Exciting things coming up the track!

Did you ever wish for something so hard that you’re afraid to even speak of it for fear of uttering the very words it will not come to fruition?

I have that problem right now. But hopefully I will be able to share some exciting news with you soon!

Onto other updates…

It was a great derby-filled and skating weekend. I attended a conference for work in Calgary, which allowed me to take in Lloyd’s Roller Rink Friday night with my family, along with my niece and nephews. It was busy, as usual, but I had a blast skating with all the kids and putting my 5-year-old nephew on roller skates for the first time. He did great!

Saturday afternoon I attended a practice with the Glenmore Reservoir Dogs, the men’s league in Calgary. Admittedly, I was nervous practising with boys, but they were so welcoming! Mamasita’s drills were very effective, focusing on 2-3 skills within a drill instead of just one skill.

Scrimmaging was a blast in that tiny gym, with the wall essentially being out-of-bounds. I was pleased to find that I could hold my own amongst some of the 6-foot players, though I suspect they went easy on me too. hahaha It was also a pleasure to meet some other gals involved in the Calgary Roller Derby Association! I hope to hit up another Dogs practice in the near future!

This was the slipperiest floor I’ve ever skated on, but came away with some great tips on how to help with that… I’m simply not leaning enough inside to make my wheels dig. More adjustments to my skates and strength training will help that a lot. I’m looking forward to pushing myself to really lean in hard.

Sunday was my first practice as a non-fresh meat coach. While I missed kibitzing with the fresh crew, it was awesome to practice with the rest of the gals in full capacity. We’re going to be going through skills evaluation soon, so we did some work on conditioning with urging from the coach to push harder every time.

The push-pull drill is now one of my favourites as it allows us to keep track of our improvement in endurance. We pair up with a similar skater in size and skill. Then we do laps… I push my partner for one lap, then she pushes me. Then I push her for two laps, then she pushes me. This goes on until the count of 5 laps, then we switch to pulling where the skater grabs your hips and is now dead weight behind you instead of in front of you. The goal is to have each skater do 5 sets of each in 8 minutes. Myself and Bones ‘O Fury completed our 5 pushes and got to 3.5 pulls in that time frame. I’m really excited to do more than that next time!

Overall, I was really happy with my skating performance this weekend. With helpful tips from the Dogs, along with some other tips I received from Kid Kickurass and Spaz, I’m cruising along with my personal goals on hitting and toe stop running.

I can also feel the effects my extra-curricular running and derby dryland is having on my skating. I’m not nearly as tired at the end of drills I used to be, even when I’m pushing myself. It makes me excited that days of sore muscles and days where I don’t want to work out, but go anyway, are paying off!

P.S.
A huge shout out to the gals who will be at tryouts for the Calgary Roller Derby Association this weekend on April 2. Many have been training hard, attending beginner skate lessons, boot camps and picking up extra practices with the Dogs to help claim on a spot in the league! Great job and good luck!!!!

HAVE A GREAT WEEK EVERYONE!!!

GUEST POST: Roller derby from a testosterone POV

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Dear readers: By popular demand, may I present my first guest blogger Jeremessiah. (Pictured left, with one of our other LRDG refs, Hugh Johnson.) I asked Jeremessiah to give his point of view of the testosterone side of roller derby… It’s true! Dudes are welcome!

Not only does he know his derby, he has the best t-shirt collection in the world. Make sure you say hi when you see him at our next game or after-party.

To find out more about joining our league, as a ref or skater, email iwanttoderby@yahoo.ca, or get in touch with your local league for more info!

Like many people, my first memories of roller derby are of the 80’s TV show “Rollergames.” I used to watch the hell out of that show when I was kid, staying up late and everything. Alligator pit, the wall of death, a figure-8 track?! If you’ve never seen this, get on it.

Then I figured the derby disappeared until, like most people, they made a movie about modern derby and put some cute girls in it. When I watched that movie, I saw the coach and thought to myself, “That guy’s got it made.” The only guy on a team full of derby girls? The stuff of dreams. Too bad they don’t have roller derby teams everywhere….

What’s that? They DO have roller derby teams everywhere and as a matter of fact there’s one starting in Lethbridge and they need refs? Fantastic. So through a stroke of luck I ran into Medi Lizious and she told me I had to come check it out.

