Full circle…

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I was a nameless fresh meat looking for a derby pseudonym and wrote to this Terminal City member to ask permission to use a modified version of her name. I’m so glad she said no. I’ve grown into my chosen name very well.

At the time of receiving this I thought, ‘Yah right, as if I’d ever play a team from Vancouver.’

******

We were fortunate to have been contacted by the organizers of Klash in the Kootenays. The tournament that organizes WESTERNS, were offering spots to other teams as some of the top 8 teams declined.

We enthusiastically accepted after agreeing to reschedule our game with the Gnarlie’s Angels, which was happening the week before; two trips to BC two weeks in a row just wasn’t doable.

Here we are, a team still in its infancy, about to face western Canada’s best.

We pulled Terminal City for our first game. Needless to say, I’m stoked. I’m having a huge full-circle moment over this.

Are there any other sports leagues in the world that allow teams with such a range of experience and skill to learn, work and play together?

This is what the DIY movement of roller derby is all about. I’m so excited to learn as much as I can from this experience!

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February I fell off the pot

Life ebbs and flows and February was no exception! So much to report/record for my personal diary I’m not sure where to begin…

I guess at the beginning.

Our league officially expanded into two house teams, The Coalbank Crushers (my team) and the Windy City Wenches and we debuted our first intra-league game Feb. 4. This game pushed me to my limits. Our team was already playing short and then one of our main jammers broke her wrist 5 jams into the first half, leaving us with only myself and Alli-Kate-Or as main jammers.

As a result, I played (almost) every second jam and scored 88 points for my team – a personal best. I’m thankful for Alli and some other blockers who stepped in to jam when we needed a break. We lost the game 159-162, but boy did we play with heart!

Something I’m not proud of is I ran into major penalty trouble. I can sit and make excuses… I was exhausted, I was playing injured (all true)… but especially humbling was we were in the lead right up to the final jam when I got handed a final penalty, subsequently costing us the lead.

I’m such a dumbass. Lesson learned. I WILL STAY ON THE MOTHER FUCKING TRACK.

You can read the game summary on our league website here! Here’s some photos too!

Post-game... Coalbank Crushers, Windy City Wenches and reffing crew! Photo from Heather Nicholson's camera (not sure who took it).

My little team with bench coaches Mamasite and Emily Carrnage! Coalbank Crushers. Photo from Heather Nicholson's camera (not sure who took it).

My favourite photo from the game; myself and Preacher's Slaughter jamming. Photo by Wendy Devent.

With every game I come out with new things to work on, but it’s great when I see things I’ve been working on are coming to fruition. I’m very proud of my endurance for this game. I do have to give a huge shout out to Mamasita, our team’s bench coach, for pushing me when I thought I couldn’t go on.

In the weeks following my life turned upside-down; practice was difficult to get to, my paleo eating habits went out the window, as well as my extra training dedication. The reasons behind my lack of focus are numerous; derby related and non-derby related; and not really worthy of mentioning. Even to this day I’m struggling to get back into my good habits and find my passion again.

Until this popped up on my Facebook wall…

A really nice note!!!

Thanks Jennifer! Not only did you remind me to write a post but also that I need to get focused again and be a role model for others. Good luck with your derby journey and I look forward to hearing all about it!!!!

A fabulous local photographer, Joanne Cousins, did a personal photography project called ‘Operation Confidence’ recently. I was going to take part in February until my life went out the window, but I thought I would share an excerpt of what I was going to submit as part of her photo series. I’m glad I reminded myself of this because I needed to read this to help re-motivate myself. I wrote this in early February…

“Lifting and training has taught me goal setting. It’s taught me that you won’t get where you want to be without a plan. Celebrating success, no matter how small, is a great feeling and sharing success, hope and achievements with others is infectious.

Lifting and training has also taught me how to deal with setbacks. It’s okay to take a step back and re-evaluate a plan before taking it on again. It’s also taught me that it’s okay to fail, have a bad day or a break down, as I’ve always come back from it stronger and with more resolve to push myself to my limits to succeed.

