Can’t think of a derby-pun headline right now

Not being on a game roster any time soon has left me craving to work on some superficial, fun or even silly stuff that I normally wouldn’t have time to work on. Then I ran across the San Diego Derby Doll’s YouTube page and I wanna do what they do…

Transitions

My transitions are weak and I’ve been neglecting them, even after just learning how to properly do one from ref Kid Kickurass of the Gas City Rollers. A transition happens when while forward skating you do a step-step in the opposite direction to have yourself skating backwards, then another step-step to move to forward skating again.

I first learned transitions in order to do a Tomahawk stop. But after seeing this instructional video…
… I really want to pop that skill off as a maneuver in a game.

Whips

My whips are weak (see a theme here?) Just look at me. I have the upper body of a 10-year-old. I really need to pick up on my upper-body strength training. But in the meantime, my leg strength is massive and I can confidently skate with one leg high in the air, so I really want to try this on someone…

I don’t see me doing this in game play, but still it looks pretty damn cool!

Other stuff I want to try or perfect

  • Shoot the duck (image) – pretty sure I have the balance and agility to do it, just haven’t tried yet.
  • Tomahawk stop – gotta make my transitions smoother first.
  • Jumping – stuffed animals, blowup dolls, people… My jumps are weak (again with the theme). I want to get more stable on my skates so I can really get some air.
  • Sideways skating (image) – it looks a lot harder than it really is.
  • Backwards skating with crossovers – often neglected as a derby skill, but it’s legal to skate backwards in derby AND you can hit people while skating backwards, as long as you stay within the legal target zones.

What I really love about this sport is there’s always something to work on or a new skill to learn. Looking down the horizon, I desire to attend Rollercon 2011. Five days of hard-ass training mixed with seminars (PR for Roller Derby? HELLO!!!!!!), derby pool parties, Riedell meet & greet, roller disco AND it’s in Las Vegas??????? DREAM VACATION! I’m jealous of those Alberta players currently enjoying the festivities at this year’s event. I’m so there next year!!!!

Thanks for reading!

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April 11 – First Official Practice (for real this time)

No specific thoughts about this session except… awesome! Maude put us through our paces and I loved every minute!

Drills we ran…

  • Weaving
  • Weaving with shoulder check
  • Weaving with hip check
  • One knee stops, both knees
  • One knee stops with 180 turn, both knees
  • T-Stops
  • Plow Stops
  • Toe Stops
  • Double knee fall
  • Superman slide fall
  • Baseball slide fall, both sides
  • Touching one knee to floor while in motion, both knees
  • Hops
  • Squat position while coasting around 1/2 the track
  • One foot glide while coasting around 1/2 the track, both feet
  • 5 one minute speed trials
  • Running on toe stops
  • Duck walking
  • Crossover walking
  • Looking inside, outside and behind while skating in a pack

I think that’s everything.

Considering our practice space (small) I can still feel myself gaining confidence to push my speed a little bit more. I only hit the wall once (because I couldn’t corner fast enough) and tripped over my skates once during the speed trials (but fell correctly, yay!). I’m really anxious to practice speed and my maneuverability through the pack, but I’m guessing that’s going to have to wait until we all can demonstrate proper control without injuring each other.

We also gathered all the silent auction items at this meeting. There’s some pretty cool stuff up for grabs so I hope everyone remembers to squirrel away some of their drinking money for the auction. My friend Des donated a pair of Olympic mittens (thanks Desi!!!!!) and I donated 3, 8×10 framed bridge prints (shameless plug for me). But other items range from a Zombie photo session, to a skate bag, to homemade jams & wine as well as snowboard gear! Thanks to all our sponsors who graciously donated!!! The support in the community has been really great.

Things on the agenda for this week…

  • Create video to show at the DDD Fundraiser on Saturday (do you have your tickets yet? Get them at Henotic or Blueprints)
  • Change my skates back to outdoor wheels (Wishful thinking? Snow has been forecast for the week)
  • START MY TAXES (ugh)
  • Finish up some design projects
  • Get ready for Auron’s birthday party (20 kids ugh)
  • Finish marking for the semester!!!!!
  • Continue keeping my ears open for a proper indoor venue to skate at

P.S.
I see I have some subscribers! Thank you for keeping tabs on me! And thank you also to my cyberfriend The Active Stick for linking me on her blog. I hope you all don’t stay quiet for too long. I love comments; even if it’s to say I suck. Hahahaha

**Edited to add
Forgot to add that this practice was the first time I’ve ever worn a mouth guard. Weird and gross all at once.

