How to make a slide board and booties – for cheap!

Using slide boards as dryland training for ice and roller sports is not a new concept. According to an article by Lisa Mercer on livestrong.com, slide board training can improve your functional fitness, give you an aerobic workout and help strengthen the knee area – all applicable to roller derby!

When I saw this blog by Kevin Jagger, with instructions on how to build a slide board, I was quickly inspired to build a version of my own to assist in my roller derby training. Sharing the post within my league training committee, my teammate Knotty Knockher was also recently inspired by the same DIY post. Off we went to the local building supply store to scope out materials.

2015-12-30 14.31.43

My finished slide board and booties made with reusable shopping bag.

I was less interested in a rigid board for the base and more interested in keeping the unit light in weight. You may prefer a more rigid base to lean up against a wall for storage. Visit the panel and shelving section of your building supply store and look for materials which suit your needs best!

When choosing your base, be sure to test the surfaces for their slippery factor! We ran sleeved hands over each surface to give them a preliminary check. We found a slick 1/8in thick 8ft x 4 ft hardboard panel which we split the cost. After Knotty spotted damage on the panel, we received a further discount! Finding a large panel to split with a teammate will keep costs low.

The rest of the materials, the bumpers and hardware, Knotty and I had around the house. After getting our 8ft x 4ft panel cut into 8ft x 2ft sections by the lumber associate, we parted ways to work on our projects.

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Materials include a base which is slippery, wood for the ends, screws long enough to secure the ends, tape measure and tools.

Below are my instructions for the slide board, as well as the slide booties, using basic materials. Be sure to check out videos at the end of this post which show you how to use your new slide board! Have you made your own version of a slide board? I would love to hear about it in comments!

Slide board materials list:

• (1) 1/8in, 8ft x 2ft hardboard
(Cost: $4.85 split from an 8ft x 4ft panel)
(1) 8ft, 2in x 3in lumber
(Cost: less than $4)

Tools needed:

• Tape measure and pencil
• Drill
• Screws of appropriate length
• Saw

Slide board instructions (see photos for details):

  1. Cut 2 – 2ft pieces off the 2×3 lumber
  2. Flip the slippery side down of the base panel toward the floor
  3. Place the first 2×3 bumper under the base and line it up so it’s flush with the base end
    TIP: place the unused part of your 2×3 under the board to help stabilize the position
  4. Drill screws to secure
  5. Determine distance of second board bumper
    (My panel was cut to 6ft in length because it was a discounted damaged panel, so my slide board is 6ft long. You can leave your board at 8ft and start your bumper where you are most comfortable. You can always extend your board out if you sand the previous holes in)
  6. Drill screws to secure

DONE! This took me about 15 minutes to complete after I assembled all materials.

How to make booties (see photos for details):

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I found a small bag so I cut down the side panels to make two booties. If you only have a larger bag, you may use the side panels as the booties.

Materials:

• Reusable shopping bag
• Scissors
• 2 shoelaces
• Poking device (I used a pencil)

Dig out all your fabric shopping bags. Put them on your feet, step on your board and figure out which one will work best for sliding. I chose a smaller lunch-style bag which had a plastic-like surface. It fit my feet perfectly.

Cut the bag in half down the side panels. If you have to use a larger bag, you can use the side panels of the bag for the bottom of your foot and cut around.

Put on the shoes you plan on sliding in. I chose old airwalks because I was worried my gym shoes would be too grippy through the bootie.

Put the cut bags over your feet and fold it around your shoes to create a secure fit. Then poke holes and thread a shoelace to create the bootie. I double-folded around the toe area for extra reinforcement.

Tie your laces so you are comfy and secure!

Sliding on the slide board tips and first impressions

Overall I like the effect of the booties and board, especially after applying a light coating of Pledge. The slide board isn’t very heavy, but the thin base could snap if I pick it up without supporting the ends. I have the bumpers well secured, but I’m worried if I get a lot of momentum, I may pull the screws through the thin base with heavy force. I will update here if that happens! But for under $10, I’ll take what I have!

