Saturday, January 29, 2011

Derby Hurts.

New year, new season. It has been two years this month since I strapped on my very own skates and joined the Old Capitol City Roller Girls. It still hurts.

This time around Animal Mother and myself are coaching the fresh meat and it has been a lot of fun. I never saw myself as a coach kind of person but I’m getting used to all the yelling and planning. Coming up with goals and a series of drills that will build them up to the level they need to be at to actually play derby is exciting. It also reminds me how much derby hurts when you first start.
Animal coaches the fresh meat... They're growing up so fast! 

I sort of felt like I was suffering right there with them. All of December Animal and I worked with the fresh meat so we missed out on that extra hard hitting vet practice. Then over the few weeks of break I ate a lot of food and did a lot of not working out. Starting back up in January hurt. I was out of shape, my muscles lost their endurance and I had to mentally prepare myself for contact again. I felt pretty fresh, but got over it quickly. Its like riding a bike, once you get hit, you never forget.

Hello, hole in my foot.
I also got new skates this year, which means new blisters. You would think something new and shiny would be something to be excited about. Wrong. My feet had grown to call my ratty ole R3s home and are having a hard time adjusting to my 126s. I immediately gained two holes on my right ankle and a bit of frustration and fear that I chose the wrong skates. After switching around wheels, and adjusting the trucks and skating in them a bit, they’re starting to feel a lot more comfortable.

Roller derby is pretty awesome, but you can’t have all the glitz and fun from the get go. It takes a lot of work. A LOT OF WORK. It also takes a lot of pain, sweat, and muscle development. You can’t become a better skater until you train your muscles to work with derby. Derby stance is going to hurt until you strengthen your ab and back muscles. Footwork will come easier once you strengthen your ankles. Your quads and calves will stop burning once you build up endurance. But it all takes time and commitment mixed with a bit of hurt.

It all might not come with practice either. I started doing the Roller Derby Workout Challenge which includes a lot more exercise outside of regular derby, and I feel so much better after only a few weeks. Write me down for about 1,000 push ups in January and I feel like I’m finally doing one correctly. It’s amazing to feel this strong and I will be a better skater for it.

Sugar maybe be sweet, but she's the
toughest lady I know. 
Ok, so I’m probably not hurting as much as the fresh meat, but I just hope they know if they stick with it, it will hurt less. Their bodies will adapt to the speed and hits as will their feet mold to their skates. Sure there’s always room for injury, derby hurts! Building a strong body from the start, and playing the game safely will help prevent extra hurt. Well guess what, shit still happens. That’s when you have to be strong mentally as well. Don’t give up. Our bodies can do amazing things. Never say never in derby, especially when the oldest member of the team can do a plank longer than you. (over seven(?) minutes and I really don't think she had any reason to stop.)

Derby hurts when you start, keeps you sore all the time, and can break your body, but how much can you really know about yourself if you never hurt?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

RDWC Week #3

Killer Baker works it out during some
Yeller core.

1) What about those push ups?
Well, for the past year we have made everyone on the team do real pushups. No girly pushups in derby! I feel myself getting a lot stronger now, and like I'm actually doing a real push up! hah. Its not just painful, I feel strong. 

2) Time yourself doing a plank for as long as you possibly can and post your time for question 2.
We had a plank challenge at pracitce before! I think I can do roughly a 4 minute plank. Old Yeller, the OLDEST woman on our team can do over a SEVEN minute plank, and really I don't think she had any reason to stop. 

3) What kind of surface do you skate on? What kind of wheels do you use?
We apparently skate on ice. We use the Coralville Marriott and its just a cement floor and kind of changes with the weather and dirt. Right now its winter, so the floor is cold and slick. On a good day its manageable, but sometimes its just awful. During the open scrimmage we just held for example, it was like a dog running on linoleum. In the summer it gets more humid and stickier. I don't mind it, we're used to it now. And my thoughts are if I can skate on the slickest floor around, I will be able to skate on anything else even better.

For wheels, my first upgrade was to the sugars since we do have such a slick floor. Then Bat R gave me some green omegas and purple heartless (i'm bad at remembering the names of wheels.. usually just go by color..) The Heartless were a little stickier, but skinnier since I'm mostly a jammer. 

Now I have four aluminum hub Poisons as pushers and just threw my worn out sugars as the other four. At the recent mixer I had a Poison/purple omegas(?) combo that I really liked. I really need to up my collection of wheels so when I do face stickier floors I will be prepared. 

4) Star jump or burpee??
OMG. I hate burpees. They scarred me during the Iron Derby Diva triathalon we made up last summer. Once you lose your momentum, you're just fucked. Star jumps aren't too bad, but I'm probably not doing the best form in my bedroom for fear of hitting the ceiling fan.

