Friday, October 20, 2017

[ 004 ] that girl thinks she's the queen of the neighborhood- well i've got news for you- she is!


Okay. So. In the midst of my butt-covery (heheh.. get it?) I got a notification from a friend about an upcoming derby open house right by where I work. It was 2 weeks away at this particular point, so hell yeah I was going to sign up for that shit. I should be healed by then, right? I've busted my ass before at the skating rink, right?


So derby open house day comes, I've convinced Ell to go with me because I knew that she would and because Wednesdays we agreed to hang out and it happened to fall on a Wednesday.

My ass still hurt. Guys. Seriously. It sounds so silly to mention it all of the time, but you guys have NO IDEA about how bad this fall was, hahahah. And I knew for a fact freshmeat class was going to have you practice safe ways to fall.. and after watching a Try Guys try Roller Derby video that they posted a few days before (another sign I needed to be doing this!) they were doing falls.. on their butts! Ugh! So by the time this came up, I was having a serious debate with myself about if I thought I could handle any sort of fall on my ass because just walking was hurting, though a tiny bit less day by day. I sucked it up though and went, obviously.. because derby.

I spent all afternoon from 4:30 to 7 after work switching up my wheels, testing out my bearings, changing my tiny toe stops to the most massive and awesome toe stops on the market, making sure my pads were fitting comfortably still.. over analyzing how the night might go. And then Ell showed up and we went.

Got there, were greeted by members of the NTRD Fighting Unicorns and Battling Mermaids. We were some of the first people there by the sign in so we got to talk to them a bit. They thought by my gear that I had already done derby before, so of course I felt over-prepared and was probably red as all can get. It also probably didn't help that by the time they separated the newbies from the people who had better skating skills and had been to the practices before that I was the only person in the group who had my own gear while everyone else had to go get some hand-me-downs. But this was also pretty cool because while I was waiting for everyone to come back I got to talk gear with the 2 girls who were teaching us and got some good insights on my gear.

Overall the open house consisted of a running warm up, some weird 'elephant' warm up, a round of duck-duck-goose, a name introduction of everyone there, and then separation of groups. Group practice for the newbies consisted of learning how to skate forward, fall on one knee, fall completely down onto both knees and cover your head, how to get up without needing to put your hands on the floor for assistance, pivot stops, t-stops, and walking side to side in your skates.

I learned I'm a natural at forward skating, falling, walking side to side, getting up without hand usage, and walking side to side. I COMPLETELY SUCK AT STOPPING. Like. I fell on my butt trying to do t-stops. I wanted to cry because the pain from my previous fall made it 1000x worse. But I didn't cry and I got up and finished the lessons.. cause I ain't no bitch.

I'd also like to note that indoor skating is way easier for me than outdoor skating. I don't know if it's the wheels, the specific flooring, whaaaat it is. Future me's goal is to go to a skate park and waddle around eventually.

Anyway, they finished with 2 jams (derby matches) so we could see how the actual game is played, we took a group photo, and we ended with the newbies getting back together for a question and answer session along with information on their instructional class called Rising Phoenix, which future me will join when I can pay the membership fee.. current me has $17 until next Friday and needs that for gas, hahah.

Overall, it was an awesome experience and just made me want to do this even more. All of the girls were extremely nice and actually joined everyone into a GroupMe to say hello, answer questions, and just to thank us for coming out and to let us know that there's going to be a meet Saturday morning if we wanted to come to another free practice before having to pay dues in order to go. So that's cool and I'll probably end up going if I can wake up before 8:30. We'll see.

I also learned that I'll probably at some point need to sell my beautiful new skates. Apparently you want your skates to be more snug than a brand new pair of shoes because those bitches will expand after a bunch of use. Mine could probably go down a whole entire size.. but that's okay because my skates alone will get more than I paid for the whole derby package and I can get a black pair of skates instead of having stick-out-like-a-sore-thumb white ones, bahahah!

