Sunday, 27 February 2011

congratulations on not totally panicking!

Saturday - woke up, head like an empty bucket, legs aching, alarm telling me its 7am and to shift my carcass. So I get up/washed/dressed and mooch downstairs looking at the weather and pondering on going back to bed - scrap that! Get a grip girl you need all the practice you can get! SO porridge eaten, coffee drank and off to meet the wife for travelling. Buses have decided to scrap their day ticket so that means its more expensive to get to Cardiff than before - bad times!

We arrive unscathed at Channel View and the only thing I notice is how cold it is and how much I'm yawning! Pads and skates on, warm up laps commence - I immediately notice and prefer how my wheels react to this floor! Some nice stretches and we were straight into practice for cross overs again. The right leg pushing I've got down, the left leg sweeping behind is going to take a lot more getting used to to actually get my leg to where it should be! After a few laps both ways of that, Mrs Baxter decides we're going to be set off in 3's to do 5 laps to put the practice into theory - apparently my crossovers aren't as bad as I thought, I just need to get my stride a little bigger and get lower into derby stance :) After we'd all taken a turn at that it was decided that the girls struggling more with their derby stance would be trolley dollied by those who were more able and forced into the correct stance for 5 laps. Good practice - I admit I was a little nervous to be paired with Abadabadoo but she put me straight at ease and into the correct positioning (which I promise to practise). Ok we got a little bit of a head start to get some space and it did surprise me how low you really had to be - although I certainly felt the difference both on my sjates and in my legs lol. We got to lap 4 and we started to pick up pace - turns out my lovely wifey Rhayfen decided to join in and push Abadabadoo to speed us up even further! I admit, I panicked! When you're not used to going that fast its a natural reaction and I guess its also because I didn't want to totally spaz out and let down the fab 2 working with me, what I do remember as we finished lap 5 is Mrs Baxter saying well done on not totally panicking lol.

From there we were split into 2 groups - the more and less able skaters. No prizes for guessing which group I was in lol - our task was to work on our weaving (as per min skills req.) and skating on one foot. After that I was asked to go through some falls drills with the newer girls which after some practise we incorporated into a game. To finish off we did a little passive blocking and skating shoulder to shoulder to get used to having people in that close a proximity.

Session finished, stretches and cool down completed and myself, Rhayfen and T Licious headed into the city centre - I wont bore you with details but we wreaked havoc in Pro Line and after T went on her way, the wife and I hit Spud U Like and You Moo (I need more MOO!!) before heading home.

Thats all for now, I think I'm getting a wee bit better, at least I hope so!


Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Going for it and through it

A week of non skating is enough to drive anyone nuts, right? After the weekends fun I was looking forward to getting on my skates and trying out my new Fugi wheel set up on the Glan Hafren floor. As per usual my eldest was late home, leading to usual back and forth messages in the car on the way, one day that boy will learn to listen and tell the time!

Anyways, we'd been told we had the hall for 3 hours of skatey goodness instead of the usual two - whoop whoop! We'd also been told we'd be working on some pack work in preparation for our upcoming intra-leagues. Awesome! After seeing the bouts at the weekend I was looking forward to actually giving some stuff a go. After warm ups/stretches I separated off with the beginners and T-Licious to work on my skating technique and stopping, everything seems to be falling into place slowly except for the T stops which I am becoming increasingly frustrated at my own stupidity with. Moving on....the rest of the group was doing timed laps and once they were finished we were told to give it a shot, although we were a larger group so we'd have to be careful! Our aim was 5 laps in 1 minute, I admit I wasn't overly confident BUT manages to think on my feet when one of the girls fell in front of me and got 3 laps in 1 so not too bad :)

From there we were doing some passive blocking (if you had your gum-shields with you) and where I'd have usually stepped away to practise my skating, this time I grabbed my gum-shield and stayed put! We took turns at swapping in and out and trying different blocker positions - I much preferred being a B3 even if I have to work on my blocking and shouting in a gum shield, I am definitely not a B2! Watching some of the better girls was very inspiring and I didn't feel as much of a spare part this session.

