Can’t think of a derby-pun headline right now

Not being on a game roster any time soon has left me craving to work on some superficial, fun or even silly stuff that I normally wouldn’t have time to work on. Then I ran across the San Diego Derby Doll’s YouTube page and I wanna do what they do…

Transitions

My transitions are weak and I’ve been neglecting them, even after just learning how to properly do one from ref Kid Kickurass of the Gas City Rollers. A transition happens when while forward skating you do a step-step in the opposite direction to have yourself skating backwards, then another step-step to move to forward skating again.

I first learned transitions in order to do a Tomahawk stop. But after seeing this instructional video…
… I really want to pop that skill off as a maneuver in a game.

Whips

My whips are weak (see a theme here?) Just look at me. I have the upper body of a 10-year-old. I really need to pick up on my upper-body strength training. But in the meantime, my leg strength is massive and I can confidently skate with one leg high in the air, so I really want to try this on someone…

I don’t see me doing this in game play, but still it looks pretty damn cool!

Other stuff I want to try or perfect

  • Shoot the duck (image) – pretty sure I have the balance and agility to do it, just haven’t tried yet.
  • Tomahawk stop – gotta make my transitions smoother first.
  • Jumping – stuffed animals, blowup dolls, people… My jumps are weak (again with the theme). I want to get more stable on my skates so I can really get some air.
  • Sideways skating (image) – it looks a lot harder than it really is.
  • Backwards skating with crossovers – often neglected as a derby skill, but it’s legal to skate backwards in derby AND you can hit people while skating backwards, as long as you stay within the legal target zones.

What I really love about this sport is there’s always something to work on or a new skill to learn. Looking down the horizon, I desire to attend Rollercon 2011. Five days of hard-ass training mixed with seminars (PR for Roller Derby? HELLO!!!!!!), derby pool parties, Riedell meet & greet, roller disco AND it’s in Las Vegas??????? DREAM VACATION! I’m jealous of those Alberta players currently enjoying the festivities at this year’s event. I’m so there next year!!!!

Thanks for reading!

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Setting pace

Lots of small updates…

I’m helping out as Fresh Meat coach at Friday practices. My duties include schooling the gals, some who are very new to skating, the basics of falling, crossovers, agility, hitting and creating lesson plans for other full skaters to run fresh meat practices as well. I love it and I love watching the gals improve and provide encouragement. Having to break down basic skills for others is making me a better skater; in my head I’m constantly telling myself to use my knees as springs, get low and to move my feet. I feel I’m becoming a much more fearless and aggressive skater. Reading back on my first posts on this blog, I’m proud of how far I’ve come.
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I’m also proud to report my hitting is improving! On Sunday we played a game that was essentially dodgeball, but instead of hitting each other with balls, we hit each other with our bodies. If you got knocked down or pushed out of bounds, you were out. And whatdaya know, thanks to some careful strategy and well-timed hits, I made it to the end in the final round, taking out Coach Maude for the win. But my last hit was also illegal because we hit our heads together on impact. I’m still relishing it as a small victory. Sorry of the coconut clunk, coach! 🙂
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We submitted a proposal to the Lethbridge Exhibition to use their venue as a year-round practice space. Fingers crossed they accept our dollar figure. While I’m thankful they are willing to hear us out, their floors leave something to be desired. I skate bare-legged; those floors are rougher than the street pavement in front of my house. Hello road rash! (Unfortunate) Or hello skating in pants. (Even more unfortunate as Lil Von Schtopp would no longer be able to enjoy my ass cleavage)
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I loosened my trucks another quarter turn. I’m happy to report I’m maintaining control with the looser maneuverability and my cornering has become ridiculous!
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While on my morning skate today I found a buddy to keep pace with. When I first spotted him, I could instantly tell he was a distance cross country runner. He chose gravel and grass over running on the paths and his lines, form and stride was impeccable… Plus he had a distance runners body that Nike would make millions from.

