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)

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DIY big kid customization PART II: Installing roller skate plates

This is part two of a series on roller skate plates. Normally I like to include all info on a single topic into one blog post but this topic is just too detailed and I didn’t want to overwhelm anyone. Part one talked about plates, sizing and different ways to mount them. Part two I’m going to share my own experience in mounting my plates, as well as how to adjust DA45 trucks that have an adjustable pivot pin.

DISCLAIMER: I’m not an expert, I’m just sharing what I did. It seemed to work but there may be some blatant errors in my methods. Any experts out there? Please correct me so I can keep the info accurate for others!

Things you’ll need

  • Plates
  • Mounting Hardware
  • Cushions
  • Screwdriver
  • Ruler
  • Tape
  • Pencil/marker
  • Skate tool
  • Additional wrenches that fit your hardware (may vary depending on your plate model)
  • Drill and drill bit (Bit should be sized appropriately according to the plate manufacturer’s directions)
  • Something to trim the bolts after installation. Dremmel, bolt saw thingy of some sort
  • Rag
  • New laces (you’re taking apart your skates so you may as well replace your laces)
  • A friend to help you and for moral support

Step 1: Take apart your skates

Take off all your laces, tape, toe stops, wheels and hangers until you’re left with an empty plate. Save your cushions if you want to use them on your new plates. You can read more about how to take apart your skates here.

Step 2: Trace the outline of your existing plate

I was a virgin at all this so I decided the more markings on my skate to help centre my new plate, the better. I just used a pencil.

After everything’s removed, you can outline your existing plates.

Step 3: Remove the plate

Using whatever tools needed (I needed a screwdriver and skate tool) remove the plate from your skate. Make sure you take note of positions of washers, etc. because you’ll be installing similar hardware back on in the same fashion.

To get to the toe hardware inside the boot, shift the base of the boot tongue to the side to expose the hardware.

Once everything is removed, give the bottom of your boot a cleaning; careful not to erase your pencil lines.

I used a screwdriver and skate tool to remove the plate

Dirty and gross. Use this opportunity to clean them up!

Step 3a: Fill in your old holes

I didn’t do this step but in the articles below there are some suggestions as to what to use to fill them in. But I’ve heard a hot glue gun will work or any other adhesive-type material that will fill and harden appropriately.

Step 4: Decide where your axles are going to sit

I literally stood on my new plate wearing my boot (I re-laced my skate for this step) and freely moved my foot around until a) the front axle was positioned near the base of my big toe and then b) shifted slightly until the axles felt in a natural position for my feet.

I strictly went by feel. I sort of bounced and shifted my feet around in my boot so I could see if the axles were in a natural position to easily take off from a jump. Having an extra set of hands at this point is helpful so you can hang onto them if you slide off the unsecured plate and they can mark the positioning of the axles on the side of your boot so you can repositioning it after you mark your centerline.

After I made my axle marks I compared both plate positions on each boot to ensure they were positioned the same (front to back) by measuring the plate position from the back of the heal.

I found one was shifted a little far forward than the other so I marked an average position between the two and then stood on my axles again for a final check.

You may have to do this step several times to find out what front/back position you want your axles in. Try far forward, centre and rear mounts so you can feel the difference. Don’t forget to refer to the references in my first article for info on the different mounts.
**Edited to add: thanks to Steph in the comments section who pointed out there is a ‘left’ and a ‘right’ plate for the Avengers. Check your mounting instructions carefully or check with the manufacturer to ensure you put the right plate on the right foot. (Thankfully I got it right the first time)

Step 5: Determine your boot centerline

I initially tried to use existing markings to determine the centerline for my boots. I had a hell of a time with it. I don’t know if it’s because my skates are well-worn and stretched, or because my right foot is a ½ size bigger than my left, but one skate would always be way off centre compared to the other every time I measured.

So instead, I marked the centre of the heal on both boots, then I put the boots on and marked where the space was between my second toe (next to the big toe) and the third toe. Make sure you lace up your skates for this step so your feet are sitting as they normally would in your boots.

Using a ruler I drew a straight line from the heal centerline to my new front markings. Doing it this way I found the centerlines mirrored each other on the boots.

NOTE: I PAINED over the axle positioning and centering for HOURS. This was easily the hardest part.

