This Post Brought To You By The Letter “S”

Skating… scrimmage… shins… stops… Sherlock… how essy!

There was scrimmage yesterday. I skated in it. And finished! That’s a first since… October, maybe? God, that feels like forever ago. No wonder I feel so derby-weird.

Physical therapy is a wonderful thing. By the end of scrimmage yesterday, I was still feeling good. Tired, yes, but there’s nothing wrong with tired. My shins didn’t much like the warm-up, but with good stretching, massaging, and visualizing efforts, they made it through the scrimmage like champs. I even jammed. Twice. And got lead jammer. Twice.

Did I mention that we did the 25-in-5 after a bunch of stops and knee slides the day before the scrimmage? Because we did. I got it in five flat, which is slower than my best time, but at least I was able to do it. I feel like I have a very long way to go before I have my pre-shinjury confidence levels back, but I’m still skating, and that’s something.

So. Good derby weekend. Lots of skating. And now, a little GPOY:

(P.S. for my fellow Sherlockians out there: YOU GUISE! Series three! Sets, readings, grapes: do you have feels? Discuss!)

BRB DYING: Endurance Practice GIF Times

I made it through practice yesterday! Had to skate around the outside/stretch during parts of warmups, but I did all the drills, and my shins calmed down once they were stretched out, so, yay. Also, I was really motivated, because STAR STRUCK. I mentioned her fantabulousness a while back. It was the first time she’d coached us this year, and I was really, really glad to be able to participate. Allow me to explain using the power of GIFs!

How I feel…

When I hear that Star Struck is coaching:

After we’ve warmed up and she tells us all the drills we’re going to do:

During said drills:

Immediately after practice:

When I try to get out of bed the morning after practice:

Very, very grateful that Star Struck makes the time to coach us, and that my physical therapist is a gorram rockstar who figured out my derptastic body so that I could keep skating (ready, everybody? JILL LET ME LOVE YOU!) I’m so lucky to have a place in this corner of the derby world.

Homer Simpson, the Dowager Countess of Grantham, and Other Roller Derby Inspirations

Yesterday’s practice was faboo. Morty coached, and we had what I thought was a solid turnout for a holiday. We worked on form, agility, walls, and assists; poor Sheri got stuck with me on the “take turns pushing your partner” drill, which really isn’t fair to her because she’s a willowy, light skater, and I’m… not. *grins* She was a trooper, though, and we had a lot of fun launching each other around the track.

I don’t know if there was just a collective good mood in the air or what, but we were very silly yesterday. It was funsies. Morty’s practices are always enjoyable, but somehow, we managed to amp up the shenanigans. There was a lot of chatting and giggling and making goofy faces. At one point, Morty taunted us that she was going faster backwards than we were going forwards, so I skated up to her all COME AT ME BRO (which was dumber’n a bag of hammers, in retrospect, but no one ever accused me of doing roller derby because of my excess of good judgment). Morty cracked up and was all GET BACK WITH YOUR PACK and I was all

It was pretty great.

Unrelatedly, from now on, I’m going to picture Disapproving Dowager Countess of Grantham any time I feel lousy on the track:

If Only The Shins Were Just A Band

So this past Thursday was a unique day in my practice history, because I just utterly lost.my.shit.

It’s not like I’ve never been frustrated before; this is derby, after all, and I am an irritable bastard. Frustration is part of the package. Usually, though, I get frustrated (almost universally with myself), and then I’m like

and then I get back to doing something. Anything. Even if it’s barely a thing at all, even if it’s sitting on the couch, even if it’s trying to massage my shins into submission and accidentally exploding a tube of Bengay on myself, I don’t give up: I change course.

Thursday, “changing course” meant “getting the fuck out of dodge and crying in the parking lot like a slapped schoolchild.”

Huh. I’ve been skating for nearly two years, but that’s never happened before. Why Thursday?

–Because since I got back on the track three weeks ago, I’ve had days where my shins did not act up at all, and I’ve had uncomfortable-but-work-through-able shin days, and I’ve had days where my shins were all  you are having a bad problem and you will not go to space today.

–Because that thing I just described? That has left me feeling bugshit crazy. Like, “GURL, we talked about this, you were gonna stop smokin that crack” crazy. That is not a fun way to feel, particularly when you are on roller skates around a bunch of other people and it feels like someone is trying to rip your shins apart from the inside.

–Because Morty was coaching, and I heart Morty, and I wanted to be all “look Morty look how hard I worked on getting better look I can cross over all the way around the track now LOOOOOOK,” because apparently I am a two-year-old who just wants someone I admire to be proud of me, but instead my shins went “YOU WILL NOT GO TO SPACE TODAY” and I fell way short of my best–or even mediocrest–performance.

–Because I feel like I should be a better skater by now, even when I’m at my best, and I was so miserably far from even that modest level. Ugh.

–Because I started dealing with this shin stuff in June and it’s January of THE NEXT YEAR and it’s still pwning my ass.

So, TL;DR: I HAVE TOO MANY FEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELS.

However, as my dad used to tell me when I had small-child meltdowns in public, “Nobody came here to hear you cry.” The real question here is, Now What? Certainly the least stressful option would be to quit derby, but that isn’t an option any more than robotic shins are an option (COME ON PEOPLE THIS IS THE FUTURE WHERE ARE MY ROBOTIC SHINS).