I lengthened my stride to stay with him and played follow the leader all the way from Henderson back to my neighbourhood. Not handcuffed by smooth surfaces, he shortcutted over grassy knolls and jay-ran across streets to stay ahead of me and I was thankful for the challenge of someone to keep pace with, even though he was oblivious to the fact he was my partner.

Pretty sure he lives somewhere in my neighbourhood, I hope we cross paths again because it’s nice to be pushed by someone other than yourself.
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This weekend brings another busy derby schedule with practices on Friday and Sunday, a fundraising multi-family garage sale Saturday and appearances at the Lethbridge Air Show. Derby brings me so much joy, fitness and happiness. I truly don’t know what I would do without it right now.
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Much (derby) love to you all and thanks so much for reading!!! Hope to see you on the track soon!

PS thanks to the lovely Susan Knight letting me use her photos, I hit an all-time reader high with my bout photos post. Thanks again Susan! I appreciate you letting me post them here!

The many faces of a derby girl

This weekend was a busy one. One of the highlights was skating in front of a capacity crowd at the Street Wheelers drag races. Nerve wracking, but crazy fun! And we now have more appearances scheduled at the Air Show at for the Horse Races as well! So watch out for us!

Following up the appearance was an 80s themed graduation party for the lovely Nixxi Knox and an English tea party bridal shower for the lovely Miss Kelly Burke. As a result of fun on the weekend, I had to make many costume changes…

This multiple-personality thing goes great with my Gemini sign 😉

Derby Girl

80's Prom Queen

Proper (??) Lady

Like songs need more cowbell, this blog needs more photos

The lovely Susan Knight from Visual Musings has graciously allowed me to post some pics she took from Flat Track Strikes Back. She got some good ones of me on my ass so check them out! There’s tons more on her Facebook page so track her down!

Back to hardcore

After realizing how important endurance is for me, I went for a hard skate after taking a few days of rest. My goal was to skate hard for 1.5 hours, which is about the average time of a game.

I haven’t paid attention to my skate stats in a while; here’s how I did!

Average speed: 9 km/hr
Total distance: 11 kms
Maximum speed: 44 km/hr
Total skate time: 1hr 13min

I was close to my goal in skate time and broke my record for speed! Booyah! (Granted, pretty sure I was going down hill when I broke it, but I held the speed long enough to record it on the gps!! It’s still a win!)

Today I found a new centre of gravity that allowed me to push harder with my legs than normal so I made a point of pushing harder with my left leg to balance out the muscles from skating so much in derby direction.

By the end of my skate I was pretty exhausted and my knees were jello. But luckily they held up through the abuse with only a couple aches and pains.

This weekend will be full of activity with practice on Friday and appearances at Lethbridge Street Wheelers throughout the weekend. Come out Saturday to see myself and other Dames compete in our own version of 100ft dash races and have your photo taken with a Dame at Sunday’s Show N Shine. Then we have practice again on Sunday night!

It shall be fun!!!

Game 1 down!!!!

Yesterday was so amazing!!! I came away with so many lessons learned! Wow, was I ever schooled!!!!

But enough with the overuse of exclamation marks.

Saturday the Medicine Hat Gas City Rollers hosted Flat Track Strikes Back; an invitational derby scrimmage. This is where derby girls from all over Canada can register to play and teams are made up from them.

Initially, there was to be three games; rookie, intermediate and advanced. But due to the fact registration was a little low, the rookie game was cancelled and it became a rookie/intermediate game.

Naturally, this struck a little fear in my heart.

If you’ve ever seen video of a rookie game, it’s usually slower with not a lot of hitting. So you can imagine how intimidated myself and my Deathbridge gals were with our first-ever game being above the rookie level.

But first I have to say, HUGE shout out to Shananigans and Maude LoBrowski for volunteering to play in the advanced game because they were short on players. How freaking brave is that?????

Teams were broken up into Jedi Knights (my team!) and the Dark Side, with two advanced players playing coaches. Other Deathbridge gals on the Knights was Lil Von Schtopp and Kranibal Lechter. Dames on the Dark Side included Maude LoBrowski, Half Pint Havoc, Shananigans, Fisti Fetish and Rebbles Flintstone.