Competing constantly against myself gives me an inner strength and power that others see. I want to pass onto others that ANYONE can find it within themselves to achieve their goals. They just need to find their inspiration to do so.

My fitness journey continues and I still have a long way to go. But it’s no longer out of necessity. It’s become my passion. And while I may inspire people around me, they are MY inspiration to continue to be a role model and leader.”

Check out Joanne’s photography project here! There are some great and inspiring stories, including a few from our own members!

Speaking of goal setting… Moonlight Run is tomorrow, which is also the 1-year anniversary of my first ‘race.’

Let’s review my goal time for the 6k that I set in January… 29:52-33:34

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Given my slack off in February, it will be interesting to see if I come close to this. I’ve hit that target while running on a treadmill, but doing 6k on a treadmill and 6k in the riverbottom of Lethbridge in the dark are two completely different things! Wish me luck! I’m excited fellow Guild members Sandra Deevil, Hellvetica Bold, Kalamaity Lain and Short Bus have signed up for the run as well. They are going to kick ass!

And now, my confession… I haven’t done my March measurements yet. I’m deathly afraid to see them given on month of complete slack. But I can only get better from here, yes? I’ll get to that this weekend.

Things I’m looking forward to…

Flat Track Fever!

An Alberta-wide roller derby tournament that will be taking place April 13-15 in Calgary. It will be a series of 30 minute games followed by full 2 30-minute half games. This will be the first time the Deathbridge Derby Dames will play in multiple games in one weekend.

Summer!

Just cause summer is awesome!

More challenges!

Footwork has become my new passion.

Tuesday Tango

Let’s glide back and forth between some various topics happening in my life.

Paleo update – week four

My new eating habits are going well. Food has been delicious and while I’m still not gaining I feel fantastic. However, I caved and ate some cookies last night and boy am I paying for it today. Bloaty, gassy and gross! How could delicious cookies smite me so? I shared with Mr. Cherri that I was thinking about integrating some carbs back into my life after my 30 days since I’m still not gaining weight. But based on what I’m feeling today, I don’t think I’m going to do that now. I guess it’s more meat for me!

An ab challenge to myself and others

I’ve been participating in a 15-minute, 30-day ab workout challenge with many other Facebook friends. I’m currently on day 27 and I’m impressed with the results. While I’m not necessarily seeing a 6-pack of abs forming, I definitely do feel ‘thicker’ in my torso area from muscle gain. So esthetically, my before and after photos likely won’t look much different, but I feel WAY stronger. I’m proud that I have only missed one day (which was my fitness testing day) and so proud of everyone else who is hanging in there with the challenge!

Practice schedule changes mean changes in life

Our league recently went through an expansion where we’ve split into 2 house teams on top of our travel team. It’s pretty exciting but it means my life is getting turned around with a new practice schedule. I now have practices 3 days in a row, which not only conflicts with my kid’s activities, but also one of my regular gym days. Fears of over-training and never seeing my family are looming over my head. Not much I can do about it except make choices, but I’m not happy about the choices I have to make because I want to do it all. :-/ But on a more positive note…

I’m a Coalbank Crusher!

If you’re a Lethbridge and area blog reader, I really hope you’ll come out and support our first game against each other! We’re pretty excited to have the league grow to allow two house teams. It’s also going to allow many of our new recruits some much-needed experience! Tickets for the Feb. 4 game are available on our website or at the door!

Watch this!

And now, a scene from one of my favourite movies which every derby girl should watch. NO, IT’S NOT WHIP IT! (In your mind, replace references to ‘baseball’ with ‘roller derby’ LOL)

Game Day!

It’s game day, friends and I know a lot of fans will be finding my blog when they search for info.

Full details on the Double Header can be found on our website. But attending will mean you’ll be supporting our local cancer treatment centre!