I came to watch a couple practices and I was hooked, what a good time! Roller skating is fun; people just have fun on roller skates plain and simple. I bought myself a pair and came to find out I was a lot better at roller skating than I ever expected to be. Derby girls are notoriously (and sometimes forcefully) friendly; getting to know everyone was easy and no one hesitates to help a new skater out in any way they can.

For me, skating with the Dames has had a lot of benefits but my main goals when joining was to get some exercise and to do it some way that would allow me to socialize and meet people.

Mission accomplished.

The physical aspect of derby suits anyone who is just starting to get more active or for those who are looking for an advanced challenge. There’s no previous experience or talent required because everyone looks like Bambi on ice the first time they strap on skates. You’ll be surprised how fast you pick it up. It’s as challenging as you choose to make it and there’s always tons of encouragement from your derbymates.

My derby friends are the most fun group of people I’ve ever met. With such a wide variety of people from a variety of backgrounds coming together for a team sport, you can’t help but enjoy these people both on the flat track or on the dance floor. Roller derby brings out the best people and brings the best out of people. Hula hoop making, skate cleaning, sparkle shopping, trips to roller discos and out-of-town games… you name it, there’s always something to get in on (and yes you can opt out of sparkle shopping).

As a referee, it’s been an extra challenge to me because there’s a lot to learn about derby. And it’s confusing. And it happens quickly. And sometimes derby girls get right sideways on you if they think you made a bad call.

But everyone is learning together and the game starts to slow down for you and you get more instinctive with your whistle. Anyone with a desire to learn something new can get involved, there’s many different roles for a ref to play in a scrimmage or a bout and you can quickly learn one job and get practised at that.

All in all, roller derby is the best idea I’ve ever had. I highly recommend it to everyone.

Thanks for reading, Jeremessiah

I did more than finish…

I changed it to my derby name, but I assure you, it's me! See my bib number 🙂

FIFTH PLACE IN MY DIVISION!!!!

Runner number 1754 and wearing a special wrist band, provided by my derby wife! ❤

Stats….

Canon time: 36:27
Chip time: 35:47 (that’s when I physically crossed the start and finish line)

Placement Stats…
Category: 5th out of 93 runners
Female 6k runners: 101st out of 975 runners
All 6 k runners: 283rd out of 1488 runners

Pace: 9:46 per mile (By comparison I usually do 10 minutes per mile on the treadmill)

Highlights include running in the dark at the river bottom (sorta creepy), running in a gentle snowfall with HUGE flakes that I choked on a couple times, a bag piper standing on the corner of Scenic and 3rd Avenue blasting out tunes as we ran down and up a huge hill and the pounding of a drumming circle situated at the river bottom.

Edited to add: Just for fun, my playlist for the run!

And doing a lot better than I thought I would!!!! It was totally fun!

Tonight, under the light of the supermoon*…

I’ll be doing this

6 km race? 6 km race.

Looking back to what I wrote on New Year’s Eve, I never expected part of the result of sticking to my resolutions derby fitness goals would be running in a race. And considering the string of bad luck I’ve had, first with my toe, then I had a severe attack of this, which caused a bout of vomiting and forcing me to stay in bed for three days, I’m surprised I’m still motivated and looking forward to this day.

Hoo boy...

If memory serves, not since grade 10 have I been in a competitive race. That particular day it was scorching hot and I was competing in the Southern Alberta Summer Games, participating in the 3000m. The race ended with me collapsing at the finish line, severely overheated and needing a trip to the medical tent, and I placed a dismal second in an event that only had 2 people entered.

Today, the weather is still not cooperating for my (triumphant?) return to the race scene. With rain in the forecast and a heavy snowfall warning coming into effect around the time when the race is about to begin, I’m risking wet socks and frozen fingers as I compete to my goal.

My goal? To finish.

I attach this chip to my shoe which will automatically record my time when I cross the finish line. Yes, I'm new at this!

Picking up my race package (which includes this awesome microchip thingy that I have to wear which will automatically track my time GO NERD POWER) I was impressed with the jubilance in the room. There was a definite energy that I wasn’t expecting, and the positivity from every volunteer whose table I visited, where each conversation ended with them saying “Have a good race,” was sincere.