April 9-10

April 9
I got tired of waiting for the wind to calm down so I did a jaunt first thing in the morning. I didn’t even bother cataloging the distance because it was a quick one.

Once I hit the bike path and headed east, I took one push and was literally carried 2 blocks by the wind. On the way home I suffered from watering eyes, windburned cheeks and people walking their dogs passing me (yes, passing me) as I struggled against the ‘gentle’ breeze.

I tried. And people who walked past me, laughed.

I was laughing at me too.

April 10
Skated over to the bowling alley this morning to watch the kids bowl in their leagues. While I was motivated to go, once I hit the streets my feet were sluggish and I was tripping over myself the entire way. Not my best performance.

3.46 mi (5.57 km) in about 1/2 hour

Later in the afternoon I met up with some Dames at the westside school. The weather was surprisingly calm and sunny. We were all happy to be out there and I even met a couple new girls I haven’t skated with before.

I passed off a walkie talkie to my kids so we could keep tabs on each other and sent them off to go biking in the area. The group practiced some pack skating, some weaving and perfecting crossovers since most of us have new skates and are getting accustomed to them. It was nice and relaxing and I really enjoyed everyone’s company.

I’m so excited to have crossed another benchmark off the list… Jumping! Skunky brought her man who is a manic on a pair of inlines. Greg, as well as new skater-friend Shannon, coached us through some jumping techniques.

I’m definitely a watcher if I want to learn something new, so after watching Shannon do some jumps and some tips on proper landings from Greg, I was clearing the 3 inch benchmark.

This is a big deal for me, as I have never jumped in figure skates, let alone while skating on wheels and on concrete 🙂 My technique isn’t great, but that will come.

In other news, my skates are breaking in nicely. I think I’m starting to feel the more wiggle room that comes with breaking them in. I don’t really like it and I’m pretty sure some new inserts are necessary.

I particularly felt it when practicing starts by running on the toe stops (which I suck, gotta work on that next). I may try taking a hair dryer to my skates to tighten them up around the heel as well (under rollergirl.ca’s close supervision, of course).

Tomorrow is indoor practice! Yay! Can’t wait to run some drills!

March 21

River bottom, 4.12 miles (6.63 kms) About half of that distance was fast paced, the rest was leisure.

Started working on jumps (jumping over cracks is a nice pretend obstacle)

Trying to get the hang of spins again. (I loosened my trucks for better cornering and control, but it’s completely changed the technique to do a spin. Weird.

Plow stops… man do you need thigh strength for that. But I can come to a decent stop when going at a leisure pace. I’m pretty sure I’ll always be a toe stop girl at heart LOL

Training Benchmarks

Time to get serious I suppose… I’ll be updating this as I complete benchmarks. Can’t do a lot of these until I’m on a proper track. Can’t wait to get started!

1 Basic Skating Skills
The skater must demonstrate proficiency in the following areas:

[ x ] Skating Posture

[ x ] Bends at knees and hips with shoulders back
[ x ] Swings arms fluidly

[ x ] Stride

[ x ] Has steady, confident, fluid strides
[ x ] Uses both feet to push forward on straight-aways

[ x ] Crossovers

[ x ] Performs smooth crossovers while skating at a brisk pace going into and coming out of turns
[ x ] Uses both feet to push during crossovers

[ x ] Speed and Endurance

[ x ] Skates 25 Laps around regulation track within five minutes (based on WFTDA regulation track)

[ x ] Stops
Skater must come to a complete stop from a brisk pace, using proper form and without losing her balance. Must be able to complete both stops effectively.

[ ] T-Stop
[ x ] Plow Stop

[ x ] Other skills

[ x ] Performs one-foot glides with each foot for the length of the straightaway with good balance.

