I have a political post brewing about fashion policing and feminism but for now, derby derby derby!
Last weekend I NSOed for the DC travel teams versus Big Easy! And last night I assessed for levels 1 and 2 at FSRD. Both games were super. The National Maulers racked up a ton of points over the Crescent Wenches, but though the point spread was broad you could never say that the Maulers destroyed the Wenches, they fought right up to the end and were just really great. I ran the penalty box during this bout. I have to say I get very annoyed when skaters roll through the box on their way elsewhere, which happened a lot during this bout, but I know this is largely a personal preference thing. They never tried to communicate with skaters in the box when doing this, and weren’t endangering anyone, so there was no reason to get refs involved but it was driving me nuts, especially when it continued to happen after I asked several times for it to stop. When I set up the benches, there was 18 inches of space between the chairs closest to the box and the box line, but they got rearranged until there was no space. During the All -Stars bout I was lineup tracking, so that wasn’t a problem for me. This was a much closer game, DC won but particularly in the first half it was touch and go!
Saturday at boot camp we worked on crossover stride, stops, and recoveries, which are all things I need to work on in general, so that was great. I have obviously gotten lazy in my skating because after boot camp I was SO SORE. Also I fell on my wheel and have a lovely purple bruise on the inside of my thigh. (which is not a suggested landing point.) But I wanted to work on some stuff for assessments so I went to Anacostia skate pavilion after boot camp. Skated for about half an hour, I was so sore that I didn’t stay long (I was there for an hour, but was doing hardware stuff–changing wheels, bearings, etc). I’m really frustrated though, because I left my cones there. A (probably lonely) old man kept talking to me and distracting me from what I was doing (cool down stretches, putting stuff away) that I just wanted to get away and didn’t think about grabbing them.
I did both level 1 and level 2 assessments last night for Free State. Overall, not thinking about assessments, but thinking about my performance, I think I did pretty great. But I don’t know that that will translate to passing assessments. Let’s break it down:
speed laps: so at Striders, the track is a little smaller than regulation size, so for level 1 we have to do 24 laps, level 2 27, and level 3 30 laps. Last time I just barely got 24 laps. This time I just barely got 25. My left thigh was DYING by the 20th lap and I think I was making the most miserable face ever…every time I made that face I was thinking “god I want to stop!” But I didn’t until the 5 minutes were up. Then I went for a 1 knee fall and as soon as my knee touched the ground I decided to just collapse on the cool concrete for a moment or three. SO TIRED. But though I hadn’t gotten the goal of 27, I still had improved. I gotta work on static squats.
Then we did crossovers/derby stance/ all 8s: basically you do a couple minutes of skating, try to look around, keep good form, etc. I didn’t look around at all, and had to keep rubbing my left thigh with the hard plastic bracer in my wrist guard. I was in pain at the end of both of these skate sessions (crossover being one session and all 8s being the second)
T-Stops and Plow Stops: This is where my tired legs really fucked everything up. I wasn’t doing as well as I wanted on the previous portions and it got into my head. I did terribly on t-stops. They’re my best stop! I’m super good at them. But my back foot kept bouncing and I wasn’t stopping and I got so mad at myself. I probably shouted “fuck” more during this section than the entire past month. I finally switched which foot was going back, thinking that would reset things in my brain a little, and it worked. Also Shank told me to touch her boob for luck and that magically helped too, lol. My plows were not as good as they were Saturday, but better than they were last assessment, I think. I had one really decent one (though I still need to sit into them more) and I fell on the last one (forward, in a 4 point fall)
Falls: 1 knee, 2 knee, 4 point. I rocked the falls. I get LOTS of practice on these just by being me and falling all the damn time, so I didn’t have to work at all here. I need to make more of a habit to not use my thigh to brace myself when I get up though. Better to use my core.
