Heidi Volatile

Jul 152010

Reed Richards is a smug, stretchy bastard

Alright, true confessions time. I had initially planned for this week’s Project (Derby) Mayhem assignment to be a real balls-(or, um, your equivalent)-to-the-wall physical challenge. It’s been awhile since we’ve even HAD a P(D)M assignment, and I wanted us to hit the ground running. Er, rolling. Whatever. So I there I was, trying to brainstorm some new torture that would kick our butts (but not be so terribly hardcore that no one else would do it with me). And as I was warming up (prior to coming up with a workout that would make you hate me, at least for a little bit) I noticed that I was kind of cutting corners on the stretching. And that I’ve BEEN cutting corners on the stretching.

I REALLY hate to stretch. This, however, is a pretty stupid reason not to be doing it.

Now, I don’t need the flexibility of a Cirque du Soleil performer or anything. But as a derby girl, I need to be significantly more flexible than, say Betty White. Or, for that matter, Bea Arthur (may she rest in peace). Getting low is not so comfy when the hamstrings are all foreshortened and hating on you. And let’s face it, a nice baseline level of flexibility is going to do a lot towards keeping a girl from getting injured out on the track.

Is it just me, or does ol' Stretch here look a little too happy?

So I’m biting the bullet, and making myself be a better, bendier kind of roller girl. And I’m taking y’all with me, as per usual.

Assignment 4: Make Like Your Mom and Bend Over Stretching More than the Truth

We’re going to be taking a minimum of 20 minutes per day for the next week and stretching. Pretty simple, right? Use your Google Fu and hunt down some good stretching routines online. Pop in a yoga or pilates DVD. Actually go to a real live yoga or pilates class (Baton Rouge girls, you might want to take a class with the ever rocktatious Trac/DC, who promised me she was going to post her schedule in the comment section). I’m going to be pretty flexible (see what I did there?) with what you can do for this assignment. One caveat, though. You have to actually do the stretches that you hate. No hanging out in Child’s Pose while you watch So You Think You Can Dance Dance Revolution, or whatever your summer trash programming of choice is. Find the spots that are extra tight, and start working on them. See if you can stretch farther and deeper by the end of the week. Discuss your progress (or how much you hate trying to do the splits) in the comment section.

If Kermit can find the time to stretch, so can we. Man, I hope he's stretching. I'm going to be really depressed if this turns out to be a picture of him having a stroke...

Already super flexible? Go ahead and repeat a previous assignment of awesomeness.
Heidi Volatile does not want to turn into a creaky old biddy, even one as awesome as Betty White (or Zombie Bea Arthur). She can be reached at blammeration@gmail.com or in the comment section.

Jun 092010

Hola, chicas! It’s been two weeks since your last P(D)M assignment–hope you enjoyed the break, because it’s the last one you’ll be getting for awhile. Speaking of that last assignment, how did it go for y’all? Did you fall down a lot? I sure as heck did. I’m happy to report that my transitions are a lot better now, though, and skating backwards doesn’t make me feel like I’m about to plough my way into a gruesome, Final Destination-style demise. Overall, I’d say that assignment was a success for me (and I want to hear all about how it was a success for you in the comment section, ladies). But now it’s time to move on to our next assignment. And it’s one that you should have no trouble doing, no matter what your current skill level or free time (or lack there of) situation is. I present to you:

Assignment 3: The Project (Derby) Mayhem Couch Potato Challenge

I will not judge you for your television/movie viewing choices during this challenge.

It’s no secret that more time on skates = better skater. And ideally, you’re getting lots of extra skate-time in outside of practice. But what are you doing when you’re just slobbing around the house? This week, you’re going to be strapping on your skates and working on your form and footwork while doing household chores and/or watching your crappy summer television programming of choice.

For the purposes of this assignment, please do not wear your skates:

In the shower.

In the tub.

While cooking (especially if said cooking requires sharp objects, stoves, boiling pots of water, etc).

While sleeping. You will become ridiculously entangled in your sheets. Trust me, I know.

Please do wear your skates:

The rest of the time you are in the house.

Seriously. While you’re hanging out at home this week, I want you in skates. If you’re watching TV, do so while practicing standing in your best derby stance, squatting as low as you can for as long as you can, or practicing grapevines or chop steps across your living room floor. Toe stop walk around the house. If you don’t have any downstairs neighbors to worry about, practice jumping or stationary 180s on the nice, soft, stable-feeling carpet. Bonus points: throw in a little living room appropriate dryland-style training — leg lifts, sit ups, mule kicks, etc.

I will almost exclusively be watching episodes of Glee during this assignment. I LOVE YOU, SUE SYLVESTER!

As always, sign up in the comment section. Also, feel free to keep us all updated on how the assignment is going for you, or share any exercises/couch potato drills that you come up with!

