Saturday, October 31, 2009

Skating today

Charlie and I went skating today at the open skate in Lebanon. I'm feeling more in-control on my skates, which is a wonderful thing. I still have to build up some endurance. Cardio stamina is not a problem -- it's my stupid calf muscles that get tired out.

Charlie did a lot better too -- yay! I think he's starting to get comfortable on the skates.

The biggest challenge at open skate continues to be avoiding crashing into the little kids. At least adults generally skate forwards. With little kids, you never know what direction they are going to go. :-)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I only made it through the first 45 minutes of practice last night. I was OK skating laps, though that polished concrete floor has to be the worst surface I've ever skated on. It's incredibly slick. When I went down on the floor for stretching, I had a sharp pain in my right thigh. Uh-oh. Then when we were doing falling drills -- specifically the one where you go down on one knee -- my right leg was really complaining. I couldn't get up unless I scooted over to the exposed metal bracing along the walls and used my arms to pull myself up.

This was new; this pain wasn't part of the soreness I'd had all week.

The next practice I can go to is an open skate at the roller rink in Lebanon, on Saturday. I'm going. Fortunately, I've been told it has a wonderfully grippy floor, much better for skating than the floors at the fairgrounds. Between now and then, I am going to try to stretch my legs every day and hope this muscle spasm, or whatever it is, goes away.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Skate Names

In roller derby, most skaters have cool skate names -- if you've seen "Whip It," you're familiar with the concept. Some of the names in the movie include Smashley Simpson, Eva Destruction, Babe Ruthless, and so on. One of my favorite derby names that I've heard is Sandra Day O'Clobber. :-)

Derby names have to be unique -- there's a national registry, and if your desired name is the same as or even too similar to another skater's name, you can't use it.

That's too bad, because my first (and, I still think, best) idea for my own skate name was "Auntie Maim." No dice -- there's already a skater named "Annie Maim" and it's too similar.

Some of the other names Charlie and I thought up -- which are all already taken -- include Sara Whalin', Killary Clinton, Penny Pain and Punky Bruiser.

The names I am now considering, which don't appear to be taken:

- Queen of the Harpies
- Harriet Half-Nelson

I'll probably think of more before the time comes that I actually need one. :-)

Also, if any African-American derby girl out there needs a name, may I suggest "Michelle OSlamma"? It's not taken.

Owwwwww, again

I tried on my new skates a little while ago. They still feel good. I'm having more trouble with my left foot (which has an ingrown toenail on the big toe) than with my wide-ass right one. That's a good sign -- an ingrown toenail is a *lot* easier to deal with than a bunion.

But then ... I did something stupid. I tried to go up on both toe stops at the same time. Ooooh, bad idea. I fell on my ass -- and tried to break my fall with my hand. I'm fine, luckily. Not gonna try that move again, though. (As far as I know, it's not something you're supposed to do; I don't know why I even did it.)

Practice is tomorrow night. I'm nervous. Two and a half hours is a long time to exercise, even doing something relatively easy (which this is *so* totally not).

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Today we went to Emerald City Skates and I got myself some good quality skates -- for anyone who cares, they are Riedell Vixens, with Radar hybrid indoor-outdoor wheels. You can see the skates here. The great thing about the skates is that the laces go all the way to the toe, which gives me a lot of control over their width. They felt really good, and I felt much more secure on them than I did on the other skates. That's probably at least partly because I was on a carpeted floor, but still, it's a good sign.

I also invested in some 187 knee pads, which were mad expensive ($58, and that's a discounted price!). But knees are not something to play games with.

Monday's the next practice. I'm excited to try out my new skates!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I don't think my legs have ever been this sore.

My first roller derby practice was two days ago. It was also the first time I'd been on skates in at least three years. The practice was -- to my out-of-shape body and scaredy-cat mind -- brutal. I learned the derby position (knees bent, butt out, elbows in, head up). It was fun when Bones, the tiny little derby chick who taught the beginner class, said to stick your butt out. Easy for you to say, I thought. If my butt were that tiny, I'd walk around sticking it out all day. :-)

Bones was awesome, as were all of the Sick Town Derby Dames. It was a sea of unfamiliar faces, most (but not all!) of which were a good 5-15 years younger than mine. (I checked -- I'm not the oldest. Not that it would matter.)

At first, I was pretty scared on the skates. I brought my own, a pair of four-wheelers (that's the old fashioned kind -- roller derby does not use inline skates) that I picked up for $25 at Wal-Mart several years ago. Apparently I got what I paid for: an hour and a half into the two-and-a-half-hour practice, I had to take off the skates because they were absolutely killing my feet.

Until then, I had been getting more comfortable on my wheels. When I was 11 years old, I was absolutely obsessed with rollerskating. My parents bought me a pair of skates for Christmas, and I was inseparable from them. (The following spring, they upgraded me to a supercool pair of Boston Avenue Street Skates -- with silver sneakers with rainbows, instead of boots -- as a reward for bringing up my grade in religion class from a C to an A. Or maybe it was for improving my behavior grade from "needs improvement" to "satisfactory." I don't remember now.)

Anyway, I skated all the time -- indoors, outdoors, wherever I could. My best friend and I would "practice" falling at the roller rink -- not that we ever fell. I wasn't some brilliant skater; it was just easy.

It's not easy now. Now, my calves are sore, and I forget to bend my knees, and the floor is slippery and I'm afraid I'm going to fall. I have to get past that, because let's face it: if I do roller derby (and I really want to), I'm going to fall.

This weekend, I'm going down to the skate shop in Eugene (run by a derby girl who calls herself Babe Malicious), and get some good skates and good knee pads. I'll be 40 in a month -- I'm not taking chances with my knees. Better to spend $58 (!!) for good-quality pads than god-only-knows-how-much for knee surgery.

Given how fricking sore they are now, I think I can safely say: if I stick with this derby thing, I'm going to have some strong damn legs.