Posted: August 23, 2011 in Uncategorized

It’s been a while. I know this. I need to update on why. I know I do. But right now I have to get this feeling trying to burst out of my test down on paper (figuratively). Once I do that, then I’ll try to make an actual blog post. I don’t know who I’m apologizing to. Maybe to the hoards of fans I’ll have? Haha. Yea. I guess I’m just pissed that I didn’t keep up with this like I planned. But there will be some changes soon, so hopefully those changes will get me back on track in more ways than one. I’ll try to update with what’s been missed (ie: a brief synopsis of everything I should’ve already written about), and then start with new stuff. Again… big changes.


Okay, so I’m even more behind than usual. That’s okay. You were at least warned.

So, let’s see… not last Thursday, but the Thursday before (March 4th), I went to my first “Thursday practice.” This is the practice kind of designated for roller girls, but anyone can go to it. I was a bit nervous, but ready to see what’s up. Unfortunately only a few roller girls showed up (about 4) and then there was me. So, while the roller girls did what they do best, I did what I do… not best, but.. ya know, just do. I skated in some big circles around the rink. Coach (the head coach, who I’d never practiced with, since he can’t come on the nights I usually go to practice), came up and told me I need to gain speed. I know I do. I get told that a lot and it’s true. I’m afraid to go fast, I guess. I don’t know why I’m afraid to go fast. I guess I’m afraid to fall, but that isn’t really true, either. I’ve fallen a lot and it isn’t scary, it’s just frustrating. I guess my way of thinking is: If I could get my footing, learn to cross over, get in better derby form, and stop being so wobbly, THEN I could worry about going fast! I want to go fast! I promise! But it just can’t happen while I’m focusing on everything else.

Side note. I’ve had this entry-in-the-making pulled up on my computer for about the last 3 weeks. I haven’t changed it much. Maybe I should just quit trying to backtrack and just zip it up in a nutshell. Yes. That sounds good. Here it comes.

To continue the post above – Coach pushed me around the rink and I fell, fell again, and fell some more. I did some awesome slides across the rink falling. I slid on my knees, I slid on my belly, I slid on my side. It was pretty fun, except for the fact I wasn’t falling properly. Since then, I’ve learned how to do some proper falls, even though I haven’t mastered those yet, either.

The week after this, a Wednesday night, we were doing suicides up and down the rink. I don’t care what sport you play, when you hear that word you automatically cringe. Our suicides consisted of racing to one cone, doing a fall, coming back, racing to the next cone, falling, coming back, then going to the furthest cone, falling, then coming back. We were split into two teams and racing while we did this. My second time through I had to do a fall I hadn’t learned yet. It’s called the “Rockstar.” When doing this fall you’re supposed to land on both knees, however not at the same time. You should land with one knee first, immediately followed by your other knee, to then be on both knees. Well, I landed on both knees at once. That’s pretty jarring if you aren’t used to it. When I was on my way back after the last cone, I had in my mind the way to do it. I was concentrating so hard and I’m sure that showed on my face. Well, some how I lost my footing and didn’t fall anywhere I was wearing pads. Instead, I fell on my natural padding… my left hip. And then the worst happened. As I laid there for a second or two (which actually felt longer, however, I refused to just lay there), I felt it coming. Oh yes. The tears. Not tears of pain, but tears of absolute frustration and anguish. My emotions are directly connected to my tear ducts. Do you have any idea how embarrassing that is? To be angry and cry? It’s humiliating. Especially right after a fall. Yea, the fall kind of hurt. It hurt enough to make me want to lay there for a second, but I was embarrassed, I was beyond pissed, and so I cried. I crawled over to the side of the rink and just sat there trying to fight it all back, but my emotions weren’t having it. Usually I can save the frustrated crying for the car ride home, if need be, but not that night. That night it happened in front of everywhere. Thankfully, after bringing me some much needed ice, Z, asked me to come outside. We sat outside on the cold, sopping wet ground (which felt good to my hip, by the way) talking about the frustrations of derby. She recounted her own memories, which ended up completely mirroring everything I was feeling, had felt, or would be sure to feel. It made me feel better. I wished everyone could hear our conversation, so they wouldn’t think I cried out of pain. I’m not a wimp and I certainly didn’t want to be seen as such. But still, whether everyone knows that or not doesn’t really matter anymore. What does matter is that Z helped me that night. She perfectly explained my fears in a way I hadn’t realized. That sentence sounds weird. What I mean is, she said derby brings all of your fears and insecurities (which I haveĀ  plenty of) to the surface. It’s an incredibly raw, exposed feeling, and it’s very true. This is the first thing I have ever done on my own. And by that I mean this is the first thing I’ve ever done where I knew nothing about it before hand and nobody suggested I should do it. I’ve always done things I was already good at (writing stories, performing music, etc.), and I’ve never really gone after something I wasn’t good at and didn’t know a damn thing about. So, that in and of itself is terrifying. Nobody is doing this with me. My Mom was supportive when she knew this is what I wanted to do, but I’m fairly certain that everyone (even maybe my Mom), was a bit skeptical when it came to me really wanting to play derby. I have the attitude for it, but I guess nobody ever suspected I’d have the physical drive to do it. I’ve never been athletic. I’ve never played a sport, despite always wanting to. I was in the marching band. Not to take away from band, because my high school band was very demanding. I mean, we practiced longer than the football team, but still… it’s physical, but not that physical. So it’s only natural for everyone to just smile and nod. Or they could be like my other friends/classmates and say, “She’s WHAT? Kristen?? And ROLLER DERBY? Are you kidding??” Yea… that’s pretty accurate, I think.