The awesome Dave was there to get some test shots of the girls as we are going to be working on a project with him and he also grabbed some head-shots of myself, Rhayfen and T Licious which was a good giggle ( he was such a good sport!)

Time for some cool down laps skating in the opposite direction and after a few I could hear T Licious yelling from the side line 'soft knees, bigger strides, get it going girl!' so that's what I did and it was the quickest I'd skated all night (you know, when you can hear the air wooshing past your ears lol) We've figured out I've got a few 'mental issues' to get over (no comments please lol) - I am very hard on myself for not being able to transfer ice skating skills over to roller skating - saying that I could practise for hours on end daily on ice, where's the roller rink for the same thing in Wales people???? I think I may also have to take some more hits and meet the floor a little more often, being scared of looking stupid is really holding me back but I have to accept its gonna happen in order to improve!

Anyway, I think that's enough from me now, don't forget to check the link people


Monday, 21 February 2011

Road Trip!

Last Saturday saw a group of CRoC's going to watch a double header of derby goodness in Birmingham. Our Small travel group consisted of the usual suspects that travel together on a Monday to training with the exception of my hubby who was coming along 'to see what this derby stuff was all about' - I wont bore you with the travel shenanigans, it was the usual banter with a bit of YouTube craziness thrown in.

After arriving at Cocks Moors Leisure Centre, we filed in, got our hand stamps and pootered off to get a good seat (right at the top was the decision!) at which point we met up with Mrs Baxter with her Pygmy CRoCs and Aoife. Having already clocked the merch stalls I sneaked off for some retail therapy, t-shirts are my thing at the moment so I had to add the CCRG and Dublin Rollergirls ones to my collection right? Sadly RWRG didn't bring any merch with them but there's always another event.

And so to bout 1 - Central City Slaybelles vs Dublin Roller Girls - this was Dublins debut bout and I believe also the first bout for CCR's Slaybells (correct me if I'm wrong please). The bout got off to a good start and although I may not be able to give a blow by blow of what happened I can tell you what I observed - there was alot of 'coasting' going on in the corners which confused me as I'd thought you'd put alot of effort into them and coast the straights, saying that there were a few times I'd noticed that crossovers seemed to be completely optional and that's where I think CCRG were getting the upper hand. Dublin were playing a very nippy game but CCRG seemed more technically proficient. The penalty box was nice and full at points lol and there seemed to be a bit of confusion when there were 2 jammers there at any one time in getting the other back out quickly. Team Zebra did their job extremely well and all in all it was a great debut bout. The only other thing I'd say, not just to the ladies that were playing but to any jammers out there is if you're gonna call off the jam make your signals nice and big so they get noticed quickly! Final score CCRG 106 - DRG 46

Half time hi jinx included getting a shout out to Cardiff City
Roller Girls (hahaha wrong!) and also Rhayfen getting her wonderful
homemade sign read out "I love my ladybrother Jinx'em G"
as well as hunting down snacks lol.

Bout 2 - Belles of Centrinnians vs Royal Windsor Roller Girls - as much
as we enjoyed the debut bout, we were looking forward to seeing this
one aswe knew it would be a faster paced game. I'd heard alot
about RWRG however CCRG seemed to dominate from the
beginning. The crowd seemed more 'into' this bout and RWRG's fan
section were even wearing gold crowns - team love at its finest!
The pack work and footwork of both teams was great to watch,
it was good to see what we'd been learning
about in our training sessions in practise with experienced teams!
Unfortunately, with the faster paced game came injury -
Loopy Lucy (14) of RWRG took a tumble backwards on to
the small of her back and you could see she was in serious pain!
The game stopped and after the medics assessed the situation she
was able to get up and back to the team bench with a huge round of
applause (even if the medic in my head
was grumbling about moving and back injuries!) Hope it
was nothing serious and you have a swift recovery Lucy!
Standout skaters in this bout for me have to be Viv La France,
Madame Flutterbye (my derby role model now!)
and Tragic Wrath for CCRG with Ann Dracula and Liddy Savage
being the 2 for RWRG that most caught my attention!
With a final score of CCRG 156 - RWRG 48 the
home teams were 2 for 2! It's amazing when you realise
how much you've actually learned about the sport just by sitting
and watching and I definitely came away much more inspired.