After I had them centered to the best of my ability, I found how different my centerlines were from the factory markings. So I was either way off or the factory markings were off. Regardless, I took a deep breath and continued on my brave journey.

Once you think you have your desired position, you can tape your plates to your skate and walk around them on a bit to be sure because once you hit the next step, there is no going back!

You can see by my centerline, it doesn’t match with the factory centre markings. I lined up the front centre with my toes in my boot.

**UPDATE April 18/12 This is Amanda’s advice from the comment section. I wanted to include it as well in my main post because it’s great info… “The easiest way to measure your centre line is to determine where you want your front axles to be. Mark those points and draw a line horizontaly across the boot between them. Measure the centre point of that line and mark it. Draw a line down the sole of the boot from the centre point of the heel to that centre point. That’s your centre line. The centre line will always be different depending on how far forward or back you want to place your front axles.”

RESOURCE

Quadskating.com: How to centre roller skate plates (article)

Step 6: Prepare to drill

This is what I SHOULD have done… positioned the plates according to my markings onto the boot and then wrapped 20 rounds of duct tape all the way around the boot to secure them in place.

But I didn’t.

Afraid to ruin my beautiful leather boot, I loosely taped the plate in place to use as a guide for drilling, confident of my drilling abilities.

On my first attempt at drilling through the bottom of the boot, the plate came loose and wiggled everywhere and forced me to stop and reposition the plate again.

So don’t do that. I should have learned from that mistake and super-taped the plate on the boot.

Instead I opted to mark the holes with a pen and drill the holes without the plate in place.

If any of you handy-er derby girls have a workbench with a vice to hold your skate in place, that’s most helpful. I did my drilling on the living room floor holding the skate with my free hand.

Going slow and steady, I managed to drill all the holes. However, with my lack of skill and experience, I realized my drilling wasn’t completely accurate and my holes were off.

Drilling for plates isn’t like installing Ikea furniture where you have a little wiggle room a 1/16 of an inch on either side of your mark.

Well crap.

Step 7: Mounting the plates on the boot

Luckily my drilling wasn’t TOO far off and I was able to muscle my plates onto the bolts I inserted into the boots. We’ll see if this slight adjustment will have any long-term effects on my skates, but I think I only have about 10 months of life left in these boots anyway.

I ended up using the bolts from my previous plates as they were exactly the same as the new bolts that were provided and they fit into the new plates. As a result I didn’t have to track down something to trim the ends of the bolts as manufacturers supply super-long mounting hardware that will need to be cut after installation.

Once I inserted the bolts into the boots I realized that some of the inner sole was going to have to be trimmed out so the bolt would recess easier to be flush so it wouldn’t dig into my foot.

As a test, I fully tightened one bolt and while the bolt did some work at removing the sole as it was recessing, there was still lots of debris in there to keep me from getting the bolt fully flush.

So I grabbed a little knife and carved a small portion of sole material out immediately surrounding each hole inside my boot.

That seemed to help and I continued tightening the hardware on each skate until it was tight and the heads were flush inside my boot.

RESOURCES

Quadskating.com? Drilling roller skate plate mounting holes (article)

Sin City Skates: DIY Plate Mounting (PDF)

Step 8: Admire your big kid customization

I was mentally exhausted after this process and immediately vowed to never do it again. Maybe one day I’ll change my mind and try to tackle it again.

So pretty!

Step 9: Put everything back together

Now you can put on your NEW hangers, wheels and toe stops and do your final tweaking of the action of your skates.

Depending on your plate, you will need to figure out your new tightness for your trucks and, in the case of my new plates, adjust your pivot pin. My old nylon plates merely had the trucks seated within the pivot cup. The new plates allowed me to adjust how deep the pivot pin sits within the cup.

It’s not a hard adjustment to do, but difficult to explain. So check out these articles and videos on how to adjust your plates!

Leadjammer Skates: Pivot pin adjustment (article)

Create-A-Skate.com: Improperly adjusted pivot pin can cost you a king pin (article)

Adjusting the action of your skates

Final results!

I’ve been skating on the new setup for about a month now and I really love them! I think I’m going to have to play more with the truck action because these new plates are super-responsive so I don’t necessarily have to have the trucks loose for more turning action. If I can tighten my trucks and still maintain good turning power, it will give me more overall stability.

