I’ve been off the radar for a while now (working in the great north, moving), and I’ve been off skates even longer. But I’m back now and the dust is finally starting to settle! Literally!
Alaska was cold and miserable. Maybe that’s how you envision AK anyway, but the summer is usually pretty sweet. Not this year. I couldn’t do any of the feeble off skates exercises I planned on to keep me at least a little in shape while living on-board, because I was too busy holding on. To anything. You could say it was a rock and roll summer, but really it was just big waves, shitty weather and not enough fish to make it cool. The sun exposed itself literally 2 times. In the land of the midnight sun! What a drag!
From AK I was magically whisked off to Las Vegas for RollerCon via four flight legs and 30 hours of travel. Wooo! The drastic change in temperature really threw me for a loop but I did not get sick! After spending close to 5 weeks on a rippin’ and rollin’ sea, I found myself not only lacking land legs but skate legs (duh – I totally expected this). Several things triggered boat like sensations that made me want to grab something and hang on. Like the elevator at the Riviera (no, I’m not the one who puked in it). Also, skating. I figured Atomatrix’s no contact speed and stride class would be a great way for me to break my feet back in, but getting low in the corners and crossing over made me feel all weird. So I stuck to volunteering for most of the time and took all of Mercy’s super awesome off-skates classes.
Last year Mr. Fever accompanied me to RollerCon (because it was our honeymoon) but this year he felt he should stick with the husbandly duty of driving around the bay area looking for a new place to live while sleeping in our van. Isn’t he the best? Meanwhile I was trying to hunt down and make friends with some B.A.D. girls (my new league) without acting like a chump. Honestly, I’m pretty sure it was an epic fail. I didn’t get much skating in, I didn’t make any new friends and I’m such a half assed volunteer that I’m pretty sure I won’t do it again.
So here I am, in my new little nest in Crockett (don’t know where that is? No one does). The piles of boxes getting smaller and smaller everyday, the aquarium was successfully moved with zero fatalities (!!!), houseplants healthy and situated, and me on the couch with the second worst shin splints I have ever had in my life from going back to skating on a slick floor with 95a wheels.
Monday night I went to my first B.A.D. all-league practice. It was truly nerve racking. I realize it’s the off-season, and that they just hosted a major event, but in the wake of it all getting new skater information has been like pulling teeth. Fortunately I had the intersection for the practice space, but not an address. So I parked on the street and waited in my car until I saw skater looking girls go into a building. Then I followed them like a creep. I didn’t want to start by making excuses, so I suppressed my urge to let the coach know I had been off skates for two months and would probably suck. I just went ahead and sucked, slipping all over the damn place in my Lowboys. People sometimes tell me that I am outgoing, or cool. I don’t know what the hell they are talking about. I hate new-ness, and I am perpetually uncool (ironically, I also hate same-ness and nothing sends me fleeing to a non-English speaking country faster than a “comfort zone”). I talked to a few ladies, I demanded a coaches phone number, and then I went home listening to Wolf Parade and singing “nobody loves you and nobody gives a damn anyway”. But I got it over with. My first day.
So the next day I went direcetly to Cruz, my new local skate shop, for some grippier wheels. The idea of putting 88′s on felt scary. I mean isn’t that so sticky? So I got to rent a pair to test out. Rent wheels! Fucking brilliant. Later that night I went to practice #2. This time the coach actually asked me a little about myself, which was nice because I just do not know how to act around new people. I am super awkward, I always have been and I always will be. Practice was great (exhausting). My grippier wheels helped a lot with the turns but my shins were still damaged from Monday. So I still suck. Actually I expect to suck for a few weeks.
All I know about roller derby I learned from the Bellingham Roller Betties. The good, the bad and the bullshit. I find myself longing for those days of comforting bullshit. Knowing which girls were giving it to me straight and which ones only answered my questions so I’d go away. B.A.D. is more than twice the size of Bellingham (in terms of their skater base). With the Betties I got to play on the travel team, captain my home team and be a primary jammer. This is a much bigger pond and I have reverted to pond scum. The upside is that I will have to push myself a lot harder. And once those shin splints subside, I am totally ready for that. I may be an achy-footed-pond-scum-introvert, but one day I will fly like a peacock.
So far I haven’t accomplished anything other than getting started. But isn’t that all I need to do anyway? Begin?