Monday, January 24, 2011

Week 3 Videos

Ok so my sister and Blake convinced me to post video clips, and after I gave it some thought, I figured - when have I ever held back from blogging because of self-respect? I've blogged about having my bum waxed, for crying out loud. So here are some videos from week 3, with a recap of week 5 coming soon.

My first spin, and my first near-fall of the night.

This is my favorite video. When the whistle blew, we were supposed to hit the ground. Notice how the whistle blows...and I just keep skating...and skating. Also notice the scared look on my face the whole time.

But eventually, I was able to kind of get the hang of something. Check out out, spinning and kind of stopping all fancy-like.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Roller Derby: Week 3

Should I start with the good news or the bad news? Maybe I should just start with a picture that truly encompasses me, as a roller derby skater, in my element:
That's me. While everyone else is in derby stance, looking like they're ready to rip someone's head off, there's Bone Junior, struggling to just stand on my skates. Arms flailing, face in complete panic, losing my balance - this sums up my third night of roller derby. I'll give you a minute to stop laughing and let that sink in.

The good news is that I have actually been able to walk after Thursday night's practice! The bad news is, I'm sure the only reason I can walk is because I half-assed it at Thursday night's practice. Aside from my normal apprehension, I was extra-scared because I strained my groin earlier in the week. I wish I could say that I strained it from practicing skating, but in true Bone Junior fashion, I strained it by trying to drop down and get my eagle on. And then I couldn't get back up.

So, all week I was moaning and groaning and contemplating skipping derby. Have you ever had a strained groin? I didn't realize how much I use my groin muscles until this week, because every movement hurt. All it would take is one flailing fall, and I was going to feel like I'd been split up the middle. I was terrified of derby this week.

We learned some new skills this week, like jumping over cracks in the concrete. I'm pretty good at tripping over the cracks, but jumping...not so much. My brother's girlfriend Blake came to watch, and she got some really good videos that I am way too embarrassed to post, but she also got some good pics that still embarrass me, but oh well. What fun would my blog be if I wasn't willing to embarrass myself?

This is me showing off the one skill I've been able to master: hands over the vag. That's one of our mantras: always keep your hands over the vag; otherwise, flailing elbows can get you a penalty.
The other mantra we have is in regard to proper derby stance: tits over knees over toes. This is me and Gina doing derby stance, in pain. Notice how well I have my hands over the vag. At least I've got that basic skill down.
Hey look, I actually look like I'm having fun!

Stretching out with some of the veterans. You can tell they're vets because of the cool stickers on their helmets, as opposed to my brand new shiny helmet.

So I've got three more weeks before the skills test, which means I've got a lot of work to do. Stopping, getting a running start, controlled falling, jumping over objects - it seems daunting and I still get really frustrated with myself for not being better. But I'm still not giving up.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Roller Derby: Week 2

I think that my second night of roller derby can be summed up in a few words: My everything hurts. Everything. I've been holding my pee for like four hours because it hurts too bad to walk to the bathroom, let alone squat down on the toilet. Just the thought of squatting down makes me hurt.

And yes, this is after only two hours of roller derby training, one night a week. I am so out of shape. Oh and also, I kind of stink at the basics of skating so far.

After the first week, Gina and I were totally pumped to come back. I got my own helmet and pads - I even molded a mouth guard, which I haven't done since ninth grade field hockey. We showed up last night stoked and ready to go. Here's how we started the night:
Aaaaaaaaannd here's how we ended the night:
I think the looks on our faces pretty much says it all: derby kicked our butts. Well, I can't speak for Gina because as we know, she is a master blader (giggle giggle), but derby didn't just kick my butt; derby made me its bitch.

We were taught three different ways to fall: the one-knee slide, the guitar rockstar slide, and the baseball slide - they all look exactly how they sound. Guess how many I mastered? Exactly zero.

We were taught two different ways to get a running start on your skates: tip-toe using the toe-stops, and the duck walk. Guess how many of those I mastered? Also exactly zero.

Maybe I should clarify the word "mastered". I know they don't expect us to master these skills on our first attempt. Our instructor last night, Wanton Rebellion, really stressed that point by saying, "I don't expect you to be perfect, but I do expect you to try." That's what I love about this league - every single skater there is so nice and no one judges anyone else. When you fall, everyone applauds; everyone encourages each other to get back up and keep going. I don't think I could do it without that type of atmosphere.

Because here's why: I fall. A lot. It seems I have no trouble falling when I'm just skating laps, or trying to stop, or trying to learn how to cross over on the turns. I'm really good at falling all on my own. But when I tried to do the controlled falls? Yes, I still fell, but not the way I was supposed to fall. And Wanton Rebellion made them all look so easy, so simple. Everything the veterans do, they make it look easy. When I'm not picking myself up off the concrete, I'm watching the veterans, salivating in envy of their mad skillz. I gaze at them dreamily, thinking, "I want to go to there."

