Jun 022010

Okay, so the place I rode looked nothing like this, but how bad ass would I be if it DID!

I was sick as shit last week and missed BOTH practices—suck!  Then I got to hear all about how aweeeesome practice was on Thursday.  And how my teammate got to do all these super fantastic endurance drills without me—double suck, I looooove endurance training as much as TrAC/DC loves push-ups!  After an entire week of inactivity, I feel like a slug.  So, I decided to be extra ambitious this weekend, get all of my make-ups done, AND do lots of cross training.  The weekend went something like this:  fun skate Friday, dryland Sunday morning, and trail riding Sunday afternoon.  Good times, right?

Since I am a derby girl, everyone in my sphere of influence seems to think I’m totally hardcore.  So they think nothing of asking me to do shit that I find kind of nuts.  Like TRAIL RIDING on a MOUNTAIN BIKE, when I have only been on a bicycle precisely three times (and that includes said trail ride) in the past 20 years!  Now, don’t tell anyone, but I am, in fact, NOT hardcore.  And I’m sure that most of you TRUE hardcore derby girls, thrill seekers, and risk takers, would think that what I did Sunday was merely child’s play.  But it’s my story, so, it was totally hardcore!

I don’t really know exactly what I was expecting this trail riding experience to be like.  I know that my best friend is positively terror stricken every time her husband suggests that he might want to take a ride out to the Hooper Road Bike Trail, so, that should have been something of an indicator.  But, I hear “trail riding” and I think RIDE on a TRAIL.  Not, ride over fallen trees, through ditches, precariously close to a small ravine (okay, fine, it was a ditch) and so on and so forth.  But I was not to be deterred!

Moments into our ride, I began to think that maybe I’d made a mistake.  This thought occurred to me as my life flashed before my eyes when I ran into a tree at the first fork in the road.  I spent the next few minutes kicking the shit out of the back rim of my borrowed bicycle, the rim that I bent running into the tree.  I really just wanted to pack it up an call it a day at that point.  Buuuut, the thought of anyone calling me the P-Word was just too much for me to handle.  So, I huffed and puffed up and down, up and down, up and down the hills—most of the time pushing or dragging my bike rather than riding it.  Once, I fell into a bush, then slid backwards down the hill, dragging the bike down on top of me.  But finally, by the end of this harrowing adventure, I had mustered up enough courage to just say eff it, and I charged ahead, peddling as fast as my legs would allow—over roots, and tree branches, through valleys and ditches.  About an hour
later, I made it out alive, drenched in sweat, covered in bruises and scratches, mud and bicycle grease, but reasonably proud of myself.

Today, I cannot walk.  Not with a normal gait anyway.  My quads hurt SO bad, I can hardly raise my own ass up off of the couch, not to mention the fact that the bicycle seat did a serious number on my bum.  I counted 11 bruises and there’s a small collection of scratches on my right forearm.  I have no fewer than two dozen swarming insect bites and a small patch of black grease on the back of my leg that two showers later I still can’t scrub off entirely.  Good times, right? Common sense suggests that I may want to stick to 8 wheels, but against my better judgement,  we’re riding again next Sunday, if anybody wants in!  Pad your asses ladies, it’s a bumpy ride!

Photo Credits:  www.deater.net

May 112010

So, I’m going to start this post off by apologizing to anyone who may get hurt feelings after they read this.  I LOVE, love, love all of you Freshies, JUST as much as I love my Senior Skaters!  And I love everyone who falls in between those two ranks!

I am so super stoked to see like 20 new heinies in hot pants every time I come to practice!  I mean, you guys are the future of Red Stick Roller Derby!  Really!  Hopefully by the end of this season, you’ll be kicking the shit out of anyone you run across on the flat track.  And next season, YOU get to teach the new crop of skaters how to be ball busting bitches without ever smearing their sassy red lipstick!

And to my Capital Offenders.  Um, I hardly feel right calling anyone of you “Rookies”.  I got totally smoked by two of you at practice Thursday night, and when you hit like a wrecking ball, well, “Rookie” just don’t apply anymore.  And I gotta admit, while my ego was bruised almost as much as my ass, my chest swelled with a little bit of pride, you know, that “my little girls are all grown up” feeling.

All that said, I’m having a hard time mustering up the enthusiasm that I had when I rolled into the Red Stick for the first time, two and a half years ago.  And I finally figured out why–I miss my Senior skaters!!!  Waaaaa! As much as I am in love with the game, I guess I’m equally in love with the fifteen or so girls that I started out with.  I mean, when you see the same eight faces, day in and day out, forEVER, like more than your family, more than your “I Swear We’ll Be BFF’s FOREVER, for REAL” friends, you really fucking miss them when they’re gone!!  I know that there’s no retirement plan with Red Stick Roller Derby, and I never actually expected any of you to be around that long, but it never once occurred to me that you wouldn’t be!  And it’s totally selfish of me to feel this way, but I totally want all of you to put your lives on hold until I’M done playing roller derby.  I mean, who needs a phD, or to get married, have kids, get a new job, open your own business, move away.  I mean FUCK, Whatta Tuesday ain’t done playing, didn’t anyone tell you??

Long story short ladies, I’m super proud of all of ya’ll–you’ve all done some amazing things since I’ve known you.  And I’m sure you’ll continue to amaze me.  And I’ll always consider myself the luckiest girl in the world for havin’ known ya, but please come baaaaack before I cry my little eyes out!

Photo Credits:  Girls, Guns, and Glory and Word Press

Apr 132010

March 30th finds me back at practice for the first time in eight weeks.  Just coming out of substance abuse treatment and trying to slip seamlessly back into “life as I knew it” has proven trying enough.  Finding a way to go from rehab to roller derby is a bit more uncomfortable.  So many friendships are solidified over long necks after long practices.  I have an anxious feeling, probably stemming from the fear that with my hard drinking, hard partying days behind me, I’ll become a Ghost of Derby past.

I’m nervous.  Beads of sweat are rolling down my neck before I even finish lacing up my skates.  I feel like it’s my first day of practice.  Half of “my team” I’ve never even seen before.  The other half, the same familiar faces that have been hanging around some of them for years, some of them for just a few months, look strangely different.  Well, they don’t look different, but I feel like they look at me differently.  And I feel like I’ve got something to prove to all of them.

Fifteen minutes later, I’m whizzing around the track, dodging and weaving.  And I’m sucking air like a Hoover vacuum cleaner, feeling like I’m about to DIE but refusing to come up for air.  My thighs are on fire and I feel like my lungs are about to burst.  Really, I think I’m going to die.  Rehab did wonders for my sobriety, but right now, I think my 66 year old mum could beat me in a footrace—damn you alcoholism!

The next thing I know, we’re filing five at a time onto the track for R-Rated scrimmages.  And I’m about to cry.  I’m terrified—what if these rookies KICK MY ASS??  Then I got nothing!  As I get closer and closer to the front of the line, I’m pretty sure that I’m not going to make it through practice without either throwing up, or maybe peeing my pants a little.  Ahhh, but before I can make a hasty get away to either the bathroom OR the trashcan, someone is thrusting a pivot panty at me and shoving me toward the track.  I’d love to describe in the pages that follow my triumphant return to the track, but alas not.  I sucked—at least for the first several agonizingly looooong jams.

But by the end of practice, I was careening around corners and hammering jammers just like the good old days (eight weeks ago).  And few “It’s good to have you back” smacks on the ass and a couple of high fives later, I realize that this IS where I belong.  And I’m laughing at myself!  For worrying that there’s no place for me with this team just because I’m sober.