Friday, July 29, 2011

Working through the frustration

RollerCon: day 2

After the bit of partying I did on the first day of RollerCon. Day two didn't start out all to early...

The first thing I did was meet up with Jennifer from Fast Girl Skates to meet about upgrading my skates, with a better and more durable plate. Being a big girl, at 105kg, my nylon plate is not made for me. Unfortunately the plate I want to get is not available at RollerCon, but luckily Jennifer has it at her store in Seattle. So she will take my skates Sunday, mount the new plates and send them to my family in Texas, so I'll still be able to take them with me next week.
I love Fast Girl Skates, they are not only helping you to get what fits you best, but they want to educate you on your skates and everything there is to know about wheels, bearings, plates, etc. And for me that is great. Cause to be honest, I don't know anything about skates. I mean I know more then I did when I started. But there is so much I didn't know yet.

After that I woke up looking at different challenge bouts. And oh my gosh it's so good to watch these talented skaters play!!
We still have a long way to go. But in such a positive way, we can only get better! And we have a goal to aim for too. It's inspiring to be here.

After I woke up watching those games and getting inspired, I was ready to take a class again. And I went to an international class by Trish the Dish. International classes at RollerCon are totally amazing by the way, the have one each day, where people with an international passport and people from Hawaii and Alaska get in before anybody else. Which is pretty awesome.
Anyways, the class was all about hitting and timing and working together and positioning yourself in a pack.
Trish the Dish is pretty fucking amazing. And I was happy I decided to go to her class.
Unfortunately the thing I've been afraid of before I came here happened. My ankles played up again. Within ten minutes my ankles were hurting so bad I had to stop. I am still officially not sure what it is. But it might be shin splints, but then on the sides of my legs, mostly at the ankles height. One of the worst things about this pain is that you never know when it will come. Cause I skated all day Monday, with in total maybe 5 min of pain, and I was able to continue after that.
This time I wasn't that lucky... Asa Spades was there as an EMT and helped me stretching both my legs. Which usually helps. And it did for a little bit, so I went back in but with in 5 min I had to stop again.
I cried... I get so frustrated when my body doesn't want to work with my mind wants it to do.
As I see it we have several stages to work through while on our way to play Roller Derby and for some these stages might not apply as much as for others. But they are there for all.
We have to work through getting fit, roller derby is much more of an athletic sport then people think or realize. And getting your body to be able to deal with all the hard work and training is especially hard for people with no athletic background.
Then working through frustration... This happens in so many levels. Getting frustrated with yourself for not being the best player you want to and can be. Getting frustrated with your body, pain and injuries...
It's a lot to deal with.

After I decided it might be better to take it easy and not skate the rest of the day (which isn't an easy decision to make...) I enjoyed the rest of the day by watching the rest of that class (which was absolutely amazing. Learned lots. Fun new drills Hayles!!), watching bouts and scrimmages.
Also I did lots of talking again! :)
I met so many great people!!

Fisty and ChefX inline for the black and white scrimmage.

At night there are so many things going on at the same time. There was a pajama party from Riedell. Which I missed cause I was at the scrimmage. There was an 80 dance party, which wasn't really my thing. And then the pool is open 24hr a day especially for RollerCon.
I ended up at the pool, and hung out with our delegation from Gent, Rotterdam, Essen and Berlin!

Whipping red siren won this great Riedell skate bag at the pajama party.

I skate Europe!! :)

Pool party!!

Of course we had way to much fun in the pool. A small group of about 15 people ended up playing in the pool with a ball (yeah, we might not like a ball on our track, but we sure like it in our pools! :p ) for hours. Never thought playing with a ball could be that entertaining for that long. :)

It was a great night. And I am sure the black and blue ball next to the pool will be amazing too! :)

Now I am off to see an EMT cause I got a skate on the inside of my ankle Wednesday and it really kind of hurts.... Let's just hope I'll be able to skate today....

- Furrrocious

Thursday, July 28, 2011

"You practice how you play"

Day 3 of Vegas, day 1 of RollerCon

It was hard to fall a sleep last night. A mixture of child like excitement overtook me before falling a sleep. As kid I always had a hard time falling a sleep if I was over excited, you like with Christmas or a Birthday.
My feeling of excitement wasn't any less then when I was a kid. Nervous about my very first challenge bout and just excited about what the day would bring.

At 7 my alarm went off, and the day officially started!! :)
Getting all my stuff together and putting on everything PINK! Yes, pink! Cause I played in a girls vs boys team and of course we were wearing pink!

After having a healthy breakfast me, ChefX and Die went to the hall. And that's when it started to get overwhelming...

The main hall here at RollerCon has several tracks, one big official sized track where the challenge bouts scrimmage are played. It's a sports court floor that is removable. Really cool, but weird to skate on. The big track has wood underneath, which makes the skating pretty nice. But it's a weird combination between being grippy and slippery.