But back to the falling. While I now have a whole new respect for guitar players who drop to their knees and slide across the stage, I am convinced that either the stage is completely greased up, or they're wearing super soft flannel pants. Because when I tried to rockstar slide? It was more of a rockstar screeching-halt-then-upper-body-flop-forward kind of thing. When I dropped to my knees, there was no sliding happening, only abrupt, painful, hilarious stopping. Not at all what I was going for, and it wasn't long before I started to feel the pain in my knees.

Then came the baseball slide. I perked up when I saw this demonstrated, because I grew up playing softball and I thought, "Oh I GOT this, no problem! I totally know how to slide like that! Finally something I can DO!"

Well, as it turns out, baseball sliding is a hell of a lot easier on dirt, and in cleats, as opposed to on concrete and in skates. Are you as shocked by that revelation as I was? I kid you not, I was shocked when I tried to slide and instead ended up ass over teakettle, and flat on my back. I just laid there for a minute, contemplating my bruise-filled future, and getting pissed off at myself that I couldn't do it right.

When it comes to derby, I'm finding that my biggest problem isn't that I can't skate, I can't stop, I can't fall properly, etc; my biggest problem is getting mad at myself and discouraged because I can't get something right on the first try. I beat myself up for not being able to pick up the skills as easily as I thought I would, and I'm incredibly impatient because I'm not instantly gliding around and stopping with ease like the veterans.

Which is the exact point I was making to Janay this morning, when I was moaning about how I could hardly move.

Janay: Give yourself time to suck before you start to get better. Remember when we played Commando and you wore your Batman costume and you flittered across the lawn so quickly that we could hardly see you? See? You have the necessary skills.

Bone Jr: Yeah but then remember how I jumped off that wall and tripped on my Batman cape and broke my foot?

Janay: Yeah well, falling is not your strong suit.

Bone Jr: Only when it's supposed to be a controlled, planned fall. The other kind of falling is no problem for me.

And she's right - I need to be patient with myself and give myself time to get better. I need to stop yelling the f-word and getting mad at myself every time I fall or have trouble learning a new skill. There are girls there who shuffle along and biff it just like me, and they pick themselves right back up and try again. One gal landed square on her tailbone at least three times, and she got up every single time and kept going. And you know how bad it hurts to fall on your tailbone. But when I wanted to give up, I'd look at her and think, if she can do it, so can I.

So I survived the night, making it through with a couple bruised knees and legs that feel like jello and arms that hurt to lift. But, I survived and I'm looking forward to next week.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Cross That Off the Bucket List

Life Goal: Roundhouse kick something. Anything.

Today, the opportunity to achieve one of my life goals presented itself in the most unlikely place: monthly staff meeting. We were split into teams for the obligatory Team Building Exercise, in which we had to build the tallest free-standing structure using nothing but 50 sheets of paper and masking tape. I had the Engineer on my team, so I felt very confident about winning. And we SHOULD have won, but the other team made a ghetto long skinny antennae-like thingy out of tape and stuck it to the top. Lame.

We also should have won because our tower stood intact throughout the whole meeting, whereas the other team's tower fell after about ten seconds.

After the meeting, Gina was taking obligatory pictures of our tower, with me standing alongside for height-reference. What happened next can only be described in the words of Pete Mitchell, call sign Maverick, in the epic movie Top Gun:

Sir, I had him in my sights. He saw me move in for the kill. He proceeded below the hard-deck. We were below for just a few seconds. I had the shot. There was no danger, so I took it.

Thank goodness Gina was there to capture me looking like a top spinning out of control the perfect action shot.

I think even Maverick would agree - that's damn nice form.

Monday, January 10, 2011

My Body Hurts

When my friend Gina asked me, "Hey, do you want to join a roller derby league with me?", I thought Sure! Why not! I used to skate circles in my basement when I was little, I went disco skating once in college, how hard can it be? Sign me up!

The Red Rockettes are more of a training league, open to skaters of all levels, and it looked like a lot of fun. I bought some skates, got some spandex, borrowed kneepads from Gina, and off we went. We walked into the derby warehouse and my first thought was These girls are going to eat me alive. Most of them were wearing booty shorts with fishnets or crazy striped leg warmers; some had bad-ass tattoos and baby bangs. And they all looked like they could snap my femur with their bare hands.

But there was no way I was going to chicken out in front of Gina. She's a master blader (giggle giggle) and I wanted her to think I was just as tough as she is. There were a few girls already skating laps and it just looked so easy, I thought, Ok, I can do this.

Oh how sorely mistaken I was. I knew as soon as I got on the track, I was in trouble. We started with five minutes of warm-up laps, and my shins were burning halfway through lap one. That might be because I was more shuffle-rolling as opposed to smoothly skating.

I stayed to the outside of the track as veteran skaters zoomed past me and I swear I felt like a car pulled over on the side of the freeway, rocking every time a car speeds past. Every gust of wind threatened to throw me off balance. Not to mention the hazardous strips of tape and bumps in the concrete - I looked like a top spinning out of control, flailing and flapping my arms, desperately trying to just stay on my feet.