Anyway, so, it’s been about 2 and a half to 3 weeks since my first “bad” fall, and my bruise is just barely there. I fell on it againĀ  Monday, (March 21st). It hurt, but not as bad. I wasn’t going fast. I had actually tripped over a bump in the floor, so I flailed around before I fell on my skates and then my hip. I still have a nice, healthy knot in my hip from my old bruise, plus the new one. Oh, and I tried to take pictures of the awesome bruise, but my camera broke and the pictures wouldn’t show it up properly on my phone. I’m kinda sad, actually. My first, massive bruise and I missed it. I should have the knot long enough to keep it in mind.

What else could I mention… Hm.. I think I forgot to mention we had a scrimmage a little over a month ago. I went to it and helped out. I also “dressed” properly. Ya know, tights, fishnet, skirt, t-shirt, and chucks, since at the time I wasn’t coordinated enough to wear skates. Despite the fact I felt very out of place wearing the outfit (and probably still would, since I only wear work-out pants to practice) I had a blast, and got over my wardrobe quickly. Practice is one thing, but seeing people in action is amazing. We have so many amazing players, which I knew already, but again… seeing them in action is amazing. L is so, blindingly fast. She glides across the floor like it’s second nature — Maybe it is. You would have to see her to understand. It’s amazing how she skates. D blocked the girls so amazingly well. I hope my ass can block as well as hers did. I forget what the block is called, but it’s where she literally has her ass sticking out and keeps it in peoples’ way. F and B did great as jammers. B and I are roughly the same size, so it’s always cool to watch her skate. It teaches me a lot, since that’s how I probably need to skate. Z and everyone I can’t think of at this point did great jobs blocking. I really hope I can get up to their point one day.

There’s probably more I’ve forgotten, but I’ll add it later. I’m just surprised I remembered as much as I did, since it’s been so long since I typed up an entry. Geez. I gotta jump on it!

See what I mean? I’m lazy. When it comes to writing, at least. I’ve had this pulled up on my computer, adding a little here and there, ever since I typed the last one. Man, this is going to be a long one.

So, you might be wondering how or why I decided to dive head first into roller derby. Well, in a nutshell… I have a friend, who lives in Canada, who decided to join a derby league up there. Well, she told me all about her practices, I saw pictures, I heard stories, etc., and I pretty much lived vicariously through her. That was about a year ago. I secretly looked for a local team online. I was unsuccessful. The nearest one I found was about a 45 minute drive away. The next was an hour to an hour and a half away. I didn’t have a car at the time, and I wanted to have a friend with me. So, basically, I decided I was going to continue my journey vicariously through my friend, J.

Fast forward to about 2-3 months ago. We’re talking mid December, early January. I began working at a large chain bookstore, and one of my co-workers mentioned roller derby. She was originally a part of the team 45 minutes away, but lately has been hanging out with the team IN MY TOWN. Whaaaat? Why did Google fail me, you ask? Yea, I don’t know. Point is, there was one IN MY TOWN. I was excited. I don’t know why I was excited, because there’s NO way I could join, right? Even casually joking about the idea with people close to me got more laughs than my usual snarky jokes. So, I knew it wasn’t meant to be. Until my co-worker invited me to practice one night. That lit a tiny little fire. I kept bringing it up to her, being my usual annoying self, trying to see if she’d be there, but got no reply. Sick to my stomach with nervousness, I decided I’d head over to a practice to just watch. After all, that’s what my co-worker said I could do!