Heidi loves to do toe stop walks around the couch, and finds hauling her laundry around while grapevining to be very amusing. SpongeBob Squarepants lives in a pineapple under the sea, and is afraid of Sue Sylvester. He reads every comment that you post, and when you don’t post in the comment section, he cries. Both SpongeBob and Heidi can be reached at blammeration@gmail.com.

May 262010

If you don't participate, Michael Douglas will give you the dead-eyed stare of laserdeathDOOM

This post is not about Michael Douglas. It is EVEN MORE AWESOME. For today is the day we kick off the second Project (Derby) Mayhem assignment, skate monkeys. Your assignment? FALLING DOWN

Hopefully you all made it through Assignment 1 (don’t worry if you missed out or didn’t quite make it–you can always try it again on your own). I personally got off to a slow start on that one, but once I began forcing myself to make some time I realized it was something that was perfectly doable. However, while skating it up I ALSO realized that there are a few moves that I am less than awesome at. I know I was less than awesome at them, because every time I attempted to do them, I was shaky or I fell down. And some of those moves were not exactly advanced.

This basically sums up my feelings about falling

I HATE falling down (unless it is during falling drills, which are, to borrow a word from TracDC, rad), and I hate being less than awesome. And I know I’m a good skater! So why was I so weak on these few moves? It’s because I have never practiced them enough. I think sometimes we all have a tendency to focus on the things that we’re already good at, and just work on them. It’s fun to work on the things that you’re good at! And there’s nothing wrong with working on them, those skills need to be kept sharp, too. But if we’re working on them exclusively, that means that we are neglecting the things that feel awkward, or that we just plain suck at. And that, my friends, is not going to make us the best skaters we can be.

So let’s rectify that. Awesomeness awaits!

Assignment 2

We already know that we can make time in our schedules for a little extra derby. This week, we’re going to take that time and spend it on things that make us fall down. I’d like for us all to log 2-3 hours working on this, outside of regular practice. The time can be broken up however you see fit.

I want to make something perfectly clear. I am NOT telling you to go out and injure yourself. I’m asking you to go out and work on the things that you’re just not so great at (yet) or that are just slightly beyond your skill level (right now). You need to wear your full gear, and you need to practice safely and smartly.

For my part, I’m going to be working on the following: Backwards skating (right now I’m like an awkward Frankenstein when I try to do this), 180 jumps (I apparently can only do them at Leo’s), transitions (I can only do them one way, and they’re not very controlled), and I’m going to try to start learning how to tomahawk while leading with my left foot (I can tomahawk GREAT with my right, but I’d like to be able to use either foot). That’s just my list, though. You should be working on what specifically trips you up.

So sign up in the comments section and keep us posted! We have until next Wednesday to knock this out. If enough people indicate that they are participating, I will put up a post around the midpoint and we can discuss our progress (otherwise, fee free to leave updates in the comment section of this post). Get to it, skate monkeys!

If Kitty Pryde can fall with style, so can we!

Heidi Volatile is blammer. Heidi Volatile’s ass is a little concerned about this assignment. Michael Douglas is an old dude who happened to star in the movie Falling Down, making it impossible for Heidi to NOT use his picture in this post. And Kitty Pryde is one of the most awesome comic book characters EVER, and she wants you to sign up for this assignment NOW. You can reach Heidi, Heidi’s ass, Michael Douglas, and Kitty Pryde at blammeration@gmail.com

May 192010

Get it? Because Battleship is interactive? My geekiness knows no bounds, y'all

Shit’s about to get REAL, y’all.


Roughly five million years (re: two weeks) ago, I posted about the importance of setting overall fitness goals (and there was some nice discussion about personal goals in the comment section). Before that I posted about maintaining focus (even when life goes to crap) and setting physical goals to use as benchmarks.

Today we’re doing something a little bit different. You and me, kid, we’re kicking off Project (Derby) Mayhem.

Let's face it, there will probably still be a lot of talking

Anyone who’s known me for more than two minutes knows that I really love to talk. A lot. But goals are about action, and as your go-to Goal Girl, I have been itching to stop talking and start doing. And to drag you along with me. And that’s where Project (Derby) Mayhem comes in. From now on, there will be assignments. I’m going to be doing every Project (Derby) Mayhem assignment along with you, so I won’t be asking you to do anything that I’m not doing myself. The general idea is that (in addition to inching closer to world domination) we will be able to push each other to set and follow weekly goals, see results, and do that general derby-girls-are awesome support thing. Sounds good, no? Those who partake (re: me and you and other totally awesome people) will lead the way in the Derby Death Army. Those who don’t will be crushed beneath our wheels. They will be forced to breathe in the fumes from our skate bags as we hip check our way to glory. So let’s get started:

The first rule of Project (Derby) Mayhem...