Who couldn’t perform to the best of their ability when a stranger makes that kind of connection with you?

I shared with a friend the other day that my resolutions derby fitness goals have evolved from less of becoming a better derby player into more of bettering myself. However, while I hope my continued training during our very long hiatus (it’s been over a month since we’ve skated as a team, but who’s counting?), I’m really looking forward to reacquainting myself with the rest of the derby crew and feeling that same energy of jubilance, positivity and sincerity in the room.

I think what I love most about derby is how you would never NOT cheer for one of your own teammates. (And if you don’t, why aren’t you?) Celebrating each other’s successes is a huge part of what derby is about and, I’m certain, why so many woman are drawn to it. Bought your first set of skates? WHOOOOOO! Did three good crossovers in a row? WHOOOOOOO! Lost 10 pounds? WHOOOOOOOOOO! Show me where the beach is and these massive pipes appear before my eyes? WHOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Bruce Lee once said, “Real living is living for others.” I’m certain if you ask 3 different people, you will get three different definitions of  what that quote means to them. Some may interpret it as having the will to stay alive as those who love you aren’t ready for you to leave this life. Others may interpret as being an emotional support system for others to use and glean from.

However I interpret it as being a cheerleader of life. Showing others, through your actions and attitude towards them, that life is pretty awesome. And by emitting that positive energy, you will become radiant, scorching everyone in your path. Those who get in the way will either absorb the power of positive energy, or shrink away from it like a vampire from a beam of light. But the vampires are not cold and heartless, they merely need some time to warm up to the experience. Bright light is blinding and it takes time for our eyes to adjust when we look into it. I would hope, over time, they would be able to open their eyes fully and experience the power to also pass onto others.

Damage the circuit, break the connection.

That’s what I want to be. I want to make everyone feel how I felt when I timidly attended my first derby organizational meeting or when I picked up my race package. I want it not to matter if I’ve known you for 10 seconds or 10 years or can’t remember your name. If I cross paths with you, or them, or that-guy-over-there, I want you coming away with a positive experience; that verbally or non-verbally, I gave you a little push that says, “You’re doing great! Now go out there and have some fun!”

Life is about making connections. What kind of connector do you want to be?

*Tonight’s supermoon is a legit thing! For more info, go here!

Time for outdoor skating! Here’s some tips!

With spring FINALLY arriving in my neck of the woods, I managed to get out for my first outdoor skate. I thought I would take some time to share my outdoor tips (and I encourage you to share as well) because this is how most of us Dames got our training last summer when we had no access to venue space.

Be aware of moisture

Be aware of wet areas on the paths and roadways. Not only does wet pavement cause your wheels to slide out when you push, moisture can ruin your boots and wreck havoc on bearings. Moisture inside your bearings can cause them to rust and stop spinning effectively. Avoid puddles at all cost and if you happen to hit the odd splatter, dry off your skates and bearings as soon as you are done your skate.

Get some outdoor wheels

When buying wheels at any time, look at these three characteristics…

Durometer (the “A” rating): Ranges from 74A to 105A. The lower the number, the softer the wheel. Wheel durometer affects durability, shock absorption and grip on surfaces. For outdoor wheels having a lower durometer helps absorb the little bumps in the pavement and also kicks little rocks out from under your skate. Ever hit a peddle on a harder wheel? Not fun. Lower is best.

Size or Diameter: This is the height of your wheel. Shorter wheels are slower and more maneuverable while taller wheels give a smoother ride and are a faster. Choose a size based on how fast you’d like to skate outside.

Love, love, LOVE these wheels! And I use them in bouts too

Width: The narrower the wheel, the more maneuverable it is. Also keep in mind narrow wheels are less stable for new skaters, so don’t choose something that’s too narrow for your skill level.

My favourite outdoor wheels:

Radar Pure
78A durometer
66mm high
37mm width

These glide SO smooth on rough asphalt and can handle minor gravel. These are wicked fast too.

Check out the Rollergirl.ca website, for many options of outdoor wheels.