[ x ] Skater must be in derby stance with one foot completely off the floor
[ x ] Skater maintains sufficient speed and does not flail limbs

[ x ] Has the ability to propel self while keeping all eight wheels on the floor
[ x ] Can move easily and fluidly from one side of the skating lane to the other
[ x ] Can perform smooth quick cuts, crossing the track at least three times on each straight-away and twice on each turn

2 Falls
Skater must perform the following falls safely, correctly, and naturally.

[ x ] Single Knee Falls

[ x ] Left
[ x ] Right
[ x ] Recovers from each fall without using hands to get up
[ x ] Skater is able to return to active skating within two seconds

[ x ] Double Knee Falls

[ ] Skater is able to return to active skating within two seconds

[ x ] Figure 4/Baseball Slide

[ x ] Both legs stay on or near the ground during the fall
[ x ] Skater is able to return to active skating within three seconds

[ x ] Degree Turn Single Knee Fall

[ x ] Exhibits control to complete the fall in exact opposite direction
[ x ] Skater is able to return to active skating within two seconds

[ x ] Four point fall

[ x ] Hands are kept in front of the body, fingers closed into fists
[ x ] Skater is able to return to active skating within two seconds

3 Balance/Agility
Skater must demonstrate the ability to perform the following tasks without losing her balance or falling.
[ x ] Stepping from a standstill

[ x ] Forward and Backward
[ x ] Side to side in both directions

[ x ] Squatting
Skater achieves a 90 to 120 degree angle at the knee during each squat. Feet and knees are hip width or wider. Eyes look forward, chest is out and back is flat.

[ x ] Squats and coasts through the entire straightaway and turn
[ x ] Squats and propels self on straightaways and around turns

[ x ] Hopping

[ x ] Hops over an object at least 3 inches in height without touching the object or losing
balance while skating at a moderate pace

[ x ] Skater’s feet must leave the ground simultaneously, then land simultaneously

[ x ] Skater hops from one foot to the other while moving forward

[ x ] Focus

[ x ] Can look left, right, and behind quickly and unexpectedly while maintaining regular skating stride at a moderate pace

[ x ] Weaving

[ x ] Maneuvers through 10 cones placed six feet apart, covering both straight-aways and turns

4 Skating With Others
Skater must demonstrate the ability to perform the following skills legally and safely while skating at a moderate pace.

[ x ] Whips

[ x ] Giving whips

[ x ] Giving inside whip
[ x ] Giving outside whip

[ x ] Receiving whips

[ ] Receiving inside whip
[ x ] Receiving outside whip

[ x ] Hip whips

[ x ] Giving hip whips
[ x ] Receiving hip whips

[ x ] Pushes

[ x ] Giving pushes
[ x ] Receiving pushes

[ x ] Pacing

[ x ] Skater adjusts to the variable speeds (decrease/increase) of a paceline, while maintaining an arms length distance between herself and the skaters in front of and behind her without falling, tripping, overtaking or running into another skater.

[ x ] Weaving Around Moving Obstacles

[ x ] Demonstrates weaving through a single-file line of moving skaters who are each an arm’s length apart.

[ x ] Unexpected Obstacles

[ x ] Skating within a pack of at least four other skaters who fall in front of the skater at various unexpected times. Skater must deal with the fallen skaters by avoiding or safely falling without hurting self or the fallen skater, and without causing an unnecessary hazard for any of the pack skaters.

[ x ] Leaning

[ x ] Skates while leaning shoulder to shoulder with another skater while maintaining an upright position and propulsion without tripping, falling, or becoming unsteady.

[ x ] Bumping

[ x ] Maintains or recovers balance, without falling, while being bumped into and having wheels bumped by other skaters.

5 Blocking
Skater must demonstrate the ability to perform the following skills legally and safely while skating at a moderate pace.

[ x ] Taking Hits

[ x ] Responds safely (without flailing or grabbing other skaters, if falling, she falls safely, accurately, and small, without sprawling unnecessarily, and with 2 to 4 second recoveries) to repeated heavy hip checks and shoulder checks.
[ x ] Demonstrates the above in a pack situation, without causing an unnecessary hazard for pack skaters.

[ x ] Positional Blocking/Frontal Blocking/Stall Blocking

[ x ] Performs with good posture and without loss of balance or focus

[ x ] Checks
Performs checks with legal body parts delivered within legal blocking zones with moderate to heavy force while skating at a brisk pace.

[ x ] Hip checks

[ x ] Left hip
[ x ] Right hip

[ x ] Shoulder checks

[ x ] Left shoulder
[ x ] Right shoulder