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.

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Tiny Update, With Rainbows

I practiced a little bit on Saturday. The good news: I was able to skate for an hour, and I did transition drills, and toestop starts, and skated laps around the outside, and my shins didn’t hurt. At all.

The (bad? not as good?) news: my right hip did. Like, to the point that I wasn’t stable, so I stopped skating.

But! I am, perhaps stupidly, optimistic that I am at least changing my body’s muscle recruitment patterns, and that I will keep working through the kinks (lol I said “kinks”) until I’m able to skate full practices again.

KINKS!

*runs away, giggling*

Drunken Sailors For Fun And Profit

So me and Laurie tromped all over Seattle yesterday. We went to yoga, where we were the Merry and Pippin to a roomful of Legolases and Aragorns:

And then we went and got coffee, because we’re even moar awesome with drugs, and then we went skating. We practiced the moves Trino taught us in the middle, like-a so:

There was “Gagnam Style.” I deny everything.

This is how my shins felt about skating:

But this is how the rest of me felt:

So it was great!

Things I want to remember from yesterday that gave me a sense of having accomplished something other than “rampant suck”:

–I did drunken sailors to “Moves Like Jagger.” For fun. Time was, I couldn’t even practice them, ’cause that level of balance was beyond me.
–I practiced right-foot-leading skating to the side. For fun. That’s my derpy direction. ‘Nuff said.
–I learned that I can, in fact, execute a hockey stop, if it is the only thing that will keep me from slamming into a small and spindly child. Note to self: henceforth, pretend cones are children. Ignore the weird looks when you drop them off at daycare.

ScrimmageLock

Whoa. Things got a little intense there, eh? Thanks for bearing with me. Here’s the fluff post I meant to write yesterday. In honor of Saturday’s upcoming scrimmage (SQUEE), let’s do a post about scrimmage times, as portrayed through Sherlock references. Whee!

When I see photos or footage of myself during a scrimmage:

When Coach tries to explain a strategy more complex than “wall up for defense and fuck shit up on offense”:

How I feel at the end of a jam that ran the full two minutes:

When I’m jamming and the other jammer tries to scrap with me before the double whistle:

When people on my team take me out, especially when I’m jamming:

And, finally, what I do after the scrimmage:

Must Love Dogs

A friend of mine once told me that you should never spend time around cats to increase your self-esteem. She’s spot on, as usual, and I’d like to add that the same goes for trying new things on skates: it can be fun, and there’s adrenaline to be had, but if you want to feel really, really good about yourself, do a thing you’re already good at. Or pet a dog. Dogs love that shit.

Having neither a dog nor the sense to do something I was already good at, I decided a few weeks ago to sign up for jam skating classes. From some, uh, not-ready-for-primetime attempts at Lynnwood, I knew going in that I was a lousy jam skater, but I was still excited to learn new things with derbyfriends. Plus, The Neutrino was teaching them, and she’s hella talented, hella good at teaching and hella nice. Hella all ’round, that one.

Last week, I missed the first class due to a death in the family, which sucked for lots of reasons, but I’m one of those people who likes to work out their feels on the track so I went to last night’s class. We reviewed last week’s moves, learned a couple of new moves and did a lot of practicing. Because I had in jam plugs instead of toe stops, I spent a lot of quality time unexpectedly hugging the sport court. Didn’t realize how much I use those suckers ’til I took ’em out.

Anyway, this is what the experienced jam skaters looked like last night:

And this is what I looked like:

Except actually I was on my face, because that’s where you end up when you pop up onto your toe stops when you aren’t wearing any toe stops. BALLER.

At one point, I sped up some stepping footwork to see if I could do it in double-time. I could, for about four seconds, at which point I fell right on my junk and momentarily lost control of my bodily functions.

Guys, forgive me, but I gotta pause for a moment here: I fell so hard that PEE CAME OUT OF ME. It… I just… it’s like, there’s a “Before” part of your life, right? And you don’t know it’s “Before” because the thing that makes it be “After” hasn’t happened yet, but then it happens, and you’re like, “Wow, my life til then? Was Before, ’cause this here is most definitely some After.”

Now that I’ve pee-fallen? Shit just got After.

I gotta go. Someone on this block’s gotta have a dog I can pet.

Safeword?

So practice was a frustrating pile of crap today–wait, no, let me start over. Practice was excellent today, because it was led by Morty, and Morty is excellent, and there was agility, and new stops to learn, and a bunch of Tilted skaters there to watch and learn from, and other such hoorayness. But it was crap for me because I didn’t effing do it because shin splints and blerrrg.

