Game day quickie… wheel quick (see what i did there?)

Wheels wheels wheels. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that all those fancy, hard, narrow wheels just aren’t for me.

This game I’m using my outdoor wheels (78a Radar Pures). These wheels were the first ones I ever purchased and are like my best friends. They are labeled as outdoor wheels but given the surfaces we skate on, I’m willing to throw out all labels and stick with what I know and love.

They have now become my game day favourites even though they will never be the fastest compared to harder varieties I’ve tried. But they really allow me to hug the top of the track going almost-top-speed.

Other varieties I’ve tried have me coasting to maintain control on the slippery spots, which I really don’t prefer to do.

With all these struggles it makes me wonder if my skating style is part of the problem. I’ve questioned this before. Maybe I’m too upright, maybe I’m too centre-weighted, maybe I need to muscle-up that left leg a bit more. Hopefully when I attend Rollercon in July I can corner an expert who can watch me skate and shed some light.

So I beg to ask the question… What do you lightweights (>120) use? What’s your surface like? What have been your challenges in finding a wheel and have you adjusted your skating to make it work? Or do you work with the sliding?

Time to get ready! Wish me luck!

Go Gas City!

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We have to be each other’s biggest cheerleaders and fans

One week ago was my last official night as Fresh Meat Coach. While I’m still sticking around until we find an alternate replacement, I’m excited to be looking down the road and improving with my own skills & skating with the team full-time.

The outpouring of support in my decision has been amazing and I never really saw how I contributed to the league until I saw all the replies to this post. (Can’t see it? Friend me!)

Because of those comments, coaching fresh meat has been one of my proudest moments in derby. Because of my helpers during fresh meat, usually the injured skaters who couldn’t participate in a full practice, they made it easier and gave the skaters another perspective on learning a skill. Because of our intern student, Helina Handbasket, she took over coaching for a few weeks, which allowed me to skate full-time with the team. Because of Helina, she taught me some new techniques in coaching that I continued after she completed her internship. Because of the fresh meat crew who show up, using crappy loaner kneepads and skates with tiny wheels, the fact that you fearlessly fall and crossover on demand week-after-week inspires me.

So to all of you… once again, thank you!

Last week I also ran for a board position. Term two!!! (Can you believe we’ve been around for a year and have had our first official AGM?) The burden of a skater-run league weighs heavily on my mind sometimes. Well, a lot of the time.

Being buried within a group of talent, egos, nice girls, control freaks, mentors, leaders, followers, yings, yangs, A-personalities, B-personalities, XYZ-personalities, keeping everyone happy is a near impossibility. However, my personality wants to make it so. I want to fix everything. I want to be the ear, be the shoulder, be the mediator, be the nice girl. As a result I inadvertently find myself pulled into the drama; feeling pressured to choose sides, or feeling targeted when I don’t choose sides. It doesn’t happen ALL the time. But let’s be honest, it’s common knowledge that when you get a group of women together, disagreements happen and sometimes they happen in the public eye at practice or social events.

I seriously considered not running for the board again simply because being on the board throws you into a lot of conflict. I wasn’t sure if my heart could take another year of all the extra emotions involved. But at the same time I felt my job wasn’t done yet in pushing the league further in Lethbridge.

Then I read this and it made me realize that I wasn’t alone in my feelings. It also made me take a step back and look at my own behaviour. I acknowledge I have to change myself before I can change what’s around me. I want to adopt the mantra of asking “How can we make it better?” to the group instead “OMG I can’t believe that happened!” in a corner to another skater after practice. I want to be a role model for other skaters when it comes to fitness, attitude and dedication. I want to be approachable by everyone on the team and exclude no one. I want to be everyone’s cheerleader.

And finally, quoted directly from the above article because it’s such an awesome quote…

“We need to know that if we’re not as good as you, we can only get better with your help. We need to know we can trust you, on and off the track, if not to be a friend, at least to not be an enemy.”

Or maybe it’s all in my head. The fact is, I said to myself that I would keep riding derby until it wasn’t fun anymore. A few weeks ago I was really close to that point. I hope with some small changes in my behaviour I will never come close to that point again!

Thanks for reading!

