Thursday, April 21, 2011

Pulling Up My Big Kid Pants.

This season has been a bit harder to wrap my mind around because we’ve been playing more teams we’ve never played before. Sometimes it’s the anticipation that gets you, or familiarity that gets you through. Coming up against the Eastern Iowa Outlaws last weekend was a bit weird because I had played against some of them as Cedar Rapids Rollergirls and skated with some of them during our open scrimmage, but had never seen them play as a team. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but was feeling pretty confident after our win against Kansas.
Bat R Up and Jane Bang contain Krystallica,
a regular sub for EIO.
Photo by Brian Scott.

EIO plays in an event center so they skate on a concrete floor. They coated the floor with a sticky substance, similar to D3, to give it more grip. It was pretty sticky but didn’t gunk up my wheels, so that was a plus. I did have to borrow some harder wheels from Glad, but otherwise I felt pretty good. I’ve noticed that I try to excuse my performance due to the surface we skate on, but that’s how it goes with flat-track roller derby. Being able to skate on any flat surface is what makes it so accessible to so many people all over the globe, so I have to buck up and deal with whatever floor comes our way. If plowing was going to be hard, then I would have just use the stick to my advantage and use better footwork.

I jammed second again, and after a solid first go around by Ophelia, I felt ready. I took the jam line with V-train to my right and instincts told me she liked to hit off the line. If you can knock the opposing jammer out of bounds before entering the engagement zone, then she cannot obtain lead jammer status. It’s a good strategy that isn’t always used, but definitely something to be aware of. So when the whistle blew I didn’t budge; which gave her a major elbow and me free range of the track.
I did more blocking in this bout. I enjoyed it.
Photo by Mark Dierker

From there we started building a solid lead. They seemed to be playing a hitting game which often left them spread out, leaving paths for our jammers. They also spent a lot of time in the box in the first half, but we too got in a bit of penalty trouble. Their score jumped during a few power jams with Krystallica, a sub from the Midwest Derby Divas, on the track, but by the half we were up by nearly 100 points, 164 to 65.

Triple D Zaster had a great night.
In the second half I happily blocked a lot more, which gave more time for Triple D Zaster in the star. She had a stellar performance including a magnificent apex jump. It was also the debut bout for Maker C. Stars who is becoming quite the force on the track. We held about 100 points over them the rest of the bout, with the final score of 243 to 122.

So far this season I think the biggest thing I’ve learned, on and off the track, is that it does no good to worry about the things outside myself. I cannot control the surface I will skate on, the skaters I will skate against or how the refs officiate. I will adjust my skills, skate harder and take the ref calls in stride, but I will not get frustrated or give up. Even if I am unfamiliar with my opposition, I will be prepared for anything and focus what I will do, not what they will do. Everyday is a day to improve, and I will keep evolving.

Photos from this bout:

No comments:

Post a Comment