I am regretting having ever blabbed to the entire world that I want to put more effort into derby, because now the entire world is holding me accountable. I don't have the option of just talking the talk without walking the walk, unless I'm okay with looking like an ass. And considering that I'm walking like a cripple this morning, I'm borderline being okay with looking like an ass.
Putting in extra effort is hard and it has been kicking my butt. I've been pushed out of my comfort zone, into doing burpees (up/downs), planks, wall squats, and learning new vocabulary for proper derby stance that, quite frankly, makes me blush. Here's the rundown of the first week of my "extra effort".
Monday: Skated (actually skated, in a forward motion, not just side-stepped) outside with Tasha, better known as my waxer / spray tanner, and soon-to-be Rockette. When I introduced Tasha to my fresh meat mamas, I told them that she'd seen my naked body and said, "I want to go to there"; to which I responded, "Someday, this can all be yours" as I elaborately swept my hands over my body. "You just need to join roller derby." I think that's when I did the lunge-heard-round-the-world. Obviously that's all it took to convince Tasha to join up. Can you blame her?
We did laps on an outdoor track for about 45 minutes, and I felt pretty proud of myself until I saw that other derby girls are skating SEVENTEEN MILES A DAY. Seventeen. MILES. But, I did crossovers. Successfully. We also had a tender moment when I realized that Tasha has the exact same Big Five skates that I started on - finally, someone will empathize with my plight.
Tuesday: Wasatch Roller Derby (the "real" roller derby girls) strategy / endurance practice, which I like to call, "Here's All The Reasons You Will Never Be A Good Derby Girl." We were told the practice would be on skates (some weeks are just drills on foot). About a minute after I got there, I learned that we were actually starting out on foot. Awesome. My footwear options were flip flops, skates, or work boots. So I chose barefoot, and left sweaty foot marks all over the floor. So hot. And also slippery.
We started out doing a series of wall squats and planks, which had me sweating and panting about thirty seconds in. I had strategically placed myself between two other Rockettes, Bruiser and Liz Tailher, who have both been doing a 7 AM boot camp. Bruiser helped correct my posture and plank position, which was really helpful. Unfortunately, no matter how many times she adjusted me, I still ended up resting my sweaty face against the wall during the squats, and resting my gut on the floor during the planks.
Then we did burpees (I know them as up/downs), which is when you do a jumping jack, then drop down into a push up, then pull your legs up, stand up and do it all over again. Which really ended up with me looking like I was doing the worm, because that's how awesome I am at doing pushups.
This class was led by one of the founders and coaches of Wasatch, and the focus was on strategy. The way she explained different techniques made a lot of sense, and it was really helpful. I found myself saying, "Oh, now I understand why Wanton grabbed me by the pants to slow me down..." We even got handouts with flowcharts and graphs, all explaining different strategies. Now, if I wasn't such a negative person, I probably would've come away from the class thinking, "Wow, that was really helpful! I learned a lot!" But, I'm not, so I came away with the following pearls of wisdom that were tossed down from the coach:
1. "If your arms jiggle, you will never be a good derby girl." As she was saying this, I was trying to discreetly tuck my arm fat into my armpits, hoping she wouldn't single me out as having jiggly arms. I also resisted the urge to ask her if having stretch marks would stop you from ever being a good derby girl, because I got the sense very early on that she wouldn't appreciate my humor.
2. "If you can't run a mile, you will never be a good derby girl." This gave me flashbacks to highschool gym class, and me walking a 15-minute mile. That was also the only time in my life I didn't envy my sister for having big boobs, as just watching her run the mile made me hurt. But once I hit my mid-twenties, and hadn't run a mile in like ten years, I figured that the downside of having big boobs wasn't enough to stop me from getting them.
3. "If you can't skate 25 laps in less than five minutes, you will never be a good derby girl. I can do it in 3:30." K, I'm not even going to touch that one - I think we all know where I stand on the speed and endurance issue (read: I have neither).
4. "If your coach puts you on the inside line and tells you to stay there, it's because there's nothing else they can do with you." When we heard this little gem, all of the Rockettes in attendance burst out laughing. I can't count how many times my fresh meat mamas have said to me, "Just stick to the inside line and don't worry about anything else." Any idealistic notions I had about being put on the line because I'm a good blocker went right out the window. I wanted to gather up my arm fat and just leave. But since I had flapped my gums about wanting to get better, I couldn't tuck tail and run in front of the other Rockettes. I'm pretty sure they would have physically stopped me from leaving, and I love them for that.
