Yes, it has been too long, but I'm trying to write an honours thesis, so cut me a little slack!
So now, here I sit, uncomfortably typing with my beloved iPad way too close to my face because, once again, I am too much of a sucker to tell the dog to get off my lap. She's a 26kg Boxador who thinks she's a 2kg Toy Poodle. But that face...
Anyway, so the last few weeks have been crazy on account of me trying to get stuck into my thesis. It's going ok I think, I'm really enjoying writing the creative part - the exegetical elements loom though, and I am less than enthused. So, on account of the stupidly large break between my last post and this one, I will only focus on two things - Bonnie and Ringer and the bout we just had.
Bonnie D.Stroir is a badass roller derby skater and coach. She founded the San Diego Derby Dolls about 6 or 7 years ago and now travels about as a professional coach for leagues that take advantage of the crazy skills and mad knowledge that she brings. She is also the coach for team USA I'm pretty sure. So, no big deal...
Isabelle Ringer is a formidable blocker and wicked pivot, also skates for San Diego Derby Dolls, on their all star team and stuff... travels around showing derby fanatics how to pivot like a master...
So we enlisted them to come to Radelaide and pass on some sweet sweet skills. This occurred over the Easter weekend and the following week. Now, I think that we have a fantastic and committed training committee in ADRD, but it's always great to learn new things and as a coach myself - I always relished the chance to learn more that I could pass on to my skaters. My first lesson was with Ringer - a pivoting workshop. It was so informative, and presented in steps so appropriate that I didn't freak out as I tend to do when I can't understand stuff, which is most of the time. As someone who has a bit of a funky knee at the mo, I was stoked also that she showed us how to cool down properly at the end of our session.
That afternoon I went to Bonnie's class and the first thing I learnt - she don't take no shit! No talking in class - I was stoked - she placed a lot of importance on respecting the trainer which we really need to do more often. She also had a wicked way of instructing, she would show us stuff, explain it, get us to do it, then get us to write it down, which was my favorite part cos I always forget shit.
The coolest thing about these girls is that they're very grounded. Yes, in the derby world they are famous. Yes, they can smash any of us six ways from Sunday, but they're just chicks like us who've been doing this gig a long time. They are super friendly and approachable and I thoroughly recommend their services.
My favorite thing from the whole week was in our second-last training with them. I hadn't noticed that I'd been starting to take stuff pretty seriously, and was putting a lot of pressure on myself to perform, especially in those sessions. As a result, I was skating like I did about a month after I started derby. I was less than enthused. After a particularly pooish jam, I sat down, incensed. Bonnie asked me what was wrong. I said 'I'm just pissed with myself, and the madder I get, the worse I play.' She replied 'you know what I do when I have a bad jam? I go out and have a better one.' So I did. After that day I had to remind myself why I play derby and that it's dumb to put that much pressure on myself for a game. I'm not a big fan of saying that someone 'changed my life', cos actually nobody has that power - we have to change our lives ourselves, but sometimes people can show other people tools that they can use to make changes they want. I got some things from that week that I won't forget and that I'll use not only in derby but my life. That girl knows some seriously cool stuff. Look Bonnie up on YouTube, she has some wicked instructional videos. Also, you can find her blog here.
Ok, so now onto the bout. We were pitted against the Salty Dolls this past Saturday night. Like I mentioned earlier, I was sick of pressure - that's why I quit hockey, it just wasn't fun anymore. I would be pretty sad if that happened to me with derby. So, I just decided that I wasn't going to feel any pressure or nerves. Sometimes I can be surprisingly masterful like that, other times I get my head stuck in stair railings. Anyway, so I wasn't nervous, honestly. I love this game. This game... I went into it like each of my bouts last year - with the attitude that all I could do is play my best for my team, nobody can ever ask me for more. If we won, good, if we lost, no big deal, I would have still had a great fun time with my mates. It was so awesome to just have fun and not stress.
The Salties were looking great from the start. The coolest thing - their skate out. The uncoolest thing - I thought of it a month ago but my team didn't go for it! Poo. Anyway, they looked so freaky and cool, all in matching doll masks, so deliciously creepy!
We always knew it was going to be a battle and it sure was. The Salties have lightning jammers and relentless blockers. Both teams had to nickel and dime like nobody's business and the lead changed several times. For the first time in ages, there was not only one ejection, but two - Blue Wrenegade from the Dolls and our own Violent Krumble. Like usual, I can't remember bugger all, it all happens so fast. One thing I can remember is my first jam as jammer - I got lead and as I burst from the track I was feeling so passionate I let out some kind of roar, or something... To all the people sitting between corner 3 and 4 I apologise if I freaked you out.
Anyway, we went into the second half trailing by six, I think. Again, a tough slog, penalties galore and all of a sudden we were trailing by almost twenty. It seemed pretty cut and dried, then Kit Cat went out to jam and narrowed it to 11, the Salties jammer was sent off. A glimmer of hope flared, but then next jam we lost our jammer to the box and it was all over - 99-83.
So, we didn't win, but I did skate my hardest and I did have fun, so I was happy and then I partied accordingly...
Like usual, we went to the Wheaty for some drinks first. I was on the house white, cos I can't drink beer or cider anymore on account of my most irritable bowel. I copped shit for drinking it with my pinky up (which I was oblivious to) from some super cool derby chicks I met from Broken Hill - they'd driven FIVE hours to watch our bout.
Then, I entered a 'whose ass is harder' competition with Em Shazzam from Murder City. I'm pretty sure I won, well at least that's how how I remember it.
There was also some questionable dancing going on, and for a change it wasn't me. Why do old people dance with mostly their arms? Flailing is not dancing.
From there we went to the Squatters Arms, where there was a band playing. I held her drinks as Guns, the smallest player in our league smashed it up in the mosh pit. She launched herself off stacks into the crowd! She is a funny bastard.
From there, things get hazy. I was just very inebriated. We went to LaSing, which was packed. I think I sang, badly as usual. Then allegedly Caddy and I were talking about something and I burst out with laughter, launching (in her words) a half-masticated potato wedge onto her bare forearm. She says she was literally rofling. I cannot remember the drive home (in a taxi naturally), or getting home, but the next morning I awoke feeling like I had been ten rounds with that chick that takes the beaver tranquilisers in Dodge Ball, and I wasn't wearing any pants. I asked Kat about that last part as I scanned the floor strewn with my discarded sweater, boutfit and skins. She told me that she offered me her trackies, but I shouted at her 'NO!! I HATE YOUR TRACK PANTS!!' so she left me be. As she told me this, i started to laugh, and she said 'you were so bitch last night' lol
Well, that's about it. Mondays are for shopping, cleaning and blog writing, so I can tick that off my list and go cook a steak and shove it in my face.
Skate more, stress less!