Get some outdoor bearings

Switching bearings between your indoor and outdoor wheels can be a pain and you also risk damaging them over time. A second set of bearings to leave in your outdoor wheels is highly recommended. Some gals use their old bearings for outdoor skating so they don’t really care if they get them dirty or wet. But there are some bearings on the market that are fully encased, making it more difficult to for dirt and moisture to get in. These are pricey, but if you don’t like taking apart your bearings and cleaning them, it may be worth the money.

If you don’t have a roller skate shop near you, you can go to your local skateboard shop and talk to the crew there. Skateboarders are just as hard on their bearings (even harder because they almost exclusively skate outside) and they should know which ones will be best. Don’t forget, if you get your bearings from a skateboard shop, you’ll have to buy 2 boxes worth.

You can also buy bearing guards which can help keep dirt and debris from entering your bearings. Google that to find available options.

My oldest bearings go in my outdoor wheels and I wear them until they lose their spin. You can also purchase wholesale industrial 8mm bearings for a decent price. Surf the interwebs for a dealer near you.

When you go out… protect yourself…

Yes, you will get second glances when you go out skating in full gear. You might even get laughed at. Who cares! You are not skating on a smooth, predictable surface anymore. As some gals can attest it only takes a rock, a pedestrian or even a curb to get in your way outside. There is nothing worse than bashing your knee during a pleasure skate that keeps you from practice or injuring yourself in a way that keeps you from your job.

Don’t be stupid. Gear up. Especially if you’re going out to get your sweat on. But do your league a favour and wear your team shirt. You may drum up some new recruits or fans while you’re out and about.

Recommended: I have a summer set of knee, elbow and wrist guards. They are a bit lighter than my derby set so it’s not so hot to wear when it’s +30. I use these for casual skates. I often go without elbow pads for casual skates as well and on rare occasions, sans helmet. On days when I’m skating for training, I will do full derby gear, as I have had some pretty awesome spills when I get my speed on. You’ll get tan lines from wearing your gear in the summer. Just accept it.

Staying upright

Rookie mistake when skating outdoors (and in derby): coasting on two feet and locking your knees. There is nothing worse than face-planting in public. The best way to avoid falling is to always have your feet in motion by step skating. Why? If you’re on one foot and lose your balance or hit a rock that jostles you, you can put your other foot down to regain your balance. If you’re afraid to pick up your feet and coast down trails with intermittent pushing, your face will break your fall if you lose it. For the love of derby gods, pick up your feet!

Your knees are your shock absorbers and if you hit debris while your knees are bent, your body is in the perfect position to absorb and/or react if you stumble. Locking your knees or standing up straight impedes your ability to react and will cause your body to ‘tip’ instead of ‘absorb’ if you hit a rouge pine cone. Keeping fluid by bending your knees will keep your upper body relaxed as well. But remember to keep your hips and shoulders square and core tight to maintain your balance.

Your feet will feel “weird”

The vibration from skating on a bumpy surface will reverberate into your feet and up into your legs. It may cause your feet and/or shins to get tingly or even burn. Softer wheels will lessen the sensation. But the more you skate outside, the more you will get used you it!

Momentum is your friend

Skating slow on a bumpy surface will have your upper body lurching forward every time you hit a larger crack or debris because you don’t have enough speed to go over it smoothly. Always skate within your skill level, but understand that a sidewalk crack may cause you to stumble forward if you don’t have the momentum to go over it – like a car needing momentum to go over a speed bump. If you have a stable skating stance with bent knees and are picking up your feet, recovering from those stumbles will be easier.

As you skate on different outdoor surfaces, you will learn how to adjust your momentum to  surface with little lurching.

If curbs and sidewalk transitions make you nervous

Stop. Then step down/up from them using your toe stops to help stabilize yourself, then continue skating. Build your confidence in stepping on/off curbs at a stand still and work up to navigating them while rolling. Remember that roads are curved toward sidewalks so water runs off into storm drains. Be sure to compensate your body position to keep your balance. No matter your skating ability, always slow before entering an intersection so you can stop quickly if oncoming traffic doesn’t give you the right of way.

