Monday, April 27, 2009

6 months....sheesh....

Oh my god…I’m not even going to discuss the fact that I’ve neglected my blog for 6 months ish (well…apart from just then…lol)

It goes without saying that there are a LOT of things that I’ve failed to discuss over the past months. Most notable of everything are the two CCR bouts that have been and gone during my distinct lack of blogging…and they were ace.

In January we skated against ourselves (with a couple of guest Romsey girls thrown into the mix) in a Pink vs Blue bonanza: Breaking the Squeal! For a day, league relations were forgotten as we prepared to do battle against ourselves. It was a great first bout, despite the fact that I completely forgot the rules and yelled at the refs for making me skate all the way round to the penalty box…and then threw Verry Cherry off the track (quite literally actually) for what I had decided was a very naughty back block (I am the law…didn’t you know???). I know I commit lots of penalties (our refs will attest to the fact that I have a love for the forearm block (ILLEGAL!) and that I spend more time than any other skater asking them ‘okay, so what EXACTLY did I do wrong…’) but I will swear on my life that they are all accidental and without malice. I don’t take kindly to what I perceive to be a purposeful push and I wreck my own vengance. I owe a lot to Ravin Maniac for practically sitting on me and shoving a sock in my mouth that afternoon! *must battle with temper before battling with rollergirls in future*

In the end, Team Blue secured a victory over Team Pink and everyone had a great time! I can't wait for our next one!

Our second bout, I Scream Sunday, took place just a couple of weeks ago…and this time we opened our hall to the Auld Reekie Roller Girls, who sent their travel team, The Twisted Thistles, to have a bash at our Belles of Centrinnians. This was the first time we’d thrown a team in to scrimage with a team from another league, and it was definitely a steep learning curve! I think my ribs have only just stopped aching! The skating was hard and fast, and the body blows came harder and faster!! Accumulations of silly little minors meant that both teams spent a lot of time in the sinbin, and at one point the Belles’ line-up consisited of a pivot and a jammer…naughty Belles…but everyone fought hard to do the best for their teams. In the end, the Thistles may have beaten us by 10 points, but I for one felt that we’d done our best not to make their win easy! I was elated to simply be skating in front of an audience (and what an audience!) and engaging in some crashy bashy action…even though we lost I think I was as happy for Auld Reekie’s win as I would have been for our own! I think I must be mellowing in my old age (I turned 27 two days before I Scream Sunday…another step up that hill!). Not only was I ecstatic for another team’s (nay…another LEAGUE’S) win, but I also managed to control my stupid old temper for *most* of the bout!

At one point I got sent off for grabbing a member of the ARRG…but the refs had failed to see that I’d been spun around by a backblock and grabbed her (sorry….whoever you were!) so that I wouldn’t have pirouetted straight into her. Fair enough, I probably should have dropped to the floor and not grabbed anyone at all, but I was angry with those Zebras (and the back block) and I made no bones about who knew it. As I sat down in the penalty box I was STILL yelling, and Ravin Maniac did her league-ly duty again and told me to shut up….this time from the bleachers! Lol…I guess I’ll learn to control myself one of these days. I really should make it my duty to remember that no-one’s going to listen to you if you start ranting!!

Me and my teeniest fan! And her wickedcool sign!

My temporary tattoo Belles of Centrinnians are part-time rebels you know ;) ha ha

I can’t wait for the next few bouts to come, as well as all the other skatey goodness that is to come in the sunshine months. I lost my Outdoor skates for a while (having lent them to someone and promptly forgotten that I’d done it!) but they’re back now and ready to eat up some pavements. I take them with me everywhere I go so there’s always the chance for a skate.

Race for Life is also on the adenda again, and running sessions have started (I’ve only joined in on one though…bad, lazy me) so if I manage to keep up with this blog thing you can look forward to finding out if me and my fellow runners beat our time of 29 minutes from last year! I’m hoping to get my speed up in the next few months…25 minutes should be an easily reachable target!

More soon (with any luck!) xxx

Thursday, November 20, 2008

a bit of a change for winter...