[ 003 ] oh make me over, i'm all i wanna be- a walking study in demonology


Skating.. if you're not a regular at it, is definitely a learning experience. I can keep balance at a skating rink, no problem. Can't stop without having to run into a wall and can't really turn without picking my skate up.. but I definitely don't have issues starting a skating groove on the floor.

That being said. For me, indoor and outdoor skating are two completely different experiences, even if you're using the correct wheels (because when I talked at the derby open house, most of the girls felt outdoor and indoor skating was about the same. Not me!)

I. busted. my. ass. Maybe 10 minutes of getting out of the door my first day on my brand new pair of skates. And I mean HARD. This was on the 2nd of October.. it's the 20th, and while I did just go to an open house and fall on my ass once, I WAS STILL HURTING WHEN I WENT. I'm talking 2 weeks of ice packs and codone to numb the pain. The day before I went to the meet (2 days ago!) I was still wincing when lifting my legs up into my pantlegs when standing. My fall was no joke. I almost cried. Butt on concrete. You get the picture by now, I'm sure.

Looking back, I was way too excited to get in them. I should've checked the bearings in my wheels to see how tight they were, I definitely should've been bending my knees more than I was, and I definitely should've thought to fall forward onto my pads rather than straight onto my non-padded ass. I also shouldn't have gone out when I noticed how tiny my toe stops were when first going out the front door. Second guessing that one was the worst part, I think. My original stops were so tiny I couldn't walk on my toes. Ridiculous. Anyway. Yeah, I was probably outside like 10 whole minutes, 15 if you count the agonizing walk back to the house.

Definitely eyeball your skates before you try them out..

And don't let something like that deter you from going any further! That fall was fucking HORRIBLE. Walking 2 weeks later, I can still feel pain. WALKING. But I'm not letting it stop what I'm really wanting to be good at. If you want it bad enough, you'll keep your head high! I didn't put my skates back on until 2 weeks later, but I still watched videos and looked up informational stuff every single day until I did.

[ 002 ] who took the bomp from the bompalompalomp?

How'd I get started up in all this derby madness?

Lots.. and lots of late nights glued to my phone. Not even kidding.

I looked up tons of videos on YouTube and sucked up any and all knowledge I could.. mostly about just skating in general! How to stand, how to stop, how to turn.. the basics, mostly. Great places are to start are the Devaskation videos, Indy Jamma Jones, and The Moxie Roller Skate Shop. At least those are the ones I remember off of the top of my head.. the Moxie one is more about the Moxie brand ( I want Moxie skates so bad for casual skating..) but they also have some good videos on how to completely take apart your skate and put it back together and stuff like that. Devaskation is all around derby information like how to clean your skates and pads, the difference in wheel derometers, different skate tools, etc. And then Indy Jamma Jones was pretty good for skating tutorials and she's also part of the Moxie girls, so I just love her videos in general.

I also spent a lot of time on the /r/rollerderby subreddit. I went here mostly for information other people had asked about what skates to start with, where the best place to get them was, etc. etc. Very informational, but probably not as much as YouTube was outside of just wondering what the best skates for a newbie was.

Reddit also introduced me to a Facebook group called Roller Derby Recyclables! Best. find. ever. BY FAR. People from all over the place are constantly trading and selling all sorts of gear on there for pretty good prices. It's awesome, and I'm completely addicted to it. Even though I have a complete derby set minus a decent mouth guard.. I'm always looking at whatever someone's posted when I get a new notification on my phone and gushing at all the awesome gear.

So there's lots of places where you can look up anything and everything about skates and roller derby. I have so much knowledge about everything it's kind of ridiculous since I'm not even an actual player or anything close to yet.

I also got started up... by actually taking the plunge and getting the gear!