Finding places to skate

For the beginner, skating outside can be pretty intimidating. But I found my stability increased much faster by skating lots outside. Learning to negotiate gravel, pine cones and road intersections forces you to be aware of your surroundings and makes you pick up your feet… both good skills for a beginner. Plus navigating curbs makes you do little hops and steps that are common in pack work.

If you can find a clean parking lot or abandoned stretch of road to skate around on, that’s fabulous. For me, I really enjoy skating for endurance. The longer the path the better.

Try this: Map your favourite routes using a Google map or use an app on your smart device to record distance and speed of your outdoor skates. If you have kids, push them in a stroller/chariot or push them while they ride a bike to add fun and fitness.

Here are some of my favourite trails around Lethbridge. But there are many, many more. You can access the Lethbridge pathway map by clicking here.

My favourite skate routes. Google will map the distance as you draw the routes. Or use a fitness/motion app that tracks your speed and distance as you skate.

Orange route: Westside bike path loop – 3.16 mi or 5.08 km
Great for beginners. Very few intersections to navigate through. Gradual hill climbs and good opportunities for fast skating.

Blue route: Indian Battle Park riverbottom – loops range from .5 mi or .7 km to 3.55 mi or 5.71 km. Also has stairs for dryland training.
Great area for variety – lots of paths to choose from. Good for beginner/intermediate. Some short hills, but are easily avoidable if you’re not comfortable with speed. Surfaces vary from super smooth to bumpy. Lots of pedestrians, dogs and kids to watch out for. Debris from trees can cause hazards on windy days and is prone to flooding during rainy season. Great on hot summer days because of the shade from trees.

Red route: Pt 1 – Green strip to Henderson – 3 mi or 4.82 km
A nice cruise. Good for beginner/intermediate. Road intersections should be handled with caution, as some don’t have smooth transitions. Paths are generally clear but watch for gravel and pine cones. There are some sections where the path is terrible, but they are short-lived. Some short hills and opportunities for speed.

Red route: Pt 2 – Henderson loop – 1.76 mi or 2.84 km
A fun trail if you want to be seen by everyone! Make sure you take the trail furthest from the north side of the lake for the best ride (avoids most of the cobblestone path). Adjust your speed based on pedestrian traffic. These trails tend to be very busy. Keep to the right and announce to pedestrians what side you are passing on when you come up behind them. Cool air from the lake keeps you cool on the hottest of days.

Green route: Industrial trail – 3 mi or 4.83 km
Flat, smooth and few intersections. Great for a beginner. Very little debris except at intersections. Better on weekends due to decreased industrial traffic. Very little shade. Not recommended on hot days, great for early morning skates! This leads to new trails in the far north side of the city.

There are tons of new path systems in newer neighbourhoods that aren’t on this map. Go and explore!

Get skating!

So for those who are about to venture into the out-of-doors, I hope this helps a bit. I would love to hear from others about your favourite wheels, bearings or gear you use outside. No more excuses, freshies! Get out there and skate your asses off!

Hockey, roller derby and keeping everyone safe

If you’re a fan of the NHL, or even just watching the news this week, you’ve likely heard how player’s safety has been a hot issue of topic. This hit (viewer discretion),  which shows Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins driving Montreal Canadien Max Pacioretty into the boards and subsequently into divider glass, resulted in a fractured vertebrae and severe concussion for Pacioretty.

Chara was given major penalty for interference and a game misconduct which suspended him from the rest of the game, but no other suspensions or fines were given due to the fact that malicious intent of Chara’s hit driving Pacioretty’s upper body into the glass could not be proven. It was deemed, by some, as incidental contact or simply the follow-through from the initial check; that the check delivered could not be deemed as dangerous.

The hockey world went ballistic, prompting some fans to cancel NHL subscriptions, a major sponsor threatening to pull out and everyone else jumping on either Pacioretty’s or Chara’s side. Even Pacioretty himself went on the record with his distaste for the decision.

I’m a hockey fan, but not nearly as devout as some of my counterparts, so I feel I just don’t have the background knowledge to unbiasedly decide if the NHL’s decision was correct or incorrect.

However, I’m a Habs fan, and I found it difficult to watch the entire ordeal, from the hit to the aftermath. The fact that a young hockey player, who was (and hopefully still) ridiculously promising, now has a long road of recovery ahead while the offending skater is still gliding on the ice with his teammates seems all sorts of unfair. Emotionally, I’m on Pacioretty’s side. I wish him all the best and a speedy recovery.