I actually tried to dress “not very girlie.” I must mention that I’m not a girlie person to begin with. I’m definitely a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl. I can dress up, but I rather save that for a special occasion. Still, I didn’t know much about derby girls, but I knew they looked tough, so I wanted to look as “okay” as possible. Jeans, my little bro’s bball T from when he was 12 (I know, right?), and some chucks did the trick. I show up to the roller rink and all these girls are just sort of… staring. At. Me. Actually, they probably weren’t, but I’m paranoid. Plus, I’m in their turf, right? So I tell them I work with this girl, who said I could come watch (and didn’t show up! Ahh!). They say it’s cool to watch and I rest a little easier. Honestly, at this present point (which is about a month, maybe a little more, later) I can’t remember much of what I saw. I had to leave 30 minutes after I got there to pick my brother up from work. A few of them talked to me. The captain did, for sure, one of the maggots asked if I wanted skates. You would’ve thought she asked if I wanted to lick a hot iron. And a few others spoke to me as well; most were really friendly, the rest were pretty quiet (which I’m down with. I’m the same way at first). I said I’d be back next time, because I had to unfortunately leave, and one of them was kind enough to exchange info with me. God love her, I’m sure I bothered the hell out of her, asking a million questions. She was very helpful in answering everything I asked and even still keeps me posted on when practices are canceled.

Again, my memory is failing me, but I feel like I either came to a Tuesday night practice (which isn’t practice, but a $2 skate night that some skaters like to go to) or went to the next practice. Either way, it was horrible (on my end that is). I hadn’t skated in at least 12 years. Count that. TWELVE. YEARS. And even then I had last skated on roller blades. Quads? Are you kidding me? You saw the last post. The last time I skated on quads they were plastic! I wanted this so bad I could taste it, but I didn’t think I’d make it far before they told me to get on with myself and stop wasting their time. The next practice came and during warm up time I just sit there. I’m embarrassed and terrified to get up and skate in front of all these people who clearly were born with wheels on their feet. I’d fallen on my ass (okay, it was really my knee, but still) that one Tuesday night and I knew more was to come. Plus, I kept hearing that everyone started out crappy like me, but it’s hard to believe it when you’re the only one who currently sucks so bad. Regardless, I got up and started doing laps on the outer part of the track/rink. Slow and steady wins the race, you say? Yea, not in derby. However, the embarrassment (caused only by myself) has certainly paid off. I’ve gotten a lot faster, and by faster I mean not turtle slow, but more like caterpillar slow. Ya know, how they move a lot, but don’t go very far? I’m at about that stage. For every 2 laps the roller girls do I do one if I’m lucky. But hey, that’s better than them getting 3 or 4 laps in to my one, yes?

In an even smaller nutshell than the last… over the span of the last week (I think), that I’ve had this post pulled up, adding bit by bit… I’ve forgotten the rest of what I wanted to say. I was going to add parts here and there about various practices, but that’s tedious and I’m tired. I think I’ll leave this post where it is and start the next one with either the last practice or the one before it. Want a preview? The last practice was on a Thursday. Coach had me fall so much I cut my ass open (awesome, by the way), and the practice before that had me squawling (my computer has that underlined in red. it says it isn’t a real word. I say it is) like a baby out of frustration. I probably shouldn’t mention that on here. Too late now.

I know you had them, too. You could hook them to your tennis shoes and, well, not exactly skate across any surface, but instead shuffle across any surface. They were plastic, adjustable underneath, so you could keep them with you for just a little while longer, and they never felt good while barefoot. Ring any bells? Oh yes. These skates were a favorite from my toy box. I never wanted to get rid of them, yet I was always pissed when I couldn’t go more than 3 inches at a time. I don’t know what the fascination was. Perhaps the fact it was harder to fall than it was to skate? These bad boys were like walking in tennis shoes. Come to think of it, maybe I did walk around in them. I don’t know.

Why the sudden flash back, you ask? After all, this is my first blog post.

Well, I’m trying to be a rollergirl. And not just any rollergirl, a derby girl. Yes. I want to go from those above, to some bad ass derby skates. I would post a picture, but I’m so new I haven’t bought my own yet. Plus, my camera is broken. C’est la vie, oui?

I’ve actually gone to about a month’s worth of practice, but I had the bright, yet lazy, idea a week or so ago to document this process I’m going through. Tomorrow (and remember, I said “yet lazy) I’ll probably post about the first practice, and either catch y’all (who’s reading this besides myself? Yea. Hi you.) up in that one post, or at least make a couple. After that, I’ll try to post regularly from each practice forward. Hahahaha. I wish I could place a bet against myself, except for not really, because I would lose no matter how you look at it. Still. I’ve wanted to blog about this for at least 2 weeks, so I will do it!

Derby girls don’t quit! And they especially don’t quit their new spiffy blogs!