My piggy went to the doctor

I’m off skates for a week due to a bonehead fall down my own icy steps. Pride told me to walk it off, so I continued on my way to work, rocking my favourite brown healed boots.

Increasing discomfort throughout the morning on my left foot led me to take off my boot and sock to inspect the damage. One peek and I knew a doctor’s visit was inevitable.

I took the afternoon off to visit the doctor. He examined my purple toe that bent in a fabulous direction when I fell, with assurances it’s only a pulled ligament. Rest, ice, anti-inflammatories and rigid shoes are my prescription.

He also said if the pain didn’t decrease, I’d have to go in for an X-ray Monday to make sure it’s not broken. O.o

As I lay here in bed on the morning of day 2, I have no throbbing pain and I can actually wiggle my toe with only little twinges of discomfort. This is already a huge improvement from yesterday. Good news.

Even though I’ll be off skates for Monday’s practice, I look forward to doing an altered, non-rolling fitness regime while I help coach the freshies. My next practice in Gas City will be my first test back on skates. I’m sooooo looking forward to that day!

For my own pleasure, I took photos. If you’re curious what a badly-bent toe injury looks like, you can see a photo by clicking here and here. I didn’t want to post public pics because even on beautiful people, toes can be gross. Plus not everyone wants to see multi-coloured bruises.

Can I just say that I feel like such a tool that my first off-skate injury wasn’t a derby-related injury?

The floor is open for ridicule. Or sympathy. 😉

Go Nerd Power!

My nerd ladder... I know it's a staircase, but you get the idea

I tend to be a bit of a stats geek. It’s not my most prolific geek trait, but since starting roller derby and this blog, it’s slowly climbing the ladder within my nerdy personality. I pour over paperwork after every bout, connecting successful jams from my memory with the corresponding stats on paper and on occasion I dig through the stats page on my blog, to understand why people are chosing to read my stuff over others.

So in honour of a blog-viewing milestone, (and my impending one-year blog anniversary of March 6) this post is dedicated to my stats page. More specifically, the search engine terms people use to find my blog, which result in a click to one of my pages.

Some are obvious, some I have no idea why the search term resulted in a click to my page, but entertaining for me, nonetheless. Here we go…

Top Five Search Terms

Deathbridge derby dames – 108
Lethbridge roller derby – 57
Diary of a roller girl – 45
Skunky deathbridge – 15
Deathbridge dames – 14

Yup, a search for another teammate made it into my top 5 🙂

Top Five Posts/Pages

Home page – 2501
Reasons you should become a derby ref – 204
How I clean my roller skate bearings – 187
Hello world… we’re here! – 103
Derby’s unanswered questions – 100

Popular Topics with multiple search terms

How to clean bearings

I get hits on this topic daily. I promise to post some more informative-styled posts as there is obviously a need for it.

Space

Apparently our league isn’t the only ones with space issues. This one is another daily hitter.

Skate maintenance

Everything from how to take apart your skates to how to lace them to how to make them move faster.

Fashion

There are various terms for roller derby style, helmet decorating and whether you should wear tights or bare legs.

Skills

Searching Tomahawks seem to be the most popular. But other stops, transitions, jamming and hitting also come up.

Names

Everyone wants to have a great name, or want to know how to come up with one.

Skaters

Skunky – from Deathbridge
Baracougar
– from Terminal City in Vancouver (her proper spelling Barra Couga)
Mister Sister
– there’s a ref from Gas City named Mister Fister… maybe that search term was a typo
Mister Fister
– there we go… that’s the right spelling
Marilyn Monroadkill
– I thought there was a neighbouring team with this gal as a player but I’m coming up short in finding her local affiliation. There is a gal with this name in London, UK though! **Edited to add: Marilynn Monroadkill is from Gas City. Thanks Kid Kickurass!**
Cherri Blaster
– Hey! That’s me! Also spelled as Cherryblaster and Cherry Blaster
Estrogen
– should be spelled Estro Jen, but she’s from Long Beach Roller Derby
Maiden Sane
– from Pile O Bones in Regina
Quadzilla
– from Seattle. Coach, player, jam skater
Half Pint Havoc
– from Deathbridge
Nixxi Knox
– from Deathbridge
Sapp Ic Slammer
– spelled wrong!!! But she’s our Deathbridge girl
Kid Kickurass
– ref from Gas City
Andi Linquent
– from Deathbridge
Domino Brasco
– from Pile O Bones in Regina

And now… the weird ones…

(Because that’s why you’re really reading this, right?)

