Thursday, April 29, 2010

This too shall pass.

Last night was rough. I'm not going to lie. I keep this blog positive -- this is not a place to say ugly things about other people (and honestly I don't have anything ugly to say about anyone anyway!). But I'm going to be honest about myself, warts and all.

First, I'm still struggling with the sport court, though I think I am starting to get used to it. The new wheels I bought seem to help. I've lost some speed (they are grippier wheels, which means slower -- I've gone from a 93 durometer (the hardness of the wheels -- higher number equals harder wheel) to an 88, which is what many of the girls use on the sport court. Anyway, I have to work harder to go the same speed I was going on the 93s, *but* I'm more confident because my wheels aren't sliding around.

Last night was the first time I had skated in a WEEK. That wasn't my choice -- I would *never* choose to miss a week of practices. But there was pudding wrestling on Friday, and then Saturday and Monday I was sick. I had, at least, gone to class and done cardio on Friday and Wednesday, but still. Ugh. Couch potato week.

I never, ever want to take a week off from skating again. I had been getting to the point where my shins didn't hurt much even when I very first skated. Well, last night, those mofos *hurt*, and between that and the fact that I was struggling for speed *and* the fact that I was probably not completely over being sick ... I had to drop out of the pace lines. I couldn't even sustain skating around the inside track. It *sucked*.

They are cracking down on the requirements for scrimmaging -- you have to have passed minimim skills (check), you have to have passed the written rules test (not yet), and you have to have been to two practices a week since passing minimum skills (nope -- it hasn't been two weeks yet). So I didn't get to scrimmage, but honestly, that's fine. At this point in my progress, after not skating for a week, I probably *shouldn't* scrimmage.

So I was an inside pack ref instead, skating around the inside of the track and calling penalties. It was very, very educational. Any derby girl reading this, if you think the referees' job is easy, you should try refereeing at a scrimmage or two. First, skating around the inside of the track is not that easy. Keeping up with the pack wouldn't have been hard, except that there were three or four other people also skating that narrow little lane, plus skaters sometimes getting pushed to the inside, and it just gets very crowded. And then you have to watch for rules violations (mostly elbowing, back-blocking and cutting the track), and make snap judgments on whether it was a minor or major violation ... It's hard. I already had respect for the referees, but being on that side of the line has given me a new understanding.

So anyway ... after the scrimmage, the team had a long talk that Tami and I were not included in ... so we were over with the refs. And then at one point they called Tami over. Except the acoustics in that place are terrible, so I thought they were calling us both over, and I went too. I thought they were just calling us over like, "OK, time to get on with practice."

Yeah, no. They were inviting Tami to join the travel team. So I stood there like a dork for a few seconds, and then skated back over to the refs. It was pretty embarrassing. At least, thank goodness, I didn't say anything -- because it would be just like me to open my big dumb mouth and say something dumb in a situation like that. So, points to me: what I should have said was nothing, and what I said was nothing.

Hey, I am really happy for Tami. And it's not like we were both in competition for a spot on the team and it went to her. I'm *not* ready, and I know that. I knew other girls who passed minimum skills with me would get put on the team sooner than I would (if I am at all). I just didn't think it would happen so soon. But it is what it is, and it just means I have to work harder and get myself scrimmage-eligible, and then hopefully bout-ready.

Mostly, though, I was just really embarrassed. Wetback (love her, though I'm still not 100% comfortable calling her that) came out and talked with me, and that was cool because for one thing I needed to talk, and for another, at least one person knew I was just embarrassed, not mad that I wasn't put on the team. Hell, as I write this now I know I'm making too big a deal of the embarrassment. It was just a rough damn night.

Anyway, after I talked with Wetback, I went back in and joined the drill that was going on, and got through it and kept up with the pack (with assists, but that's OK). I finished the practice, when what I wanted to do most in the world was go home. I'm going to give myself some credit for that. Staying and finishing the practice was absolutely the right thing to do, but it was also hard. And I did it. So, good on me.

On Tuesday, I had a one-on-one coaching session with Wetback, which was awesome. She helped me set some goals (I will post them in a separate post). Even though last night kind of sucked, I am still totally committed to working toward my goals. I don't know if I will ever be on the travel team -- that is not in my control. But I *will* be a good enough skater to be on the team.