The weight of the plates feel no different from my previous set and I’m finding I’m a bit lighter on my feet (due to the change in positioning of the axles under my feet? Maybe!)

And the white plates look really cool 😀

That’s my plate-change journey! Questions, comments or advice? Please post in replies! I found the biggest challenge was finding a single article with all the information I need to do this process so I’m hoping to add to update these posts as more info becomes available! Share! Share! Share!

As requested in the comments section, here is a bottom photo of my mounted plate…

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ROUND 2 Sit up then T-up to the broad plank and push up to a sprint till you *beep* (test)

Thursday marked our second fitness test through the league. The first one was held last September and our training committee plans on holding them every four months to track progress.

Last session I recorded my results and set some new goals. I’m pleased to report that I bettered myself on all but one test and met my goal on most of them! It’s really satisfying to see the goals I’m setting come to fruition.

Here are the stats, with comparisons. New goals will come, I just need to think on them for a bit.

Results Chart (Nerd Power!)

First Attempt (Sept ’11) Old Goal Second Attempt (Jan ’12) New Goal
T-Test 12.8 sec 11.8 sec 12.0 sec ??
Plank 5:15 min 6:00 min 6:11 min ??
15 m Sprint* 3.1 sec 2.8 sec N/A N/A
20 m Sprint* N/A N/A 4.25 sec ??
Situps 48/min 53/min 54/min ??
Broad Jump 1.74 m 1.84 m 1.76 m ??
Pushups 30/min 38/min 45/min ??
Beep Test Level 6.2, 43 shuttles Level 7 Level 7.8, 57 shuttles ??

GREEN = Goal Achieved
YELLOW = Goal Not Achieved, But Improvement Made
RED = Goal Not Achieved, No Improvement

*Because of the difference in sprint length for this round of testing I wasn’t able to do a formal comparison. However when I break it down by seconds per metre, I was 2% SLOWER the second test. Boourns.

After analyzing my results, I’ve come to realize that I need to concentrate on fitness activities that require short bursts of power because in all the categories that require the short bursts ( jumping, sprinting) I have much room for improvement. So I can see me focusing more heavily on that in the next four months!

I’ll update the chart with new goals when I can sit down and seriously think some out.

DIY big kid customization PART I: Selecting roller skate plates

This is part one of a series on roller skate plates. Normally I like to include all info on a single topic into one blog post but this topic is just too detailed and I didn’t want to overwhelm anyone with a massive post. Part one is going to talk about plates, sizing and different ways to mount them. Part two I talk about my own experience in mounting my plates, as well as how to adjust DA45 trucks that have an adjustable pivot pin.

DISCLAIMER: I’m not an expert, I’m just sharing what I researched. There may be some blatant errors in my info. Any experts out there? Please correct me so I can keep the info accurate for others!

Not being able to afford a new set of boots and plates and my existing boots still in decent shape, I decided to just upgrade my plates. As CRDA skater Negative Nancy told me, (paraphrased) skating is much easier when you’re not fighting with your equipment. And it’s true! After many truck adjustments and changing cushions, I felt still really weighed down by my skates. It was time to try something new.

So I ordered these babies.

Sure Grip Magnesium Avengers

This is the first post of what is going to be a shit-tonne of information. I found this whole ordeal of selecting and installing my plates pretty exhausting and even now, over a month since taking on the task, I’m not sure if I would do it again.

I found I had to do a lot of research and glean information from here and there, because selecting plates and how you mount them is an extremely individual choice!

Should you get new plates?

If you’re wanting to upgrade your skates but not wanting to shell out for a whole new package, it’s a great way to save some money. It’s a personal choice, really. But for me, I felt my skates were limiting me a bit. I wanted to turn harder and faster and they just weren’t cooperating with me; hence my decision to change.

The plates I chose are double-action 45 degree trucks, which means 2 cushions per axle and the kingpins are at a 45 degree angle. This model also has an adjustable pivot pin, which allows a bit more tweaking of your skates. I’ve never skated on anything but 15 degree in derby and borrowed another skater’s 45 degree setup to make sure I didn’t hate them. After skating on them I decided to do more research before making my purchase.

