When you’re this hardcore they call you Sister

At our last practice, Darla and I realized how scared we were that we might not make our 25 in 5 at our upcoming skills assessment. Although we tried to lay down a proper track, our Tuesday night practice space falls short about 20 feet or so of putting down a regulation sized track so it was pretty inadequate. So what do you when you eat sleep and breathe derby and can’t bear the thought of failing *yourself* in the 25/5 but have nowhere adequate to practice before  the big day? Well, you shell out some big bucks and rent a space large enough for you to practice in. Thankfully, since Darla and I work a grad school schedule, we were able to take a daytime timeslot that no one else wanted. Also, even more than thankfully, more sort of awesomely, our  coach and head ref who doubles really well as a coach agreed to meet anyone there who could make it and help us give our skills one final tweak before testing.

It ended up being only Darla and I who could make it (grad school…), and the small “class” size really helped me get past any performance anxiety I’d had in the past. So, we (or rather Ender  and Rowdy) started out by measuring and taping down a regulation sized track.

Meanwhile, Darla and I got all skated up.  We wanted to know what it felt like to try 25 in 5 before a hard practice so we started with that. Darla skated a beautiful 28 laps and I managed my 25 in 5 on the first try!!! 🙂 Ridiculous amounts of hugging rightfully ensued.

Why on the first shot? Well a few factors doubtless came into play. The first is that we did it one at a time so there was no need to slow down to weave around other skaters. Second, the floor was beautiful hardwood. And third, at least for me, I was feeling just enough desperation to force myself to push as hard as I could.

After we had let the emotional dust die down, we got back to what we had gone there for and practiced everything from falling to hitting. With just a few minutes of reserved space left we decided to take the 25 in 5 one more time. At this point the previously mentioned factors become insufficient to describe what happened next.

First, Darla skated another 28 in 5!!!  No fluke there, just pure drive and talent.

Twenty eight laps!! TWICE!!!!

But guess freaking what else?! I skated TWENTY NINE laps in five minutes. Its funny you know because I was exhausted and getting wobblier after having already endured the test once and then going on to do a full practice. But the entire time I had either Ender or Rowdy right  behind me urging me on and keeping me focused. They were each in turn my own personal Jimminy Crickets. While the devil on my shoulder kept telling me it hurt too much, I was too tired, my lungs were on fire (I’m actually pretty sick at the moment), these two amazing coaches reassured me that I was doing great, my pace was on track and I was being consistent. They also challenged me to speed up when I needed to, and reminded me to take advantage of those odd moments where my muscles miraculously felt a bit of relief. Near the end, Ender reminded me to skate strong rather than fast. I managed to get into a really good rhythm…

Your vets will tell you to make the track into a circle.: move in tight around the bends and let yourself drift out wide on the straightaways. If you’re like me, maybe you’re a bit skeptical. First, you’re forcing yourself to skate *further* and second, sometimes it does feel like you’re *sliding* and that’s scary. BUT  you save yourself so much energy when you don’t try to hold the inside line! Enough to go from 25 in 5 to 29 in five in my case! My rhythm ended up consisting of swimming through the straight aways and marching around the bends. That meant two long “frog kicks” on the straight aways and about 4 or so strong crossovers around the bends. After a while my legs were  doing it themselves and my mind just kept focusing on keeping my breathing steady; always picturing sending oxygen to my legs.

I couldn’t  be prouder of the FOUR of us on the track today. And I think our coaches deserve special nods; helmets off to Ender and Rowdy; love you guys.

Ender and her Girls

Darla Rowdy and Blackarachnia


I was on top of the world when I got home…


2 bags of cookies, 1 fruit cake, and money for a pair of “good long johns”.

Yesterday was a fantastic mail day! My new wheels and Roller Derby Workout video arrived! Now, it’s a matter of deciding when to put the new wheels on my skates.. afterall, I’ve done all of my training so far on one set of wheels and I have min skills coming up so…. is it a good idea to switch wheels at this point??? Would it be too much work or too difficult to adjust to the new wheels in such a short period of time?  I don’t know, but if anyone does, please comment here!!

The new stuff was definitely fun, but more than that, I also had a pretty nice visit with my Grandmother yesterday. We don’t talk much, but I showed up at her house yesterday and we ended up having a pretty nice visit. This experience also taught me that if you are on a “special” diet, one of the biggest challenges you will face is encounters with a hungarian grandmother… I mean, if you have a hungarian grandmother. When I arrived at her apartment, she immediately lead me into her kitchen

Her  “are you hungry? Did you have lunch?”

Me “no I’m not hungry, I just ate a big lunch”

Her “you don’t come over here on a full stomach! I will feed you!”

Me “I should have thought first! But really, I am very full up”

Her “well, have a cookie”

Me “Oh, I couldn’t”

Her ***** BIG OLD GRANDMA EYES ***** Imagine like an elderly version of puss n’ boots from Shrek.

Me “Actually I would love a cookie!”

