Sunday, 20 May 2012

Inner West Roller Derby League

Yesterday I woke up and felt completely relaxed. Then I remembered 'oh
god, today is tryout day'. Now if I'm honest, after running through
the whole test twice I felt pretty confident that I could pass but
there were a few things playing on my mind;

- What if I fall and can't complete the test?
- What if I freeze up?
- I want to do more than pass, I want to do my best (nah screw it I
wanted to do more than my best, I wanted to feel great about the
- What if the girls that I have been training with and adore don't pass?
- What if I'm not as capable as I think I am?

I'm such a what if girl. It wouldn't have been me if I wasn't racked
with worry before something like this. But what I did realise was just
how damn much I wanted to be a part of this.

So I anxiously drove across the bridge. And asked 5 different people
for directions before I finally rocked into the court with my enormous
bag, sweaty palms and an intense need to pee (turns out I have a
nervous bladder).

We geared up and generally bantered around while we waited for the
coaches and their friends to set up the track. They put us into
groups, I was put into group two. And we started to skate around for
20 minutes or so to get used to the surface and warm up. The surface
was lovely except for one major flaw. There were 4 big cracks within
the track. One in particular was almost big enough to loose a wheel

And then it started. All of those nerves became focused on these
cracks. I felt my heart start to race and my palms become sweaty
again. I was completely freaking out. I ended up seeking out one of
the girls that always seems to say the right thing and told her I was
starting to focus too much on the cracks. She agreed they were bad,
bless her, but said we should both do a few laps together in different
styles to get used to them and help us stop freaking out about them.
It did help though it didn't allay my fears completely, but there was
no time to keep fixating, it was time to skate.

We watched team one which had both some good friends in it, but also
some old hat derby skaters who blew my mind. I was caught between
watching them with internal horror that I had ever thought for a
second that I was a decent skater. And with such inspiration that I
wanted to keep pushing myself until I could, one day, keep up with
them. Once they finished and it was our groups turn. The world
quietened and I thought 'Ah hell, this is it and I'm going to be ok'.
And of course I was.

I'm not going to go through the whole thing. Mainly cause it took us
three hours to complete and it would probably take me that long to
type it. But needless to say I felt confident by the end that I had
indeed done my best.

In the end we had done;

- 20 in 5
- X overs in both directions
- Skated on one foot
- Stops
- Pace lines
- Jumps and hops
- Weaving
- Backwards skating

Although there were lots of breaks between, everyone was exhausted.
Mostly I think it was mental exhaustion. As soon as we were done we
all rushed to take our gear off and most of us headed to the pub to
await our results.

It was a long wait. The coaches had to add up, average out and do all
sorts of things with the numbers. So we drank beer, ate chips and
talked loudly to hide our nerves.

Finally they arrived, and handed me my results (well they handed
everyone their results but I only noticed my own). I wanted to jump
into the car and read them in the safety of my home when they
announced "you all passed".

Picture me, grinning like the Cheshire cat, and then going around
kissing and hugging everyone. Lots of cheering and happy smiling and
then we all finally let our exhaustion shine through and headed home.

Once I got home I really started to take my results in. I was so happy
with them. They were better in almost every area than they had been
when we did the mock test earlier in the week. Sure I definitely have
areas that I need to work on (more than just the general all over work
that needs doing) especially in the jumps and hops area (where I
scored the lowest both in the mock test and on the actual day) but
generally I'm completely chuffed.

And not only that, everyone that tried out made it as well. We will be
a team together! All of my beloved rollerfit girls. Even those
amazing girls who I hate to love. I'm excited at the idea of using
their awesomeness to inspire me (if I can keep my awe in check:)

So that's it. I'm member of the Inner West Roller Derby League! I am
officially a derby girl. Sure I'm in training, we have quite a few
months of training before we are ready to bout. We have to learn how
to fall like a ninja, hit like an ultimate fighter (if ultimate
fighter were only allowed to use from their shoulders to their knees).
And once I have learnt to do those in the safest way possible, we have
another test similar to the one we have just had but bigger and

To be honest I kind of can't wait, because after that we start having
friends and family bouts. Where we invite our (you guessed it) friends
and family to come and watch us actually compete.

For now I'm just jazzed that I made the team. My friends made the
team. We have awesome coaches who will push us and have fun with us.
And I will keep on rolling ;)

Monday, 14 May 2012

I Don't Do Sports

I am probably the least sporty person I have ever met. I don't and
have never played any regular sports. In fact I used to fein injury
and illness to get out of as much high school sports as possible. I
have practically never done any sort of physical activity, and
certainly never with the idea that I was trying to win. I never watch
or think about sport in any way. I have also never been a part of a
team, well not on purpose. I haven't been in the school play, or
joined a band, or been part of a social group that required us all to
work together to reach a certain goal.

Actually I guess I have. But again never on purpose. I am actually a
good team player, as long as you don't use the words team player. I
work with couples and hospital staff or midwives as a team during
pregnancy and labour. When I worked for companies with multiple staff
I like to think I worked well as a 'team'. But I wasn't thinking of it
as team work, just as doing my job.

So here I am today thinking about next Saturday. Derby tryout day.
Where I am actively going to try and be one the member of a team. And
not just any team. A sports team.

I don't do sports!