I've experimented with dying my hair dark a few times. The first was a wash in wash out colour, so I wasn't stuck with it for long, but in my undergrad years (about 6 years ago) I decided to go for a chocolatey brown to cover my natural shade of 'mouse' (...hare coloured hair). Being a complete nitwit like usual I left it on for far too long and it went BLACK.

Unfortunately, this wasn't my only problem, as I had also a) not used enough dye, and b) missed a shitload of I ended up with a sort of cammo effect at the back of my hair when it blew about and you could see under the top layer *glum* I carried on dying my roots until I fancied a colour change. To do this I simply went down a few shades and spread the colour all over my light roots and dark tresses. The result was long, dark, cammo effect hair...with ginger roots. Nice.

This awful disaster encouraged me to give in to the desire to keep my money for things other than my hair, and I went to a hairdressers for a professional colour and cut. The shop owner's exact words to me (in broken spanish) were "what the hell have you done to your hair?!" and they soon fixed it with the beautiful chocolatey brown that I'd wanted all those years ago. The next time I went back, however, they left the dye on for too long (like I did) and I ended up with black again. I never went back or dyed it again and four years later it was FINALLY back to it's original colour, and not just that but I actually LIKED it! And now I've gone and ruined it with another couple of bottles of chocolate brown.

And guess what?...

It's gone black...

I think I'm cursed!!

new dark hair!!!

Me and Matty being giggly

I'd had the inclination to dye it for a few weeks and I'd had the bottles of dye for a few days without plucking up the courage to do it...but then my little sister came round for a visit and she talked me into doing it, and even helped me! The result is a nice even coverage (no cammo effect!), but my paranoia about what time we'd actually finished meant that I left it on too long and so it's as dark as you see in the pics. I don't think it'll fade either as it's a fade resistant brand...

I am getting used to it though!

In other, skating related news, me and my teacher skater buddy have a new group of kids in the after-school club. They're all a year or two older than most of the last group, and their skating in week one was pretty much as good as the first group's skills were by the end of the 9 week course! One kid was even pulling off a split stance, crossovers and attempting backwards skating...he was phenomenal! I couldn't pull off a skate move without him trying to copy it (and mostly succeeding!)

We've decided we're going to get this group to do more planned activities in the sessions than the last...who mostly just skated around, played tig, shot hoops and planned out their own dance the first session we ambushed them with a weaving paceline because their skills on the whole were too good not to test out. After they got the hang of keeping up with each other they actually managed to do the drill better than most of the rollergirls!! They were concentrating on their skating, keeping the chatter down, and waiting patiently for their turn...if only the CCR could behave as well when I'm coaching!! ha ha

I can't wait for next week's session and I've started planning out derby drills that kids without pads and mouthgurads can do with ease! I may have to start pinching more of the CCR hire kit at the weekend, just so I can get these kids skating safely...

The good thing about this new group is that it's 90% girls, so it's a potential roller derby team in itself, already manned with refs!!

Hopefully this should develop into something interesting as the weeks go by and we find out what we can do!

Muchos dark-maned Gory love xx

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

a skate epiphany...or something

Well, it’s been a superwickedlong time since I last updated this thing…there’s been so many things to write about but it seems like I just haven’t had the time to get online and type.

The biggest and most funnest even to happen in the last couple of months was the arrival of Payne D. Spencer, yet another international rollergirl who’s dropped in on the CCR during her travels in the UK! We were lucky enough to have a weekend full of skating planned during her visit, so she and her hubby (Pez D. Spencer…bearer of beautiful skates!) joined us for practice, a night out on the Birmingham tiles (drinks and Wagamama…who could want more?) AND a day in Bedford to scrimmage with other UK leagues, the Bedford Bandits, London Rockin’ Rollers, Winsdor Roller Girls and Romsey Rollerbillies. These are always great events, where we all bring along our favorite drills to share with each other, before joining in a massive pick-up srimmage where we get to batter the hell out of our teammates as well as our usual opposition!