In defense of the Wasatch coach, I can completely appreciate where she's coming from. She's leading a team of intense girls who are out for blood, and practice is very, very serious for them. She's all about the brutal honesty, and while I understand that? I was yearning for the coddling, gentle love of my fresh meat mamas.
Thursday: Red Rockettes practice. I was so glad to be back with a familiar group of faces. Practicing with Wasatch gave me a whole new appreciation for the Rockettes, and the environment that our coaches have created for us to learn and have fun. We have such a large group now that practice is split up: 7-9 is for the rookies, 8-10 is for the vets. I think the highlight of my night was at about 9pm, when I was already sweating and dying, and one of the rookies (who had been skating for two hours and was barely glistening) said, "Didn't you just get here?" Yes, yes I did, which makes it that much more sad.
Friday-Sunday: Pretty much one continuous cycle of eating, sleeping, and watching Bridezillas. Whatever, don't judge me.
Monday: Happy Valley Derby Darlins practice. This is a group that was formed in December, and is currently recruiting skaters. They skate just a few minutes from where I live, and had extended an invitation to the Rockettes to come practice with them anytime. So E-Rolla Virus drove down from Salt Lake, and she and I entered the lions den together.
HVDD has about 25 girls, and they all looked like they could beat me up. E-Rolla and I just looked at eachother like, "What have we gotten into?" but we geared up and joined in the stretching. Their coach, Breaker 1-9, immediately sensed outsiders amongst her crew, and called out for us to state our names and business there. When we said we come in peace, and from the Red Rockettes, they all started...cheering. They let out a chorus of, "Yay! You're here to help us!"
Blink. Blink. E-Rolla and I exchanged glances that said, "We have absolutely nothing to teach you, seeing as how we are still trying to learn how to skate", but they all looked so...hopeful. They had no idea they where about to be underwhelmed by the Alamo of the Red Rockettes. So instead of just coming out with the truth about how novice we are, E-Rolla and I rode the celebrity status wave for the next thirty seconds, aaaaaaaaaaand then we started skating.
It became very clear, very quickly, that these girls have been focusing on speed and endurance for the past six months. They were fast, stable, and had perfect derby stance. They almost never broke form, and if they did, they heard it loud and clear from Breaker 1-9, no pun intended. She was loud, and she was very, very clear with her instructions. The last time someone screamed, "MOVE YOUR ASS!" at me was in highschool, when my tennis coach would make my two-syllable first name into a one-syllable word, indiscernible to the untrained ear. "Moo ya fee, Sah! MOO ya FEE!" (Translation: Move your feet, Sarah! MOVE your FEET!)
Along with "loud" and "clear", Breaker had a very distinct way with words. This is the part where I learned new vocabulary for "proper derby stance". We've been taught tits over knees over toes, hands in the vag. Simple as that. That phrase has been drilled into my head, and it's almost become second nature. And really, "tits over knees over toes" is as descriptive as you need to get with me when it comes to proper derby stance - I get it, I understand it, I need no further explanation.
Breaker 1-9 has a different opinion when it comes to explaining proper derby stance, and honestly, I don't know if I can even bring myself to write it here, because it's straight-up prison talk, and the thought of my sister reading it makes me feel embarrassed. And although I have the sense of humor of a thirteen-year-old boy, even I draw the line somewhere.
We were doing a pace line, skating a figure-eight pattern. It teaches you how to skate close to eachother, and to keep pace with the girl in front of you while not breaking away from the girl behind you. We were also practicing sticky skates, which is skating in a forward motion without picking up any of your wheels. It kills my thighs. Breaker kept yelling at us to get as close as possible to the girl in front of us, as low as we could with our asses out. Really, that statement from her would have been enough. "Get your ass down and out", or "Get all up ons", or even "Get your face close enough to kiss the butt of the girl in front of you" are all very self-explanatory, but Breaker took it to the next level.
I really can't bring myself to write what she actually said. I've tried several times, and I'm just too modest. (Whoda thunk? Me? Modest? Pfffft. But seriously, this is just too far for me to take it. At least on my blog. In person, I have no problem saying it, but for some reason, seeing it in writing is too much.) Suffice it to say that it started with 'E' and ended with 'ATHERASSHOLE.'
In other words, it sounded a lot like, "Meat her class mole."
If you were playing Mad Gab, your clue would be, "Eater as hoe."
That's how close she wanted us to the girl in front of us. My response was to turn around to E-Rolla, who was directly behind me, and say, "Toss my salad."
While it was a great workout, I'm not sure if I'll be going back to the HVDD practice. I get my fill of prison lingo from Lockup, thankyouverymuch.