Saturday, 11 August 2012

This is Getting Real!

Remember in the good ole days when I talked about skating in terms of new skills I had learnt. Shooting the duck, spirals, doing a basic t-stop? Yeah they were amazing for me and I was so proud of myself and my fellow skaters.

How times have changed!

These days it's all about derby and derby isn't about spirals or anything pretty (although don't get me wrong all of these pretty skills help create amazing skaters). These days skills are all based on hits, dodges and moves that are about position on the track. None of it is pretty.

We are starting to see the hard parts of derby. I don't mean the drills that make you want to cry. The ones were you do a time pyramid of floor work and speed skating. Of planking, sit ups, pushups and booty lifts for 20mins. I'm talking about watching friends take the brunt of our hits, dodges and positions that leave them getting hurt.

A few weeks ago Smashund Terrier fell on her head. Now, we wear a helmet but it was so hard it left her spinning. It was out first ambulance call. Luckily she didn't have a concussion so chose to get a lift home instead of going to the hospital.

Then last week as we warmed up running on our stoppers. El Scorcho fell. Her ankle twisted in a bad way. Long story short she is, as I type, in surgery getting pins put in her ankle after a double break.

Capt'n KidCat is out of scrimmage with a damaged knee. I still have numbness and bruising coming up on my knee from a fall weeks ago. Actually I have bruises all over my shins, hips and bum. As I'm sure most of my team mates do. It's complete carnage.

I pride myself on the fact that I actually don't fall much. Being stable on your skates during a hit is almost as important as your ability to give a hit. And I'm getting a lot better at my stability. But last night we learnt a new maneuver. It required us at a team trying to be at the front of the pack. And depending on where your jammer was, speeding up or slowing down the pack. Mostly is was about 'catching a bunny' meaning as a team trying to hold one person from the other team back so we controlled the situation.

People were hitting me in the back, catching my skates with theirs and in one case (the one that gave me my latest bum bruise and the bit of whip lash I currently have) me just bouncing off one of our amazing blockers who can cover the whole track just with her legs.

My last fall was during a scrimmage. There was a pile up. In the chaos I can't tell you who fell first but I can tell you I was second last to fall. Me. Then Dinky Die tried really hard not to kick me in the head (for which I will be eternally grateful) which resulted in her trying to jump over me. This then resulted in her belly flopping onto the floor. I felt someone go over my back, and as I looked up I saw her and she made this incredibly scary noise. A mixture of scream and groan. For one long moment I thought she had broken her arm. But seconds later I realised she had just winded herself.

It terrified me. After she recovered, coach had a great talk with us about what we both did right and what we both did wrong. All I knew was I was trying not to cry.

So as I said, this is getting serious.

Scarier than hurting myself, for me, is watching other get hurt. I mean when I had my big fall last night I was playing at being the jammer. I fell hard on my butt and hit my helmeted head on a wall. But when someone stopped to ask if I was alright I just screamed "just get up and make me a space". But when I heard that sound last night of her trying to catch her breath I wanted to cry and hug her and promise I would never EVER get in her way again. Even though it was one of those situations where no one was at fault.

This is getting serious .... it certainly is. I'm not questioning my resolve that this sport is what I want to do. But I am questioning the why? And so far the only answer I have is that these days I want to challenge myself. Derby, apparently, is my version of jumping from a plane. Only I'm not strapped to someone who knows more that I do. I push myself so hard, as we all do. And try to balance achieving the objective of these new skills which require a team focus versus self preservation or concern for particular individuals.

Did mention the word carnage? I have a feeling I will be using it a lot for any future scrimmage posts.

Watching - Devil Seed. So terrible that I think I could have made a better movie with $5k

Reading - the WFTRDL rules. Hard to read and even harder to take in. Hence the fact that I am reading them over and over.

Listening - I can still hear Dinky Die in my head.

State of mind - is it possible to be cautious and reckless at the same time?

