Wednesday, March 30, 2011

First Derby Practice on Skates

So, how was my very first Derby Practice as a skater, you ask?

A whole lot of amazing things, is what it was. A lot like what The Birdchick and I went thru the first time hiving a package of bees. Very like the first time on My Little Pony, when I knew what riding could BE. Close to the feeling of playing music on stage with as powerful performer as AFP.

Changes EVERYTHING. You're not the same person.

Announcer Matt Black took some pics with his phone, knowing, as friends do, how much I would have wanted first practice pics, (had I been able to think clearly, which I couldn't), bless his heart, had no clue he was taking them till the end, but I get ahead of myself.

There were things I expected, but more that I didn't. I didn't know about the shaking, getting my gear on. Sure, I was nervous in my HEAD, but I started shaking getting ready. Terror. Not in my head, but my body. Not even on the track yet. This, I was assured, was normal.

And that assurance was the coolest thing, the other skaters, telling me not to worry, it would stop when I started skating. They'd all been there, and they knew. In fact, the whole night was like that, nothing but love, support and encouragement from all of them.

No hand holding mind you, just a sense of, we know this is REALLY hard, but you can, you ARE doing this. And we're with you.

I got to participate in the first drill. One where you have groups of three blockers skating and the jammers try and get thru, all together, divided around the track.

Let me stop for a moment too and say this: Derby is a Sport. And there are rules. It's not a free for all fight. No one was going to come up and hit me out of the way, they knew I'd been skating for about 5 min. Hearing a lot of "Did you hit someone, did they punch you" That's not what it's about. It's skills, speed, endurance and strategy. Like any sport.

The WFTDA Rule book is 42 pages long and it lays out how, where and when and what you can do. Sure, skaters can get hurt, it happens. But it can happen in ANY sport. My Little Pony spooks, or takes it into his head to act up, I may go off. The two times I've been hurt in the last few years, a concussion and broken arm, happened in my BEDROOM. Alone.

One thing I want to do, talking about Derby to you, is to make very clear: It is a sport, like any other. And perhaps dispel some of the rumours.

Any way, my job in my group of three was to keep up and hold the inside line and not let any jammers get thru. Keeping up was HARD. I have no skating muscles yet. All that time in the gym? Nope. I was dying halfway thru. But everything I've read and heard, by new skaters, giving advice, said to keep going, as long as you can, do MORE than you think you can, drop out if you have to, and get BACK.

There's a point when you legs turn to noodles, you're soaked with sweat, you have no endurance and you realize you've been skating for about 10 minutes. Uh-huh. Long way to go. I kept up as best I could, and did have to Wall, (my personal term for dropping out and going to the Wall) But it wasn't LONG before the drill was over.

The next bit was scrimmaging, the other skaters playing against each other, which wasn't something I could do, so I went to the end of the track and learned and practiced skills, with skaters who weren't scrimmaging either.

Learned so much, from the other skaters, who spent the next hour teaching me, going over things, working with me. That's Derby right there. Helping, teaching supporting, working and love.

There were sprints for everyone at the end, skating as fast as you can, sliding on knees, getting up and skating back. (very fun, tho I in no way participated fully, I was dying at this point. LONG before this point)

Then, at the end of practice, at the end of two hours, after all the drills, the scrimmage, the sprints, they did the 25 in 5. 25 times around the track in 5 minutes, which you need to be able to do.

In awe.

I didn't, couldn't have. Could only stand there and watch.

Nothing I can say can explain the kind of muscle, will, and gods, what's a word? Sheer determination that you'd need to DO that. At the END of a two hour intense skate.

In awe.

I love them. I love this sport.

Here's a last picture from Matt, which is pretty silly. That's me trying to smile. It looks like I'm dying, doesn't it? I am. Uh-huh. Hurts. Lots. Muscles scream you know. I'm falling over and loving every minute.

There's nothing like it. I want to do this. I want to skate the whole time and do 25 in 5 at the end of two hours, too. And I will.

I love this sport.

Love and Derby,


At 10:10 Blogger Cecily said...

YAY for awesome first skate!

Also, "The two times I've been hurt in the last few years, a concussion and broken arm, happened in my BEDROOM. Alone."

Do you have ANY idea how much I am restraining myself right now? ;-)

At 10:13 Blogger One Sock Short said...


BTW, I hear arnica cream is good for muscle aches and bruises. A friend who drums swears by it.

At 10:18 Blogger Phiala said...


Community, activity. Y'know, important stuff.

At 10:49 Blogger spacedlaw said...

