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. :-)