It's easier for me if I think about it as an active social group. Or
a bunch of friends with wheels on their feet. Or just playing. My
sense of self is so tightly wound around the idea that I am
un-athletic and innately lazy, that I just can't seem to think of it
that way. But it's not. It is sport. It's exercise. I'm going to have
to be team player...

I'm so filled with nervous excitement that I can barely contain
myself. I wish it were Friday already so I didn't have to wait out
the week. Because on Saturday I will not only be fearful of trying
out, hoping desperately that I make the cut. But I will have to
overcome another fear. Being judged on my performance.

You see a big part of why I never joined a band, or the school
performances, is my fear of auditioning. The idea of people watching
and judging me on something I love doing and want to do well at, fills
me with such a huge sense of dread that it's been too terrifying to
even try.

What if they tell me I'm terrible! What if I don't managed to do what
I know is my best and let myself (and others) down! Or worse, what if
I do my best and I'm still not good enough! All of my quite real
blood sweat and tears will literally be put to the test.

Just a few months ago I put on my skates for the first time. I didn't
think of it as exercise. Just playing around. But then someone asked
if anyone was interested in derby and I tentatively put my hand up. I
couldn't skate but thought, what the hell I may as well stay in the

Because I've been loving skating, it's been fun to practice. These
days I train three times a week with others and lots of little bits a
pieces on my own. And I'm slowly but surely getting the foot work.
And my stamina is improving ... although lets be honest the only way
was up. But it's my stamina that still needs the most work.

On Saturday, one of the many things we will be tested on is how many
laps can we do in 5 minutes. Doesn't sound like long, but for me
skating at full speed in large circles for that long feels like enough
to give me a heart attack, or at least make me vomit. I've done it
twice over the last weeks during our derby training (we've been
working with our coaches before we get in just because we and they
couldn't wait for the official tryouts ... which of course is
brilliant but it will be hard to give them up if I don't make the
cut). And I do manage to exceed the minimum amount of laps to make the
cut. But what if I'm extra tired on Saturday? What if I fall? What if
the fear of being judged takes over and I just can't make it?

Stamina!! I'm starting to regret being such a lazy bint all these years.

Anyway, I'm going to be spending the week not letting my nerves run
away with me. I'm going to think positively about it and try and make
myself believe that the point of the day is to overcome my fear of
being judged and if I actually make the team, well that's just gravy.
If I make the moment of awesomeness be about overcoming the fear and
just doing the tryouts then in a way I have already won 1/2 the battle
by turning up. I'll set my goals small, and then take anything after
that as an added bonus.

Just as long as no one starts telling me it's sport I should be fine *grin*

Watching - Whatever has been recorded on our IQ

Listening - New favourite is In for the kill by La Roux

Reading - Same

State of mind - like I should get my skates on and practice that 25 in 5.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Working Together

A long long time ago, before I had children I heard a friend of ours talking to one of his young kids. There was a chore that needed doing, clearing plates off the table or some such thing and the child was complaining about being asked to help. The father then said something that has always stuck with me, he said "we are a family and in our family we all help, that's how the house keeps running and that way everyone only does a little bit but the job gets done and done faster".

I've thought about this conversation often in my mothering and it is something that I have said to my kids since they were little.

It started with small thing, picking up their toys off the floor for example. When they were little they would do it putting everything in random spots, but the important part was that they were helping.

As they have gotten bigger the things that I have asked them to do have become more complexed and I have also started directing them on certain tasks, so these days their toys are put away in a more orderly fashion.

What I love is that they rarely complain, just knowing that part of being a family is all contributing to the running of the household.

A few weeks ago Jack mentioned that he would like to save some money. He has no idea what he is saving for but he has said that he would like to save $10 to spend on 'something'. So we decided to start adding a few extra jobs to their list as ways of earning some money.

So now the jobs range from cleaning their rooms to feeding the dogs, making their lunch boxes to keeping their room and desks tidy, or from picking up the dog poo to helping with other random things that come up each day.

Jacks want to save this money has bought the whole idea of pocket money to the forefront, when I had thought we had a while before we needed to have the conversation.

It's a strange thing. I'm wondering how to balance the idea that as a family we just help, with no expectations of anything except thanks (after all that what AB and I get in return for doing our jobs). Yet also teaching the kids about money, saving, earning and how to accomplish a 'want' goal such as this.

I guess like so many things I'll just play it by ear and hope I get right for our family.

But so far I am loving the way we are having to talk about co-operation, the ways the kids are figuring out how to work together with each task. It also seems that the more they get used to different ways of helping the more ways they are seeing on their own. Quite often now I will see they have already unpacked their school bags and hung their pants over the back of the lounge for the next day before I get a chance to ask them. They clear their plates off the table and sometimes ask to clear ours as well. Jack wants to learn how to stack the dishwasher, Hamish likes to make his bed (although not even I do that).

I think maybe they 'get it' in a small way. That idea that I heard all those years ago about a family working together. And it makes me incredibly proud.

Now if I can just start getting them to do everything ;)

Watching - Our Idiot Brother, liked it but didn't love it.

Reading - I saw a friend recommend Among Others - Jo Walton so I've just started it.

Listening - iPod on random and kids trying not to squabble.

State of mind - It's late so my mind is tired and snuggly.
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