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

You Never Know Till You Try

Note: this photo isn't me

About 13 years ago Andrew and I were wandering around a park after dark. We were talking and holding hands as we walked barefoot onto this huge lush green field of grass. Suddenly I had this overwhelming urge to do a cartwheel.

I used to do cartwheels all the time. There is something I love about the feeling of defying gravity and doing something slightly extreme with your body.

Anyway, this night as it was dark I didn't notice all the tufts and divots in the field. I landed on one with my first hand and promptly fell on my back. My wrist hurt for the rest of the date. And then really hurt as I tried to drive home. Then became excruciating as I tried to sleep. But in the way of so many early 20 year olds I ignored it.

Six months later I realised it was still hurting. I went to the Doctor and was told it was broken. I needed to have an operation to put in a bone graft and a pin. It has never been the same since.

That was the end of cartwheels. Or so I thought.

Last week after Rollerfit I looked at the huge open space and felt that feeling again. I must do a cartwheel. So I did. And it was awesome.

The next class coincidently Stacey mentioned that you could do a cartwheel on skates and then promptly got one of her friends to do one. One of the other rollerfitters and I looked at each other and said 'we can do that'. But we didn't, we giggled about it and kept skating. But then she looked at me again and said 'do it', and I knew I was going to try.

I was terrified my wrist wouldn't cope, or that I wouldn't be able to stick the landing with wheels on my feet. But I really, really wanted to try.

And Taa-daa I did a cartwheel on skates.

Life is to short to say no to things just because they are scary. One day in the not to distant future my body may not be strong or nimble enough to do a cartwheel ever again. Damn if I am going to let today be that day!

When was the last time you did a cartwheel? or whatever your version of a cartwheel is. Maybe you haven't ridden a horse for ages cause once you got bitten, maybe your too nervous about traffic to drive, maybe you don't want to tell someone you love them even though you do.

How would you feel tomorrow if you realised you had missed your chance to do that 'thing' one last time!

So stop reading this and go and cartwheel!!

Reading - a science fiction best of annual the name of which I can't remember.

Listening - The Foals

Watching - Still on a horror movie kick. The last was 100 Ghost Street (spooky but not good) and Don't be afraid of the dark (good but not spooky).

State of mind - AB is away for a few days and I feel like I have a million things to do. So I have that slightly frantic put of stomach feeling going on.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Someone Turns Six

Yes that's right my baby turns six tomorrow! It's almost
unbelievable. How did time fly this fast. I look at photos like this
from when he was three and think 'yeah that's my little boy' and then
he walks past and I barely recognize him.

As I have mentioned many times before he is one of the strangest kids
I have ever met. It is exactly what makes him so damn endearing. It's
like he sees the world with purple skies and absolutely no
limitations. And god help anyone who tries to convince him otherwise.

He can be incredibly hard to mother, so full of desires and
willfulness. And as much as there are days where I'm at my wits end. I
truly wouldn't swap or change anything about him (although sometimes I
wish the universe had blessed me with more patience and some skills
that would help me guide him better).

He is creative, incredibly loving and caring, so funny that he
constantly has the family in stitches, his laugh can infect a room, he
still loves a massage, to run and climb at any opportunity, he can
never ever sit still, gives and wants hugs and kisses at every
opportunity. He makes my heart melt daily.

My baby, every year he is less and less baby, but no less mine. We are
so similar, even all of the crazy bits, people say come from me. He
has my exuberance for life, my emotionality, my eyes, and yes
sometimes I think the sky is purple as well.

Six years ago tonight I fell asleep with him in my tummy, wondering
when I would meet him. And by this time the next day he was in my arms
and as I held him I wondered who he will end up being. This tiny
innocent little thing. Everyday I still wonder and the more I get to
know, the more I am so amazed that I made this and helped guide this
little man into the strangest and unique little person I have ever
met. I am so proud!!
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