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Hey Robatron! I probably checked you in at Sk8mareas I was doing player registration!
Thanks for the replies everyone! Just wanted to give you an update: over our two week Xmas break I've managed to line up a sitter to that I can attend league practice night on Thursdays in addition to the skills practice on Mondays I was already attending. I'm only going to get better, faster if I'm attending more practices, right?
I attended my first Thursday in a long time on Jan 3. We worked on some blocking and whips. By the end of the night my hair was plastered to my head with sweat, I'd fallen at least four or five times, and I was ecstatic! It felt good to know I'd worked my ass off.
Thankfully, I'd talked to a league-mate who I know had taken almost a year to benchmark and I'd let her know I was feeling intimidating about Thursdays. She ended up volunteering to help with freshies that night. She also partnered up with me on most of the drills. Maybe a little handholding for one practice was just what I needed!
"I'll try" is a preemptive excuse for failure.
Hey there :)
I'm also fresh meat. I skated a lot on Rollerblades when I was a kid, but hadn't been back on any kinds of wheels until started about five months ago. It was really sad...I looked like Bambi on ice. And at one of my first practices, I fell on my butt three times and couldn't move for about two weeks :/ Nothing was broken, thankfully, but tailbone injuries do take a while to heal. I'm 29, so one of the older girls :) also, I was also pretty big when I started. I've lost some weight since then, but also gained a lot of muscle, which has helped. I think I'll probably be ready to pass my minimum skills in about a month. :) So, it *is* possible!!! Just keep skating!
When I first started, I liked it, but dreaded getting my skates on because I didn't want to keep falling and looking like an idiot. It didn't feel like anything was improving. But I got a lot of encouragement from the better skaters, and eventually I began to notice that I was able to do things that I couldn't before! Now I can't wait to get my skates on!! :) And yeah, it does suck to see other people progressing quicker, or being able to do more advanced things, but you can't focus on what they're doing. I try to look at it as an inspiration for myself to do better - my "wife" started before me, and she was lapping me for forever...but now I can lap her! :)
Hello fellow Albertan!!
I joined the Grim Reapers out of Grimshaw, AB in July. We're a brand spankin new league that are starting from the bottom up. I was basically a couch potato and totally not athletic when I joined and it took me a long time to get comfortable on my skates. I passed my basic skills at the end of August, but I still need to work on speed and agility, hitting, and transitions.
The best thing you can do is just to keep skating. It can be frustrating when people who joined at the same time or after you did are flying through everything with ease, but just keep going, you'll get there. I really struggled with my 25 in 5 and there were girls that got it on their first shot. Talk about annoying!
Just put in as much time on your skates as you can, and it will come!!!
I'll be skating in Sk8mare on the 24th, and I am so excited but also terrified that I'll be slaughtered. Maybe I'll see ya there!!
"Make sure you work both sides as well. If you can do everything on both sides you'll surpass so many!"
This is *fantastic* advice. Really. I wish someone had told me this early in my derby career! I can stop on both sides now after a lot of work (t-stops and turnaround stops), but I'm really only good at *hitting* in one direction. It's a good habit to get into practicing everything on both sides so that you don't become too dependant on going one direction.
I've been skating in our rec league since April. I bought my skates the day before I tried out. I'd ice-skated before and bladed but hadn't skated on quads for about 16 years. I could barely stand when I started and boy was I unfit! I couldn't walk properly for a week after our first session. I did two six week blocks of phase one (basic skating skills) and was on a trial to get into phase two (basic derby skills). We had a six week break (trouble with getting a consistent venue) and I skated at least twice a week during that time. I've just passed phase two and am now in the final phase before drafting. I think I'll be in this phase for a while as I'm not fast enough yet.
T-stops suck but work at it, one day you'll just get it. Make sure you work both sides as well. If you can do everything on both sides you'll surpass so many! I've only just been able to transition to skating backwards (I have a real problem leaning forward and riding my toe stops) and transition both ways.
I agree with celebrating the little achievements. Each practice set out a goal like 'do a proper t-stop' and celebrate when you do it even just once. It's frustrating but when you can do them properly you'll look back and be so proud.
Everyone grows and learns differently, some girls I started skating with are drafted and some have just finished phase one. Try and skate as often as possible, outside is fantastic for stability and inside for practicing your derby skills like transitions.
