Humpty Dumpty and Duct Tape.

Today started off pretty okay. And then I got out of the shower. And everything started being wrong. Not VERY wrong, but a LOT of little wrongs which added up and added up until I thought it might be better to just drive headlong into a telephone pole. I didn’t. Obviously. But I wanted to, a little. It’s sort of second-nature now. Fortunately, equally second nature is telling myself to just hang on until I can skate it out.

This post was SUPPOSED to be full of TMI about catheters and squeeing over doggies. Instead it is an acknowledgement of my emotional Humpty Dumpty-ness and a reaffirmation of the miracle that roller derby is to me.

I got home FINALLY (it took forever, and I had to stop and get milk–the lack of which was the first little domino of my day) and changed out of my jeans and into skating clothes. Even that little change started making me feel better. I drove to Anacostia (which was deserted! WHAT?!) and geared up. This was my first time skating in the antiks (not counting in the store, which wasn’t really skating) so I did a couple test laps with breaks for adjustments (adjusting how they were laced, then loosening the trucks, and shortening the toe stops a bit)…then I went.

I thought I knew how to do crossovers. What I was doing before was NOT crossovers. It was like the inbred cousin of crossovers. My left leg didn’t provide any push at all, I had to stand almost all the way up to cross my legs and couldn’t understand how people were doing crossovers with their knees bent without tripping themselves. In these skates I not only felt comfortable doing the crossovers with my knees bent, my body instinctively did it the way it’s supposed to be! I still fucked up occasionally, but I was pushing with both feet, I was leaning into the center of the track, I could complete the diamond with only 4 crossovers rather than having to waste a lot of energy adding speed between turns. Then…

then I tried turning right. AND I COULD DO CROSSOVERS THAT WAY TOO!! Although it took a couple more attempts before I could do more than one in a row 😉
I skated for about an hour, and was totally ready for another hour (my ankles and shins felt FINE, yay inserts and higher boots!) but after a couple passes working on agility with my cones lined up I took a weird fall and twisted my leg a bit–I felt the screws pull a little in my tibia. (To clarify–they are in place and didn’t pull out of place or anything, but the plate isn’t as flexible as my bones, so it didn’t twist and my bone did, a little, so it was painful. MINORLY painful, thankfully) it hurt but not a ton (by the time I geared down I was starting to think I was overreacting by deciding to stop skating for the day, but then I took a step up and felt a twinge–I was definitely playing it safe, not over-safe.) So I called it a day and drove home high on the knowledge that I CAN DO THIS.

It’s been a long time since I’ve skated. I did skate twice since the brake before this, but until today I didn’t realize that I was afraid to skate again. Not because I thought I’d break again, but that I wasn’t capable of skating well. I know better gear doesn’t make you a good skater, but it can help make you a better skater. I am already leagues better than I was before the break. In ONE 1-HOUR session! I did fall a few times, of course, and scuffed the toe of my lefty (my preferred knee for single knee falls) but that just reminded me to tape the toes with my super awesome duct tape (it’s teal with purple leopard print!) Duct tape keeps my skates safe. Skating is duct tape for my fractured soul. (yes, I am a cheeseball.)

Lucky Season 7 is coming to an end, and you should be at the DC Armory this Saturday, May 18th for the HOME TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS!!!! Will Scare Force retain the Skate of the Union Trophy, or will the Bombshells take it for the first time ever? Doors open at 3, skates roll at 4 for the Demoncats V Whips bout for 3rd place and at about 5:45 for the BATTLE FOR THE TROPHY! Whoever wins, come party with us at Penn Social afterward!



Filed under derby, derbylove, LESSONS, life in general, personal shit, skating

8 responses to “Humpty Dumpty and Duct Tape.

  1. Good for you. It always feels so great when you have accomplished something you were unsure of before.

  2. Awesome! I’m happy for you, for us both really. I didn’t realize you were just coming off of an injury, too! It feels good to skate confidently and, surprisingly, without a nagging fear reminding you constantly that your leg, or hip in my case, might fail you at any moment.

    Now,if only I could get my ass out and practice more often. The weeks are adding up to months and flying by, it seems. I’m just about half way around the calendar now on my way back to January’s CRG tryouts and I don’t feel like I’ve made any progress since I’ve only geared up and skated once, really,since my injury.

    I need someone to practice with, I think. Its hard to talk yourself into going to find some random tennis court, etc to practice derby skills on (beyond skating laps) knowing that you’ll be alone -probably trespassing onto private, condominium complex property- with no one to show you what you are doing right or wrong or help you figure out why a certain thing isn’t working. Roller derby is definitely not a solitary activity for me, but there is no one. So, I had better suckit up and get out there soon.

    No excuses! Like you said, I CAN do this.

    • ❤ I wouldn't say *just* coming off, but yeah, I fractured my tibia and fibula last July at safety assessments (our step one for tryouts) I got the okay to skate again in January, but after starting up again in the old skates I felt more giraffe-on-ice than when I first started skating, so I didn't do it much.

      We're lucky here to have the skate pavillion-it's in a public park, so it's free, it's covered so as long as the rain isn't crazy heavy and blowing in at an angle, it's dry all the time, and it's open as long as the sun is up.

      I schedule "practices" 2-3 times a week and try to pretend they're a real practice schedule, and I use the list of non-hitting skills we'll be tested on as a guide to what to practice. Last night besides laps and agility, I worked on t-stops (because I was a little rusty, not having skated in ages) and skating on one foot (because I can't seem to go straight when I try it!) I was gonna start working on mohawks but I can't open my hips enough yet and it becomes a spin instead.

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