Anyways, to go back to the story, the challenge bout started at 10.00. So warm up was at 9.30.
A challenge bout is not the full time like a normal bout. So it went really quick. Also you don't play with 14 girls, but with 20. So more people get a change to play. Which makes total sense. But it did make the whole thing go by even quicker!
It was lots of fun playing against guys. Even though I am not that experienced I stood my ground. And I didn't do all that bad.

It's kind of hard to see, but that pivot with the pink shirt and blue shorts is me! :)

After the challenge bout we directly got tickets for the next class we wanted to take. Which was 'Baby's got back' a booty blocking class by Quadzilla.

The class mainly focussed on how to use your booty and back while blocking.
The floor was really sucky, because this sports court floor was not on top of wood (like the main track), but on top of carpet. So it was really grippy and hard to skate on. But it was a great class. And I learned new useful skills.

One of the rooms for the classes.

After we got done with the booty block class (which was a hour and a half long) we again got tickets for a Quadzilla class. This time it was the class 'is a bird showing of when it flies?'.
For those who ever saw Quadzilla skate, might guess what this class was about. Quadzilla was basically born on skates and is a phenomenal skater. He can basically do what ever he wants to on skates....
But what this class was about was agility and jumps and stuff like that. But not just how to move your feet, but also really about why and when to move your feet! Therefore if you spin around somebody when they are trying to block you, you understand it's because you are doing everything possible to not get hit and/or smacked to the ground and not because you are showing off!

This two hour class was gonna be rough, and I knew it. I all ready had some problems with my ankles and with that floor being crappy and Quadzilla not training for the fainthearted, I was thinking that I should maybe just not do the class. But then again, I didn't go to RollerCon to sit out, I came here to learn and better myself as a skater.
So I pushed myself to do it. We started with jumping and footwork/agility. I'm not the most agile skater on the planet and I know that it is one of the things I need to work on more then anything.
So when we started with all the footwork it was, well let's say hard for me...
I had to drop out a few times, because of being hurt/exhausted or frustrated. But I didn't quit, I kept going back in. And because of what Quadzilla said to the class, "get out of your comfort zone! - "when you fall down, that means you are learning!" I pushed my self to try harder. And I did. I ended up doing things I would have never thought I could do.
And at the end of the class I was exhausted and incredibly exhilarated!
I went up to Quadzilla and thanked him for the great class. And even though he didn't know, he pushed me to do things I never thought I would be able to do!

Me and Quadzilla.

The rest of the day, I didn't attend any more classes, cause I was exhausted and my ankles were sore.
But I watched some challenge bouts and the black ad white scrimmage at the end of the day.

At night I went to the Pub in the hotel to go to the dance of pants off party and witnessed some American derby girls partying.... Oh my..... Those girls know how to party!! :)
It was great to meet Dr. No-No at the party, the great lovely head ref from Bear City Rollergirls (Berlin).
We hung out and ended up behind a slot machine.....
Oh was a crazy ride. Never gambled before, the free drinks and lights and sounds of Vegas lured me in. :) I met Asa Spades, Whipping Red Siren (both Rotterdam) and Sandra Buttblock (Gent) and we got into the had fun! I won a whole bunch and of course lost all of it too! :p

Me and Asa Spades!

It was a great and overwhelming day. And loved every second of it.

- Furrrocious

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Northern connection

Day 1: The sequel...

Last night, after I wrote my blog,
I went outside to smoke and saw a couple of girls sitting next to the pool talking. One of them walked by a little later and I instantly recognized her hat, the 'Stockholm hat'. If you have been to bouts in Europe you will see this group of girls sitting there, mostly Malmö girls, but all wearing these same hats. The Stockholm roller derby hat! :) So I talked to her and joined them next to the pool. And that is how I met Fisty (Sweden) and JJ (Denmark). We talked for a long time, mostly about roller derby of course, and it was nice having good company one my first night in Vegas.

Me and Fisty found out that they have colored sugar in Vegas, which is pretty much the most bizarre thing ever.

Around 1 in the morning my roommates DI Die and ChefX from Devil Dolls Essen arrived. After a trip of about 24hr they finally made it to Vegas! And it was great to see them again. So of course we went outside again an hung out next to that same pool again. :)

Day 2

I was beat! After not sleeping much before coming to Vegas and then staying up late talking, I was in need of lots of sleep. So when DI and Chef got up butt fuck early...I turned around and went back to sleep for a little longer.
Around 10 a decided it was time to get up and start doing things. Of course I had some derby mail to deal with first. ;) I miss my ADD girls so much!!! Wish you could have all been here.
After the morning rituals I went to see if registration was open yet, and I was happily surprised to see it was. An hour earlier then expected! So I got my registration fixed and my insurance.
RollerCon is so well organized!! The volunteers work their asses off. There were goodie bags for everybody, with great program books and other stuff. It's just crazy!