It started off well enough. I was wearing my lucky pants. I got in some decent lateral cuts when I was messing around before warmups. I even managed to find a better headspace: life outside of derby is full of big ol’ changes right now, so when I started gearing up I was all I AM HAVING FEELS and then my inner grownup was all YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE TO COMPARTMENTALIZE THAT SHIT and happily, I did. I hit the track focused. That was cool.

Then we warmed up. Two-lap leads: okay. In a pace line: okay. Crossing over: okay. But it was all on the outside, so no momentum bursts from skating the track, and there were like ten zillion of us, so it went onnn, and my stupid-ass piece-of-shit shins were like

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and cramped up like they haven’t done since Bacon, and I was like

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and finished warmups because I am stubborn. Then I went with everyone to the middle to stretch and massaged the stabby parts and tried not to cry or barf.

We did a worm after that. It was moving at a decent clip, but not that quickly, but when your shin muscles feel like they’re being yanked from the inside every time you try to do something crazy like pick up your feet, it’s pretty effing hard to step through. So I missed a step, and had to t-stop to get back to my spot, which hurt, and had to step through and then accelerate, which hurt, and then I wiped out (how? no idea!), which didn’t hurt, and got up, which did, and I was like

 

I went to the outside in hopes of skating it out and realized that was Not On, so I skated over to the fridge, grabbed an ice pack, and plopped my sullen ass down. Zwack asked what was up and pointed out that ice probably wouldn’t help with shin splints, but rolling them out with a stick that looks like should come with a safeword (which Laurie thankfully had brought with her) and slapping on some Tiger Balm probably would.

Well, we didn’t have any Tiger Balm, but we had some Bengay. Old Bengay. That expired seven years ago. Because I am Sherlock fucking Holmes up in here, I concluded that trying something was better than trying nothing, so I busted out the tube and promptly covered my hands, arms and face in what can only be described as Bengay lube because as it turned out, the liquid part had separated from the solid part, and the former escaped before the latter even knew the cap was off. Word to the wise: it’s the liquid part that makes the burning sensation. I now know this thing, and I pass it on in hopes that you, Dear Reader, need not learn it from experience.

It was thus that I spent practice: sidelined, rolling my shins with what by all appearances ought to be a sex toy, stinking of old-balls Bengay and tingling like a mofo.

In case you were wondering, that is not how I prefer to spend practice. As Zwack pointed out, “You don’t give up often, do you?” In point of fact I have never given up at a practice; barring the one time I went home because I fell backwards onto my head (BALLER), I have skated out every.single.challenge I’ve faced in the last seventeen months. So being sidelined for something I thought I’d beaten two months ago? Rationally, I recognize that it was really not that big of a deal, but emotionally, I am all

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Y’know? ‘Cause I Worked to get better than I was at Bacon, and today I wasn’t better, and I couldn’t safely practice to improve, and that really pisses me off.

So I’m sulking, and digging out my Tiger Balm, and planning a long bubble bath during which I will play some whiny-ass Pandora station and blub. I cry when I’m mad. It’s annoying. *shrugs* Then I’ll get my shit together for the next practice and make sure it goes better. Maybe I’ll come up with a safeword for that roller stick. You just never know.

When Obsessions Collide

As some of you fine folks know, the BBC series Sherlock has run away with my brain. I imagine I’ll get it back when The Hobbit comes out; some of us have an appreciation for the phenomenal acting of Martin Freeman, winner of a Best Supporting Actor BAFTA, who has single-facedly made it sexy to look like an oatmeal cookie.

“But Jess!” you cry. “I don’t care about your stupid penchant for Conan Doyle adaptations and dessert-faced actors, I care about roller derby!” And well you might, Dear Reader, well you might. Allow me to bridge the two things that are consuming my brain with a little fluff post: My Feelings About Derby Stuff, As Expressed Through Sherlock JPGs/GIFs. Some need to be clicked through because I suck at internet. *jazz hands!*

When I try to transition at high speeds:

When I get through the pack, only to get nailed by a blocker I never saw:

When I’m staggered by the love I feel for my leaguemates:

When I’m staggered by the fashion choices of said leaguemates:

When a coach tells me it’s okay that I can’t do something yet:

When we do one-knee touches, and then four-point falls, and then sprint/falls, and then 25 laps as a pack, and then Slam tells us to do 25 laps in the opposite direction: