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:

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.

Back To Your Regularly Scheduled Derptimes

Uh, so today, I skated a full practice for the first time since October.

Without pain.

Lucille Ball FTW.

We did a lot of plow stopping, which I ain’t got no aptitude for, but I’m improving. We also did a lot of stepping through worms, and I felt pretty confident about that. Oh, and heat-molding the front outside quarter of my right boot with my hair dryer appears to have worked, because while I could still feel the grumpy spot, it didn’t pwn me.


None of today’s happiness would have happened without the help of my fabulous PT (JILL LET ME LOVE YOU), my fabulous derby wife, and my fabulous teammates. Yall believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself, and let me do off-skate shit at your practices, and let me skate around on the outside even though I was in your way during drills, and gave me generous and helpful recovery tips…

You the best, guise. Thank you.

When Life Becomes A RuPaul Song



I went to practice last night and skated around the outside.

For fifty minutes.

Fast. Ish.

Without pain.!Yay.gif

Two even weirder things happened:

1) I can now, magically, plow stop. It takes forever, but I can tilt my plates, get my inside wheels to slide, and hold them there until I come to a complete stop.

2) I can now, magically, feel my left foot pulling through my crossovers all the way to the left front wheel.

I’m baffled, ’cause I don’t see how “put a dent in your couch” equals “skate more better.” I’m not about to turn it down, though!

Tomorrow, there will be PFM Core scrimmage. I get to be the Volunteer Coordinator! When you add in that today I got a shiny new set of Smith Scabs and a Pivot Star hoodie from Fast Girl, AND that I got to see Liz win the breakdance challenge while I was there, AND that I got to chill at a coffeehouse with her and Arkham and write, I think I’d better warn you:


Keeping Score

Welp, I’m still off skates. I NSOed at our scrimmage on Saturday (scorekeeper for the Red Team). My leaguemates were out there all

and I was at the NSO table staring at my ref like my life depended on it, except between jams, when I was all

Le sigh.

NSOing is cool, though. Learned a lot, got to be useful, met excellent refs and NSOs: a victory for Upfish, as Brad Neely would say. Also, my peeps are improving at hitting, ’cause that scrimmage was bersekaheimer. I saw one skater get hit, fall, spin out, and crash into the wall at Turn Four. Twice. Another smashed into the barrier under the NSO table. Is every scrimmage like that, or do I not notice because I’m in it?

After the scrimmage, I was lucky enough to talk with another leaguemate NSO who’s injured, and wise, and a badass. We commiserated about being hamstrung (figuratively), and she had some great advice about being patient with myself and accepting the pace of my recovery. I’m very grateful for her validation. ❤

So that was Saturday. Sunday, I embraced the crapful place I was in; I watched Champs from my couch and ate a lot of deep-fried shit. If you want to know what rock bottom tastes like, it’s batter-dipped deep-fried mac and cheese balls, chocolate chip pumpkin bread, and beer. My subconscious wants me to weigh as much as my self-hatred, maybe?

I’ve been freaking out about losing my hard-earned derby fitness, and my inflating waistline, and my imperfect adherence to my PT/taping regimen, and my crap nutrition choices, and feeling that I’m letting my teammates down by doing so poorly, and hating myself pretty hard for all of it, which has only increased the shitstupidity of my choices, which has kept the cycle going, and… bleargh. There really is something magical about accepting the suck, though, because I woke up Different this morning. I went from being all

to feeling a big ol’ dose of

It’s a process. I’ve fucked up. I’ll fuck up again. But that’s fine: the important thing, in some ways the only important thing, is that I keep going. However imperfectly. However deep-fried. Just keep going.

Who Needs Logic When You Have Ibuprofen?

So there was scrimmage last Saturday. Thanks to an extraordinarily derped-out schedule, it was the first time I managed to meet up with PFM’s regular monthly Core group (I was at the Rainier scrimmage, but that was a different type thing). I love PFM, and I love scrimmaging, and a bunch of folks from Tilted were joining us, so I really, really wanted to Participate.

“But Jess,” you say, “that makes no sense! You barely wobbled your way through your last several practices. What made you think you’d be able to scrimmage regular-like?” To which, Dear Reader, I will politely request that you

Mmmkay? Mmmkay!

Unsurprisingly, I started out the afternoon bein’ sassy. I rested the whiny shins, stretched them, rolled them out and loved them up with Tiger Balm. When they acted up during warmups anyway, I was all

and kept skating. Even got through the worm, which felt not-awesome, but I Fricking Did It Anyway So There.

When the shaking got so bad that I couldn’t both hold myself up and keep pace, I skated around the outside. Have I mentioned that I hate that shit? I hate that shit. I hate it so. Hard.

Then, scrimmage. I jammed first. I love jamming, not because I have any aptitude for it whatsoever but because I am demented and get an alarming degree of satisfaction out of surviving things that I don’t expect to survive. This jam was fierce, yo. Everyone was at maximum energy, and every time I almost made it out, someone would be all

and send my ass sprawling.

My perception was that I got the crap beat out of me out there, an opinion which was validated slightly when I staggered back to the bench and Coach said, “You got the crap beat out of you out there! But you didn’t give up, and that’s what counts.” I might argue that it would count maybe a little tiny bit more if I could make an initial pass or something, but she was being supportive and I wasn’t about to turn that down.

I sat out the last few jams of our first 20 minute scrimmage because shins. One of the experienced Tilted folks talked me into staying geared up and playing in the second scrimmage, so I did, and I’m grateful. It was good to block, to be part of a wall, to communicate in an effort to help. Dear Cool Tilted Skater Who Made Time To Care About Me When You Totally Didn’t Have To:


That said, it was so incredibly frustrating to have moments of knowing what my team needed me to do without a single word being said, and to lack the physical ability–but not necessarily the skating ability (!)–to follow through on that understanding. I hate not being capable for my teammates. Ugh. My Denial Wall has finally crumbled, and guys, I… I’m Actually Injured. Like, something is wrong. I need help. To which my visceral response is, of course,

Yeah. But I’m going to get me to a physical therapist, and get this crap figured out, and come back stronger when it’s over. I was not an athlete before derby and I don’t really know how to be one, much less an injured/recovering one, but ain’t no way I’m gonna die without finding out.