Other tips include:

  • Position the board against a wall to limit shifting during use.
  • Place weights on either side of the board to also limit shifting.
  • Socks or leg warmers also work for booties.
  • Using pledge on the board makes a HUGE difference! (See comparison videos below.)

Without pledge

With pledge

Slide board training!

Kevin Jagger – how to build a slideboard

Slide board technique

21 slide board exercises

I would love to hear about your slide board experience! Has using one made you a stronger skater? What’s your favourite exercise using the slide board?

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Take a knee

Two weekends ago I played in a most amazing roller derby tournament, Flat Track Fever. I skated in Calgary’s Olympic Oval, which was amazing and also got to watch some amazing skill in women’s, men’s, co-ed and junior bouts.

The Wednesday prior to the tourney, I got tangled and took and bad spill at practice. I went down on my butt with legs forward and my knees bent out, essentially making a W with my lower body when I fell. I found out later that the impact of the inside of my knees hitting the floor in that way, I sprained my LCL (Lateral Collateral Ligament) on my left leg, which is the ligament on the outside of the knee.

I sprained the Lateral Collateral Ligament

Thinking I could push through and fear of letting my team down, I went to the tournament and played in 2 games. I had fun but was always aware of the throbbing in my knee.

Fast forward to the week following; more throbbing, swelling and feeling that my knee was filling with fluid prompted me to visit a physiotherapist who diagnosed me with a ‘Grade 2’ sprain and now I’m off skates and have regular visits to therapists to try and fix me.

It’s been almost 2 weeks since my initial injury and I’m still limping, I still have to ice it and simple tasks like getting in and out of a car make me groan like I’m 70. I’m terribly frustrated. I can’t imagine what skaters who have worse injuries than myself, like full tears or broken bones, have to go through.

Injury prevention is on my mind.

I found this great article – 6 Ways to Ruin Your Knees – where they talk to derby girl Iron Maiven who tore her ACL.

But thinking a little further beyond published articles about cross-training, stretching, resting, etc., I started to recall lower-body injuries that happened within my league or that I witnessed. A common theme started to surface.

Most of them happened when the skater fell on her butt.

In fresh meat, you’re taught the importance of keeping your balance forward and taking a knee(s) when you fall. You often learn that lesson quickly after the first sting of a tailbone bash. Also coaches are quick to remind new skaters to fall correctly if they witness a flailing fall to the posterior.

But after the fresh meat phase, basic reminders like ‘fall to your knees’ often don’t get spoken to the veteran skaters. Warmups involving single or double knee falls are often looked at as trite distractions until it’s time for drills and scrimmaging.

Dare I say veteran skaters become complacent to the importance of knee falls? I know I did.

Track action happens so fast that a fall to the butt is sometimes unavoidable. Hell, I’ve spontaneously fallen to my ass while at a stand still.

However it begs the question, after fresh meat training, are we doing enough to continue to make sure knee falls are instinctual?

If I ever get back on skates (and I realize I’m being dramatic but I’m super cranky that I’m not feeling any improvement in my knee today so bear with me) I plan on filling my free-skate time with shifting weight to my heels and lurching forward to avoid a potential ass-fall.

Bionic awesomeness!

I’d love to hear what you think… are you complacent with how you fall during a game? Do you think about it? When you fall improperly, do you take steps to improve so it doesn’t happen again or do you chalk it up to a one-time event under specific circumstances?

PS: Since writing this post I’ve had another visit with my physiotherapist. He took pity on me and fitted me with this sexy new leg brace which makes walking much more comfortable even though it looks massively hindering. I really want to make 6 Million Dollar Man sound affects when I walk now.

Na-na-na-na-naaahh

Jumble Jam

Hi readers. A lot has been happening the last couple weeks so here’s a jumble of thoughts and things that’s been going on.

