Last night was my first Sick Town practice after the break. It felt *so* good to be back. Even better, I was able to keep up with just about everything. We ran through all of the skills in the minimum skills assessment, and the only things I didn't do at least somewhat successfully (no one was actually evaluating us) were the two-footed jump over an object (I jumped next to it), the booty blocking (but Bruiser gave me some tips and toward the end I think I really got it) and the 25 laps in 5 minutes. More on that one: I managed 24.5 laps. This was on the evil, slippery Linn County Fairgrounds floor, in my slowest wheels (Sure Grip Sugars, which are *awesome* on that surface -- there was no slip at all. I just need to get my speed up now). So I'm really considering 24.5 laps in 5 minutes a win. That's "shave off a little time and you've got it." Honestly, there were times I was coasting around the curves instead of doing crossovers, for some reason. Just changing that would probably fix the whole thing.
After we finished the skills, we did some scrimmage-y drills, and it was great. I didn't do fabulously well, but there were moments when I was effective at helping my jammer through the pack. That was cool. I didn't have much, if any, trouble keeping up with the pack (though I must admit that the pack was on the slow side). I'm having a little trouble understanding Sick Town's new wall-making strategy. Last night was the first time I had skated that way, and I don't think I "get it" yet. I hope we will get to do more scrimmage-type drills at practice, because honestly, they are a good way to work endurance and they are a lot more fun than skating laps. And the more I learn about strategy and how to be an effective blocker, the better prepared I will be when I am finally scrimmage-eligible.
One awesome thing: before Sick Town's break, I had been having a lot of fear while skating. I don't really know why. Part of it could have been that I was in the midst of changing antidepressants. I'm sure the fact that we had just lost our practice space and were skating on a lot of different surfaces didn't help either. But whatever the reason, I had become a big fraidy-cat on skates.
I think I have shaken that off. All of the solo outdoor skating I did during the break seems to have helped. When you're on your own, you kind of just have to push past the fear, or go home. Crossing streets and getting past scary obstacles like railroad tracks and these weird bumpy mats they have at the crosswalks in Corvallis probably helped too (it can't have hurt my agility, either).
Now I just have to work on control, speed and endurance ... and oh yeah, I have to repass minimum skills. Then I can scrimmage. Easy peasy, right? Right.