One more thing. I weigh myself on Thursday mornings. I wasn't enthusiastic about that this morning -- I had skated *once* since my last weigh-in, and had only worked out twice, and hadn't been all that careful about what I had eaten. But I made myself do it. I figured, if I had just maintained, I would be happy. And if I had gained, well, that would fit the theme of the week: suckiness.

I lost a pound.


So here's the plan. I'm going to shake last night off, hope I didn't behave like an a-hole at practice (I'm pretty sure I didn't), and get to work on my goals. And never, ever miss practice again!!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Me as Jammer

Here's a picture of me from last night's scrimmage, playing jammer.

Last night was mixed, for sure. At the beginning of practice, the team did a 27-laps-in-5-minutes pace line, and I couldn't keep up, so I dropped out and skated around the outside of the track. That was the wrong thing to do, I guess. Next time I can't keep up with a pace line, I will skate around the inside of the track instead. That way I'm still more engaged with the drill, and I can re-join if I manage to get up to speed.

I know 27 laps in 5 minutes isn't that much faster than 25 laps in 5 minutes. I know I have to be able to skate at that pace if I want to skate in bouts. (Obviously, there's not much that I want more!)

For some girls, passing minimum skills probably means they are pretty much ready to bout. It doesn't mean that for me. I don't think many people really expected me to pass. That's OK, I didn't either. I knew it was going to be a near thing either way. What that means is that it may take me longer to get up to the level I need to be at for bouting (which is above the level I needed to be at to pass min skills). I hope the trainers will be able to be patient, as long as I'm giving 100%.

A month ago I couldn't do 25 laps in 5 minutes, and now I can. That's something, right? I think it is. I think it means that if I keep pushing, and keep going to four practices a week plus doing cardio outside of practice, I will get to where I need to be.

OK, some good things:

- Last night we newly-advanced girls got to scrimmage (we had thought we weren't going to). It was fun, though of course I did a few dumb things. I need to find a way to be fearless on the track. I need to find a way to think, "OK, Kant is going to hit me. Fuck it, I'm going to hit her back," instead of "Oh shit, Kant is going to hit me!!! Run away!!!!!"

Wait, I was going to say something good. :-)

OK, last night during the scrimmage, in the last jam, I was the jammer for my team. They sent out all of us new girls, plus a couple of OGs to fill out the teams. I managed to get through the pack three times!! That means I would have scored ... well, I don't know, possibly as many as 12 points for my team, I think. That's pretty damn cool.

- I lost two pounds last week. I have been losing weight thanks to derby, but I didn't really start tracking my weight until a few weeks ago.

- I'm not giving up. Not by a long shot.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Welcome to the Big League

I knew that passing minimum skills was just the start of a lot of hard work and training. But knowing that in my mind and knowing in my legs, ass, and the rest of my body were two different things.

Last night's practice was tough. It was my first time on the sport court (a plastic flooring surface that can be put down and removed). The sport court is slicker than the concrete we usually skate on (though not as much so as I was afraid). It is definitely going to take some getting used to.

The harder thing, though, was keeping up. I trained and worked *hard* to be able to skate 12-second laps (and to sustain that pace for at least five minutes at a time). But the trainers *warned* us that the pace the travel team goes for is more like 9 or 10 seconds. Still, hearing that and trying to skate it? Two different things.

But hey, a month ago I couldn't skate a 12-second lap, or at least I couldn't skate 25 of them in a row. I'll get there! That's what all this cardio I'm doing outside of practice is for.

And no one is pulling the hits anymore. The travel team girls have started hitting us at 100%. I took a lot of hard hits last night. The first one to knock me down was Boxxx, with a shoulder hit. Maybe I wasn't low enough, because I wouldn't have thought a shoulder hit should take me down like that. Hurt like hell, absolutely ... but knock me down? I don't know. Boxxx is a powerful hitter, for sure. But I probably also was not low enough.

I don't want to imply that Boxxx was the only one to knock me down last night -- far from it. :-)

We did a lot of scrimmage-y drills, which is awesome: we worked on breaking up walls, pushing our blocker partner into the jammer, and other stuff like that. Boxxx did something really awesome on one repetition of one of the drills when she was paired up with me and Emily (Belle Tolls ... gotta remember to call her by her derby name now that she has one). Belle and I both just passed min skills. We were blocking, and Boxxx was the jammer getting past us. Rather than just zip past us, which we all know Boxxx could totally have done, she worked at our level and helped us learn how to do the exercise. Thank you Boxxx!!!! (It's not that the other girls weren't doing that too ... but Boxxx was especially awesome.)

I spent a lot of last night feeling like a total idiot. A *slow* idiot. I have so much to learn. I'll get there, right?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Minimum Skills

As I said earlier, I passed. This is a huge, ginormous big deal. I really didn't think I was going to pass. In fact, as of January or February, if you had asked me, I would have said it would probably take me at least until the end of 2010 to pass minimum skills.

Today's min skills assessment (let's abbreviate it to MSA from now on), for me, was a story of pluck, determination, and crying like a little bitch. I cried when I thought I was not going to pass. I sobbed when I passed. The tears flowed. Sigh. Well, if I ever get to be a trainer, I hope I will be as nice and understanding as Bones, Cruel Anne and Boxxx were today when some intermediate girl cries on my shoulder.


The things I thought were going to trip me up were skating 25 laps in 5 minutes, doing a crossover (this is the most efficient way to maintain speed while going around the curves at the ends of the track; you cross your outside leg over the inside leg, and push off toward the outside with the inside leg), and the two-footed jump over a three-inch-tall object.

What *did* trip me up was receiving a push assist, zigzagging from one side of the track to the other, and the motherfricking jump.

The push was pure dumbness on my part. My legs were too straight, and I wobbled when my partner pushed me. That's very unsafe: if someone is giving you a strong push from behind (on your behind), you need to be in the proper position (knees bent, butt out) or you could fall and get hurt.

The zigzagging was another silly mistake: I was skating too fast, and that meant I wasn't getting enough zigs and zags in. I needed three per straightaway and two per curve, and I wasn't getting them.

But the 25 laps in 5 minutes? I was able to do it, just fine. They let me stay to the inside of the track rather than be in the pace line, and I was able to keep up with (and even pass part of) the line. That was *awesome*.

As for the crossover ... I have been doing derby for six months now. I have lost count of the number of people who have tried to teach me to do a crossover (and given me excellent advice on it). Somehow, it just finally clicked today -- RIGHT when I needed it to. Bones said she had never seen me do a crossover before today. I think that's because I really hadn't done one. When we were starting to do crossovers for evaluation, she said "Exaggerate them." Somehow, exaggerating the movement with my outside (right) foot just made the movement of the inside (left) foot click into place for me. I did it!!! (Now I have to practice it *a lot*, because -- surprise, surprise -- it works the muscles in a new way.)

When Bones told me I passed the crossover part, I was absolutely thrilled.

Unfortunately, though, by that point I had already failed the two-footed jump. We were jumping over the head of a push-broom. We had to skate up to it and jump with both feet, landing with both feet at the same time on the other side of it. We had to clear it completely. Until today, the only object I had managed to jump over, two-footed, was a child's toy baseball bat -- probably 1" off the ground.

I knew it was possible that I would be able to do the jump. It's one of those things that you can go from "I can't" to "Holy shit, I did it" pretty quickly. But the fact that I had never done it yet was pretty scary.

We each got two tries. The first try, I cleared it but my feet didn't land at the same time. The second try, I didn't clear it (I grazed it, enough to knock it out of position but fortunately not enough to cause me to wipe out). After everyone had jumped, Bones let me try one more time. This time, I cleared it and then fell on my ass.

I felt pretty miserable after that, but I had already decided that even if I knew for sure I had failed, I would finish the MSA as strongly as I could. I may cry in front of these girls, but I will *not* give up.

We got through the rest of the MSA (and I did everything else successfully!). Afterward, the trainers came to each of us individually and offered us the chance to try again on the skills we had not passed. I think if someone had not passed a *lot* of skills, they would probably just be told they had not passed the MSA. I don't know what the cutoff is; I just know that it's at least 3.

I re-did the "receiving a push" test. No problem, once I remembered to stay in proper derby form. I re-did the zig-zagging and made it. And then there was the jump.

Bones went off to watch someone else re-do some skills, and left me alone with the broom head. I must have tried 7 or 8 times to jump that damned thing, and each time I ended up doing a one-foot jump (in other words, my feet did not hit the other side at the same time). Not good enough, at all.

The other intermediate girls who had finished testing were watching me and shouting encouragement. I don't know what clicked in my brain, but I jumped -- and cleared it, and my skates landed at the same time. The girls cheered. I screamed, "I did it!" And then I looked over at the trainers and realized not one of them had been looking. Not. One.