Other gals on my team (from memory, hope I get them all) included Maiden Sane from Regina, Painful Passion, Marilyn Monroadkill, Hooten Annie, Holly Mackerel from Medicine Hat… I’m missing 3 more, likely Calgary girls. I will update once I get a copy of the roster.

Being a new team, I was curious how we would find our groove. Our coach (I really wish I could remember her name) was really good at delegating our shifts and giving blockers and jammers tasks to focus on during each jam.

My primary role was jammer; but I went out and blocked a couple times as gals needed a breather. I was really disappointed in my blocking and felt I was just a useless body. My hits were miss-timed and I wasn’t helping much.

But jamming was SO MUCH FUN!!! I managed to get lead jam (first one to break out of the pack) more often than not and I was able to haul some serious ass around the track; so much so that the crowd took notice and I was getting ‘talked’ about (or so I was told).

Although I had my share of issues. Hesitating while in the pack caused me to get into some pretty epic collisions. I’d see a gal coming at me and I’d have to make a quick decision to weave, slow down, speed up or counter hit. The times I didn’t make that decision fast enough, I was sent flying. (Weeeeeeeeee!)

Three stand out in my mind… My first major hit was courtesy of Coach Maude, who nailed me and helped me break in my new kneepads.

The second one that stands out is one where I went flying into the audience. I landed into the shins of two guys who complemented the hit then literally helped me onto my feet! (Such gentlemen!)

The third one was taking a hit, but managing to bring down my hitter AND a ref in the process! (Whoop! Whoop!)

Our team beat the Dark Side by about 100 points, thanks to the amazing skill of our blockers and MVP jammer Maiden Sane. This gal is crazy fast and I’m sure she was responsible for over half our points. She was my hero.

Our blockers were so amazing too. I felt so protected going into a pack, when I called for help, I got it and they were so great at shutting down the other jammer.

I had a first half to be proud of. I felt I scored lots and didn’t penalty once. The second half was another story… I got 3 (I think) penalties while jamming and I was getting tired. I think I was jamming every 3rd time, which didn’t leave a lot of room for rest. My skating started getting sloppy and I was getting hit a lot. But in the end it worked out great because I now know where my weaknesses lie and can improve on them…

1) faster thinking within the pack
2) being more aggressive as a jammer and taking blockers out before they get me
3) getting more stable to receive pushes
4) stamina

Yah… That number 3 point… More than once a teammate would push me with all their strength, which would send me flying out of control and eventually falling. I don’t weigh much; I don’t need a lot of force to make me move. I should have communicated that to my girls up front but I also need to learn to shift my weight to handle those forceful pushes too.

And number 4… As Meat Grinder drill sergeant for our team, I thought I was in good shape. I was able to do okay and my coach was forgiving if I asked to sit an extra jam out, but I’d really like to work up my stamina to be able to jam every second round… or close to that.

At the end of the scrimmage, there were hugs all around between both teams. I’m so fucking proud of our ladies!!!! Considering we didn’t start practicing until this spring, we have come a very, very long way.

I don’t think I’ve ever smelled so funky either lol.

The derby after party was filled with mingling, laughter, karaoke, beer and pizza. It was nice to be able to talk to some advanced players and also fun to receive complements from others.

As for injuries, I came out okay! My knee, which was still bruised and sore from last week, held up well thanks to new knee pads and an extra knee brace from Kran. (But it’s a little swollen this morning) My right thigh has a lovely fishnet burn and my left elbow is bloodied and a little swollen. I’m a little sore in my neck and shoulders, but that doesn’t surprise me.

I’m also happy to report there were no major injuries in either game! AKA the medics were never needed.

Special shout out to Desiree, who volunteered to run our merch table and took the bout pics!!! You’re the best!

Today I’ll be uploading pics to Facebook. Friend me on there if you haven’t already! Search for Cherri Blaster. And join our team’s Facebook page too if you like… search for Deathbridge Derby Dames.

We will be emailed the game stats, so once they become available, I will post!

Thanks to everyone for the derby support! You’re the best!!!!