After those first five minutes, I was panting, sweating, red-faced, and my legs were burning. Let me re-emphasize that we'd only been skating for FIVE MINUTES. We did some stretches, introduced ourselves, then we were split into two groups: veterans and rookies.

Us rookies worked on skating drills like weaving in and out of cones, perfecting the "derby stance" (boobs over knees over toes), wall squats, lunges, and of course, stopping. Otherwise known as that-which-put-me-on-my-ass-nearly-every-time. The veterans raced around the track, stopping on a dime, knocking eachother over, and I was totally jealous.

They taught us three different ways to stop, and guess how many of them I mastered? None. Not one. I cannot stop once I get going. This could be a problem.

So now I'm committed to twelve weeks of trying to stop myself before I hit the bleachers or the wall or the floor. Every week we'll learn new skating and derby skills and then we have to pass a test after six weeks. This week, we're learning how to fall. I told them I think I already have that part down.

I have exactly one picture of me looking semi-confident and bad ass.

The rest of the pictures are me shuffling along, trying not to flail my arms wildly.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Perhaps I Tend to Focus on the Dramatic

To be fair, the Bone Family Christmas really wasn't all bad. If you know me, you may know that at times, I might have a slight tendency to focus on the negative of any situation. Which, while often hilarious, isn't always fair to the other people involved. And I have been known to be over-dramatic in certain situations - although I completely stand by my mature decision to eat an entire bag of Herr's potato chips just to get back at my dad. Totally justified and reasonable.

Christmas vacation wasn't just about the drama, the ER, the racist dog, the pouty was really about spending time with my family and realizing that no matter how dysfunctional things may be, we are still a family that sticks together. I am so blessed to have a family that loves me unconditionally, supports me even when they don't agree with my decisions (buying a Mustang and ginormous bazoombas), isn't afraid to tell me when I'm acting like a typical middle child, and most importantly, they accept and love me for who I am. Mustang, implants and all.

This year, in between all the gifts and food and arguments, I realized that my family really is the most important thing in the world to me. Yes, we disagree, we fight, we (I) act like children, and there will always be difficult times. But what remains is that we are eternally bonded, for better or worse, good and bad. And I am so lucky to be part of this crazy family, because you know what I realized? Every family, no matter how perfect they may seem, has their own issues. They don't always manifest as a racist dog - but there are always issues. The trick is to forgive, love, and support no matter what.

Please to enjoy a few of my reminders of what's really important.

My favorite little guy. It took about ten pictures to get one of him actually looking at the camera.
Pop Pop came through with the only thing Li'l Mil really wanted - a lellow crane. He spent most of his time hooking the crane to whatever he could find - Mater, Nano's belt loops, Pop Pop's trains. You name it, he hooked it.
The iArm Forearm Mount. You can attach anything to your arm and still have your hands free. Luke was politely excited until he realized this was just a gag box, with a Flip Video inside. I secretly wish that the iArm Forearm Mount actually existed.
This is the picture that makes me forget about all the drama.
Another fifty attempts to get Li'l Mil looking at the camera. Nano was absolutely thrilled with her bi-racial babies and stroller.
Bone Senior thinks that the stroller baby is an accurate prediction of my future offspring.
I admit, I was tempted to yank the bread out of her mouth just to witness one of her famous meltdowns...
But her death-to-you-if-you-touch-this-bread look made me think better of taking it from her.
She wants whatever you have whether it be your camera...
...Daddy's Phillies hat...
...or Sashie's trail mix.
Not enough hands to hold all her presents at once, but she gave it a shot.

Here's to a new year of remembering and being grateful for the things that really matter.

Monday, January 03, 2011

The Bone Family Does Christmas

The Bone Family Christmas could be known by many different names. For example, The Week I Found Out My Dog Is Racist; or, The Week My Dad Sulked and Pouted and Didn't Talk To Me All Week.

Perhaps specific events could be known as The Christmas Eve That Half My Family Went to the Emergency Room; or The Night My Brother-in-Law Passed Out and I Kept Eating While My Sister Supported the Dead Weight of His Body.

Or The Moment My Dog Went Batshit Crazy and Bit My Step-Sister's Fiance Who is Vietnamese, Which Created a Trail of Blood Leading to the Kitchen Where My Brother-in-Law Passed Out and I Kept Eating While My Sister Supported the Dead Weight of His Body Which All Ended With Half My Family Going to the Emergency Room and also a Three-Day Hospital Stay for a Staph Infection.

Other memorable moments could include The Night I Stayed Home to Make Peace and Watch the Eagles Game With My Dad but he Sulked and Watched it Alone In His Room, So I Ate All of His Favorite Potato Chips to Get Back At Him. Or The Night We Tried to Have a Civil Grownup Responsible Conversation With My Dad About How My Racist Dog Needed to be Put Down Because He's Bitten So Many People and My Dad Announced That He and the Dog Would Be Moving Out to a Place of Their Own.

I have no idea where I get my dramatic-over-reacting streak from. No idea at all.

The long, cold, silent week ended with me on a plane back to Utah, still angry at my Dad for pouting all week, and still laughing about my brother-in-law passing out.

Good times.