Yesterday, Charlie and I went to the afternoon open skate at Oaks Park. I've mentioned Oaks before, so let me just quickly say: it's a great rink. Wonderful, huge hardwood floor, very grippy. I wore my fastest wheels (my Cannibals, with the 91 durometer and very little grip).
The skating was awesome. It had been long enough since we skated at Oaks that the last time, I was barely able to skate all the way through one or two songs. I was still having shin pain, plus my endurance just generally sucked.
Well, the shin pain is pretty much gone (!!) and has been for a while, and although my endurance still sucks compared to most of the other girls in the league, it is much, much better than it was. We were there for two and a half hours, and I skated the entire time, except the two times we took breaks to get something to drink (this was absolutely necessary).
Turns out, the Oaks Park rink does not have air conditioning. It wasn't awful, but it was definitely not comfortably cool. If we hadn't stopped to drink, we would have been dehydrated (before our second break, I kept one-more-songing myself, and I was starting to feel dehydrated by the time I stopped). We brought clothes to change into, because we were planning to go to the movies after skating ... and when I took my skating clothes off they were soaking wet. Not dripping, at least; but definitely saturated.
The rink was moderately crowded, but I'm past being freaked out by that. It was fun skating around people. I was one of the fastest skaters there (and let me tell you, being the fastest skater is not a common experience for me!). I wasn't asshole-fast, just Dixie-fast. So, a moderate derby pace.
I tried some new things too. I concentrated on skating low, and sometimes especially low -- there's a drill we've been doing at practice lately where we rest our elbows on our knees and someone pushes us around (for two minutes at a time, which is excruciating!). I tried skating like that. It's different ... I'm not sure I found the right balance, but I could do it. I even tried shooting the duck (crouching low and putting one leg out in front, straight) and cutting side-to-side while doing that. And on the curves, I tried holding the inner line and sticking my booty out over the line without putting my skates over it. Roller derby: the sport where a big booty can be a real advantage!
During the reverse skate, I made myself do crossovers ... and I think I FINALLY got the push thing! See, when I do a crossover in the regular direction, I'm now getting enough of a crossover that I'm not losing all my momentum by coasting around the turns. But I'm not pushing off with my back foot to get *power* out of the crossover. Well, in the reverse direction, I can do that now. Or at least I did yesterday.
Now if I could just figure out how to do it with my left leg ...