Sunday October 5th was no exception, and although we arrived a tiddly bit late (blame an act of God…that’s the only concievable reason I can think of for a group of rollergirls to be late to an event…not because of satnav failure or terrible directional skills on my part…oh no) we all had a fabulous day, and four hours of skating somehow managed to turn into five before we all unkitted and sloped off to the Hobgoblin for cider and monster munch (which our American guests seemed very taken with…it’s good to see they appreciate the goodness of pickled onion corn snacks!).

After warm ups, falling drills to split your sides, pushes and whips and many other torturous derby drills that are familiar to the UK leagues, Payne introduced us to a favorite drill of her Derby Lite team…Ten Minutes in Hell! Combining speed skating with regular breaks for hardcore reps, this drill is a complete killer, and is now a regular fixture in our practices. I absolutely love it! I can’t thank her enough for showing us this brilliant, horrible drill! Lol…

Then it was onto the scrimmaging…and although Payne hadn’t wanted to join in on the crashy bashy action (I didn’t blame her at all…who would want a broken ankle whilst on vacation and a day before their birthday?!), it didn’t take a whole load of encouragement from the Bandit’s Ab Salute (now known as Helena Hancart) to get her on the track, pivoting and jamming like a pro. She was the star of each of her jams, and everyone agreed that she should showcase her talents in a bigger arena…and I don’t think it’s going to be long before we see her in the big leagues ;)

Payne's the Pivot!!
(Payne D. Spencer Pivoting)

I'm the black Jammer!!!...taking the outside line. Bad me!
(me jamming on the black team…)

The LRR and the CCR also got the chance to scrimmage with some of the MURDA boys, in the first co-ed roller derby jams the UK has seen! Those boys are fabulous skaters, and I can’t wait to see them in a proper bout situation, alothough I’m not completely convinced it won’t all end in an actual brawl…but that could be just as interesting!!

As well as this, a few of the CCR attended Gerty Go Go’s Halloween Ball to celebrate her 30th birthday. I wasn’t going to make it at first, but Hustle’her, Ouija Broad and Dynomite Bo (my own personal motivational force) talked me into coming ‘just for an hour’…which easily turned into four hours. Yay!! I’m so glad they talked me round…I can be such a stick in the mud sometimes. I didn’t really have a costume (apart from a stupendous pair of vampire fangs that you mould onto your own teeth with quick melting/setting thermoplastic) so I donned my team top, a tutu, some fishnets and legwarmers and became a vampire rollergirl for the night. It was ace…my fangs got so many comments (especially from my fellow vampires who had much more elaborate costumes but were moaning about the inferiority of their dental work to mine) and everone else looked fantastic too! Ouija was a witch, Dynomite a devil woman (no change there then! Lol), hustle was a dark fairy, Pale was Velma from Scooby Doo, Chet was a smart looking day of the dead chappie, Pinkie was a shmexy little kitty, Block Star came as Barbie and her Hubby as god’s gift to women…and Gerty’s friends and family all had wicked costumes…I fell in love with vampire marie antoinette’s dress and wig, and Jack Skeleton dancing with a huge frankenstein foil balloon was a sight to behold indeed!

I'm a scary vamp....raaaarrrrr
(me about to vampirise an unsuspecting little dark fairy…)

We’ve also celebrated our first birthday as a league, getting together for drinks, food and karaoke, and to hand out 12 awards and four trophies to the members of the league who’ve helped in some way to build us to what we are in these few months.

me and my award for teaching kids to skate
(me looking smug with my school of roll award)

The CCR was born in a living room over chilli, beers and cheers in November 2007 and in those early days we had about twelve members and we didn’t know where we’d be in twelve months time. Now we’ve got over 40 skaters, we run monthly events and have brought free roller skating to birmingham’s women…it won’t be long before we’re bringing roller derby to Birmingham audiences either…and a year on from our inception we’re working hard to make our spangly roller derby dream come true. With all the training and preparation we’re putting in we’ll be fucking amazing by the time our skating becomes public property. I’m dying with excitement at the thought!