Last game of 2011

At December 3rd’s bout in Medicine Hat our team came out with a win which was so amazing. While our first half was a little inconsistent, during the second half our entire team meshed and things we have been working on so hard came to fruition. Watching jam after jam, every play was executed in textbook format. It was a beautiful thing and I was so proud of everyone.

The crappy thing, well for me, about that game is that I pulled myself out after the first half. I took a nasty blow to the back of the head at the end of the first half which resulted in another skater falling over my head. For the curious, you can see it below. (Jam starts at the 42:00 mark, crash happens just after the 43:00 mark)

At the time of the hit I remember thinking that my neck doesn’t bend like that, even on a good day and at half-time I was met with shakey knees, dizzines and nausea. After getting checked out by the EMTs and chatting with my coaches, I decided it wasn’t worth risking a second blow and further injury.

It was a good decision as the ride home was rough and I could barely move the next day. After a visit to the doctor, it was determined I didn’t have a concussion (whew!) but had a pretty nasty case of whiplash. X-Rays for precaution and a few chiropractic and massage appointments later and I’m feeling next-to-my-old-self. In my follow up my chiro didn’t notice anymore swelling in my neck and he’s given the okay to do some light contact.

Crosby’s off skates again

Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins has suffered a setback from his head injury, which happened in January. He made his return to game play in November but announced yesterday post-concussion symptoms have returned and he’s now out indefinitely.

I just have to say what an amazing role model he is for professional and amateur athletes, contact sports in particular. I’ve seen my peers in roller derby skate with concussions, broken noses and the like. I have to admit, I get why they do it.

For one, it’s hard to pull yourself out of a sport you love so much. It’s also hard to pull yourself out because in many leagues, you’re competing for a roster position with all the other skaters. If you pull out, will you be considered a ‘wimp?’ I know it crossed my mind with my recent incident.

Whether we like it or not, the pressure to perform for your team is there at the amateur level. And I’m sure there are many who still have the view that if you don’t have an ankle dangling from the bone or blood pouring from your face, you should be contributing. Concussions are invisible, as are many other injuries one can acquire in roller derby. Those with that kind of mindset are not only putting themselves at risk, but others who are around them as their focus and skill will not be 100%. Even if they put themselves back into the game with the best intentions, they become a liability skating injured.

But Crosby is changing people’s view on such injuries, showing it’s okay to take time off, get better and you CAN come back just as strong if you stay dedicated to a plan to make yourself get better. Even off skates, he’s an amazing ambassador to sport… ALL sports… and I hope amateur coaches and players take notice.

Skating with an injury is just dumb.

Gear talk

Old & new kneepads. I was most surprised how the exterior protective cap was stretched out.

New kneepads!

Speaking of injuries, I FINALLY replaced by kneepads. I honestly thought I could maybe get a couple more months out of my old ones. But looking at them side-by-side I can see now how horribly stretched out and compacted they were.

Admittedly, I added some foam of my own inside my old pads to try and extend the life. It actually worked okay and I got 1.5 years out of them.

*DISCLAIMER Don’t do what I did. It was stupid and could of horribly backfired. I’m not going to try and extend the life of my kneepads by inserting foam ever again.

New plates!

During my week off skates I decided to give my skates some TLC. So I pulled ALL the tape off of them and I gave them some love. But it was also to give them a good inspection to see if I could get another year out of the boots.

Giving some love. I had A LOT of layers of tape on my babies. I don't remember the last time they were neeked.

Minor repairs aside, they’re still doing okay, but I’ve been saving some pennies in anticipation for an upgrade so I’ve decided to get some new plates.

Sure Grip Magnesium Avenger with 45 degree DA45 trucks.

Pretty, right? These magnesium babies are lightweight and the trucks have 45 degree double-action stuff on it. The axles are closer together than my previous pair and I’m excited on how this will change my footwork and derby stance. (I’ll have to lean more forward and the shorter axle distance means tighter turning)

What’s great about roller skates is that you can take them apart, so if I decide to get new boots next year, I can take these plates off and attach them to the new boots. I’ll be sure to take lots of pictures when I do the install. I hope they come soooon!

