Saturday, October 30, 2010

October has had it's ups and downs

It's been a while since I posted a blog. Life can just be so freaking busy sometimes. My days are filled with work and either derby or band practice at night. So yeah the little time I have left at the end of the day I usually use to get some sleep. Crazy I know! :p But now I've got this app to blog on my iPhone. So I'll try to write more when I am in the train, like I am right now.

I left you last time at failing my WFTDA test. Which was a minor setback for sure. But the thing that has been way more frustrating has been my body not functioning in the way it should.
The muscles in my ankles especially are not keeping up with the work I am putting it through. Training three times a week, with no athletic background has been a bit to much for them I guess. I have been seeing a physical therapist and he, luckily, takes roller derby serious as a sport and wants to help me to get my body to where it needs to be to keep up.
Unfortunately, past monday my ankles were hurting so much I had to sit out most of the practice. And let me tell you.....I was not happy, to say the least. It frustrates and angers me. Finally found a sport that I am passionate about, and don't have to force my self to go, cause I love practice, and my body cannot keep up....
But I am working on it. I will cut down to 2 practices a week in November and hopefully I'll be able to go back to full on training at the end of the year.

Learning from the best
So Hunter S. Toss 'Em, the visiting head ref from Seattle was here until this last Tuesday. It was great having him here. Teaching us things, but also motivating us with the stories about roller derby in the states. It was fun Hunter! Thanks again for everything.

Time to Bond
Last Saturday I had to play a gig with my band in Utrecht. And a whole bunch of my team mates came out to support me, also girls from the utrecht team came out. It was great!

It was so cool to have them cheering us on. And it was great having fun outside of the practice space. We definitely need to do that more often, cause it was Awesome!!

Being in a bubble
This past Monday we practiced in a new space, in diemen (a town outside of Amsterdam, but it's almost attached to Amsterdam).
It's a nice big space, and its outside but they put one of the temporary blow up things over it, so it's covered. Looks really cool:

And it doesn't just only look cool, it was cool....literally!! It's was colder inside then it was out.
Everyone was wearing sweaters, scarfs and stuff like while skating. It came off when they were warm though. Unfortunately it was not only cold, but the floor was really sticky. Which made it feel like you where skating through thick porridge....
And with my ankles being screwed up, it basically made me hurt within 5 min. or so. So I sat down and watched most of the practice.
Me and Helen:

But for most of the girls it was a good practice, even with the sticky floor and the cold, they just kept going at it.

Dom City Dolls will whip your ass
On Wednesday I trained the Dom
city Dolls in utrecht. And these girls have all just started a couple of months ago and are constantly progressing. Which is awesome to see! We practiced their crossovers with some training tips Hunter gave us the week before. And it's so cool when you see that one girl that couldn't do it, and then working at it and she ends up doing some pretty smooth crossovers at the end of practice. It just makes me feel like a proud mommy in some weird derby way! :p
We have been doing whips and such and a couple of those girls a showing some really blocker potential all ready. It's kind of weird training your future competition! :)

Time to get spooky
Tonight we are having a Halloween party. That Armorkillo's mom (who's lives in Texas) has sponsored for us! She has been sending boxes filled with Halloween decorations, candy and stuff like that. Super cool! So I will take this opportunity to give a big shout out from the amsterdam derby dames to Rosie Brittain!! Thanks 'mom' for making this party happen!!

- Furrrocious

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A minor setback....

The past week the Amsterdam Derby Dames have taken their minimum skills requirement WFTDA test.

We started on Thursday with all the parts of the test except endurance.
Almost everybody was so was pretty crazy...
We had our test in the small gym that we have been training in for the past 10 months.
Hunter S. Toss 'em, a ref from the Rat City Rollergirls, came out to help us out, which was awesome!! Thanks again so much Hunter.
So only two girls went into the hall at a time, and their where our 4 trainers and Hunter marking our performances. Two people grading one girl at all times.

We went by Derby name, so I was second in line together with Eliza Do-damage. It was so weird going in to the hall, that we have all gone into soooooo many times, but it was different this time, knowing you have to preform, even the things I was absolutely confident about, where just harder. And it showed... I felt like my overall performance sucked more then normal. At the beginning it was just stops and falls. But as soon as we got to part I was feeling most excited about, hitting and whipping, I got frustrated. This is normally that part of the skills I am pretty good at (at least for a newbie), and it did not go very well... It was weird doing hits and whips with someone I normally don't practice them with. Eliza Do-Damage is quite a bit shorter then me and I have been just practicing this for the past weeks with Lola Rock 'n' Rolla, who is almost the same length as me. So it felt weird, cause you only have that 'one moment' to show what you can do, and no time to get used to a new training partner. Of course in Roller Derby you need to be able to do this with everybody, girls in all shapes and sizes. But with this test, this was the part I felt really confident about, and it didn't go the way I thought it would, which made me so frustrated and mad. Mad at myself for not showing what I could do. All that frustration combined with my body again failing to keep up, was just to much, so I had my first WFTDA test nervous breakdown. And it sucked. I cried and screamed a little and then tried to calm down. Luckily Roller Derby is a team sport, and I have the best team mates a Derby girl could ask for! So I went for a smoke, calmed down and listened to some music, before I had to get back in there for the next part of the test.