Luckily I like to read on the interwebs and I found some articles that talk about the kinds of plates that are available and their pros and cons. It’s important to analyze what your current setup is NOT doing for you and then try and find a product that fits what you want. Read. Read. Read. Better yet, ask to borrow skates that have a different setup from your own to get a feel for the difference.

For me, weight was a huge issue so I had to find a lightweight plate model. I also wanted to stop fighting with my cornering and I read that 45 degree trucks allow you to turn with less force. So the Sure Grip Magnesium Avengers were a great fit for me

Here’s some articles about plates and trucks to help you get started on your research…

Plates in Brief

Sure Grip: Plates? (PDF)

Anatomy 101: Skate Plates (article)

Leadjammer Skates: What’s all this noise about plates (article)

Quadskating.com: Quad roller skate trucks (article)

Sin City Skates: 45 Degree Kingpins (PDF)

What size of plates do I order?

I wanted to go to a short forward mount, which was to give better response, agility and maneuverability. I thought I was ordering the right size for such a mount, but then after receiving my plates I realized I should have gone one size smaller. Again, you have to do your research to figure out what size of plate is best for the kind of mount you want to do.

In the end I think it turned out well though because if I did go a size smaller, it would have handicapped my skating for a longer period.

The manufacturer of your plate should have a handy-dandy chart on what size plate to order based on your skate size. Look for ‘plate specification’ documents for info like that, as per this example.

What’s short forward, you ask?

Essentially you are ordering a plate that’s a size smaller from what you would normally skate and then you mount them closer to the front of your boot so the front axle is more forward of the ball of your foot (base of your big toe). It forces you to stay on the balls of your feet more and better turn radius because your wheels are closer together.

I’ve also read that it allows more power when pushing.

WARNING! This setup is not for new skaters as there is more empty space at your heal with this setup, meaning if you aren’t always weighted forward, you will not have your wheels at the back of your heal to catch you if you lean back.

Even though I didn’t order the right size plate, I decided to do the short forward mount as best I could with what I had.

RESOURCES

Quadskating.com: Where to mount roller skate plates (article)

Green Wheels Magazine: Skate Plates (article)

Derbylife.com: Ask An Expert: Plate Mounting – Short/Forward vs Standard Mounting (article)

Make your purchase!

The good news is if you make a mistake and hate your new plates, you will likely have a market to sell them within your league. But if you do your research thoroughly, I bet you’ll pick the right ones!

Make sure you double-check what the seller supplies with the plates, especially if you’re buying them used. Make sure that cushions and mounting hardware are included and if it isn’t, purchase the appropriate kits to complete the set!

Check back for Part II where I share my (stressful) experience of mounting my own plates.

New Year’s Eve, Part Deux!

GOOOOAAAALLLLLLSSSSS!

Am I EVER glad I documented this year. It’s shown how far I’ve come, even though some days I felt like a bambi on skates or a pylon. I have a lot of things to be proud of and a lot to still work on and look forward to. 2012 is going to be a year of hard work, for sure!

Like many sports and news shows are doing retrospectives, I’m doing a year in review of the goals I set on this very day last year. The original post can be read here, with the followup post here. It’s not necessary to read my 3 month, 6 month and 9 month progress (but if you really want to, links are provided) because I have my goals outlined in this handy-dandy chart!

Charts are awesome! NERD POWER!

Taken in June 2010

You can see I still have some things I need to work on. And that’s TOTALLY OKAY when I see how much I’ve accomplished. I’m proud of myself for sticking to my plan.

Now with all these fitness and nutrition goals I’ve set, it was bound to have an effect on my body performance and shape. I have to say, I’ve impressed myself. Not only am I stronger and more solid on my skates I started to see these weird bulges show up on my body that turned out to be muscle. I realize by simply adding strength and muscle won’t make me a better skater until I figure out how to use it to my abilities, but for now I’m reveling in the fact I have muscle.

I’m kicking myself I didn’t take a before photo last year. So this is the closest one I could find that shows my body. I’m not overweight or particularly unhealthy, but I see some definite soft spots that needed a lift.

For anyone writing goals for 2012, TAKE BEFORE PHOTOS! PLEASE!