Less than 20 days until the end of my year of fitness goals!

I’m excited to be compiling info in anticipation of a wrap-up post for my year of fitness goals. Having to take time off for my injury has made me feel incredibly behind with exercise and diet, but yesterday I hit up the gym once again and it was like I never left! It felt great and I’m almost ready for another weight increase. And I’m ridiculously excited to write some new goals for 2012 which will include some serious muscle-building and change in diet.

Watching the skaters at the Blood and Thunder World Cup also inspired me. It’s so exciting to think many who were there competing at a national level were where I was only a few years ago. As a result, focusing on my head game and adding more skills to my tool box that I can pull out instinctually are on my list. I’ve contributed two years as a board member to the league, so I’m also looking at possibly backing down from that so I can focus more on my skating. I think that will help a lot.

****

Thems my jumbly thoughts! I’d love to hear what you think about the pressure to play injured (Have you had pressure to do it?) or any new goals, gear, etc that you’re racing towards for the end of 2011!

Until next time, readers! ❤

Hockey playoffs are done for me, so I’m back

Well, my hockey team got eliminated from playoffs last night, so I guess that’s my cue to start blogging again.

The last couple weeks have been busy with watching hockey, work and dealing with derby business on and off the track. A lot has happened. I think the only way to go through it all and keep it organized is through point form.

  • Our dear Attila TheMum took a bad fall a few weeks ago and broke her wrist. We’ve had some concussions, shoulder separations, knee injuries, etc. but this was our first for-real broken bone on a teammate. It scary and it’s hard to not think about what if it had been you. We do our best to fall properly, but weird things just happen that’s out of our control.
  • The following practice I tried to jump over a skater who had fallen in front of me and I dreadfully failed. I came down hard with my right shoulder hitting the ground with all my weight behind it. A trip to the chiropractor resulted him in being concerned about swelling and popping in my shoulder and he had me off full contact.

    Myself and Bashin Bindi working on a drill as Coach Pauly looks on.

  • That Saturday was our weekend bootcamp with Coach Pauly. We partnered with the Gas City Rollers and skated at the arena in Brooks. As far as I’m concerned, Coach Pauly is the cornerstone of the world of roller derby, coaching for top teams and is now working with Edmonton’s own E-Ville league full-time. He is also the coach of the upcoming Team Canada roller derby team and wow, are we ever lucky to have him in our province. The first time I met Coach Pauly I wasn’t even benchmarked but I attended a couple of his CWRDA sessions at bootcamp in Edmonton. So I was really excited to have the opportunity to skate under his tutorage again. However, my shoulder injury kept me from any full-on contact drills so I didn’t get the full effect from the weekend like I wanted. But overall, learned A LOT! Even by just watching.
  • During Sunday’s bootcamp our dear Jesse Dahmer fell victim to a bad fall during a drill and broke her leg in two places… that’s two skaters, two broken limbs, in less than a week. Again, it’s hard not to think about this stuff.

    Sunday morning warmup at the Brooks arena. Yes, I'm wearing my winter coat... it was effin' COLD in there! Photo by Medi