During the test we had allot of waiting to do. And in the dressing room where we sat waiting our turns, we shared our nerves, experiences, and without being too gooey, I just cannot imagine how I would have done this without all of you rad ladies!

Me and Armorkillo doing our thing... :p

After our first part of the test, I was really bummed out, to say the least...
We all went for a beer together, and I had a great talk with Dirty Knickers (one of our trainers). Even though I still felt horrible afterwards, I was happy to have someone that has also been through this, and really understands, to talk too.
Up until friday night I was still really bummed out. I was glad to have band practice and put all my frustrations into the bass guitar and just have fun with my with my friends. The next morning though it was the second part of the WFTDA test. The thing I dreaded the most of all...endurance....
I all ready knew it was going to suck. But I was determined to make the best of it.
For those of you who don't know what this part of the test is about, I will explain. You have to make it around the official Roller Derby track 5 times in the first minute, and after that make another 20 rounds in the next 4 minutes. Which for most experienced skaters is not to much of a big deal, but for those starting out it's hard... All of the girls did amazing, even though all lot of them had a hard time too in the last couple of rounds, we all cheered them on and they kept going. It's was great. And then it was my turn.... I made it through the first minute making the 5 rounds. But that first minute was the only part of the test that I did well... My body would work with me, and after only a couple of minutes tears where streaming down my face... the frustration of not being able to do this, and my ankles and back hurting, was just to much. Of course I kept going the best I could while being as upset as I was. It must have been like a freaking movie scene. Me, trying to keep skating, while tears where running down my face.... I must have looked like an idiot...
But yeah I guess I just cannot really deal with the frustrations of not being able to do what I want to do most of all.
After having a couple of my best derby friends calmed me down I got dressed and went outside to smoke a cigarette (yeah I know, after failing my endurance test, I should know better then smoke...). The rest of team came out, and we heard we the trainers where counting all the scores, so we wouldn't have to wait for the results another day.
So except for 5 of us, the rest of the team past. I didn't, which I expected, but of course it still really sucked! The trainers told me I almost passed, so if I will work on a couple of things I will make it next time for sure. So I have got my work cut out for me the next 6 weeks or so. Train harder then ever, and have to get my ankles and hips checked out by a physical therapist, so I can make sure my body can keep up with the training. Cause I will get there, this is just a minor setback on my way to play Roller Derby!

Congratulations again to all my team mates that did make the test. And to those that didn't, we will get there next time and we will kick ass when we do!!

- Furrrocious

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

One more day till my first WFTDA skills test...

The past week we have been practicing hard for our upcoming WFTDA test tomorrow.
I think I would put it lightly when I say we are all a bit nervous... It's kind of nice to see that everybody is nervous, not just the less confident skaters, but even those who have nothing to worry about. I guess we all just really want to pass, and start really practicing.
So last week we started practicing hits, and seeing how that was new to me, it was all very exciting. Well it still is!

On Sunday we had an extra training day, unfortunately none of our trainers could be there. Yeah, it's weird but they have private lives to take care of too.... :)
So with the girls that where there we just trained ourselves. And it was good, we were in the big hall, so we had enough space to practice whatever we wanted. We pretty much practiced most of the things people were still insecure about. So of course we also did hits, the shoulder checks to be specific, cause we have only done those a few times. And it was fun! It's so funny to see how some girls are still very careful and don't put to much force behind there hits. Also some of us still turn around and stop if the other one falls down, even saying sorry. Well it was only a week ago that I was saying sorry to Dirty Knickers when she fell after a hit. But I think I got used to it pretty fast, because it's part of the game and we don't mean to hurt the other person, there is simply nothing aggressive about it, at least not in a negative way. Me and Lola Rock 'n' Rolla are really a good match for practice, we hit each other with a nice amount of force while speeding down the track. And it's great to get a forceful hit and take it without falling.

Monday night practice was a little less awesome... After a bout 5 minutes in to the warm up, my ankles were acting up again, and also my legs were so cramped I could hardly move them anymore. And that really sucked! It discouraged me, especially right before the test... It really sucks to notice my body doesn't seem to be able to handle the trainings a day after each other.
The rest of the week I am not training anymore till the test, just want to make sure my body is rested before the test. Also I finally called a physical therapist for my ankles and hips (those are also hurting lately)... It frustrates me when my body is hurting, because I do my very best to get in the best shape I can be in. But I will get it looked at and work my ass off to make it better.

After I rested a tiny bit and got over my frustrations, I joined the rest in the training. We went through some of the basic skills again, and worked on hits. We learned how to do hip checks, and I can now say I like shoulder checks better! Hip checks are cool too, don't get me wrong. But I think they are harder or something, or least need more practice then the shoulder checks.

