Mary Lee's Fresh Meat Journey, Pt. 4: Boot Camp, Week Two

This is part of a series by Fresh Meat skater Mary Lee, who is documenting her evolution from derby dreamer to derby athlete, continuing here in the A2D2 blog.

March 8, 2015 -- In the first thirty minutes of this practice we went through the normal warm-ups and EVERYTHING we’ve covered in the other practices.  I’m starting to pick these skills up more quickly and I’m starting to not overthink them, except plow stop.  Plow stops are evil and don’t want me to be happy. They’re like rebellious teenagers, I tell my legs and feet to do plow stop and they just say “nope” and do what they want.  Thankfully, we had some small group work on a few skills today and plow stop was one of them, still not great at it but at least I’m making progress. The secret, like with most things we’ve learned, is squatting lower.  

Today at practice, we’ve started practicing something that touches on one of those ingrained fears: turning into the unknown. Well, the unknown is turning around 180 and facing the opposite direction. I’ve just started to feel like I’m getting my bearings and some control facing forward and we are now going to transition into backwards. What I learned from week 1 is that I’m not very good at going backwards, so this whole transition thing is touching on a few of my weaknesses. Standing still and just turning around, I’m fine, but when you add forward momentum followed by turning, and my mind goes into its crazy anxiety place.  This skill is going to either get the best of me or make me a stronger more confident skater, let’s hope for the latter. 

March 11, 2015 -- If you are counting official practices, our fresh meat group has only been on our skates for six hours coming into today’s practice. That feels very hard to believe since we’ve come a LONG way since the first practice. Then, I took a look at the requirements for the skill test and was overwhelmed by all the skills we have to perform, not just perform them, but do them in a specific time or in a skillful way.  Also, at the end of our practice today the Bruisers and Brawlstars were scrimmaging, and dang they are awesome. Some of the hits sounded like football hits. I turned around expecting to see someone laid out on the floor maybe bleeding or unconscious, but everyone was up skating full speed. (My mind was a bit blown!)

I felt a bit better when I realized that we still have 16 weeks of fresh meat boot camp, and if I’m able to keep progressing I might just make my goal. Instead of being overwhelmed by everything I need to learn, I’m going to be proud of the small accomplishments along the way. 

One of the other fun things I’ve found about roller derby is that there are so many different kinds of extra gear you can get. As a bit of a gear-geek this is heaven, but as a budget conscious adult this is where I have to reign myself in and not over do it. So instead of rushing out and buying the new toe stops I’ve been eyeing I borrowed some from a vet. All the vets have been so helpful in figuring out what I might need and what is the best brand or type of gear.   

Week 2 is over and there is so much more to learn, but for now just keep skating.

I'm Mary Lee. I'm an aspiring Derby girl (currently a fresh meat skater), a scientist, a runner, a reader, and a dog snuggler. I like Harry Potter, A Song of Ice and Fire, a good BBC mystery show, and Oxford commas.

Posted on March 25, 2015 .