So now, the after…

For those interested, you can see my after photos by clicking on the thumbnails below. Clicking on the photo of my tattoo will show you simple body shots (the best I could do with my webcam and please ignore the mess behind me because I’m in the process of putting away all my Christmas crap). Clicking on the photo of my torso will show various body parts in full-flex mode (as flexy as I can get, anyway. I’m not very good at it 😛 )

Click here for

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Anyone else feel ridiculously awkward after seeing those? **Cherri puts her hand up**

So now, what next?

NEW GOALS!

In addition to the chart above, I want to add…

Moonlight run, get my time somewhere between 29:52-33:34. (That’s going to be a toughie)

Head game, head game, head game. Which means finding my groove to get myself psyched up for a game, find ways to keep myself motivated and positive when things don’t go right and focus on strategy and playing smart.

Aggression RAWR!

Be a more patient jammer. I saw this time and time again while watching worlds. If a jammer was faced with a wall of three, they didn’t try and crash through… they would hop around and wait for the opening. I’ve come to realize that last year I would get impatient and either back block or cut the track.

More intricate footwork. I’m getting really comfortable on my skates. I want to be able to hop forwards, backwards, sideways, onto my toes and have it be instinctual so it’s another tool in my tool kit when playing.

Work towards PBJ. That’s pivot, blocker, jammer

Fix my neck and shoulders. Years of chronic tension isn’t doing me any favours. I need to really focus on getting those muscles working right.

Lift heavy, like the big boys. Going into 2012 I’m on 15 lb weights, each hand (sometimes 20 lb depending on the exercise). I really want to work up from that.

Gain weight in muscle. I’d love to see another 10 lbs added. In order for me to do that, I’m going to have to….

Go Paleo. That’s the only way I see myself making gains. Protein is my friend. Don’t worry, it’s not a carb-free diet. I just get my carbs from sources other than grains. I think I’m going to have to buy a book on this one.

Boring body stats

I have no idea how to do this but I’m going ahead and giving it a shot. It’s just a new way I want to track progress.

Weight: 119 lbs

Height: 5’5″

Waist (at belly button): 28.5″

Hips (at widest point): 34.5″

Thighs (mid point): 16″ (PS they are even now!)

Calves (mid point): 13.5″ (even)

Right bicep: 9.75″

Left bicep: 9.25″

I took a chest measurement but it’s just embarrassing. (yah, yah, it’s not a secret I have no boobs)

Final note: You can do this too!

I want to encourage my readers to set small goals, document and celebrate when you’ve succeeded. I don’t think I would have ever stayed on track if I hadn’t had your support! So thank you for continuing to read! The benefits are huge, regardless if you’re in derby or not. I’m looking forward to my next year and hope you’ll join me in your own success too!

Happy New Year!!!

PS: I successfully changed out my roller skate plates and will have a post on how I did that in the new year!

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! ❤

Hungry

I’ve been in a funk. And it sucks. Articulating it in a way to avoid making it sound whiny has been difficult, hence my sudden cyber-quietness on this blog. I needed time to reflect.

The trigger was our last home game against the B-52 Bellas. While I didn’t go into the game cocky, I went in feeling confident I could at least hold my own against the more experienced team.

However they rolled over us and I played my worst game to date. My penalties racked up quickly, I had to fight for every point (a testament to how great the Bellas played!), I lost focus and my technique faltered.

I was a train wreck and felt I did nothing to contribute to the team during that game.

Further self-destructive evaluation made me think of all the hours I was putting into weight training, running and eating right. I rarely miss practice. I participate in all drills. WHY THE FUCK AM I NOT GETTING BETTER? It pissed me off that sacrifices I made to play this sport and excel at it aren’t coming to fruition.

But then I decided that it’s not about getting better, it’s about how badly do I want it.

Missing a game this weekend due to my financial restrictions to travel sucked hard. If anything, it made me even MORE hungry to play. I don’t want to ever have to say no to a roster position if another is offered to me and if given that position I don’t want to come away from it ever saying, ‘I didn’t try hard enough.’

We’re coming into our last game of a 5-game stint (which is a big deal for our little league) and this is probably the most I’ve ever focused on getting my game-head screwed on tight. Perhaps this is the last piece of the puzzle I need to take me to the next level in my game play.

I know I can skate fast; I know I can skate hard; I know I can give and take hits. But now it’s about being always on, ready for anything.

Ready? Ready.

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!