Monday night's practice was really interesting. We were at Benton County, with the reasonable concrete floor and small space. We started out with 40 laps as a pack, and I was able to stay at the front of the pack for the entire 40 without any assists. That was pretty cool. I was fairly wiped out when we finished, but still.
Later on in the practice, we did pyramid sprints. Here's the interesting part. I was in the slower group, and on the way up (1 lap, 2 laps, up to 7) I was the slowest in my group. We were skating counterclockwise, which is the normal direction for derby. On the way down, we switched to clockwise, and after the first set, I was the fastest of my group. I'm sure part of that is because the other girls were uncomfortable with skating clockwise, because all three of them are generally faster than I. But I was doing real crossovers -- pushing off with my inside leg and everything. I felt like I was practically horizontal on the turns (I'm sure I wasn't, but I'm sure I was a lot lower than usual). It was pretty amazing.
If only derby were done clockwise ...
But this definitely means I'm capable of it. I need to work on my left leg's flexibility and strength (because, see, when you're skating counterclockwise, your left leg is your inside leg and it's the one I'm having trouble pushing with). But if I can do it on one side, I can do it on the other. Or, I will be able to.
Our Skatemberfest bout was Saturday. That was one long-ass day for me. I got to the venue at 7 a.m., and except for a couple of hours, I was there until the end of the bout (which was about 9:30 p.m.) It was fun, though. Putting on a bout is such a team effort -- everyone pitches in to make it happen. Sick Town won, which was really exciting for me (it was the first time I've been at a bout where Sick Town has won, though I've seen some *amazing* play from my team).
Oh, and I got to skate in the rules demo at the beginning. Belle and I were the jammers. It was *so* fun. In all the pictures, we're smiling and laughing and just having a great time. You can tell how happy we are to be doing derby. If you look at the pictures of the team girls in the actual bout, you'll see a lot of that too -- the faces are almost always either determined and fierce, or grinning like Cheshire cats. I love it!
The bout, by the way, sold out!
Oh, and a big thank you to Atomic City for coming down from the tri-cities (eastern Washington) to bout us. At bouts, I always clap really loudly for the visiting team, because really ... we're all volunteers. We're all doing this for fun. It's cool of them to drive however many hours to come and play with us.
Anyway. Practice tonight! I'll most likely be with the beginners again, but that's OK. It's not like I've been demoted to beginner -- not at all. And it *is* a wonderful chance for me to work on my fundamentals. Truthfully, it'll probably get me ready to re-pass minimum skills much more than scrimmaging would (even though scrimmaging is awesome).