5) Name two members of your ref staff. Don't forget to thank them after your next practice scrimmage.
Well, why don't we just go over our lovely ref staff. 
Our core veteran group:
Lukan D'otha Way - Killer Baker's husband. Rule Guru. Been around the longest. Recently broke his ankle, so his contribution for awhile will be a rule book on wheels. 
Layne Rubber - originally joined as a skater.. hurt herself? and stopped skating. Stayed around to be our derby mistress and eventually strapped skates on again to ref. Will completely morph into a zebra soon. 
Zdork - at his year anniversary with us as Animal Mother started dating him and tricked him into reffing and later told him it wouldn't have worked out if he didn't like derby. One of my derby haus roommates and fiercest competitors in blood and thunder. 
Sac Lunch - Belongs to Devil'n Laces. Is becoming a derby gear connoisseur. Hooked up all our fresh meat with the appropriate derby gear/skates/wheels so that they start out the right way, and the safe way. Helped me get new skates this year and will probably send out a hitman soon to collect the rest of the money.  
Eject Ya Later - aka the Inzeemenator. Come on. You're proving its truth. Husband of Chemical Spill, very athletic and improved leaps in bounds in a short time. 

We got some newb refs who are already pretty great. Full Nelson originally joined as a skater for awhile last year and was a great merch mistress, took a hiatus from derby and has returned this year as a ref. Xbox, husband of Alpha who has been a longtime NSO and finally turned ref. Cheap seats who finally got up shakily on his skates and is doing awesome now. Dubs who is husband to Swiss Missfit. Darwin, recruited by Layne as first a boyfriend and then a ref. Then at recruitment we added long time derby fans, Bergus (aka something uranus), and Andy Brodie "Bruiser" who I think will be great additions to the stripes. 

Our zebras along with some visiting refs who came out for the open scrimmage January 16th.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

RDWC Week #2

The point of a challenge is that its supposed to be challenging, right? I think I like to give myself too many excuses and I need to just suck it up and do it! I suppose this is a consistent theme in my life, whether its doing that workout instead of napping, or applying for jobs I don't think I'm qualified for; I won't get results unless I try.

Meal and workout plans by day.
Last week when I started the Roller Derby Workout Challenge, I was also starting a new job at Target. It's still minimum wage but I should be able to get forty hours a week and still grab shifts at the coffee shop. It's just a stepping stone in my plan to someday get a career I've always wanted, because right now I just have to dig myself out money issues. Since Target has regulated breaks, it helps keep my meals in check, and also makes me think ahead. I was doing pretty good at eating the prescribed meals most of the week, and wrote out a menu on a white board for a quick glance at options. 

Later in the week I had some days where I was working at both jobs and was starting to feel a bit overwhelmed and started fudging portions and indulging in little sugary things. Then I was too busy to fit in a workout, or would just come home and pass out and forget to workout. I can take some pretty legendary coma naps, so instead of just "shutting my eyes for a second," I should get the workout done and then I can sleep all I want. 

It is going to be hard, and I'm sure nobody has an easy schedule. I like the food and I enjoy feeling strong and accomplished after a workout, so I need to just tighten up what I've already accomplished in one week. Maybe I can finally instill some good habits and stop listening to the sugar fairy every time she comes around. 

I already feel better and less bloated and have had compliments on how I look, imagine how I'll feel 7 more weeks from now! 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ace of Skates

If anyone has followed my blog long enough, my very first entry was recapping a mixer I participated in last year put on by the Quad City Rollers, and last Saturday they put it on again for the third year in a row. For those who don’t know, a mixer is hosted by a team (QCR) who invites skaters from multiple leagues (Old Capitol City Roller Girls, Des Moines Derby Dames, Eastern Iowa Outlaws, Circle City Derby Girls, Mad Rollin’ Dolls, Chicago Outfit, Rockford Rage, Stateline Derby Divas) and then mixes them up into new teams and has them bout in a shortened tournament style event. This year it was dubbed the Ace of Skates and the teams were the Bleeding Hearts (red), the Spiteful Spades (white), the Diamond Destroyers (green), and the Killer Clubs (black). The first two bouts were 20 minutes each, followed by a semi final bout that was 30 minutes long and a championship bout that was two 20 minute periods.

OCCRG's GLADi8HER on the jam line vs Sal Paralyze
from EIO. Standard impatient jammer pose.
In the first bout the Diamond Destroyers took on the Killer Clubs in what seemed like a pretty good match up. On the jam line first was OCCRG’s own GLADi8HER (Diamonds) and Ophelia Fracture (Clubs) who both got through multiple times during the full two minute jam, but Ophelia pushed the Clubs slightly further ahead. Sal Paralyze helped maintain this lead for awhile, but their walls quickly started to crumble as Glad, Lady Gotcha and Malice Munro rallied the Diamonds into a comfortable lead. 20 minutes went by quick, and as I was lining up for the second bout, I returned in time to see Glad break her toe stop off (for the second year in a row at this mixer) and skate about three or four grandslams with the damaged skate planted for fear of tripping without the usual support under her toe. It was quite the image to see her pushing along like she was on a skateboard, toe stop in hand, showing that derby girls don’t quit. Diamonds won 87 to 51.

Bloody Elle is a relentless force.
My team, the Spiteful Spades were up next against the Bleeding Hearts, who I so lovingly call Team Douchebag. I’m not quite sure what the logic behind choosing teams for mixers is, but Team Douchebag was quite obviously stacked with some of the best skaters from the area. They had the quick feet of Pink Taco and Stella Italiana combined with the blocking force of Bat R Up, Jen Detta, Animal Mother, Dead Lee Danni, Bloody Elle, QC Banshee and more. We had two skaters from our roster drop out which put our alternate in, Sugar and Slice, but she has been recovering from a sore knee and her jamming was kept minimal.