It’s going to be a fun night of smashy smashy! Hope to see you there!

Cherri ❤

Changing up my routine

It’s been over two months since I made a change to my fitness regime and frankly, I’m bored of it already.

While a part of me is not surprised (because Gemini’s tend to have trouble sticking to ANYTHING for the long term) another part of me is a little disappointed I didn’t push through.

Not only did it become mundane doing the same thing 3 times a week, I had to compete for space because a bootcamp class used the gym at the same time I go. So when I needed to use the cable machine, it was being used; when I needed to use a bench or a bosu, bootcampers were always in the way, invading my space. It just got frustrating.

But I’m not quitting the gym. No no no! I’m moving back to my tried and true NTC App (Nike Training Club). I used the 15 minute ab workout religiously over the summer and saw great results. Their 45 minute workouts use free weights and that’s about it so it allows me to pick a corner in the gym and carve my own space to myself.

The great news is the 2 months of weight training has paid off! I was able to move directly into the advanced strength training workout right away and upped my weights to 15 and 20 lbs per arm depending on the exercise.

Though lateral raises get me every time.

Those. Damn. Lateral. Raises.

Anyways, given the fact there are 3 strength workouts to chose from on the NTC app, I don’t see me getting bored anytime soon. Plus I can always go back to my other regime if the bootcamp people decide to go somewhere else. I still plan on kicking ass with less than 2 months to go!

But enough about that…

WHO WANTS TO SEE SOME DERBY THIS WEEKEND????

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Sorry it’s blurry, check out a better poster here!

I’m super excited to be playing against some of my favourites from the Calgary league. But even better???

MEN’S DERBY in Lethbridge!

It’s really something to experience. I’m also excited to watch Coach Brad and his dad Riceball, who play for the Dogs, skate together.

Not only that… It’s a fundraiser for the Lethbridge Jack Ady Cancer Centre AND I’ll be chopping off my hair and donating it to Locks of Love!

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Yup! All this hair is going buh-bye!

It’s set to be an exciting weekend! I hope if you’re in the area you’ll come and check it out!

The mental game of roller derby: fear of success

We lost last night to the Missfits 140-93 and while it was a disappointing loss, it was a fun game to play! I came away from it somewhat unscathed, but two of my teammates did not. Thankfully, their prognosis is favourable and we should see them on the track soon!

On another note, this marked another successful game for me, scoring 58 of the 93 points for my team. I’m thankful for the very hard work by our amazing blockers to help me accomplish that.

I should be proud of myself, and I am…

But at the same time, it scares the shit out of me.

When I joined derby my intention was to merely be a cog in the wheel that contributes to the overall productiveness of the team.

However this ‘streak’ I’m on… (Is it a streak when you’ve accomplished something twice? Sure, let’s go with that) …is bringing all sorts of apprehension and a new level of stress to my game head.

I see it time and time again in the NHL; a player gets on a performance streak and they get metaphorically hoisted on the shoulders of their team, media and fans.

If and when the streak ends, I’ve seen instances where the player gets immediately dropped on their ass.

“Thanks for coming out. But you’re not performing anymore so… Ummm… BYE!” And onto the next thing.

It brings a lot of questions into my head.

How does one maintain momentum when one is in a moment of success?
What if the success is a fluke?
How does one exude confidence without ego overruling?
How does one prepare themselves for an impending fall?

I don’t want to let my team down by setting high expectations for myself and not achieving them.

At the same time, if you aim low, that’s what you’re going to get.

How does one find that delicate balance of skill, confidence and ego?

No one tells you how much of a mental game roller derby is; from getting your game face on, to psyching yourself to lay hits, to coming back from an injury. Mix that in with the delicate balance of being competitive and having fun, it’s no surprise skaters can be really hard on themselves.

I suppose acknowledging that I had a couple good games and staying focused on my own goals is a good first step in creating a state of mindfulness to better myself and be the best that I can be for my team.