  • Medi Lizious and I had a really good chat while the gals continued their drills at the bootcamp. I expressed my concern about the number of serious injuries that were happening. She assured me there were things I could do to help protect myself from broken bones… EXERCISE! The more you exercise, the faster your bone mass builds and the stronger your muscles and ligaments are to help hold your bones in place if the unfortunate were to happen.
  • Taking this advice and realizing how much I’ve been plagued by upper-body injuries, I decided to make a more conscious effort to do more weight training. So I contacted the lovely Cheetah Von Teese from the Calgary Roller Derby league for her workout regime. She is all muscle and beauty like her namesake(s) and I’m in awe of what she does on a weekly basis. Training starts in May… wish me luck with that.
  •  Back to the bootcamp; Coach Pauly lead our leagues on a round table discussion about whatever we wanted to talk about. The conversations were candid and honest and also brought out some issues that we, as a league, need to improve and/or solve before we can move on. I’m happy that our league is continuing the conversations to make us a better unit overall.
  •  With spring here, it means a move back into the Adams Ice arena for practice. But unfortunately scheduling isn’t really on our side and we can only have practices Tuesdays and Wednesdays. But my dear derby wife is still working hard to find us a more permanent home where only we dictate the hours we can skate.
  •  We are also so thrilled to have a local retailer see how cool rollerskating is, whether you derby or not, and has started to carry gear! Wheels, skates, bearings, knee pads, helmets… EVERYTHING! So if you’re passing through Lethbridge, make sure you throw some support to Steel Sass.
  • Countdown to my trip to Rollercon in Las Vegas in July is going to start soon. You’ve been warned.
  • I’m so pleased that our new fresh meat coach I.C. Nuffin is making our freshies work hard! We continue to see new faces and many returns every week. It makes me so happy to have helped create a league that so many can take part in. We’re hovering around the 40-mark for skaters with many freshies close in their skills to allow them to come to practice full-time. Thinking about league expansion is so exciting!!!!!!

So in a nutshell, that’s what’s been going on. Lots more is going on in my head in regards to my own development and how I’m fitting in with the league, but I’ll save that for another day.

Derby love to you all!!!!

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. 😉

Tallying up the odd injuries

Things for me are really going well on the training front. My skills are progressing and seeing skaters from my Fresh Meat coaching lessons advance fills me with so much pride. Taking one practice a week to train the freshies have helped me avoid conventional injuries of knee bumps and skate wheel bruises on my thighs because I’m not scrimmaging as much. The non-conventional ones, however, are increasing.

In the last month I’ve had:

A mole ripped off (ow ow ow and lots of blood)

A head-on, full speed collision of a skater’s chin into my jaw (we gave each other some air time on the collision, I’m pretty sure)

And last night, a skater’s swinging wrist guard to the face (I’m sporting a blackish eye, bruised temples and can’t wear glasses until the swelling on my nose goes down)

Most people would think these kind of injuries would make one shy away from the sport. But strangely, I’ve found each and every one of them extremely comical. While the pain is there with each odd injury, laughing about it with my derby sisters and having bragging rights of black eyes and bloody moles make it really fun.

WTF is wrong with me? 😉

Derby’s unanswered questions

Dear readers, I’ve been neglecting my blog and I am sorry. Lack of time and topics has been a hurdle. (Do you REALLY want to know how long and fast I skate when I work out? Five kms in 15 mins btw hahahaha) So now I am opening up the panel for questions.

I put it out there on Facebook and Twitter:

If you could ask a roller derby player any question, what would it be?

Melissa B from Facebook asked me: “How much does it hurt to get knocked down in a derby?”

You’ll be surprised to know the bone-crushing hits that you see on most derby highlight reels aren’t the only way to stop a player, so they don’t happen all the time. But when they do you’re (hopefully) wearing hi-end knee pads, elbow pads and wrist guards to keep your body safe from impact. Players are also taught to properly fall, to help stop injuries from impacting the floor. Players are also taught to properly hit, so you don’t dislocate your shoulder throwing a check. Plus during a game, your adrenaline is so high, you don’t feel a thing until about 3 hours later.

When you’re not giving/receiving bone-crushing hits, you’re booty blocking opposing team members and leaning on other players, pushing them out of bounds to make room for your jammer. This makes for lots of velcro burn from rubbing against equipment which often hurts more than bruising!

The rules of engagement are also there to keep players safe. There are legal hitting zones and you can only hit with certain parts of your body. Blockers can only hit within the area of the pack, jammers can engage each other at any time while rounding the track. But circumstances arise where the rules aren’t always obeyed, which often create the most crowd-pleasing jams.