Crazy Legs vs the Kraken. Legs win.
Seeing what we were up against, our only point of strategy was to try and play together as well as we could. Teamwork is the challenge of a mixer because you are playing with skaters of various skill levels and experience, which reminds you how important it is when you’re skating with your own league. I found that I often ended up at the back, blocking alone and would turn into one of my own players as I watched Stella fly around the outside. The Douchebags worked together a little better than I anticipated as they totally shut us down by trapping a skater from our team when our jammer was in the box. It was frustrating so I tried to do my best while jamming which usually meant getting lead and calling it off before they could score more points. Graves tried to score more for us as well, but she was spending too much time in the box. A Few Screws Lucy, with her sparkly leg warmers, reluctantly took the jamline and gave it all she had, but we just could not keep it together against such a heavy hitting team. I should note however, once while I was jamming, Bat R Up tried her best to take me out, but I threw my hip back at her and she ate my dust as I sped away from the pack. It’s the small victories that you have to be proud of.

After losing 71 to 20, we went on to the semifinal for our 30 minute bout against the Killer Clubs. I was glad we were playing right away since I was still pumped up and looking to skate harder and faster. I felt we would have had more of a chance against them, but instead we decided to play a lovely game of musical chairs in the penalty box, which I somehow stayed out of all night. Mixers result in a little bit messier play since the skaters are out of their element, so there were lots of pile ups and accidental tripping. It’s just not as pretty. I don’t remember much from this bout as we quickly slid into a funk and lost 139 to 35.
Few Screws Lucy vs the world. The rest of white in the box, but she still knocks Ophelia out on her own.

That left the final bout, Team Douchebag versus the Diamond Destroyers. I spent most of this bout booing and explaining things to our fresh meat, so I didn’t pay attention to much of the action. The Diamonds gave it all they had but the Douchebags undoubtedly smashed their way to the top, 149 to 59.

It was a frustrating experience, but by the end of the night I had met interesting skaters and had people I didn’t know telling me I was awesome. The after party was a blast, and some of our fresh meat even joined us on the dance floor, proving they were real OCCRGs. Derby, dancing, and pizza; what more could you ask for?
Pictures by Joy Doehrmann.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Roller Derby Workout Challenge Week #1

So not only have the Angel City Derby Girls from LA created a workout video, they also have the Roller Derby Workout Challenge! They consulted experts and came up with an 8 week plan complete with workouts and meals that will whip girls into shape. From trying many diets and reading lots of articles about food, I have a basic understanding of what it takes to eat healthy, I'm just too lazy to do it. With specific guidelines and having meals spelled out for me, I'm hoping this will be just what it takes to kick me into a consistent healthy habit. It looks like it will be a lot of work, but totally worth it.

Each week they also have "homework assignments" which are a handful of questions you answer in a note on Facebook, and then post the link on the group's discussion board. If you complete and post each assignment, it puts you in a drawing to win sweet derby prizes. I am going to try to post them here as well, and keep a workout diary to make sure I stay on top of things. It will also give me the added pressure of an audience (the large reader base that I pretend I have) watching to keep me going.

I'm already behind due to my financial situation and not being able to go to the store yet, but that should be fixed tomorrow, and with my new job at Target starting soon I should be making the ends meet a little easier. So here we go...

Week #1 

1) What do you think will be the hardest nutrition guideline for you to follow?
I think just getting used to cooking and preparing and all the work that goes into eating healthy. When I work at the coffee shop it'll be hard not to eat all the sweet treats around me! So, I guess sugar will be hard to drop a bit. 

2) We want you to think before you eat, do you think before you shop?? Name three derby owned businesses.
Wicked! Sin City! Fast Girl Skates! 

3) What is one thing that you have in your fridge or pantry that you thought was healthy but may now be rethinking?
I guess the 1/2 fruits kinda threw me off. I thought everything about fruit should be good, but I guess they have calories and natural sugars too. And I never thought about whether my peanut butter was sweetened or not. 

4) Do you know your league history? Who founded your league and in what year?
Huzzie and Killa started our league in the fall of 2008! Started so small and grown so much!

5) How did you come up with your derby name?
I threw around a lot of ideas with some friends. My last name is Edwards, so it worked as Deadwards and then came up with Left 4 Deadwards even though I've never played the game, but I am fond of zombie stuff. 

6) Attach a photo to your note that conveys how you feel going into this challenge. It can be of you, or of an object, or something you find on the web.
I participated in a mixer hosted by the Quad City Rollers 2 years in a row. I was so out of shape last year. I've come a long way since then, but I have a gut I could get rid of, and endurance I can improve, etc. etc. It just gives me a bit of confidence of how far I've come which means I can do that much better. 
Mixer 2010 and Mixer 2011.
I also took some before pictures... that I will NOT be sharing but they definitely gave me the added boost of motivation to get going. Are you up for the challenge?