You look so beyond dead and back in that last picture, but so happy!
Great to know you had FUN and if today you are in pain, well that is just the skills and muscles settling in.

At 11:09 Anonymous Jane Ire said...

Yay for your first practice! That reminds me of when I first learned derby. I lived in a third floor walk-up apartment and have to use my arms to pull me up the stairs after practice. It was exhausting and the best feeling ever, just as you described. I'm so happy that you're in love with derby!

At 12:35 Blogger dabbler said...

Good for you Quiche!!! And I'll second the recommendation for arnica for sore/bruised muscles... both the cream, and the under the tongue homeopathic teeny pills.

At 12:35 Anonymous Allie Gator said...

Yippie for first practice!! So excited for you! I can't wait to come up and see al the stuff you've learned!!!
and yes, you will be sore. more sore than you thought possible. But it's that awesome rewarding sort of sore where you know you accomplished something. :) I love being sore.

At 12:41 Blogger Marjorie said...

Sounds exciting!
So glad it's living up to your expectations. Happy for you :-)

At 13:00 Blogger Jess said...

Huzzah! Lookin' good, lookin' happy. Nice ass! :)

At 13:33 Blogger Jaime said...

Quiche, you look HAPPY - tired, yes, but you found something beautiful, didn't you?


we do the 5 min drill at the end of practice too (seems a bit odd to me to do something that hard at the END of practice *grins, but I guess if you can do it at the end of practice, you can do it just fine for your skills test, right? And it's just... to me it seems very Derby overall to push until the very end!)

I managed 23 laps last night. Yeowza! I also had to Wall once last night too - my back spasmed really badly in the pace line and I couldn't keep up. I'll get there though!

Just like you'll get there - better every week. Stronger every week. there's always something new to conquer!


At 13:47 Anonymous Morrica said...

Sweety (please forgive me if I'm being too personal, but you are so sweet!), thank you so much for sharing with me a tiny bit of what some of my students and ex-students do, and are so increadibly happy about!

You are such an inspiration, and so fantastic. Thank you!

At 15:03 Blogger Kitty Cat said...

so proud, my sister.
so very proud.

At 15:47 Blogger Chantrelle said...

That is so awesome!! You are amazing. I am in awe over all the new things you have taken on just since I started hanging out here!

I just want to get cool, cute skates :)

I just saw that boss will be at Wondercon. That place is a zoo. Even if I braved it, I doubt I would even get to say hello :( Hate when he's on this coast and we can't visit.

At 15:48 Blogger Chantrelle said...

Oops, ticky.

At 16:52 Blogger dabbler said...

Right...nice ass! and tick.

At 17:04 Blogger Dragonsally said...

You really do look so exhausted and happy in the last photo. I love that we can come on this journey with you too, that you are teaching me all about Roller Derby.
Go Quiche MeDeadly.

At 18:10 Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Thanks, you, all of you!

Oh, sore NOW. Only thought I hurt last night. Allie Gator is right, beyond sore. But I love it too.

I crawled up my stairs last night, really.

Need hot tub tonight, fell off TWO machines in the gym because my legs wouldn't work, laughed so hard!

Jaimie, I love it that you are sharing the Fresh Meat view! 23 rocks!!! So very close!

At 18:12 Blogger FairiesNest said...

It sounds completely, totally, freaking amazing! You are so inspiring.
And I second the Arnica. I raised three boys all of whom played sports intensively and they swore by it...even good for football bruises.

At 18:33 Blogger Rusty said...

YEAH! So impressive. Thanks for sharing this adventure with us. Rock on!

At 20:08 Blogger DataGoddess said...

Hot tub!! Soak those poor sore muscles!! And find a good masseuse, you'll need one ;-)

Yeah, you look tired as all get out but then again look at what you did!!

At 20:12 Blogger Elyse said...

So proud of you. Love.

At 20:32 Blogger Dill Her0 said...

HOORAY. Look how far you have come so far. I hope I get the chance to call a game with you and your team playing.

At 20:35 Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Hot tub was GREAT!

Massage would be better, oh, gods that would be good. Skating at the practice space tomorrow with a skater who is also a masseuse...Hmmm.

Dill Hero, I would love it if you would call a game I was skating in! And if Joan was watching! (would love it if she was skating WITH me but she would probably be on the other team, and go up against HER??? uh-huh!)

Elyse, it's not curling, but it's working ok!

At 22:45 Blogger Beez said...

You are WORKING IT!!!

And yes, Nice Ass and getting nicer.

Make friends with the masseuse...BEST friends.