“diary about bored”
If you’re searching for a diary about boredom… get a life.

“facts why we should roller skate to school”
I just find this hilarious… because it’s awesome!

“questions to ask when interviewing a rollergirl”
Good on you, anonymous journalist, for doing some research prior to your interview.

“roller skating rink coatings mountain dew”
What?

“is roller skating hyphenated or two separate words?”
I’m glad I could help you out with my spelling tutorial.

“квады ролики купить”
I’d love to know what this says.

Then I have a whole series of arm wrestling ones…

“betty armwrestling”
“mixed armwrestling”
“bicep girl”
“diva arm wrestling”
“arm wrestling”
“armwrestling”
“bicep couple armwrestling”

As well as cowbell ones

“cowbell supertramp”
“cheer song more cowbell”
“songs with more cowbell”

The damn-you-auto-correct

“the eighties leg earners”
“neon leg earners for adults”

“fish nets and leg warmers Vancouver”
Okay… I get search for fish nets and leg warmers (not earners), but not sure where Vancouver comes into this.

The sexual/inappropriate/what were you REALLY searching for…

“wrists getting pinned”
“+girl on girl on skates”
“cyber playmate cheri from vegas”
“girls for knight”
“roller babe”
“lethbian girls video free”
“lethbian tails”
“nacked women wearing roller skates” <— Spelling dude, spelling
“boss girls around”
“major thigh and booty of the roller girls” <— Fetish much?
“girl poop desperation” <— I’m really fascinated by this one
“roller girl fuck on the bench”

And finally, the completely random

“suddenly click”
“i picked up a generator and my knee is killing me”
“girl games 1”
“cartoon gps”
“looking roller placement procedures and hairstyles wriiten information not pictures”

So, dear readers, if you’re clicky-clicking through my blog, I’m watching you. Yes, I will continue to base future posts based on popularity of previous post’s topics. And yes, I’m judging you by your search terms. 😉

Thanks for reading!

And I ran… I ran so far a-waaaayyyyy

(Flock of Seagulls are awesome)

I always get the best blog ideas when I’m running, which explains my blogging absence as I had to take a week off of running due to work, lunchtime commitments and being super sore from practice last week.

The good news is that I DID get back on the treadmill yesterday. Isn’t it great when your gym gets new equipment but you’re too devoted to your other favourite running machine to cheat on it? I’ve eyed this new treadmill for a while now… you’re standing much higher than on the other machines, it has a touch screen… it just looked so… ominous. But due to a busy gym yesterday, I was slotted into that apparatus.

First discovery: It has a charging station for my phone. Wicked.

Second discovery: When my phone is hooked in, the touch screen has controls for my iPod on my phone. Wicked.

Third discovery: It’s not compatible with my iPhone. Bummer.

Fourth discovery: The console has a mother-effing FAN in it!

So I ran.

And I almost died.

Well, not really. But I was surprised after only taking a week off of running how winded I got. Or maybe it’s because I spent almost the entire time playing with the touch screen of the apparatus (which doesn’t respond if you have finger sweat) that I expelled too much energy directing my attention to my little appendages.

With the never-ending space issues our team faces on a weekly basis, the owness to stay in shape during down time falls within ourselves. It’s a challenge for sure.

The exciting news is that I have the opportunity to get a little extra training time in, because I’ve been invited to play here…

Isn't this a fantastic bout poster?

That’s right, kiddies… I’ve been invited to play with Medicine Hat’s Gas City Rollers at the end of this month, which means a lot of weather-permitting driving in the coming weeks to practice with the team. I’m really honoured for the invite and excited for the extra time on the track. But I’m also pretty nervous as we’ll be playing a Calgary team, the Cutthroat Car Hops.  I’ve never experienced a Calgary team before. Their standards for skaters are high and their league is fantastic. I know I’ll learn a lot by just playing against them.

In the meantime, who’s up for being in my cheering section?

Some fan signs made by Exie Cuter from our last game in Medicine Hat.