Assignment 1

Since this is our first assignment, we’re going to start small-ish (assignments will get more detailed/difficult/what-have-you as we progress). We’re going outdoor skating! Three times. For an hour each (note: that’s an hour skating, changing your wheels/putting on your pads does not count as skate time). You’ve got between today (May 19th) and next Wednesday to pencil this in. I want you to spend about ten minutes warming up, then split your time between lateral cutting, sticky skating, speed drills, getting low, and running on your skates. Drink plenty of water, and if you start to get too worn out slow up a bit until you recover (but maintain good derby form).*

*If you already do this–or more than this–on a regular basis, please keep to your routine but spice it up a little. Increase the difficulty, the amount of time spent skating, or throw in a few things that you know you need to work on. Also, if you have no other choice you can complete this assignment indoors, but try to skate outside if you can.

Time IS on your side. Really.

The important part of this assignment (and one of the harder parts) is making the extra time to go skate. For my part, I’m either going to be waking up an hour earlier, going to bed an hour later, or skipping a little TV time. Don’t let your schedule keep you from participating! You only have to skate for 3 out of 168 hours, which is totally doable. I promise.

I’m going to use the comment section to check in throughout the week, and I encourage you to do the same. In fact, why not go ahead and declare your allegiance to Project (Derby) Mayhem right now? Like I’ve said before, there’s nothing like internet accountability, and that comment section sure does look lonely without your post…

Tyler Durden will blow up your living space if you don't participate in Project (Derby) Mayhem. And he'll probably pee in the soup.

Heidi Volatile is a loudmouth and is probably going to regret this whole Project (Derby) Mayhem thing when she has to get up at 5:00am tomorrow. She knows that you’re reading this and is looking pointedly at the comment section and clearing her throat. Tyler Durden is a Very Bad Man with a few… issues, but he’s a) really hot, b) a total badass, and c) would definitely play roller derby if he were a girl. You can reach both of them at blammeration@gmail.com if you want to suggest future Project (Derby) Mayhem assignments or tell them that their hair is awesome (it totally is).

Photo Credits: Milton Bradley, 20th Century Fox, Mission Fit Possible

May 052010

Oh Olivia Newton-John, you make it look so glamorous!

This morning (after just under 5 hours of sleep) I woke up at 5:30, slammed some caffeine, bolted some breakfast, and headed out to an elementary school playground. Why, you ask? No, I wasn’t there to hit up the swingset before all of the grade schoolers started hogging it. I was rolling my cranky, not-at-all-a-morning-person carcass out to meet up with the other lunatics participating in Denver Benton’s butt kicking early morning fitness boot camp. I then proceeded to spend the next hour performing exercises that were probably developed during the Spanish Inquisition (did they have medicine balls back then?). Don’t get me wrong, it was an awesome workout, but DAMN. Minute and a half long wall sits are not anybody’s idea of a good time, and too many dips make the baby Jesus cry.

Arriba, y'all!

Y’all, I can not even lift my arms right now. I have been forced to prop them up on a makeshift pillow armrest just so I can type. And I’m not even going to go into the current lower body situation. Suffice to say, I won’t be doing any Mexican hat dances today, Cinco de Mayo or no.

So, why on earth am I regularly subjecting myself to an early morning ass kicking? It’s not so I can look better in a bikini. And it’s not because I think it’s really funny when I can use a heavier medicine ball than the guys in the class. (Though these are both admittedly huge perks.) It’s because I intend to be measurably stronger, faster, and harder for the last half of RSRD’s second season. Even if it means spending a lot of time feeling and looking like this:

Overall fitness goals are just as important to your derby life as smaller scale goals (such as perfecting your can opener, improving your stance, knocking a bitch down, etc, etc). You can have the fastest start off of the line, but if you don’t have the endurance to maintain that speed jam after jam, you can’t effectively access the badass within. If you’re not working on your general strength, you’re not going to generate as much power in your strides or hits as you could. If you’re not increasing your core strength, you’re missing an opportunity to increase your ability to take and recover from a hit.

So how do we set and follow through on overall fitness goals? I personally find that I have the best success rate when I make myself accountable. I tell people what I want to do, and how I plan to do it. Then I’m basically forced to follow through, even when faced with the siren song of the snooze button. For example:

I plan to improve my strength, speed, and endurance. I’m going to accomplish this by participating in strength training classes, running three to four times a week, and going on more outdoor skates.

See? I just told the entire internet. And if you’re reading this, I challenge you to do the same. C’mon! Go to the comment section and tell us something that you want to work on, and how you plan to work on it. Lets be each other’s goal buddies. What could be better than sharing your goals with a bunch of like-minded women working on the same things? You have nothing to lose, and personal cheerleaders to gain. Let’s take advantage of the fact that we have each other.

The power of Olivia Newton-John compels you! THE POWER OF OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN COMPELS YOU!

Heidi Volatile is a blammer and a semi-masochistic glutten for punishment. She can be reached at blammeration@gmail.com. It is her fondest wish that you comment on this post. Her second fondest wish is to ride Falcor, the giant puppy-dragon from The Never Ending Story. Olivia Newton-John is a singer/actress from Australia. She has an accent and rides kangaroos, but does not appear to play roller derby–YET.
Photo credits: MCA, Avenida Caesar Chavez, Lion’s Gate studio