Fun fact: Derby gear is HELLA. And I mean HELLA expensive. It's a serious investment. Skates alone can run you over $100 easy on a newbie derby pair like the Riedell R3's like I hunted down. Much less the elbow, knee, and wrist pads, a set of wheels for both indoor and outdoor (because you'll want both), toe guards so you don't scruff up the front of your skates, a helmet, decent toe stops.. oh God, you'll want those.. etc, etc, etc.

I was lucky enough to find an almost brand new complete beginner derby set on Craigslist for only $100 even. I'm talking over $300-$400 of only-used-maybe-once gear, and a complete set minus a mouth guard and decent toe stops at that. It was a sign from the almighty derby Gods when I found that listing. Another sign because everything was in my exact size and the exact brand/style of skates I was wanting. Complete. Luck.

Getting gear along with telling yourself to just fucking do it are the biggest parts to starting. Also flooding your Instagram homepage with derby stuff helps too, bahahah.

[ 001 ] you derby, derby girl, you.

Welcome to my adventures into the amazing world of roller derby! I told myself that I'd start a blog about it, so here we are.

The whole start to it was pretty sudden, so I'm sure the people who know me are like, "What in the fuck made you want to start roller derby all of the sudden?" Well, here's my explanation of what made me want to jump headfirst into it and how I got to my first day on quads!

I.. have always had a deep down love for skating. Probably not the most apparent thing in the world, not something I've ever outright mentioned or shown too much interest in, and probably the most random piece of information about myself anyone could ever come across, even if you've known me a long time.

So I used to go to this daycare in Garland called Castleglen Treehouse when I was a kid, and during the summers and any time off from school we had field trips. This was a pretty nice daycare, so I'm talking like 4 out of 5 days of the week I was probably off doing something.. guaranteed the movies on Friday and skating on one random day of the week at Texas Skatium. This is where it stems from. I was never any good or anything.. I skate with about the same finesse now as I did back then to be honest, but I loved everything but putting the actual skates on, to be honest. Long laces are a bitch to tie when you're 7.

Fast forward to end of elementary! I think this was the random time when my dad thought it'd be a great family activity for us all to get some roller blades. I remember my mom, dad, and I all getting our skates.. I don't think any of us were really good, and I think I was really the only one who actually got decent use out of my skates. My roller blades were also the cause of my only broken bone! 100% heard my wrist break while going down a driveway on my blades. But that's another story.

More recently, my son and I went to a roller skating birthday party hosted by one of my best friends for her little girl. I'm pretty certain I was the only adult who rented out some skates.. but then again, it was at the skating rink I hadn't been to since daycare days, and skating in general is awesome! I definitely fell in front of everyone. Probably more than once.

And then that turned into randomly wanting to go out to the skating rink, which turned into trying to get my son into skating by doing lessons ( he lasted through 2 lessons.. he is NOT a fan of rollerskating. )


Okay, okay, okay. Sheesh.

Surely one of you out there has seen Whip It? That roller derby movie with Ellen Page that came out years ago? It's one of my favorites. So besides that point, my best friend Ell at one point actually invited me to a derby game that someone she somewhat knew was playing in. I think there was more drinking than watching involved and her boyfriend at the time was playing in the halftime band, but I remember it being awesome. Ell and I also have Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy roller girl shirts, respectively.

I think what pushed me over the edge though was watching Whip It a couple of weeks ago while cleaning my room. It just put the "OMG I WANT TO DO THAT" in my bones like it did the other 357695 times I've watched it.

I just got put on break from a rocky relationship, and honestly, I'm trying to branch out my life. I took up some financial responsibilities that I didn't have before. I tried out exercising regularly. I started looking up places I'd never been to before (like thrift stores, arcades, etc) that interested me that I wanted to check out instead of sitting at home all day. I CHOPPED OFF MY FLOWING LONG HAIR THAT I WAS REEEEEALLY DETERMINED TO GROW OUT TO MY BUTT. This is just one of those things, and one of those incredible timings in life, where it's like.. why the fuck not?

And so, my adventure began.