Sunday, July 17, 2011

That wasn't so bad ...

So yesterday was the big scary team tryouts evaluation that had me all chaotic and twirly all week. And it ... wasn't that awful, really. I hope I can take a lesson from that, and not freak completely out next time.

I don't know how I did -- I don't know when they will send out scores, but I can't imagine it would be this soon. I know I didn't totally tank it. In the speed trials, I was the slowest -- but not by a ridiculous margin. I was pretty close behind the next fastest girl. I got through the weaving pace line, I managed to keep up with the two-lap-lead pace line for more skaters than I usually do, and when I fell on my ass -- hard -- during a hitting drill, after taking a moment to get my breath back I rejoined the drill. So that's all good. Not good enough to be put on the SMASH Unit, but (in my opinion) good enough to show that I deserved to pass minimum skills.

I had some duh moments too, like when I was in a three-person blocking drill with Pus as jammer, and I was totally in Pus' way, and I *GOT OUT OF HER WAY*. Why? Why did I do that? Honestly, I think I know. But it's no less dumb. I was on the line (which, if you are on the inside line as a blocker, you are not supposed to give that line up for ANYTHING). I thought I was keeping my co-blockers from hitting Pus out, and if I got out of their way, they could hit her out. (I was not managing to hit her out obviously. This is NOT a criticism of anyone else, OK?) So I politely step out of the way, and Pus zips past me on the inside line, and my co-blockers somehow manage not to smack me upside the head for being a dumbass.

Lesson: never, never, never give up the damn line. And if you are in the jammer's way, STAY IN HER WAY!

OK, but there was something awesome too. We were doing jumping and cone weaving. The cones were set at the edges of the track. I did fine weaving them, though now I need to work on being able to do it faster. I did fine on the one-footed jump (I think) -- probably not pretty, but I jumped it. There were there obstacles set up to jump two-footed over: Pwny's gear bag (which is probably about 10 inches high and 10 inches wide, maybe 2 feet long), two 6-inch plastic cones, and a low plastic cone (maybe 2 inches tall, tops).

I went through several times and jumped -- credibly -- over the low cone. Shankee was doing the same thing. Finally, we were in line, and we looked at each other and I said, "We can jump that gear bag." And Shankee said, "I know. Let's do it." The next time through, we both jumped over the gear bag. It probably wasn't pretty -- I know mine wasn't. Pus said I didn't completely clear the bag. The second time I jumped it, I did, though I still didn't keep my feet together as I went over. So, I'm sure I didn't get the full three points for that one, but I jumped the fucking bag!

Overall, I feel like I worked my ass off, I did some things well and I showed that I need to work on other things, I certainly did not qualify for SMASH, but I did show that I deserve to be where I am. So, I feel good.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

More testing? Whimper.

I don't get test anxiety, at least not for school-type tests. Math tests, SATs, essay tests ... I'm fine with all of that stuff.

Roller derby tests, on the other hand, freak me right out. I'm not a natural athlete; I've never tried out for a team. I guess the closest thing (that I've done before) to minimum skills testing, or the team tryouts that popped up this week, would be theater auditions. And those always freaked me out too.

I think what really gets to me is the idea that I'm going to be judged on a snapshot of performance. That, and I simply don't have the kind of confidence in my physical skills that I have in my mental ability. I know I'm smart. But in derby, I feel like a special ed kid.

Anyway, tonight at scrimmage Brick was taking notes on how we all did. She was looking for offensive and defensive blocks, communication, and I don't know what all else (she said, but I don't remember). All I can say is that I skated my ass off tonight, and I did my best. I tried really hard to listen and to pay attention to what was going on around me. I did get in some good defensive blocks, but (and here's what freaks me out about this) who can say if anyone was watching when I did them.

Ugh. I need to just put this out of my mind. It's not like I'm trying to get put on the A team (the SMASH Unit). I'm not at that level. I know it, and so does everyone else. I just want to be a Dis-Orderly.

There's more testing on Saturday. I'll be glad when it's done. I don't mean to be negative. This stuff just stresses me out.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


I need to update this blog more often!

Anyway, y'all, last night was the Sick Town Dis-Orderlies' debut bout, against the Sis-Q Rollerz (from Medford, OR). I have to give a shout out to the Sis-Q girls -- they did great, they had wonderful attitudes, and it was a blast playing them.

I went into the bout thinking I was probably not going to get much playing time. I was determined to have a good attitude no matter what, because I just do *not* want to be that girl who sits around with a face like a smacked ass when she doesn't get what she wants, ya know?

I was nervous all day. Hanging out with my teammates helped, but I was still pretty wound up. The first few jams, I didn't skate. I peeked at the lineup sheet and saw that I was supposed to go in for the fourth jam. OK, if I got to skate every fourth jam, that would've been more than I had hoped for -- that would be great!

Well, when it was time for me to go in, I didn't get to go, because one of our blockers was in the penalty box (when that happens, you skate short a blocker until she comes out of the box). D'oh. Brick (bench coach) told CosMo (lineup caller) to work me into the next one. Cool.

Whoops. CosMo thought Brick meant Shankee, so she worked Shankee into the next lineup instead of me. D'oh! At that point, I was glad I had resolved to have a good attitude no matter what. I didn't get frustrated; I figured it would all work out.

Maybe good attitude was good karma, because by then, it was clear that we were doing really well (the score was pretty lopsided in our favor, throughout. The Sis-Q girls are excellent skaters and hitters, but they are a new team and they aren't quite there yet with the strategy and teamwork. Neither am I, so please, don't anyone think I am dissing them.) So anyway, from that point on, I was in practically every other jam. I have no idea how many jams I skated -- but it was a lot.

Another good attitude step for me: I got a major for low block, and I went to the box politely. I didn't even give the refs a dirty look. :-)

Anyway ... I skated my ass off and did some reasonably good blocking. And then we got to the second-to-last jam. Bones said if there was another jam, I should be the jammer. I said, "OK." I thought, "Holy shit, really?"

There was another jam. Eep. I went in as jammer, against Blitz, a very fast girl from Sis-Q (who also happens to be more than 20 years younger than I!). I had great blockers; I'm not sure who they were so I won't say any names, but they did a great job of shutting down the other jammer and helping me slip through the pack like buttah. I got lead jammer!! I made my scoring pass, got four points, and then called that mother OFF, because great blockers or no, Blitz was way faster than I. So ... I sort of ended the bout!

When I came off the track, my teammates surrounded me in a sort of group hug. It was ... I don't know how to describe it. It was amazing. I don't want to get all vaggy, but I seriously love these ladies.

Skating in a bout is something I seriously thought I was never going to get to do. Roller derby, and specifically Sick Town, has been so wonderful for me. I'm doing stuff I never would have thought I could do. I'm part of a freaking TEAM.

I *love* my team.