26Feb

Roller Derby: Week 1

skatesSo, on Monday was the real week one of roller derby training. My previous session was just learning the basics without actually taking to the track. Coming into this session I was a little nervous because last time I managed to pull both quad muscles. I struggled with that injury for weeks!

The lovely Bunn the Baker lent me her wheels which meant that instead of skating on soft, grippy outdoor wheels, I was using slightly harder wheels. I had a bit of a problem with them to start with. My right foot just wanted to glide inwards. I dealt with it for the entire three hour session but it’s easily fixable, one wheel is on slightly looser than the others.

Getting on the track was scary. It’s one thing feeling confident skating up and down but skating in a fairly small oval with a lot of other people was scary. The new wheels are very fast too. It’s amazing how much speed you can pick up doing cross overs round one corner! The whole thing was a little stressful because I felt like I was getting in people’s way. I managed to weave in an out of a few people with out incident but I’m clearly a bit flaily as a I may have punched two people who were passing me.

Skills

The skills we practiced were stride (difficult when one foot wants to turn in but I feel I have this down); sticky feet (so much easier with the harder wheels); moving from one side of the track to another; knee taps, double knee falls and four point falls.

On the first session I went to, I had knee taps down. I didn’t even have to stop sliding before I got up again. However, on a track with people around you, it’s so much harder. Not only was I worried about crashing but I think the worry of pulling something knocked my confidence a little. Eventually I got back into the swing of things but I still felt like I’d taken a step back.

wek1

When getting up from the falls you’re supposed to use your toe stop. I tried this once on the knee taps but wobbled and didn’t try it again while on track. After sitting down to hear about double knee falls I tried to stand using one toe stop. Big mistake, I wobbled and fell over backward. Thankfully, I landed on one arse cheek and not on my tailbone. Still, it hurt like hell. I had a few people come to my side and ask me if I was okay. Pride made me smile, laugh it off and get on track but I felt shaky and on the edge of tears.

I womanned up, skated faster and tried some double knee falls. They were a little bit jarring on my lower back but I got the hang of that again. I’d been feeling so confident in the first part of the session but the taps/falls really screwed me up.

By the end of the session I feeling a little disheartened. I think everyone has good and bad weeks, at least I can skate and I’m certainly not the worst one there or the only one to fall over.

Two days on and my back does hurt a little (as does my wrist, did I fall on it?) but I know I haven’t done myself any lasting injuries. Bring on the next skating session!

In other news, I’ve chosen my roller derby name! Ladies and gentlemen, you may call me Blocking Jay.

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5 comments

  1. I feel like I’ve taken a step back every time I get on skates! It’s like in-between sessions your body forgets how to do things. But you’ll be surprised how quickly things like taps and falls become part of your muscle memory, you won’t have to think about them at all. Glad you’re enjoying it, get someone to take a look at those wheels next time you go!

  2. It takes me at least an hour of every session to feel comfortable on my skates again, not great when on Saturdays we only get an hour and a half! Don’t let it stress you out!

    Mondays are very busy at the moment, so I guess they can be a bit hectic? Come on Friday afternoon, me and Zoe are going! When you do double knee falls get as low as you can in derby stance and then make sure you do one knee at a time, they shouldn’t hurt your back. You should wait till they start making you jump over stuff before you do your back in :D

  3. I want to start making Fridays a regular thing but it looks like I’m going to run out of time tomorrow!

  4. This sounds like so much fun! I’ve always wanted to go. I’m sure you’ll get the hang of it really soon! I wouldn’t let a few falls dishearten you.

  5. skating has always been fun… except I sat on my hand once and sprained it..

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