After practice we talked through the WFTDA skills test. How it will go down, and all that. It's kind of scary that there will be two people just watching and grading you on your performance.
So we are doing everything except for the endurance part of the test tomorrow, and we'll do the endurance on Saturday in the big hall. Cause unfortunately we will be in the small gym tomorrow.

So to end this, the night before the big test. I would like to tell all my league girls that read this, WE CAN DO THIS!!! Let's show our trainers tomorrow that we kick ass!!

And to everybody who has been through this before, I know how we girls in Amsterdam feel, please think of us tomorrow.

- Furrrocious

Friday, October 8, 2010

I like to kick some ASS!!!

So last night we practiced in a new space. It's so nice to finally be in a space big enough to get some speed without being affraid of constantly skating into people or more importantly...walls!!
It's a nice space, the floor is wood and kind of bouncy, which is weird, but it skates just fine.

As we have been doing for the past months, we kept on practicing for our WFTDA test next week (now only 6 days away...). We tried to go through as much of the test as possible, focusing on whips and hits for a while, cause still allot of us, are not yet experienced in it.
And just as I thought.... I AM BORN TO BE A BLOCKER!!! YEAH!! :)
So me and my awesome Derby Wife (want to know what a derby wife is click here) Lola Rock 'n' Rolla paired up to practice hits. And let me tell you, we will kick all the tinny ass girls of the track. We started out skating up and hitting the other while she was standing still. Just to get the hang of it. After a few rounds of that we where slowly skating, and before I knew it we were skating pretty hard and hitting each other even harder. And it was the best feeling ever! I love hitting on the track. In real life I have never seriously hit anybody, I don't like violence at all, and a specially not the anger and hate that comes with it. But hitting on the track is so much different, it's part of the game, and it is so much fun!!
My whips are improving too, giving all your momentum to someone else is really cool. When you see them speeding of after giving them your all in your whip, is just great.

And you know what the best thing was during practice? When we were working on hits and whips, it's so much fun that I paid no attention at all to my tired body. It just didn't even occur to me to sit down or whine about being tired. Cause I just wanted to keep on going! Guess that's one of the reasons I want to play so bad. Because I know I will keep on going, because there is no better feeling in the world than playing. Yeah I know, it's sounds like I am totally obsessed... and you know what, I AM!! :p
Roller derby has giving me strength, confidence, athletics, fun, skills and lots of new great friends!

So a couple of weeks ago a part of our League went to Berlin to watch Berlin vs Essen. One of my team mates, Vegan Vengeance was cool enough to not only film during this awesome road trip. But also edit everything into a little movie! It's really cool.
And you can watch it here.

Well, I have got to go, cause having friends over for a pancake dinner! :)
More later.


Monday, October 4, 2010

8 more days till the wftda test....

To most experienced skaters this won't seem like a big deal. But doing my first wftda skills test totally is a big deal for me!
The first 6 months of my training I wasn't confident on my skates, couldn't keep up with my league mates and was just having a hard time getting my body to adjust to working out.
But a couple of months ago I seem to have finally made the 'click' (as Dirty Knickers calls it). Getting more confident on my skates, and getting my muscles into a state where they can handle (most of) the hard work needed to play Derby.

Last Monday me and Vegan Vengeance had a ' private' practice with two of our trainers. Unfortunately there is some kind of flue or something going around, so it was just us 4 at practice.
But it was nice for us. Cause we got allot of personal attention, which I definitely needed, just a week and half before our skills test...
So what we did Monday, was just go through the test, step by step. And we had Dirty Knickers checking our every move and giving us pointers.
The way it looks now, is that will be two things I will probably not get my full marks on. Which will be endurance... and weaving on one leg.
But I think I will do all right on the other skills, so I will hopefully still make it...

Training for this test has really been a personality check for me. I can get so incredibly frustrated when I can not do something... I have literally cried out frustration during practice. I just hope I will do well next week. It's not that I will quit, I simply cannot quit Roller Derby, definitely not before I have played a bout! But after training for 9 months, I just want to get closer to playing, and the idea of not passing, and having to start over practicing for the test, just makes me frustrated...
But we have 8 more days, three more practices, before the big day. So I will have to push myself just that little bit harder to get to where I need to be.

So tomorrow is another day of Roller Derby. We'll be practicing giving and receiving hits. Really looking forward to this. And there is a reason for it, other then I am looking forward to kick some ass! :p
I do not have the super jammer potential, I am not very fast, and it will probably take a while before I am. Which is fine. But it's nice to be good at something. And with my body type, hips and weight, I was born to be a blocker! :)
And I want to learn how to use this body of mine to my advantage. Kicking those skinny girls around the track is really something I am looking forward to. That sounds pretty brutal...haha..well I guess that's the cool thing about Roller Derby, we can be brutal on the track and still be 'nice girls'.

On a different note. I would like to thank all the 460 something people who have checked out my blog! I never thought there would be so many people reading it. And I have had allot of positive comments about it. It's crazy to see that there are people from the States, France, Germany and even Australia checking out this blog! So thanks again.