So…on we go to the reason why I’m actually blogging today (finally)…

I’ve been terrible recently. I’ve been smoking far too many cigarettes, getting out far too little and missing FAR too much practice. A lot of it’s been because we’ve had guests from New Zealand and Australia (trust mine AND Mr Gory’s far away relatives to arrive in the UK at the same time!), but some of it’s been to do with a lack of faith in myself and my abilities…

I know I can skate and I know I can do well, but I’ve had a real lack of focus on the track and at practice in general. I think it’s because I have so much fun around my girls that I stop working hard and start being a clown…I need to just start getting my head down and working harder when I’m findin it tough, rather than making a joke out of myself and distracting everyone else. I find it hard when people are pratting around while I’m coaching so I need to make sure I stop doing it when other people are leading the session and being as much of a hard ass as I usually am when I’m in control of the whistle.

Last night was like some kind of epiphany…we had an amazing practice with our advanced girls scrimmaging against the girls who are relatively new to the game, and the newbies (if it’s right to call them that…I’m sure it isn’t but despite their skills they’re still fairly new) just blew me away, sometimes literally! Lol! They were blimmin brilliant!

I eschewed my normal pivot position to take up the rear of the pack and I discovered amazing things about myself…I can do everything that I think I can’t do, I just need to have a different perspective on things. It turns out that being at the back of the pack was exactly the change in perspective I needed to show me that I’m perfectly capable of playing this game as a team member, rather than a vigilante out to cause my own kind of trouble! It’s true that the pivot travels trough the pack to find the best place for control, but I still find this hard, so for the time being I’m going to hone my skills at the back of the pack, getting harder and more clever before I attempt to take on control of the entire pack. I’d love to be a pivot, but part of me knows it’s only for the glamour of the panty (ha ha…what little glamour that is) and the scant possibility that I might have to take the star, rather than because I’m actually suited to that position. I’ve been told that Bette Noir has commented positively on my pivotting skills (which enlarged my head a great deal, I tell you what!…that was my Hank Hill impression there…) but at the moment I feel I do the team a better service when I’m the first one to clatter the opposition’s jammer and I can yell orders from the back as I chase her through the pack…

Yesterday was just a brilliant day…the skating was fantastic, the scrimmaging was adrenaline-pumping, the girls and boys were all brilliant (even through all my back-pushing, back blocking etc…) and when I got home Mr Gory had run me a bubble bath and filled the bathroom with about 30 candles…*bliss* I can’t imagine a better night…

This is my turning point now. I’ve seen photos from 2 years ago when I was a tiny size 8 (now I’m a very optimistic size 10…aka, size 12) and I’ve had first hand proof that I can be a kick ass derby machine if I WANT to be…so from now on that’s my goal…to get lean and mean and kick the crap out of my flab! It’s cool for derby girls to be all different shapes and sizes, and bigger girls often have the advantage on the track (I’ve definitely noticed my extra weight is of benefit!) but there’s no reason why I can’t be slender and immovable.

I’m also going to keep on top of tracking my fitness progress, so this blog should attest to how well I’m doing (or not doing, whatever the case may be)

Gory out…

Ps…it’s nice to know you read this…because I know you do ;) ha ha

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Payne D. Spencer kindly let me know that the skate move I was trying to pull out in the entry below is called ‘Shoot the Duck’…and is demonstrated wonderfully in the following video by two girls called Krystal and Heather…

I’ve got a list of new stretches to add to my regime (that I’m going to start doing more to see better results…and hurt less after running!) that are supposed to help you do this trick better, so maybe it’ll be doing to my skill instead of my skates soon? we shall see…

and I wish with all my heart that I could do this…

…that girl is SO cool…

Saturday, September 20, 2008

What a difference the Heel makes...

I’ve been skating for well over 18 months now (end of Jan ’07 to now, Sept ’08…so…erm…20 months) but I’ve only owned a few pairs of skates and although I’ve read lots of stuff about various skate packages, I can only vouch for the ones I’ve tried.