My MVP sticker on my helmet.

That's me!!! Now I can get in everywhere (if I am on time and there are still spots available...)

The program book! Which looks amazing by the way.

At registration I met my friend and fellow league president from the Rotterdam Death Row honeys, Asa Spades.
After hanging out with Asa we ran in to our new Northern friends JJ and Fisty. And we basically hung out and enjoyed our selves in the pool all day, together with the other swedes and Germans. It was our own little European take over of the pool and we were getting whistled at by the life guard a lot........ :)

In the evening I had to go to a meeting from my challenge bout team, Sugar and Spice.
It was good to see all the girls. And it's fun to be in such a mixed group of people.
My derby name for this challenge bout is Jawbreaker. And I had to fix a shirt. Cause our color is pink.... And I really don't have that much pink in my wardrobe. :)

Now I need to get some sleep as I need to kick some boy ass tomorrow! :p

- Furrrocious

Monday, July 25, 2011

RollerCon here I come!!!

Day one
After packing about 10 Amsterdam Derby Dames tank tops (with of course my name and number on the back!), 15 pairs of socks and a whole bunch of other stuff, my uncle took me to the airport this morning.

Going through security has never been this fun! My carry contained my skates and the TSA guy checking all the bags said "wow, nice skates, do you play Roller Derby?".
Now this might not seem strange to anybody in the US. But being from Europe, nobody knows what Roller Derby is, definitely not a guy working at airport security. But here they knew, not just him, but a whole conversation got started on me playing roller derby. Especially because my bag had to be checked. I thought my skates were going to be the problem, but I forgot about a bottle of water that was in the merch bag I stuffed in there last night. :)
So they guy took it out and all was fine. Before I left, he asked me one more question: "so you're a blocker right? I bet those skinny girls fly right off of you!".
And that was the start of my trip.

On the flight (only 2,5 hours) I was able to read up on my derby, in five on five magazine!
But derby couldn't keep my eye in the magazine once we started flying over the dessert and some of the most amazing sights were right there outside my little plane window

We were supposed to be able to see the grand canyon, but it was a little to cloudy. Maybe on the way back. Still the view from the plane was amazing.

Once at the airport in Vegas, it was so funny, I felt like a little kid in a candy store looking around at all those buildings I've seen in so many movies. The MGM, the Bellagio, the Luxor, pretty wild stuff!
But the very first thing I saw coming out of the airport was this

That just cracked me up!! The first thing I see in Las Vegas is a reference to something DUTCH! :)

When I got to the hotel Riviera there where some problems with checking in, but the lady behind the counter was super sweet and hooked us up with a really nice clean non smoking room. The first we had was smoking...and was just disgusting! Crazy thing about Vegas, you need to pay extra for non-smoking!! But as I said the lady hooked us up, so we didn't have to pay that much extra for a cleaner nicer room!

In the meanwhile the riviera is filling up with derby girls and boys. I have all ready met a few different people from the US and from Australia.
It funny when you look around the hotel lobby, you see all these different derby shirts and derby names printed on peoples shirts.
I have never been around as many derby people as I will be this week. And I've got a feeling this will be amazing and overwhelming!! :)

- Furrrocious

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Hotter then hell....

Last saturday I arrived in the USA to visit family in Texas. One of the things I did this last week was I went to a roller rink to skate! It's funny how we are not used to having these in the Netherlands (except for the one in Eindhoven..).
It was great skating around in the rink, but pretty soon after I got there, a lot of kids showed up, and I couldnt really skate fast or anything like that. But I started helping this little boy that was on skates for the first time, and skated backwards the whole time, so it ended up still being a good practice! :) 

Today I went to Lawton Oklahoma, to skate with Lawton Roller Girls - 580 Roller girls. 
No you have to understand, it's hot in Texas and Oklahoma, like 100/105, which is around 40/45 degrees celsius!! In Holland it will get up to 30 degrees every once and a while! So you can understand that for me, coming from Holland, I was NOT used to this heat. 
And after the warm up drill I almost passed out. Everything was turning black in front of my eyes and I was feeling sick. I sat down and one of the girls made sure that I got a ice pack to cool down and gave me a drink. By that time I all ready drunk about 3 liters of water. But I was losing more fluids sweating then I could drink water.

About 20 min after I felt like passing out, I was able to get back on the track and continue skating. I was happy I was able to, cause I was afraid I was going to have to stop totally, and that would have really sucked. 

The Lawton Roller girls are super awesome sweet girls!! I cannot wait to get out there again next week and skate with them.

I was a great lesson today, hydration is not a thing to take for granted!!! 

Now I need to get some sleep, cause tomorrow I am off to Austin to go to the Austin vs Denver bout on saturday. I cannot wait. This trip is just amazing!! :)