sports, 221 Barren Springs, Houston 77090, off I-45 North between Richey Road and Airtex behind Lupe Tortilla). It's HUGE - it's a mammoth steel building with two full-size Plexiglas-fenced rinks. The floor is not typical rink; it's these weird almost-white but sort-of-blue tiles that feel almost spongy. There was dust everywhere from construction, so we didn't slide at all. Made T-stopping easy!

Mary Choppins worked with us baby-intermediates all evening. She is a wonderful teacher. She drilled us on footwork, the drunk walk, toe-stop starts, duck-walking, snowplowing, and the dreaded turnaround toe-stop. We all improved. Most of us fell (surprisingly, not me - I am sorta curious to find out how hard that spongy-looking floor really is). I still look like a dipshit out there, but not quite as bad as I did two months ago.

Last night was laundry, cleaning, and cooking. Bummed that I missed the Wednesday craft night, but the laundry had to get done (we were approaching emergency underwear mode).

Today some boring, some fun ... I have a dentist appointment at two. I also have to go pick up my new glasses (yay) and head to the Montrose Skate Shop for toe guards (YAY). I do plan to skate tonight ... cheap skate at DARR if anyone wants to join me!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

WHOOSH! hello

What is there to say about me that y'all don't already know?

I'm 42, divorced and childless, five-ten, about 150, and a lifelong resident of Houston. I work for a pretty decent-sized oil company; I love my job and my co-workers. I live near work, in a cute apartment somewhat older than I am, with my boyfriend and cats (one mine, two ours, although he classifies the ours ones as my lame cat and his cool one). My family and most of my friends are in and around town, so we keep in touch. When it's in season, I'm on cast at my local Renaissance festival. Two months ago, I started training with the Houston Roller Derby's recreational league. I have no illusions that I'll ever be good enough to play for real, but I do hope to get good enough to play rec and have fun. And not break stuff.

Oh yeah, and I love yarn. I currently have at least my body weight in yarn upstairs, lurking in various closets and baskets.