I skated over to Cruel Anne, and at this point I was crying. I said, "I did it, but no one was watching." God bless Cruel Anne. She said, "So do it again!"

I did. I did!!! That time Bonesy was watching. She said I had to do it one more time, because it's important that we be able to repeat the skills. Perfectly reasonable. And if I did it twice, I should be able to do it three times.

I was. I did it!!!!!!

And with that, I passed minimum skills. And ... yes ... burst into tears. Of course.

The awesome thing is that all seven of us intermediate girls who were taking the MSA passed. (So did the two travel team members who were doing their annual re-certification, but that was kind of a foregone conclusion.)

I was really lucky to have such a great group of intermediates to train with. We've motivated each other, encouraged each other, and really bonded as a group. It's been great, and now we all get to move up to advanced together. Yay, us!!!

I am also so thankful to the travel team girls for all of the encouragement they have given me, and to the fabulous trainers for never giving up on me.

This is just the beginning of a lot of hard work. I'm excited as hell to get started!

Saturday, April 17, 2010


I passed!!!!!!

I will write much more on this later, but right now I need to get ready to go to Eugene for a bout (no, I'm not playing ... that will still take some time). WOOOHOOOOOOO!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Roller derby saved my soul

Minimum skills assessment is tomorrow. In a little over 26 hours, I will be tested on the skills I have learned since I started derby back in October. I don't know if I will pass: if I do, it will be a near thing. If I don't, I'm very confident that I will pass in July.

In the last few weeks, I've massively improved my speed and endurance. It's not what I'd call *easy*, but I can totally do 5 laps in a minute now. And all I have to do to make 25 laps in 5 minutes is sustain that pace for 5 minutes. I'm either there, or almost there. Today in body conditioning class, as a warmup I got on an elliptical machine and did 5 minutes at my personal maximum -- working as hard as I possibly could. Again, I can't say it was *easy* (if it had been, it wouldn't have been my max!), but I was able to do it. (And then I did another 40 minutes on cardio, which meant maintining a heart rate of about 140.)

Anyway. So the speed and endurance are coming, and if I keep working as hard as I am at practice and in my class, it's safe to assume I'll get better.

I would say it's possible that I will make 25 laps in 5 minutes tomorrow. If not, I'll come pretty close. Even if it's the very first thing, and I don't make it (which means I will not pass min skills), I am going to go through the entire skills assessment (of course).

My two biggest stumbling blocks right now are crossovers (which I think I'm now starting to understand ... I will just have to spend the next however many practices training my legs to do it) and jumping over a 3-inch-tall object. On the jump, my barrier is plain, simple, and frustrating as hell: fear. I can jump high enough to clear a three-inch-tall object. I've done it. But I'm afraid. It's scary. So I need to work on that too, a lot. I'm going to try to do it tomorrow. I just have to get past the fear, and it could happen tomorrow. If not, then not.

Whatever happens tomorrow, I will be at practice on Monday, ready to work my ass off. Because really, whether I pass or not, I will have a lot of work to do. Passing minimum skills is the *start* of a whole lot of training, not the end. And if I don't pass, then I will want to put on the afterburners and train my ASS off for July (my next chance at min skills).

Last summer, I directed a play ("The Cover of Life") that was about women and their dreams. Not the kind of dreams you have when you're asleep, but your dreams for your future. At the time, I thought, "What is my dream?" and I didn't really have one. I was doing fine: I had a husband who loved me and whom I loved (and still do!), a job I liked, and good friends and family. But I didn't really have a *dream*.

I've found one now, and it's roller derby.

So, yeah, if I don't pass min skills tomorrow, that will kind of suck, but in the long run it won't matter. I *will* pass.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Getting Nervous ...

Minimum skills assessment is this Saturday. I’m starting to think there’s at least a glimmer of hope that I will pass. In the last week or so, I have seen a big improvement in my speed and endurance (I mean, of course it didn’t happen in the last week … ). I think if I don’t pass, it will at least not be by a huge margin. If I can just manage the jump, do a good enough crossover, and skate 25 laps in 5 minutes … I pretty much have everything else.

Tonight at practice we did 25 laps in 5 minutes as a pace line. I was feeling like I would be able to keep up, but then during the first or second lap I hit a slick spot on our track and my skate slid out, and down I went. I’m not proud of this, but I was so frustrated that I went to the wall and had a bit of a cry, for about 30 seconds. Then I decided to shake it off and at least skate around the inner track and try not to let the pace line lap me.