If you’re a jammer, you’re on the receiving end of hits more often than not (did you watch that video on the link above? Watch the girls with the stars on their helmets) But it just makes you a faster and more agile skater 🙂

ka_vinc from Twitter asks: “How do you come up with your nick names?”

Believe it or not, no two girls can have a similar derby name, especially if they play in a city near each other. There is an International Rollergirls’ Master Roster to check if your name is already taken. In fact, my first choice, Barra Cougar, was too similar to another gal who plays for the Bad Reputations in Vancouver. I had to get in touch with her and ask permission if I could also use the name (hers was BaraCouga). But she declined my request, saying she worked hard to earn her name but encouraged me to keep trying. Cherri Blaster came about because of my love of that particular candy… practically lived on them in college.

On the fun side of things, there is a roller derby name generator that helps you pick a name. But many girls look at their skills, their names or nicknames, favourite movies, their heritage, their jobs or their physical characteristics to pick a name. On the Deathbridge Derby Dames, for example, we have Half Pint Havoc who’s short, but wrecks havoc on all she meets, Lili Von Schtopp who is known for stopping all who meet her and Attila Themum, who’s a mom, plus so many more awesome names!

Choosing a name also means figuring out your track persona, which is even more fun! I’ve seen some of the meanest looking, acting, named girls on the track, but off the track they are sweet as pie! You get to create a full package.

dylpurcell from Twitter asks: “Why not try leopard-print leggings? 80s-style neon leg earners warmers?”

Actually leopard isn’t really in my costume options. I try and leave the leopard print fashion decisions to Rebbles Flintstone and Nixxi Knox, who look way better in leopard anyway. As for the leg warmers, neon is usually worn best by Dream Whip, but I have a lovely pair of black-and-red striped leg warmers.

I do, however, sport fishnets every so often, as well as derby socks. I also own a pair of tights with cherries on them. But my favourite by far is sporting bare legs. Skating fast tends to raise my body temperature pretty high, I don’t like to cover up too much. Plus I have a decent set of gams to show off!

***

That’s all I have for questions right now. Thanks to the three of you who submitted! If anyone has any other questions, feel free to post them in a comment and I’ll answer them too!

Derby love to you all!

Derby comsumption… Nom nom

I’ve played so many sports in my lifetime; some I was good at (cross country & distance running), others not so much (soccer, dodgeball). But no sport in my years has consumed me like derby has.

Today I’ve been taking shifts on my couch, icing my knee due to a hit-gone-wrong at practice last night. When one is injured, you’d think it would be normal for them to take their time to get back in the swing of things.

Not me.

The injury has left a bruise on my kneecap that makes bending very painful. Yet every couple hours today, I stood in derby stance to test the strength in my leg. I stare at my gear bag with anticipation. I’m literally twitching (yes, twitching) to get back on my skates. I feel incredibly lazy not doing my daily 3-5 km jaunts, and it’s only been one day! But still I’m being extremely vigilant in doing anything and everything possible to make my knee heal faster.

Is this what NHL players go through when they are injured? Because the anticipation for me to get back onto skates is killing me. I’m by no means a professional or an expert at derby, but I now feel for the pro athletes forced off the playing field when they live and breath their sport.

Which brings me to a related topic of how EVERY derby girl I have met so far is consumed by this sport. Is this a weird phenomenon or a coincidence? Or is it simply fact that once you derby, you either hate it and never try it again, or love it and never want to go back? I know my driving skills have greatly improved since becoming a Jammer, I can find any hole in traffic and slide right on through.

But now I’m getting way off topic and must digress…

My urgency to heal is also due to the fact I’m making my rookie debut in Medicine Hat on Saturday. If I can’t play, I will be reduced to tears for a long, long time. The next bout after that is in Regina, which I’m unable to attend, and haven’t heard of any more in the near future. So if I’m to pop my Cherri, this has got to be it!

