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?


  1. This is a great post and perfect timing for me to read it. I was fresh meat last summer (I joined after moving to a new state) & quit because I couldn't commit cost and time wise. Now 6 months later, all of my friends are derby people & I've helped my boyfriend create a merby team, but I'm still not on 8 wheels! I decided to finally get me a pair of skates & get started, again. I think I'll need to continue to refer to this post when I'm in pain and need a kick in my bruised ass. Thank you!

  2. Well then please refer to this constantly as well:

  3. Great post L4D! So true that DERBY HURTS. I think so many have a misconception that your body just gets used to it. But I think, those people must not be doing it right then!
    You and Animal are doing a strong job with the Fresh Meat! They amaze me!
    Can't wait to be back on skates next to you!