When I upgraded from Riedell R3s to Wickeds I put outdoor wheels on my old skates and then they’ve pretty much been left to gather dust since. I’m not a great fan of outdoor skating (I love the skating, but I hate the fear it gives me…and the fact that the public are out there…and that they like to take the piss) so since last September I’ve only worn them a few times, and most of those have been on a completely different surface to the one I use my Wickeds on.

Tuesday just gone I decided to take them to the after-school club with me, because all the kids use outdoor wheels, as does the teacher who I’m helping, and considering my R3s were in the car I thought ‘What they hey…it’s one less pair of skates to carry to the car!’ and left my Wickeds at home. So I strapped on my old, taped up skates (to the sound of many small voices saying ‘Miss! Those are different to the ones you had last week Miss!’) and found that on a smooth floor they feel a hell of a lot flatter than my Wickeds do.

A few of the kids are keen on pulling off new tricks on their wheels, so I tried to show them the only trick I can do (skating ultra-low then extending a leg out straight in front of me so I’m on one foot), but it turns out that myt ability to do said ‘trick’ is based on the somewhat higher heel of my Wickeds. Wearing my flatter R3s I crouched down, realised my feet were at all the wrong angle and promptly fell on my ass. Hard. And to the tune of ‘SHE FELL OVER’…thanks kids. You’re so forgiving…Anyway, despite my terrible attempt at coolness (and my fast failure) it didn’t put any of the kids off and by the end of the period loads of them were really keen to show off their skills. They were spinning, skating in really low crouches (scooting themselves along with their hands), jumping with no fear...I was impressed!

I’ll wear my Wickeds this Tuesday and hopefully my skills will return to me…maybe.

I’ve missed all our practice sessions this week…boo at me! I started the week off feeling really run down and it’s slowly turned into a horrible head cold. I look like Rudolf the red nosed Rollergirl…perhaps I should tog myself up in a pair of fuzzy antlers and get my picture taken for Christmas cards? It’d certainly bring cheer to people!

I’m going to spend the rest of today and tomorrow eating and sleeping loads so I can be back at practice on Monday…kleenex in hand (and pocket, and stuffed up my sleeve…I predict I’ll need an awful lot of it)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Decisions decisions...

I’m terrible at getting things done (blogging for one)…but my biggest problem is that I hate making decisions. It means that I miss out on so much…

Right now I’m struggling with my concience when it comes to the things I really want to do, like get tattoos and dye my hair ridiculous colours. I guess it’s a fear of the unknown, and instead of being the girl I used to be (who dyed her hair vibrant shades of red from the age of 11 and imagined a rebellious adulthood) I’ve grown into a woman who cares far too much what others think, and who doesn’t trust that her choices will lead to an outcome she can deal with.

Roller Derby has been a huge changing force in my life, and I feel much more confident with what my body can do. It’s definitely stronger and more capable than it’s ever been, and I feel at my best when I’m in practice. I feel safe with my league mates (who are all my friends) and I can really be myself around them, but although I’ll happily strut around in micro-shorts and fishnets at practice (and the pub…lol) I still feel uncomfortable and like I’m being stared at if I dress up when I go out. It’s a completely ridiculous state of affairs.

When it comes to tattoos, I have big plans for sleeves and a chest piece. They’re all planned out and I’ve known what I want for years now (one of the downfalls of having a tattooist boyfriend…I think about tatoos all the time but I’m not allowed any because he doesn’t want me to end up with a load of ink I’ll regret) but I can’t bring myself to get them done. My best friends recently had some unwanted attention because of their visible tattoos and it makes me wonder how I’ll handle people commenting on any visible ink I get done…I know a lady who’s really heavily covered and she’s even had a guy (a complete stranger) go to pull her top away from her chest to get a better look at her work! I’d want to club someone if they did that to me, and I’m pretty sure that’s not acceptable behaviour…even if someone is trying to undress you in a supermarket!