Fingers crossed for me kids!

****

On another note, I crossed a couple of training goals… First one… Coach Maude passed me on my benchmarks! Whoop! Whoop!

Second one… I skated up (yes, up!) the coulee bike trail adjacent to the Indian Battle Park road. It wasn’t as bad as it sounds. The worst part was my lapse in judgement in trying to skate back down and almost blowing a hole in my skate. Next time I’m carrying shoes, changing out of my skates and walking down once I reach the top.

While continuing to perfect those, my next goal is to work on my starts. My speed is great, but I know I can work up to top speed a lot faster if I can power out on my toe stops.

Lookit the time! Night all!

Keeping motivated… or attempting to at least

Blah…

My new case decked out with a Roller Girl sticker and cherry keychain 🙂

Another week of crap weather has left my skates permanently in their case and my cross training non-existent.

Speaking of case, I found myself a wicked-ass gear bag, well suitcase, at Value Village, a’la Maude Lobrowski’s for $9.99. Saweet! Holds all my gear fabulously and lots of room to expand. New set of wheels? HEL-LO!

Surprisingly, my lack of activity is leaving me with soreness and stiffness that’s new from the weekend. But it could be from hiding under blankets all week due to the weather.

The good news is I managed to take an extended skate on Tuesday before the weather hit.

STATS
Elapsed Time: 1:04 hrs
Avg Speed: 15.6 km/hr
Distance: 16.8 kms
Max Speed: 20.2 km/hr

The bad news is I’ve fucked my tail bone. I took a really hard fall at Bootcamp, square on it. I rolled it off at camp, but skating on uneven terrain and moving my body in certain directions brought the pain back that day.

I took that as a hint to take the rest of the week off.

Now it’s Sunday and I have practice in 3 hours. My shoulders are killing me, my tailbone is achy when I climb stairs, the muscles around my knees feel ridiculously weak, my wrist… don’t even go there.

Is this normal aches and pains from just starting derby? Do I simply need a massage? I have no idea. The important thing right now for me is to find out what my limits are (when it comes to competing while injured or sore) and keep within them.

You think that’s right? I’m grasping at straws here. Never in my life have I been in a league that requires such physical skill mixed with agility while being ‘right’ in the head.

I’ve heard other roller girls mention that it’s okay to take some time off, whether it be for physical and mental reasons. Hell, I had a long conversation with another girl at Bootcamp, who is now scared to go back on the track after witnessing one of her teammates lose their front teeth and then another get a compound fracture in their lower leg, all within a span of 2 weeks. (If you don’t know what that is, Google it. But be warned, it’s nasty shit.)

I met another, who I’ll call Hot Physiotherapy Doctor, who gave a talk at Bootcamp about injury prevention and coming back after an injury. His wife is also a derby girl. He gave me an interesting stat… over half of the rookie girls will be injured to the point of not being able to skate within the first 6 months of their career.

It’s easy to see how this derby business can fuck with your head.

Do I really know what the fuck I’m doing?

Aches and pains aside, I’m still looking forward to practice today. I feel like I haven’t seen the girls forever! I miss them!!!!

Just for fun – battle scars from the weekend

Since this is the first time I’ve had multiple bruising happen in a short span of time, I figured I would document it for sentimental reasons. Don’t worry, I’m not going to post a picture every time I get a bruise, unless it’s bigger than the size of my fist. But I figured these first few are my rights-of-passage into the derby world and are meant to be shown off.

Here’s my battle scars… here’s hoping they won’t be the last 🙂

Day 1 - Left shin, hit by a skate

Day 1 - Left calf, hit by a skate

Day 2 - Right hand. This pic doesn't do it justice, but my pad under my thumb all the way down to my wrist is swollen and a lovely shade of grey. That dark line near the middle of my hand is a darker bruise where the edge of my wrist guard hit my hand.

Day 3 - Right thigh bruise after taking a hit.