Also a big one - don't be afraid to fall. Now you've fallen on your ass badly, remember to stay low and fall on your knees. Don't try and stop a fall - if you're going to fall try to fall properly (knees or side).
Keep at it, you love it and it'll help you grow more than you can imagine. In a year you'll look back at your post and smile at how far you've come. Everyone started out somewhere, be proud that you've started - that's more than a lot can say :)
I have a success story for you! It's my husband's story, though, so I hope second-hand is good enough. :-P
I've been doing derby for about a year and a half (I've been in the rec league until I was drafted in September), and after watching me fall in love with the sport, my husband wanted to get involved. He decided to learn how to skate (having never put skates on before in his life) and try out to be a ref.
The first couple of months was really hard for him. When he started skating he could barely stand up, much less propel himself forward or stop. He's also somewhat overweight (5'11" and 250ish lbs) and hadn't participated in sports since college intermurals. He started skating at the end of May... and now here's the success bit.
In four months, he has gone from hugging the wall and falling all. the. time. to doing turnaround stops, skating backwards, and keeping up with some of the slower girls in our league. I'm a member of Mad Rollin' Dolls, and we have some damn fast skaters. I'm so proud of him!
What seemed to work for him (and believe me, he had REAL confidence issues and still does) was celebrating little victories. Even if you only do something right once, be proud of yourself! Skating is hard, so try to be patient. You don't have to be perfect right away. You don't even have to stay on your feet right away. If you work hard at every practice, it'll happen for you. Before you know it, you'll be knockin' chicks down left and right!
Good luck and I hope you're a T-stopping queen soon!
I too am fresh meat (start Sept 11) and it sounds like you are at about the same skill level as me. I don't feel like my plow stops are all that great, they certainly aren't fast stops. My T-stops on the grippy rental rink skates were crap, but as soon as I got my own skates with new, slicker wheels, my T-stops instantly improved. Maybe it's a grippy wheel/grippy rink thing that you just have to adjust to. Our fresh meat haven't learned transitions yet either. It sounds like your training is more accelerated than ours, if that helps with fresh meat comparisons.
I feel awkward at every practice, especially the practices with the whole league, but I just try to think back to tryouts and the first few practices and how much better I have gotten since then. I was shocked when the superhuman jammer on our league admitted that she scared all the time at bouts, but no one would ever know because she looks fearless out there. It's only a competition with yourself, especially as a newbie. I'm sure veterans have better training experience and advice, but I am trying to build up my leg stabilizing muscles so I have better balance on skates. Lots of squats, crab walks, this knee exercise...
I think we are incredibly brave for joining derby. This is a sport full of strong intimidating women. But that's why we love and admire it so much.
Proud New Mama to Jonas! May 2011
Achievement without struggle isn't rewarding - Heather Fuhr
Komen Race for the Cure 5k- 10/17/09 - 33:11 min
Dallas Turkey Trot 8mile - 11/26/09 - 1 hr 23 min
CCFA Rock n' Roll 1/2 Marathon Las Vegas - 12/6/09 - 2 hrs 20 min
Hey y'all. I am freshmeat with Oil City Derby Girls here in Edmonton, AB. I joined on September 27.
Given my age, I roller skated a lot as a kid; but I never learned how to stop.
I weighed 379lbs until I had weight loss surgery over 10 years ago. I lost about 100lbs with that then plateaued for many years. In the past year and a half or so I've lost another 70lbs. I am currently hovering around 221.
I was never an athletic person. I started walking, then running, about a year ago and I quite enjoyed it. I decided to join derby because, well, derby is awesome. I am however feeling discouraged as of late because of how much I suck. I can pretty much plow stop but t-stops are a far ways off for me. I fell and really bruised my pelvis (although I didn't break my tailbone!) two weeks ago and I am still sore. I feel awkward and spastic on skates. I really want to do this and I know I am slowly getting better but it's hard to stay positive when deep down my confidence is fragile.
I'm a believer in fake-it-til-you-make-it and I am usually not a quitter. Last night's practice was me skating while most other people worked on transitions, then me working on derby stance and trying to glide on one foot while the others worked on whips or t-stops. I know it's not a freshie competition; but I can't help but compare myself. I just really don't want to suck and be the worst. I was always the worst at everything physical as a kid.
I am working on my core right now because I think that will help with my balance.
Any advice? Pep talk? Skate to the face for whining? :)
"I'll try" is a preemptive excuse for failure.