But this is a roller derby blog so I’m attempting to find some sort of segue in regards to this issue. Next week general managers of NHL teams are going to be gathering to discuss, among other things, hits to the head, concussions and rules in regards to them.

The roller derby community has had their own discussions about the current state of rules. Not so much in how to keep players safer by adding more rules, but by omitting some rules and officials to keep the sport easier to understand for the fans and allow for potentially more aggressive play. Some feel the sport has too many officials (15 skating refs & non-skating officials combined) to make it a valid sport on a professional level and others feel the minor penalty system is simply a get-out-of-jail-free card to do three wrong things before you actually sit out with a penalty. (And it’s true. For example I’ve executed a minor cut intentionally because I knew I wouldn’t have to sit for it.)

***For you non-derby types who read my blog, here’s some official & penalty background***

OFFICIALS

According to the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) rules, it is recommended each bout have:

  • One head referee
  • Two jammer referees
  • Four pack referees
  • (the above all on skates)
  • In addition, you have a head non-skating official, scorekeepers, penalty tracker, penalty timers, scoreboard operator, etc.

PENALTIES

Like in hockey, penalties are broken down in various categories and within that there are infractions based on the severity of the penalty.

  • A minor penalty gets no time served off track, but gets recorded.
  • A major penalty is a either a single serious infraction of the rules or when a skater accumulates 4 minor penalties.
  • A major results in a 1 minute sit in the penalty box.

***

Admittedly, I’m not super-immersed in WFTDA rule talk. I don’t even know if the above two examples in rule changes are even up for consideration within the league. (See below for links to blogs and sites where I’ve researched all my information from.) However, prior to this week, I was somewhat in favour of what the two writers were getting at.

But now, not so much.

I’m sure I’m not the only skater who has used the minor penalty rule to my advantage. But I see now what that minor penalty rule makes me do. It forces me to make a decision as to whether or not that track cut or that minor back block will hinder my team or help it. Perhaps it’s that split-second decision making process that every skater must go through is what is keeping our players safer. If Chara had backed away from that hit a split-second earlier, Pacioretty would be way better off today.

Or maybe not. Maybe I’m way off base. If we get rid of the minor penalty system and just focus on major fouls, will that make the game more entertaining for fans? Will it change into more aggressive play? Will everyone’s conduct within the pack remain unchanged for some time because we are all accustomed to the minor system? Will the lines of when to call a major penalty change for the referees as a result? How will the referees determine that line?

I think if the minor system were to be pitched, it would put a huge pressure on our referees. What one ref would call a major elbow, another may consider it as what was once a minor. There would be many more questionable calls and more opportunity for officials to let things slide because the call is now much more subjective. Because the penalty system is more black & white (penalty or no penalty), a ref may choose to let that borderline elbow slide instead of calling it. Referees get barked at by coaches, players and fans with the existing system as it is. In a time when many smaller leagues are hurting for officials, would that kind of pressure make it difficult to retain our most essential league members? The crews who have officiated bouts I’ve played in are very professional, they love what they do and they do it for free, most often traveling on their own time and dime.

The other thought is safety of the skaters. Would removing the minor system turn away some players from roller derby as they would feel less safe or more prone to injury? A minor back block can still injure a player, as can a stumble from a minor low block. The thought that someone wouldn’t get penalized for repeatedly committing those infractions bothers me.

I don’t know about you, but if I received minor elbows consistently from another player in a jam, I’d probably lose my head and do something overly aggressive to stop it. Or maybe that’s the reaction fan and proponents of removing the minor system want.

I’m not sure if I like that.

The equipment we wear versus the surfaces we skate on seem quite minimal compared to our NHL counterparts. However they have a lot more weight, speed and sharp objects attached to their bodies. But the fact that one professional full-contact league is adding rules to protect the players while there is talk from the others within our full-contact league that we should simplify, it just seems backwards.

And I haven’t even covered head shots or concussions, which happen in our game just as much as in the NHL and many derby friends have been affected by.