To which she responds by not giving me one cookie, but a PLATE of cookies. She also told me I should have told her I was coming (I never do, it’s how I work..) so she could have baked for me. So we sat down, and I nibbled on a cookie (only ended up eating about half so I was told I’m “TOO SKINNY”. Then Grandma went back to the kitchen and emerged with her own lunch, a huge plate of baked cabage rolls and rice. and TWO forks. Oh my God. It smelled really good. She brough the plate right up to MY FACE and said, “try some try some”. So I took a little bite (at least it was healthy!), and she reminded me not to eat before coming next time. This diet is hard, I still have to learn how to say no. I think I’m reluctant to tell people about my “special” diet because I don’t want to come off sounding like “one of those” grass drinking, smoothie making, tofu loving…. LIARS!

Now I’m not sure if this is a “Hungarian” thing or not, but when I go to visit my Grandmother she insists on emptying the contents of her cupboard and freezer into a bag and forcing me to bring them home. The time before last, I came home with a WHOLE CHICKEN! This time I was prepared. I have to bus a whole hour and a half to get back home from her house so thankfully this time I had a backpack to stuff the pantry in rather than bringing everything home in grocery bags. I ended up leaving with a month’s supply of home baked muffins, store bought short bread cookies, homemade cookies, and a fruit cake! Because of course I can’t say no to Grandma.

As per usual, we talked a lot about politics while I was there (which is always fun with Grandma; she’s quick as a whip and has a history book for a brain), but eventually the conversation (also as per usual) shifted to the weather.

Her: “What do you have under those pants?”

Me: *laughing*  “Um… legs?”

Her: *indignant*  “WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT? Why you don’t have Long Johns under there?!”

Me: “I don’t know, I never wear them!”

Her: “You don’t have a good pair of Long Johns?”

Me: “No, I’d boil to death at my office if I did wear them!”

Her: “I’m going to give you forty dollars. You go buy a good pair of Long Johns”

Me: “Oh no grandma, it’s okay, really I’m fine”

Her: “No, you buy a good pair of Long Johns. You can get them everywhere”.

So I took the money and you know what? I went and bought myself a pair of Long Johns. How could I not? Remember, BIG OLD GRANDMA EYES!!!! I went and picked up the funniest old lady looking pair I could find, ones that would make her really proud, but they still only cost like $8!!! So I also bought a pair of tights for derby (of which she knows not), which I think could SERVE as long johns.  Anyways, I’m not a saint. And then I guess the rest of the money will be spent on food since I’m “TOO SKINNY” (I’m actually not).

So there you have it 🙂 I have derby practice tonight so wish me luck.

Some girls hang their stockings….

but derby girls aren’t “some girls”.

I was hoping to post about huge leaps in my 25 in 5 progress after today’s practice. Unfortunately though, somehow we (the skaters) ended up locked out of our practice space. So we lost an entire practice. So sad. Especially since today was going to be a 4 hour (two 2 hour practices back to back) practice for me and I was *so stoked*. Oh well.

Tomorrow is the first day of the Roller Derby Workout Challenge. I’ve been watching the website and have been noticing a bunch of girls weaning themselves off of sugar, white flour, sweetened coffee etc over the last week.

NOT ME. Noooo, I have been doing quite the opposite in fact. Yesterday, I ate Chinese for lunch, McDonalds for supper, and drank WHITE wine in the evening. Oh. Ya. Tonight, a broth fondu, chocolate fondu (?), and beer. Lots of beer. Because I am going to MISS the beer and I need a good… no a GREAT sendoff.

A Sloth is a Slow Moving Creature

Last night was a pretty much a transit nightmare…. I missed my first bus (it was early.. for the record) and had to wait 10 minutes to get the next one. Ten minutes is relatively short in transit-land, but it meant that I would lose my connection. So, I took a different route… went by O-train (light-rail transit for those unfamiliar…). I made it to Carleton U and walked in the opposite direction from where I should be going for 20 minutes. Note to self, Carleton apparently does not make use of street signs. Okay, so I finally realized I had walked in the wrong direction and turned myself around. I made it to practice 15 minutes late… so I basically missed all of the off-skate stuff. After a 45 minute walk (that should have been 15), I was warmed up enough to start anyways.
Okay so this pretty much summarizes my night:

Yep that’s me.. the smiling sloth. I think it’s the slowest creature on earth…. but I’m pretty close behind. Seriously, we did some sticky skate drills and even after I got the motion down.. it was soooooo slow. Then we did pyramid drills (“it’s not a race.. it’s not a race”), and I fell behind by an entire lap pretty much every time. I felt really slow and shaky the entire practice. I also seemed to forget how to stop…. even thought I was doing well at this last week. Jon thinks that maybe I’m just scared to fall since I’m still not completely healed up yet…. maybe he is a bit right. I just felt really out of sorts, and was pretty discouraged with my “progress”.

Anyways… missed my bus to go home so I had to wait 26 minutes. Missed the connection so I had to wait another 13. Then it started to snow/hail. Then the 15 minute walk home. Total time spent; 2 hours.

Got home and reported that “I’m pretty sure I’m the worst one”; this was kindly responded to with chicken wings and beer.

Also, because of some scheduling conflicts we don’t have practice again until the 22nd… I’m hoping my outdoor wheels come in soon so I can try to keep my muscles from forgetting too much over the next couple of weeks.