Thanks for a great day out to all teams concerned!


Sunday, 13 February 2011

Party time!

and so to the Saturday evening event that was the CRoC launch party! After picking up the wife en route who was in full 17th century style dress we headed to the venue to get decorated/organised. Balancing cupcakes in boxes in a bag as well as having my dear OH lugging a bag full of random stuff, Rhayfen and myself being the classy ladies we are drinking cherry lambrini from the bottle we eventually arrived and headed upstairs to help. Blue satin, paper chains, balloons - we know how to rock it! Merch stall looking fab, raffle prizes a plenty and CRoC voting 'station' set up (read 5 pint glasses and some slips of paper) we were good to go - in case you're wondering, we had 5 categories to vote for : Most Improved, Best Blocker, Most Aggressive, Penalty Princess and Most Spectacular Fall.

People arrived, those who didn't heed the warning of 'wear a mask or get a fine' were made to cough up and the stall steadily picked up pace. It was great to see the girls having fun and fantastic that some of the Tiger Bay Brawlers were able to come help us celebrate our launch, much derby love ladies! Anyway the night progressed, bands played, the DJ span some tunes and then to the 'Awards' - hige congrats to the ladies who won, all very well deserved -

Best Blocker - Mrs Baxter
Most Aggressive - NiKilla
Penalty Princess - Rhayfen
Most Improved CRoC - Jinx'em G
Most Spectacular Fall - Jasmina Poison

Then came the special award for all round awesomeness as voted on by 'The Management' - The Golden Wheel went to Grazed Anatomy, again well deserved and she was so chuffed!

OK I'm gonna be honest with you, I can't remember everything, I remember the raffle as I won 2 prizes (woohoooo!) and discussing food and getting home with the OH and wife which actually ended up with us getting corn and chicken and rolling up at The Hollybush Inn - good times!

I'm sure memories will come flooding back when the pics start coming out of the woodwork, oh and the videos! Needless to say, CRoC Rocked!


Rollin, rollin, rollin.....

or you'd think so right, given that I've got ace new wheels :) Saturday saw me skating wifeless but that was OK as I was meeting lady brother Jinx :D The lovely Mrs Baxter was giving us a lift to Chanel View and when we got there it wasn't as cold as it usually was which was nice. After a little bit of chat while we padded up we went off to do our warm up laps. Hmmm, OK a bit of a wobble but new wheels means its to be expected right? T Licious tightens them up slightly as I've yet to manage to get my wheels set right and we go off to finish warm ups and stretching.

It was decided today's focus would be on fitness and cross overs/cross over training, awesome! After some 'fitness' skating and the dreaded planks we continued putting into practise what we had learned on Mondays session going in both clockwise and anti clockwise direction, after this we gathered into the centre and get set off in smaller groups to try out what we learned taking the 'jammer line' on the track. And so, the turn came for my small group and what happens as I go to skate to the line? BAM! Hello floor my old friend, long time no see! I felt like such a klutz but laughed it off anyway and gave it my best shot, still feeling a bit 'odd' on the wheels and I think I did OK :) Quick water break and it was then we discovered my problem - the new wheels were barely touching the floor! In fact, I could lean over with my skate flat to the floor and spin the wheel freely. Bye bye mister confidence, see you next week maybe? I brushed it off and decided to continue the rest of the session as best I could. We split into advanced and non advanced for the second half of the session and our group was working on basics such as turning and stopping. Mrs Baxter gave me a hand (literally) to discover which way I preferred to turn and reminded me that she's seen me do it before - more practise on that one girly! Due to the wheel issue I couldn't get the t stop thing so T Licious had a little chat about where my confidence has disappeared to and on my 'skating style' or lack thereof. After giving me a few tips on how to improve I gave it a go and felt and immediate difference in both stability and speed, problem was I couldn't stop lol - still that will come :) I kept practising my new stance/skating while the others practised more stops etc then we ended with a cool down and good stretch out session - good times but I was already writing up my 'for sale' ad for the Witch Doctor wheels lol

And so, the CRoC girls left the building to get ready for the launch party that evening..........