I can’t predict how having sleeves and a chest piece will make me feel, and no one can tell me what it’ll be like…there’s no way I could ever know what it’ll be like until it’s done, and once it’s done there’s going to be no going back (only covering up, and I’m the kind of person who’s thermostat runs on ‘tropical’ most of the time…long sleeves are the very bottom of my outfit choices).

I recently had to make a skate decision too…and although I really wanted a pair of Black Widows I don’t want to get a pricey set of skates that don’t fit like a glove. I’m hoping to go to RollerCon next year (or visit the States or Canada at least) so I’ll get them then when I can try them on…and this time round I’m going for another pair of Wickeds, but this time not a size too big!

I’m also getting them with Swiss bearings and pink Mojo wheels, which I’m assured are super-grippy and wonderful to skate on! I really can’t wait! I know I’ve not been happy with my current Wickeds, but they’re far too big for me, even with a really thick gel insole. I’m pretty sure that going down to a 7.5 will make the world of difference to my poor crampy feet. At the moment I have to shuffle my feet to the back of my boot after every drill or jam, and walking on my toe stops isn’t as easy as it should be because my foot moves around in the boot so much. Tightening my laces isn’t really an option either as that’s when the crampy foot-death occurs, which hinders my skating as much as a flappy boot does.

*fingers crossed* they’re going to fit me…I think I’ll cut my toes off if they don’t.

This afternoon is the second after-school skating session that I’m helping run. I forgot to take my camera last week so this week I must remember it. The kids are SO funny once they’ve got those skates on…and they’re absolutely fearless! If only adults could be persuaded to do squat-jumps on wheels, the whole country would be Roller Derby mad by now!

Last week I had to cart 25 pairs of skates with me (26 if you include mine), but now I’ve narrowed it down to the sizes I need I’ll only have to carry about 15 pairs…across a playground and up two flights of stairs…no wonder my biceps were screaming last Wednesday!

In other Roller Derby news, I’m REALLY looking forward to the upcoming visit of Payne D. Spencer who’s going to be joining us for lots of skating and drinking fun at the start of October! We’re going to have a blast, and I can’t wait for her to meet some of the other UK Roller Derby Leagues!…Roll on October!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Exercise is bad for my health...

It’s almost two months since I ran (jogged) the race for life with my friends and in that time they’ve been getting on with the running thing while I’ve found almost any excuse to avoid it. Outdoor skating was a great alternative for a couple of sessions, but doing crossovers round a massive circle is uber-easy compared to pushing yourself along at speed…without wheels.

This Tuesday I decided I was going to suck it up and get back into running, partly because the others were whining at me, but mostly because I’m turning into Jabba the Hutt. I’ve been neglecting exercise in favour of sitting on my rapidly growing ass and eating “healthy” things like carrot cake and biscuits dunked in tea (so all the calories have been washed away), and the consequence is a constricted feeling when dressed, and a disconcerting wobbly feeling when I’m un-dressed. Not good.

I resolved not to make with the excuses anymore (even though I almost cried off Tuesday because of the rain…) and I’m getting back into the whole exercise thing. I was shocked at myself when we started because I was expecting to be out of breath and ready to give up after a few hundred metres, but I felt surprisingly good! Ouija said she’s the same after a break from running, but that if we asked her to run again Thursday she’d probably not be able to move. I can’t believe how right she was! I felt fresh and capable on Tuesday, but for the past two days I’ve felt like a pinata AFTER the party.

Despite my feeling good, this only lasted for one lap and I got my usual neck pain. I have no idea why my neck gets tense while I’m running…I feel like Deirdre Barlow looks. As we reached our start point I was hoping the others would want to flake out too but they swept me along for another lap. I suddenly felt like I was made of lead and my legs just wouldn’t propell me any more and I slowed to a walk (bad!), but when I realised that my speedwalking (ha ha) wasn’t quite keeping up with the others I broke back into a jog. There’s nothing like missing out on gossip as an incentive to stay with the pack!

I slowed down again when we got to the halfway point, but I felt terrible letting them run on without me so I caught up again and promised myself I’d stay with them to the end of the lap at least. They all carried on for another lap while I walked and stretched to cool down. I obviously didn’t cool down enough though! I’ve not hurt this much after a workout for ages – possibly because I’ve not really pushed myself in weeks – but it feels good to know that I’ve worked hard.