Well, to my vast surprise I found that I was catching up to them, and keeping up. So I rejoined the pace line (for the last three minutes), and I finished the drill. I asked Bruiser if it would be OK if I skated around the inside of the track on min skills. I know I can do 25 laps in 5 minutes if I can do that, instead of the way the pace line does it (where they go out to the outside sometimes). I said I assumed that would not be good enough, and … yeah, I started crying again. Bruiser was really sweet about it, and she also said that sticking to the inside track would be OK!!

So, like I said, a glimmer of hope. Either I will pass minimum skills on Saturday (and that would be AMAZING), or I will pass in July (which will be my next chance to take it). There is one more practice before Saturday. One more chance to figure out the crossover, and get past my fear on the jump (because that’s all it is. I can jump high enough to clear the obstacle. I have done it).

On Saturday from 2-4 (Pacific time), if you think of it, send me good derby vibes!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Awesome practice!

Last night's practice was *fantastic*.

Last Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, I didn't have to "sit out" of any of the drills. (I put "sit out" in quotes, because what that means to me is skating as fast as I can around the outside of the track. There's no sitting involved.) Last night, during one of the pace lines I took about a one-minute break to stretch my legs, but then I joined right back in. So I'm on a pretty good streak.

Cruel Anne was our trainer last night. She's awesome. She's a super-nice lady, really friendly and encouraging, but she can also hit like a freaking freight train. She worked us really hard. Here are some highlights:

- We did a 10-minute pack drill, basically seeing how many laps we could get in 10 minutes. It was the "no derby girl left behind" thing again. For the first four minutes, I didn't get any help. I didn't need it. I just stuck to the inner track line, and skated (I wasn't even pushing my speed that hard, honestly -- I was definitely going fast, but I wasn't sprinting). I skated 20 laps in 4:08. I need 25 laps in 5:00. At that point, I took a bit of help, but I didn't start really taking assists (whips and self-assists) from the other girls until we had passed the 5 minute mark. I got through the 10-minute drill just fine, though I definitely needed water at the end.

OK, so 20 laps in 4:08 is not 25 laps in 5:00. But it's REALLY close. 20 laps in 4:00 would be right on pace. And *I* was setting that pace, folks.

I don't know if I will pass minimum skills on Saturday; I don't know if I will be able to do 25 laps in 5 minutes (especially since we will be doing it as a pace line, so my strategy of sticking to the inside track line will not be an option). But I *know* I will be able to do it in July, if I keep training at my current rate (and I will).

- We split up into two groups, fast and fastest (because none of us is really slow, at this point -- not even me). The two groups took turns doing pyramid sprints around the track. We did one lap, they did one; we did two, they did two; we continued that up to six, and then worked our way back down to one.

My personal victories for this drill: no one lapped me except Bruiser (the only team member who was skating with the "fast" group), and that was only on the six-lap sprint and only barely. AND ... this is the big one ... on the last two sprints, the two-lap and the one-lap at the end, I wasn't last!! There were people who came in after me. Unfortunately, on the two-lap sprint I got pretty excited about that fact and called out, "I beat Raynee!" Eep. Raynee, if you read this, I'm sorry for crowing about that, and please know, if I get to be as fast as you I will consider it a huge achievement. I think what may have helped me put on some speed at the end is that I worked really hard on getting into good derby form, nice and low.

- Pace lines, with weaving and hitting and weaving in pairs and all sort of difficult stuff. For a while we had two pace lines going, one on the inside track and one on the outside. I was actually wishing my line (the inside one) would speed up!! (A lot of times the pace lines go fast enough that I have to really bust ass to keep up.)

Will I pass minimum skills on Saturday? The three barriers are crossovers, jumping a three-inch-tall object, and skating 25 laps in 5 minutes. Other than that, I can do everything. We'll see. If I had to make a guess, I'd say it will be a near thing either way -- I'll either squeak by and pass, or I will get really close but not quite make it. If it's the latter, I *will* pass in July.

That's still a hell of an improvement from what I was thinking in January -- that it would probably take me a year to pass minimum skills. Honestly, the credit for that goes a lot of places: the trainers, the other intermediate girls, the team, Charlie, and, yeah, me.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Great practice tonight!

Tonight was a *great* practice. It ended two hours ago and I'm still kind of pumped.

