Last night was my second Fresh Meat session. Here are some of the highlights:
One of my husband’s methods of encouragement is to ask me whether I was the “worst one”…. well in this type of sport I find I don’t even have time to look at what others are doing because I’m so busy focusing on my own balance. Yet, after this session I can say I was probably fairly close to being … the “worst one”.
First up … warm up. I was still pretty sore in my knees from my derby/running combo so I took it as easy as possible. I did some slow laps around the gym, muscled through the lunges (those hurt), and stretched. I probably could have called it quits there and left with a sufficient workout but next it was time for the fun stuff 🙂
We started off with fairly simple stuff… practicing our stops. No problem, I can snowplow pretty easily and my t-stops are far from perfect but starting to take form and accomplishing the main goal. But then… dun dun dun…. the dreaded bracket stop. The bracket stop basically consists of skating forward then swinging one of your feet around in the opposite direction so that you turn 180 degrees and stop. For some reason my feet do not allow me to do this… they just scream out “don’t turn that way… try to and we will stick you to the floor permanently”. Thankfully, the derby girls at ORD are awesome and worked with me a lot so that I can now sometimes do it in slow motion… but it’s going to take a lot of work and a lot more falling for my feet to follow my intentions.
So next up.. falling. I’m actually pretty awesome at falling. We did our one knee falls, our 180 falls (basically the same as a one knee fall but you spin around to face the other direction), our two knee falls, and our 4 point falls. The 4 point falls were new and they were pretty fun…. you skate, drop to two knees, then get into a ball on the floor being careful to tuck in all your limbs. On the track this is really important because if you fall and let your limbs straggle all over the place you can actually get a penalty for tripping. Anyways, it was really fun.
Then came the harder stuff. Walking across the floor with skates on forwards (not so bad), backwards (ee-gads… I can’t walk backwards barefoot!), and then sideways crossing legs one over the other (mama, help!). We do this to get comfortable on our skates… we want to be able to wear skates like running shoes. So, I think I’m going to try wearing my skates at home more often.. maybe this will help.
Next up, sticky skate. I had watched some you tube videos on how to do this but really it’s something you need to “feel” to learn. Sticky skate is where you skate keeping all 8 wheels on the floor. It’s important in pack skating so that you don’t trip someone or get caught on someone. I was pretty good at doing the in-out butterfly style sticky skate, after learning that it’s all about pushing with your knees and thighs. However, I really sucked at the slalom (sp?), feet together, type sticky skate… I just haven’t got the feel down right yet.
Okay… so after sticky skating for a we did some “skate/squat” drills. You skate and then when you hear “squat” you squat down as low as you can go and you stay that way until the last girl has stopped moving. Yeah that was hard. But my thighs and butt will thank me eventually.
After this, we lined up into “heats”, and in groups we had to skate around the track as fast as possible. The first time, we skated around the track once, then twice, then three times, then twice again, then once again. This is where I learned that I sucked. My pack darted off wayyyy in front of me everytime and I was left in the proverbial dust. Again, the ORD girls are awesome and cheered me on. Clearly however, I am having some balance issues that are causing me to take shorter strides than I should be and consequentially slowing me way down. I really need to work on this a lot. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to get some outdoor wheels really soon and start skating outside on my “free time” (funny eh?).
I really want to be good at this.