At 22:59 Blogger Jaime said...

Perhaps we should consider adding "hot tub or masseuse" to the gear list??? ;o)

Glad the hot tub helped!

At 08:49 Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

GOOD MORNING! I can walk!

Which is great news, as I am skating tonight.

Seem to also be riding and training with Lil Evil today. Really need to work on my personal scheduling skills...

But hey, great for sleeping at night.

Really really need massage tho. That would so rock.

Did ya'll see Bill Stiteler's RE: Your Brains vid? Gods, that's funny! Birdchick does herself proud!

At 08:56 Blogger spacedlaw said...

the video

At 09:06 Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Thanks, Nathilie. I would have linked to. If I'd, er, know how.

At 10:18 Blogger Jane said...

Great first skate! And I agree re the arnica.
At least you can walk today :-)

At 10:18 Blogger Jane said...

And tick

At 10:55 Blogger LihuaEmily said...

You ROCK!!!!!!!!!! And you know it. YEAH QUICHE!!!

At 13:54 Blogger Becca said...

You leave me in awe. There are a lot of people who, for different reasons, could never do what you did. Skate for them! Or as my dance teacher used to say, "Dance for those who can't"

So very proud of you.

I dunno if you've ever heard of Reiki but I'm a level 2 and would be happy to give you a Reiki sesson when I see you. It's a form of energy healing. Maybe I'll bring you an ecomony-sized bottle of ibuprophen, too... *wink*

At 14:01 Blogger Chantrelle said...

Inspired by Becca's comment. A slight update to AFP's "Sing" lyrics :)

There is this thing it's like walking except you don't walk
You skate
You skate

Skate for the bartender skate for the janitor skate
Skate for the cameras skate for the animals skate
Skate for the children shooting the children skate
Skate for the teachers who told you that you couldn't skate
Just skate

There is thing keeping everyone's lungs and legs locked
It is called fear and it's seeing a great renaissance
After the bout you can not skate wherever you want
But for now let's just pretend we're all gonna get bombed
So skate

Skate cause its obvious skate for the astronauts skate
Skate for the president skate for the terrorists skate
Skate for the soccer team skate for the janjuweed skate
Skate for the kid with the phone who refuses to skate
Just skate

Life is no cabaret
We're inviting you anyway

You motherfuckers you'll skate someday...
You motherfuckers you'll skate someday...
You motherfuckers you'll skate someday...

At 14:48 Blogger Jaime said...

WOW, I sense more hot tub in your future.... ;o)

Have a fantabulous day, lovely lady!

At 20:34 Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Very funny Chantrelle!

Arggh. Need food and hot tub and my bed. Might not happen in that order. Little Evil followed by skating was pretty intense.

Did 19 in 5 tho!! On a cement track tho, which is faster than sport surface, still, not a bad first try, I say.

(You have to be able to do 25 laps around the track in 5 min to be able to scrimmage or Bout.)

You know, I may be able to do this, if my legs ever stop screaming. Reminds me of my first month in the gym...

At 20:39 Blogger dabbler said...

You WILL do it... glad you can see it's possible. Just don't put your bed in the hot tub...

At 00:37 Blogger Jaime said...

19 on your first try!!!!!! QUICHE!!!

Are your legs tired? My legs are tired. AND riding AND Little Evil!

You, my dear, are amazing. Could you have done this six months ago?

Look how far you've come! *dances around*

Strong and beautiful and NINETEEN LAPS ALREADY!


At 00:53 Blogger spacedlaw said...

You will make it. It will get just a little easier each time. You might not notice because various places and other bits in you will hurt but it will still get a little easier each time.

At 02:19 Blogger Dragonsally said...

Hmmm, I posted a comment this morning (my time) but it appears to have disappeared into the ether.
Dear old Blogger.

Hope your body is less OWIE now Q

At 08:14 Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

You know, I wish Jaime would start getting enthusiastic about me skating, I mean, she COULD get a little happier about this and all...

(Hard to think HOW ;) )

Good Morning!!!

Great day, riding this morning, and LOTS of work, but then Boss comes home, and tonight, I am hoping the Naptown bus slows down by my town on the way to MN and tosses me out a non skating friend.

All good. And I can kind of move today. Sort of.

At 12:21 Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

New post is up.

I so got punked!

At 16:00 Blogger Jaime said...

Me? Esscited? About a fellow skater?


I think you may be mistaken.


At 13:17 Blogger Jodyth said...

Love the fact you're doing Derby. Love the fact even more that you're telling the story of HOW to do Derby. You're more than up to the challenge!

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