Tell me what you think…

  • As a player, do you feel safe under the current rule system?
  • If rules were to change to simplify the penalty system, would you feel less safe as a skater?
  • What about refs? Should we have fewer or keep it the same? Would having fewer refs affect outcomes of bouts?
  • If the rules were to change to simplify the penalty system, would referees find it more challenging to officiate a bout? Or would it remain unchanged? Easier?

Sources

Women’s Flat Track Derby Association Rules

Tank’s Tirades: Minor penalties make me majorly pissed

How referees are killing flat track roller derby

The official rules of the NHL

TSN’s Bob McKenzie: Which way does the NHL go in the headshot debate?

Bettman: Pacioretty hit was horrific but part of the game

Pacioretty tells TSN he is ‘disgusted’ at lack of suspension

Canadiens owner Geoff Molson delivers message to fans

Head-shot controversy threatens to hit NHL’s wallet

Registered!

Not for Rollercon… did that already.

I went to the Two Evils website, like I do every once in a while, as I had submitted my roller derby name way back in March of 2010. Considering my first choice was already taken by a skater in Vancouver I went ahead and started the motions of getting my second choice for a name acknowledged as mine.

A couple of skaters had similar names, one of which was Cherri Blast-Her. Securing my name meant tracking down this skater’s league and getting permission to use my version, as the derby rule states that names should not be exactly the same and in some cases, can not be similar.

After getting the approval from the other league (Blast-Her was no longer a skater), back-and-forth emails between myself and the Two Evils crew and a year after I first registered my name, I’m on there!

Cleared for takeoff! Forgot to submit my number, but I'll take it!

It’s pretty cool to be part of such a crazy-huge database.

Thanks so much to the Two Evils crew for your never-ending work on this!

Happy birthday blog!

I can’t believe it’s been a year!

Tomorrow will mark the anniversary of when I attended my first derby organization meeting. While some who I met that night have moved on to other activities in their life, there are others who were at that meeting that I’m so very happy to be still skating with today.

Never in my life have I met so many women, in such a short span of time. Never in my life have I been surrounded by such amazing women, whose backgrounds have a wider span than a thousand hands. Never in my life have I seen so many women work so hard together towards a common goal, with such dedication and determination. Never in my life have I connected with so many women, not only gals in my league, but women from neighbouring leagues and then worldwide through this blog and Twitter & Facebook.

An equally surprising new set of family I’ve encountered are the derby boys. The zebras, coaches, helpers & even derby widows who are a part of our league and from other leagues are a special breed within themselves. They are like our big brothers and little brothers (depending on their size while on skates 😉 ). They fix our furnaces (thanks again Hugh Johnson), make sure all our cars start & leave the parking lot safely after -30 late-night practices, are always willing to volunteer to clean fresh meat gear & set up the track and finally, give us skating tips & put up with our girlpack mentality when they travel out on the town with us.

I am so honoured to have met you all!

Reading through my first couple posts I’m depressed to remember at this point last year I was skating outside. With ominous piles of snow still looming on my front lawn the sloth-like feelings are overbearing my desire to skate.

Unfortunately, we only have three scheduled practices this month. So short of a major chinook coming in and melting all the snow, or more trips to Medicine Hat for practice, I’m wheeless for a while.

The good news is tonight the team is officially starting our dryland practices, which will focus on core strength, among other things. Super excited to get started on that because, afterall, bikini season is coming!!!

Scenes from the bout

Gas City Rollers vs Cut Throat Car Hops

Final Score 150-122 for the Car Hops.

I think one of my favourite parts was I played against gals that I rookie’d with at the Edmonton Bootcamp last spring! The derby community is tight and even though we were competing against each other, I was super proud to see them play!!!

Statistically, it wasn’t my strongest performance. But playing felt good despite my aching toe. SPECIAL THANKS to the guys at our practice skate who were willing to watch my skating style and gave me some tips based on their observations.

Below is a slideshow of some photos stolen from everyone from Facebook. Ironically I think there were more pictures of me taken in this bout than any other bout I’ve been in. Thanks to all the Deathbridge crew who came to cheer me on! I heard you yelling every time I rounded the corner! ❤

And thanks again Gas City! You were a blast to skate with!

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