Monday, September 02, 2013

What do I in my spare time? I'm in Roller Derby boot camp!

Hello friends!

Today's post is about roller derby, and more precisely, the boot camp in which I've joined. A few times I've thought about joining the league, but never really knew how to go about it. The Montreal Roller Derby website didn't have any information on that. One day I met someone who actually played roller derby, and I told her I wanted to play and she told me boot camp was starting in a few weeks. My next challenge was to find decent skates and gear without breaking the bank. When I checked out Montreal's skate shop Neon Skates, I was floored by the prices of their rookie packages. All the gear AND skates for the low (but not really) price of $280. Lucky for me, there was a girl in the league on the same team as my friend who was quitting, and she was selling her gear. Thankfully her skates fit (yay!!) and they're actually decent, going for $320 brand new. I was able to buy her entire gear for $150. Now that's a price I can live with. :)

Next is boot camp. Boot camp is a grueling 2.5 months of drills, practices and so forth, and there are 4 levels. Each level is tested, and a girl must pass the test before continuing on.

Right now we've started Level 1. Here's what we have to learn...

– Skating posture and stride
– Crossovers
– Speed and endurance (27 laps in 5 minutes, 1 lap within 13 seconds from standstill)
– Complete stops (T-stops and snow plows)
– Single foot glides (balance)
– Sticky skates
– Quick lane changes (slicing and crossovers)
– Backwards skating around track

I'm finding keeping the proper stance difficult, because it requires constant reminding on my part. I have to bend a lot because I'm tall! Of this entire list in Level 1, I'm able to do everything but 2 things well. When it comes to slicing, I can do it going right, but as soon as I have to turn and use my left side to propel me my skates get stuck on the track! Haha. One of the trainers suggested I use my boobs and my pointers, and turn them and I should go with them. It's a very amusing way to say turn your shoulders in the direction you want to turn Quick lane changes involving slicing, and the endurance test of 27 laps in 5 minutes. The Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) changed the rules from 25 laps to 27 laps. I believe that was done this year (or last). This is probably the scariest thing I have to do in all the tests, and the one thing that most people fail. Yesterday we did our first time trials to see how we did, and I managed to do 22 laps in 5 minutes. I'd say that's not bad for my first time skating around the flat track! If it wasn't for my left leg getting so exhausted, I might have been able to get 24 or even 25 laps. Today I'm resting, and tomorrow at practice I'm going to give it my all again, and then again on Thursday then Saturday! :) I shall pass Level 1 if it kills me (not literally).

Yesterday after the grueling lap runs, we did what the trainers called "happy fun time" pyramid races. We each had a partner, and we had to skate (on the track outside of the derby track - which is way bigger) each 1 lap, then 2, then 3, then 4, then 5 and then back down... 5, 4. 3, 2, 1 taking turns. Whoooo. The stops coming out of the lap at full speed can be tricky. I 'took a knee' which means I fell on my knee pads, but ended up skidding a good 10 feet in the process, and almost always turning onto my left hip. Let's just say without padded shorts, this consistent impact has bruised my pelvis. It is not happy with me. But right now I'm not going to buy padded shorts unless I make it. No point in wasting dollars I don't really have on gear I may not use. The best I can do is ice my spots, and take it easy and rest in between practices. :)

I'll keep you all posted on my progress. My level 1 testing is happening on September 10th, and there's a retest on September 15th for stuff I failed during the first testing. I'm going to push myself as hard as I can so I won't need it (cause it's the last day of Comiccon, and that means my buddy Luca will have to pack up my stuff for me), but I may very well need to go. 

Wish me luck, and have a great holiday Monday!!

Not the best hair! :) haha