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?

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