The travel team invited Cherry City (the Salem derby team) to come down and scrimmage, which meant that intermediate girls were not allowed to scrimmage. The OGs didn't want us scrimmaging with Salem girls, because minimum skills assessment is a week and a half away, and it would *suck* for one of us to get injured and not be able to test. It's not that the Salem girls lack control or anything like that. It's just that it would be a lot to ask of them, to remember that they can't hit Dixie, Raynee or Lux at full force. It can be hard for our own teammates to remember (understandably). To ask it of a visitor who doesn't even know us? Too much to ask.

I think it's probably also good for the OGs to scrimmage with just advanced girls. Well, actually, I think either way can be good for them. If they are scrimmaging with me on their team, then helping me keep up (or if I'm jammer, playing offense for me and getting me through the pack) is probably a worthwhile challenge. But on the other hand, when they play with only OGs, they can probably play at a higher level. So it's probably a trade-off, really. And I don't mean to imply that I'm totally useless in a scrimmage; I have moments where I'm actually helpful to my team. :-)

So anyway! I didn't get to scrimmage, and when I realized that earlier today I will admit that it put my mood in the toilet for a little while. But then I talked to Claudia about it and she said she was going to go to practice. That helped a lot. Having someone else to train with is infinitely better than training alone. I printed out my minimum skills spreadsheet and made a list of drills that we could work on. I sort of took charge of the intermediate practice (with a lot of help from Claudia). It was us two, plus Raynee and Teri. We worked pretty hard for an hour and a half, on endurance and skills, and then after the scrimmage the OGs called us over to join their practice. (Claudia had been up for like 22 of the last 24 hours, so she very understandably went home at that point, along with Teri.)

Raynee and I joined the OGs for the rest of the practice, and it was awesome. The best part is that I did not have to drop out of ANYTHING. Not the pace lines, not the "sprint through the two lines of derby girls who are moving in and out like sliding doors" drill, NOTHING. That felt wonderful.

Honestly, I'm probably not going to pass min skills on April 17, unless the Speed Fairy comes down and smacks me with her wand. (Please, Speed Fairy?) But practices like tonight's give me total faith that I *will* pass in July. (I am going to be a huge pest to Bones -- training chairperson -- to have another skills assessment before RollerCon*, if I don't pass this month. There are skating events at RollerCon that I won't be able to participate in if I haven't passed min skills; and it would suck to have to sit on the sidelines while my friends skate in the open scrimmages and stuff.)

I think if I keep training as hard as I am (four derby practices a week plus my body conditioning class), I should definitely be able to pass min skills in July. And that? Will be fucking awesome.

* Rollercon is an international roller derby convention/training camp that is held every year in Las Vegas. Several of us Sick Town girls are going. I'm nervous and excited about it. :-)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Scrimmage, etc.

Last night was the third week in a row that intermediate girls were invited to join in the team’s scrimmage practice. I don’t want to get spoiled; I am positive there will be weeks when the Wednesday practices will be team-only (that is how they are listed on the schedule). But getting to scrimmage with the team is so awesome!!

On Monday night I had my outdoor wheels on my skates (we had had a fundraiser at a bar on Sunday night, and I was skating around there, so I thought my grippiest wheels would be a good choice. But I should’ve taken them off in time for practice on Monday). It was very frustrating, because I am the slowest skater in the intermediate group as it is. I still had some good moments on Monday, especially in a booty-blocking drill we did. I think toward the end I was starting to really get it!

Last night, though, was much better. I had my indoor wheels on, so I got that speed boost. I was able to keep up in the warmup pace line. And in my first time out as jammer during the scrimmage, I got to be LEAD JAMMER!! It was a perfect storm: the opposing jammer got caught in a pileup, my blockers did a great job of helping me through, and if I may brag just a bit, I think I did a pretty good job of taking advantage of their help. OMG, that was amazing.

Other cool moments during scrimmaging: I managed some effective hits; there were a few moments when I was able to slow down and booty block and be a real pain in the butt to the opposing team; and when I got hit, I fell properly and got right back up. In fact, after the lead jammer thing, I think my proudest moment of last night’s scrimmage was when Queen Bee Yotch (that is her derby name; I’m not insulting her!) nailed me with a very well-placed hit … and I took it, got back up, and kept going.

I’m still working on getting to the point where I can think during a scrimmage … but I’ll get there. :-)