Balance: weaving, 1 foot and squat glides, standing on 1 foot and static stepping. I rocked the weaving and the glides. Did 30 seconds on each foot for the 1 leg stands. (you have to do at least 15 seconds.) Static stepping was definitely better than last time, thanks largely due to SmAk’s lesson in edges from Saturday morning! It wasn’t great, I still need to work on it, but I did okay. They asked to see me do shuffling again after everyone else was done, and it was a LOT better than it had been mere moments earlier. I dunno if it was just that there were fewer people around also shuffling or I just got in the zone or what but my shuffling was actually kinda good!
That was level 1. My stops are what will keep me from advancing if I don’t advance, and they’re why I’m not sure if I will. Then it was level 2 time. I was 95% sure before I even arrived that I wouldn’t pass level 2, but I wanted to get an idea of where I was on those skills and what I needed to work more on.
Hops and cutting: I think I did pretty well. I felt great about it. They set up a lateral hop, slalom at the apex, and a bunny hop on the track, and we went through the course twice. The first time I did a standard one foot then the other lateral hop, but it was mentioned that if you can do a lateral bunny hop you get extra points (you need to do it for level 3, also) so the second time I did that. I’d never done it before and there was a good chance I’d fall on my ass, but I wanted all the bonus points I could get. and I landed it!! The assessors and assessees all cheered when I did it, and I felt great. Then we did cutting, going from inside line to outside line to inside line between the jam line and the pivot line. I did fine on this, too. On the other straightaway we did 180 falls (1 knee fall where you pivot on your knee to turn and face behind you) and I had to touch the ground twice with my hand, which you’re not supposed to do and frustrated me (because I do these ALL THE TIME OH MY GOD) but they asked to see one more from me and I rocked that one. Again there were lots of cheers from my fellow fresh meat. 🙂
Pack skate: keeping together in a pack, moving front to back, inside to outside, pack awareness (looking around, dealing with skaters falling, getting in the way, generally fucking with you–two vets went with each pack to mess us up) This was SO MUCH FUN OH MY GOD! We did the mobility stuff, then a vet showed up behind us and would hold up a number of fingers for us to see and shout out, then two vets joined the pack to mess with us. I WANT TO DO IT MORE.
Whips: and this is where things got scary. I’ve never really done whips or contact. I was sick for those practices, so while I’ve taken a (yes, as in single) whip during cool down skate when we scrimmaged at the sportsplex, I wasn’t sure what I was doing. I had watched some youtube videos on how to give/take whips well and that was it. I took whips well enough (that means I was the one being whipped around, getting up speed) but I wasn’t great at giving whips. We did arm whips (I sucked at it the first time, did fine the second) hip whips (fine at taking them, fell giving one and did okay giving the second) and clothing whips (fell both times giving them). The second time I gave the clothing whip, I fell rather dramatically on my ass and head. I knew I was okay but that I also shouldn’t keep skating in case of a concussion. I’m pretty sure if I did get concussed, it’s a mild one. But this is the second solid hit on my multi-impact helmet, so I’m gonna be shopping for a new one. I geared down and hung out for half an hour or so to make sure I was ok to drive, then headed home. The drive was fine, though the last 20 minutes of it had me feeling nauseated. If The Boy hadn’t already cooked dinner for me (wherein the value of cooked equals microwaved a frozen pot pie) I would have told him not to bother because of the nausea, but it appears it was hunger-induced more than concussion-y, because after two bites I felt better. But as a precaution, I slept in the guest room (to keep from waking The Boy up) with my alarm set for 1, 3, and 5 am, and I slept with an ice pack because my whole head hurt from my brain getting shaken. at the 3am alarm my head felt fine except for at the point of impact, so I switched out ice packs and iced there instead. I’m tired today, but feel basically fine. (though very achy all over, from the work out my muscles went through!) So since I couldn’t finish level 2 assessments, obviously I won’t pass that. But I feel good about them anyway, because I feel like other than the clothing whips I did pretty well.