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

ooh ee ooh ah ah.....

ting tang wallawalla bing bang, ooh ee ooh ah ah ting tang wallawalla bang bang! Good luck getting that out of your head bwahahahaha!!

OK, this is just a quickie (way-hey!) as my new wheels etc came today. After trying out Abs wheels the other day I plumped for the Witch Doctors by Hyper. Having tracked down a seller on eBay with a fab price and negotiating next day postage this is today's haul and I can't wait to
try them out this saturday at practise! Actually scrap that, I'll probably be swanning up and down the living room in them hahahahahaha. I promise I'll try not to kill the kittehs as long as they promise the same to me!

Fingers crossed I should have a session sorted for Fridays from next week, plus I start the gym - any diet/exercise tips gratefully recieved :) 12.9? disgraceful!

Anyway, that's my short but happy post



Tuesday, 8 February 2011

The wheels on the skates....have got to go!

Monday - hated by some, loved by me as its training day (well evening lol) Usual mob, usual journey, same old hall but second session on the new skates :D Time to test the Rock GT-50 wheels out on another surface. Warm ups and stretches out of the way and we get into a bit of derby stance, pushing and crossovers practice. The stance I've pretty much got down now I just need to build up the strength in my legs to maintain it for long periods of time, and the pushing exercise took a couple of goes but I pretty much got that down too! All going well so far - then we were split into 4 groups for crossovers - the aim was to take the jammer line around the track and try and get 5 laps in 1 min doing just crossovers. This I pretty much sucked at! In the other hall the Rock wheels were fine for crossovers however as I went into the first corner crossover I could feel the wheels just sliding out from under me, that was it, confidence out of the window and I only managed 3 laps.

Abadabadoo had bought some of her Radar Red Turners for me to try out before I went buying my replacements as I'd been looking at getting some 92/93a wheels. Popped them on while the girls were playing a weaving & race game and felt the difference immediately. Gave them a couple of test laps including crossovers and there was the confidence again ready to be picked up! Rejoined my group to find we were doing some passive blocking practise with the 4 groups split evenly around the track, you had to block the opposing teams jammers, communicate with your team and not get to close to the team in front or the penalty was 10 push ups. This also meant we all got a turn at blocking and jamming - eek! I'm not the most stable on my feet but I gave it a bloody good go (OK even if my first words to the other teams was 'please don't kill me!') I have to say that Nicola was awesome with her passive blocks and really tested my skills as was Knuckle Sandwich Nancy - I know the other teams were fab too and thank you to the ladies that let me through lol. I know what things I've got to work on now - and doing semi splits on skates isn't one of them hahaha. From there I went on to kinda NSOing, the teams were joined to form 2 larger teams while the blockers practised getting the jammers through the pack - my mouth guard is a bit iffy as is and I wanted to keep my teeth so a few of us were posted around the track to call out any offences.

After all that fun, a bit of a cool down and stretch I gave Abadabadoo her wheels back and planned my shopping for the morning :D The trip home involved lots of nattering about the CRoC launch party this weekend - The Gower pub, Cathays, Cardiff - free entry, masquerade theme but be warned if you turn up without a mask you'll be fined! We also discussed next weeks road trip to Birmingham to see the double header, its gonna be great! Oh and no cheeseburgers for Rhayfen :p hahahaha

Before I go I want to give a special mention to Up Ya Jonsey, she's back on her skates after a bit of injury time out with her knee - Jonsey you're doing great gal, your confidence will soon get there again, remember, be like Dory! Just keep skating, skating, skating ;)

Right, these wheels won't order themselves! TTFN


Sunday, 6 February 2011

Confidence by mail

Lets get up to speed with whats been going on shall we? So, Friday I promised another blog as something was going on later that day - well what a farce! I won't go into the major ins and outs but the evening ended up with myself, Rhayfen (plus sprogs), T-Licious, Kelly and Anna watching the filming of Gok Wan's new show (yawn!) We had a giggle, we stood our ground, we were threatened by a jumped up little cafe manager with security! On our way up to the balcony Mr Wan himself passes us, looked at me, clocked the skates then his eyes hit the floor and he kept walking - hahahahaha!! Oh and just as a note, postie turned up at 12.25!

