Monday, June 10, 2013

Roller Derby: Week 2

Yesterday, I had my third Roller Derby Boot Camp practice, which also started our second week of training. We practice twice a week on Sunday and Thursday evenings.

Thursday was kind of a rough day for me. Partly I think it was that I was missing flyball practice to be there, which messed with my mental game a bit. Since the Thursday practices for both of these sports overlap, I will be juggling between the two for a while. Also hard was that I decided to try borrowing some of the loaner skates they have available at the training building. I've been skating in my mom's old rink skates that she is letting me borrow, which aren't ideal for derby. But trying on all those other skates did nothing but hurt my feet in all variety of ways, until I finally switched back to the rink skates.

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My rink skates

On my way to practice yesterday I was feeling a little hesitant. I also fell a lot on Thursday, partly because of the different skates we were trying. I know I will fall a lot in derby. It is part of the game. There will never be a point where I will never fall. But it was a little discouraging. Last night's practice totally made up for it though!

The first thing we really learned was crossovers. This is basically where you pick up your outside foot when turning, bring it over in front of your other foot, set it down, and push out with the foot that stayed in place. It helps you corner faster and picks up a LOT more speed than just leaning into the turn or pushing a bit with the outside foot. It is also hard to get coordinated enough to do. It felt like the kneepads were in the way, my feet were huge and awkward, and like I was about to fall over the entire time. But, after a few rounds of the track, I was starting to get it, and when I did it right for the first time, it felt amazing.

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Practicing stepping to the side doing crossovers before hitting the track with them

I think learning the crossovers was the biggest thing in practice for me yesterday. We also practiced T-stops, which I got way better at, and plow stops, which I haven't had much problem with because of my experience skiing and skijoring, where you use a lot of plow stops for slowing down and controlling your speed on hills or behind dogs. Then, as we were about to practice two knee slides/stops, my skate broke. The pivot cup (a piece that holds the skate wheels steady in place) snapped, making my skates unstable and unsafe to skate on. I quickly walked on my knees to the chairs, got those skates off, grabbed a random pair from the wall that looked like roughly the right size, and got back into practice as soon as I could.

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Getting instructions before one of the drills

I don't know if it was my confidence or if the skates were just a better pair than I tried last time, but I felt pretty okay in them the rest of practice. We didn't have a whole lot left at that point. We made a pace line again (spaced 1 arm length apart behind another skater, all in a line, the goal being to keep the same speed, distance, and spacing) and then practiced weaving up the line between the skaters, while maintaining spacing. It was really hard to do the weaving because when going to the inside of the line, it was easy to skate too fast and get ahead of them. And then going to the outside of the line, it was super easy to skate too slow and get left behind. But everyone did really awesome with it.

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Practicing stepping side to side and front to back without rolling

I think the best single thing in practice was doing the 25 in 5 again. We did it last Sunday as well. Basically, the point is to skate laps for 5 minutes, with a goal of being able to skate a minimum of 25 laps in that time. Last week, I skated 14. This week, I made it up to 19! If nothing else, that shows me how much faster doing crossovers is. And I can't wait until I am in better shape and get better at crossovers, because I know my speed is going to pick up a lot more the better I get.

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Water break!


  1. Great to hear about your progress- happy that you are enjoying it, it looks like fun.

    Dina and Mom

  2. So awesome! Ad talk about showing real improvement....19 laps is great!

  3. Sounds like you're getting the hang of this very quickly. When you get your own skates you'll be right up there :)

  4. It sounds like a lot of fun! I bet you'll have the hang of a lot of things in no time!

  5. We have a huge roller derby league here in Seattle - Rat City Roller Girls. They are pretty popular. Sounds like you are having fun at practice challenging yourself.

    You said you have been skijoring you know of a club in the Northwest for that? I tried Canicross with her the special pulling harness and everything, tee, hee....but can't find any clubs around these parts to learn how to do it better. It seems the only ones I can find are in Canada, Scotland, Europe, etc.