I think I’m going to put together a list of soothing things to focus on when the injury frustration gets to be too much. I may do this while on the couch at practice today. First item: there is no shame in watching practice instead of skating. No, really. There’s not. Stop hating yourself. (Anyone else having flashbacks to siblings grabbing your hand and smacking you upside the head with it while chanting, “Stop hitting yourself, stop hitting yourself?” No? Okay. Just one of those grew-up-in-the-sticks Midwestern things, then.)

In conclusion,

Avoidance Is The Mother Of Invention

So I got some fat pants on Sunday, ’cause I got too fat for my, uh, fat pants. Do you know that feel? It is a weird feel. But! Fortunately, I am inspired rather than defeated, and I’m really looking forward to more time on the track and lots of skating and health improvements this year. To wit:

  • My league’s practice schedule changed, and now I don’t usually have a time conflict with class and practice. Hooray!
  • I’m walking correctly for the first time in my life thanks to an amazeballs PT (all together now: JILL LET ME LOVE YOU), which means, among other good-for-skating things, that I’m not building tendonitis in my shins anymore.
  • I’m actually taking my asthma meds. Like, all of them. I mostly don’t even feel like I’m cheating when I do it. Okay, fine, I still feel like I’m cheating, but I do in fact take them.
  • My husband (who, holy shet, has been my friend for ten years this month) knew that I wanted a juicer for Christmas. He not only got me a juicer, he got one for me from the auction at Rat City’s lovely Black-Eyed Ball. Swoon. I’ve been juicing it up and also making more meals at home out of reasonably healthy ingredients.

Hopefully, all of this goodness will help me bid adieu to my new fat pants sooner rather than later. I embrace any and every size/shape I might be when I’m taking care of myself, but when I’m not taking care of myself? Nope. Bring the change, 2013.

One last thing from the last practice I went to: I can run on my toe stops now! True story. We were doing a drill where we lined up four across and made a dash for the straightaway. Last one to the line was the jammer, other three walled up. I jammed the first time, and after a fruitless session of being all “hey guise can I get through plz no okay maybe I’ll try this side oh you don’t wanna let me through there either oh okay I guess we’re done now,” I was like FUH NO AM NOT JAMMING AGAIN. Which meant I had to beat at least one person to the line the next time, which meant I had to RUN. So I did. Just about took myself out doing it, but I honest-to-God ran on those suckers (the big ones from Crazy Skates Co.) Turns out you can go pretty fast if you don’t worry about how you’re going to land!

And on that hey-this-insight-probably-applies-to-life-outside-of-derby note, I’ma clean up and meet Ms. Arkham Allie for some pre-practice writing and conversation. Woot!

2012: So I Guess We Are Not All Dead After All

Holy crap, it’s almost 2013! In celebration of not being dead yet, let’s take a peek over our collective shoulder at TPiaL in 2012:

–A year ago today, I had just come back from an ankle contusion. Busted the tissue up pretty bad while vacuuming when I lifted my foot and jammed the corner of a metal bedframe into the soft spot above the joint. Moral of the story: don’t vacuum!

–Last January, I couldn’t transition while in motion.

–By February, I could.

–In March, I struggled to feel like a “real” derby girl, whatever that is.

–In April, I fangirl’d. Note: I am now a fan of the Moto bearings. Quadzilla himself swapped out the derpy ones for a fresh pack, which worked admirably. ❤

–In May, I returned to PFM after months of session skating at rinks, and could finally do all of the drills. Slow learners: we learn real good-like. Eventually.

–In June, BACON.

–In July, I mused about derby wives.

–In August, I started to suspect that maybe something was, like, wrong with my body. Also, I got coated in expired Bengay. You know you jealous.

–In September, I found out that lots of things were definitely wrong with my body, and they would take a hot minute to sort out. FFFFFFFUUUU.

–In October, I scrimmaged anyway because I am a pathological optimist. Verdict: nope, still injured! Get yo’ ass to the outside, do not pass “Go,” do not collect $200.

–In November, I derped around the Shire.

–In December, I done got hitched. We are having a GLITTERY FUCKING CEREMONY next month.

In general, I try to figure out what life is trying to teach me; the end of a year is a handy time for it. What did 2012 seem to be trying to teach me? Some possibilities:

1) You play the hand you’re dealt, not the hand you wish you’d been dealt. Yes, it would be awesome to not have effing janked-up femurs that are effing put in wrong and effing eff up every effing thing I try to do on skates (besides turning my feet out), but I do have them. The sooner I stop angsting and start sticking to SRS PT, the sooner I can get out on the track and stay there.

2) The derby community is just mind-blowingly supportive. From One World to Jet City’s BSL to PFM to Bacon to Fast Girl to random encounters at session skates, I have met so.many.people willing to teach and laugh and share derby wisdom. It’s humbling and it inspires me to contribute.

3) Re-reading my entries from the past year, I realized that I get sick a lot. It sucks. I hate it. There are a lot of reasons for it, but they all fall under the umbrella of “I suck at taking care of myself.” Seriously. If I were my own kid, DCFS would have locked my ass up long ago. I’m kind of over that. Goal for 2013: take good care of me… which sounds like my next post.

Your turn: tell me all ’bout your 2012. What do you think you were supposed to learn? What did you *actually* learn? Much love, peoples.