I think the most unfortunate aspect of my pain is that it’s mostly in my thighs…so skating is going to be fun later! Our Thursday night practices are for more advanced drills, so getting low is important and the drills can take their toll on your thighs at the best of times. I can forsee two hours of pain and whining like a bitch to whoever’s leading practice. I’m kind of hoping it’s me (even though I’ve lead the last two weekend practices and therefore not taken part in much) but I know that’s completely the wrong attitude to take because I’m just being lazy.

The week before last I concentrated on endurance drills and doing pacelines skating clockwise to get everyone used to lateral movement in that direction. When I started skating in January of 2006 I’d never really skated before and I found clockwise a lot easier than the normal skating direction…crossovers in particular. I could do them with no problem when I was turning right, but I didn’t trust my left leg enough to lift my right leg over when I was trying to do them for roller derby purposes. With 18 months of practice I’ve trained myself out of this habit and now I find skating clockwise weird and unnatural. I figure that no matter how good I am going left, I’ll never be a good skater until I can skate well in all directions, so it’s important to me to practice it until it comes to me as naturally as our normal skating direction.

We did an excellent drill where skaters line up according to their ability, slowest at the front, and each takes it in turn to sprint 5 (or however many you like) laps before falling out and letting the skater behind them take the lead. It’s great because everyone can join in and the more skaters there are, the harder the fitter skaters have to work! The first time I tried it a fortnight ago the first ten skaters did 4 laps and the advanced skaters were meant to do 8 laps each. There were so many people involved that I think Hustle’her must have done about 80 laps, and she was still raring to do more…that’s the kind of fitness I need to achieve! The week just gone a lot of newer skaters were off practicing basic skills with Ouija and Gun Beryl so the line was a lot shorter but Hustle’her still managed to get in 60 laps and I’m sure she could have carried on.

I also got everyone to spend a LOT of time doing crossovers, first in our normal skating direction, with people of all abilities trying to perfect their technique. The beginners were getting used to the weight exchange and the footwork involved, and those who could do crossovers were getting used to doing them the whole way round the track. With so many people skating it was quite problematic for the advanced girls to get the use of the whole track at times, but it was great dodging practice too and I learned to crossover left and right to step around ‘obstacles’ so to speak. It was great!

We spent even more time focusing on crossovers going clockwise, with everyone focusing on leaning to the right (difficult!…for me anyway) and getting their left leg to cross over their right. I know I’m going to need to keep practicing, but I can do it with little difficulty now, which is a big step for me. Everyone else did really well too, but I don’t think many people find it as much of a problem as I do. I feel really unbalanced because I find skating left so easy and skating right so difficult, and I really want to work on it to make myself feel more capable, and above all, symmetrical!

Hits have also been a big thing over the past few weeks too, and not just in my practices. A few weeks ago Ouija and Hustle’her had us working on timing drills, where skaters have to catch up to a moving opponant and knock her out. We spent ages on this, and by the time we moved onto a quick game of Queen of the Rink I felt much more confident in my hits, and I really wanted to do my best and knock people down. It’s not that I don’t usually want to do it, I just never really feel like I can, and I have little faith in my hits or my ability to stay up. At that week’s advanced practice we did another Queen of the Rink type game and I managed to knock down three of my opponants in a row, which came with it’s usual mixture of joy and guilt. I’m definitely getting better, but my booty checks need a lot of work. I’ve got no hips and a terrible sense of balance when attempting to throw my non-hips around, so I tend to rely on fierce shoulder and body blocks to take people out, but they’re not always effective.

I’m looking forward to tonight’s practice (well, not the thigh pain) and I’ll hopefully come back with some wonderful tales of how I sent even more girls flying, but it’s more likely I’ll be in so much pain I won’t be able to drive home and I’ll have to live at the leisure centre! I jest of course, I’d probably get a taxi home.