From there, I guess we’ll see where things go! 🙂 I’ll just take it one goal, one game at a time!

Game day again!

Today we are driving up to Wetaskiwin to take on the Missfits of Mayhem. It’s exciting to be playing 2 weekends in a row but I feel slightly guilty because I slacked a bit on my gym training to recoup from last weekend’s game.

I’m going in with a new set of goals and I’m happy my derby wife is at the wheel so I can focus on getting my game head in check!

If you’re in the Central Alberta area, why not come check out some derby action tonight?

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Progress from this summer…

Photo by Wendy Devent

Oct. 22, 2011
Deathbridge 160
Tar Sand Betties 91

Goals for this game…
Face walls
Watch the penalties
Take on the other jammer when necessary

What I accomplished…
Busted through some walls on my own
Only hit the penalty box once with accumulation 4 minors (5 minors total)
Fed the other jammer my ass a couple times

Bonus points for…
2 14-point power jams
Top scorer for the game with 67 points
Strategy head

Feeling cautiously optimistic with my progress…
Now to keep building on it!

This weekend we take on the Missfits of Mayhem, a team we faced one year ago. It will be interesting to see how we’ve changed in our game play!

It’s game day, friends!

It’s early for me to be awake on a Saturday, but it’s normal I suppose given it’s game day!

I’m really excited for tonight’s matchup against the Tar Sand Betties! Many of our players will be making their home-game debut as a Dame! And for others it’s their first game AS a Dame!

For me, I’ve set a couple goals for myself for this game which I will share post-game on how I did! But I’m mostly excited to get my speed on!

Come one, come all, Lethbridge. Tickets are available at the door!

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Thanks for the support, readers!

Yes, I sat at my phone and kept refreshing as the number drew near so I could capture it. **blush**

Never in my life would I have expected this little blog to reach five figures.

I appreciate all of you who take the time to sit and read my ramblings, whether you’re a new skater, veteran skater or just curious. I hope you continue to be entertained and informed as I continue my journey. Thanks for reading!

Last night was our Guild board meeting, which always has me come away with additions to my to-do list. The summer is going to be a busy one filled with fundraising, a home scrimmage to raise money for Womenspace (yes, derby will FINALLY be returning to Lethbridge), an away game and a whole slough of other projects.

On top of that I’m looking for a summer job as my ‘real’ job is on hiatus. Juggle, juggle, juggle.

Back to derby… this last weekend I had the honour of playing once again with the Gas City Rollers in Calgary against the B-52 Bellas. Our first half was weak; Deathbridge skater Exie Cuter, who came to take in the bout, said it reminded her of the South Park episode where the elementary school took on the Detroit Red Wings… LOL But we made up for it a bit in the second half. Despite our efforts we lost, 151 – 116, but I gained tons of experience and another list of skills to work on. Well wishes to Mama Ro of the Bellas, who suffered an ankle fracture and dislocation. owowowowowow I missed how it happened, but saw the aftermath of the dangling foot. 😦 Get better soon Mama Ro!

A highlight of the night was my 70+ year-old aunt came to watch me play, along with my sister, brother-in-law and niece and nephews. It was their first bout and afterwards talking to my aunt, she was so flabbergasted at the whole ordeal she wasn’t sure if she should be proud or concerned. Her reaction was fun to watch. (She wouldn’t admit it, but I think she was more proud than anything 😉 )

On top of everything else, I’m stepping up my dryland workouts, which is exciting and painful all at once. Using Ms Cheetah Von Teese’s personal workout for inspiration, I’ve developed a regime in the hopes I can work up to what Cheetah is doing. Considering I was on the receiving end of many of her hits this past weekend, I’m looking forward to getting stronger and giving her a run for her money next time we meet. 🙂

Other than that, I’m currently researching a new blog post: foot pain and skates. Do you have a foot tip or mysterious foot pain? Drop me a line or comment on this post and I’ll research and try and include it.

Thanks for reading, friends!