Ok on to Saturday, exciting stuff as I got to try out my new skates! As you can see from the pic I've got the Sure Grip GT-50's, I was a little worried as my toe is right at the end of the boot but OMG what a difference! Wait! Lets start from the beginning of Saturday. Early up, realise the mister is getting up while I am downstairs so I sling the new skates into
my skate bag (he doesn't know I've bought them lol) which means lugging 2 sets of skates to practise! It also meant taping them up etc when I got there, losing precious skate time :( Switched my pusher wheels in straight away then padded up and skates on. The difference a well fitting skate made to me straight away, there is much more cushioning to the Sure Grip boot compared to the R3's so they were really comfortable from the word go. OK, the Rock wheels need swapping out once I figure out the best set to go for as they were really slidey but one of the best things in my opinion ROUND TOE STOPS! How I have missed you lol. A few laps to adjust to the new skatey goodness and I thought I'd try joining in with some of the things the girls were upto including walking on your toe stops (presumably leading up to running on our toe stops?) Anyways, up on my toes I went, a bit wobbly at first but then I discovered I was much more stable than I thought and could move pretty quickly on the spot on them and can walk on them too :) Carried on with a few more laps and had a bit of a natter with T-Licious who's slowly putting me right with my skating style. I have to say though, the difference having a proper fitting skate was amazing and my confidence has come up alot further now :)

After the session was lunch with the wife, T-Licious, knuckle sandwich Nancy and Up Ya Jonsey - an interesting time to say the least, even if I decided I didn't like my 'glorified kebab' sub hahahaha. Quote of the day "Ooh even my drink is CRoC coloured!". From there we had a team meeting at Mrs Baxter's house, lots of stuff sorted, lots of laughs had and lots of fun/work ahead! However I do now have my CRoC hoodie which had pockets within pockets!!

By the end of the day I was happy to be home - at which point I was greeted with my favourite kind of post, me pressies! This time in the form of Gum Ball toe stops and Blood and Thunder magazine. Made for some fab Sunday morning reading.

Right, I think I've bored you enough for now so I'll sign off


Friday, 4 February 2011

Stalk the postie!

Guaranteed he'll be here at something like 12.55 as its a 'before 1pm' delivery! Would help if you know what the heck I was on about though eh?

Remember way down the post list I mentioned I bought R3's? Well, turns out I've been skating in the wrong size! The foot pain and the cramps I've been having in them (as well as the Reidell Toe!) have been associated with me trying to grip in my skates with my toes. I wasn't 100% sure of this so thought I'd go along to our local skate shop and try a size smaller than I'm in now and all I can say is *Ace Ventura voice* Like A Glove!!! So, as I'd taken the local skate shops advice previously which is what landed me in this situation I wasn't giving them a second chance. A quick call to James at Skate Bristol and I have a pair of Suregrip GT-50s on their way to me to be delivered this morning! I can't rate Skate Bristol high enough for their help, we were talking about different wheels for an age (I'll be getting them soon James, promise!) and as they're not a bricks and mortar shop they are able to keep their prices down as well as try and get anything you're after - seriously folks, give them a try! will be a day of fun, postie stalking, moving onwards with life and having fun in the bay later, but that's for another blog ;)

oooh was that the doorbell...................


Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Couldn't stop a pig in a porch....

and that's the perfect description for derby stance! Mondays training session bought with it much hilarity, both in the session and the car journeys. Usual banter on the way in with Rhayfen, Up Ya Jonsey and Knuckle Sandwich Nancy about life and its wonders.

The hall last night was uber freezing, now I know you think I exaggerate there but, having been without central heating all day so was acclimatised to the cold, it was enough to bring on a shivering fit. Still, pads on, skates on and off we go! Warm up, stretches and Abadabadoo announces we're doing pyramids tonight - ooh, sounds little did I know. For those of you unfamiliar with pyramids, basically you're split into 2 groups - group one skating 1 lap while group 2 do whatever exercise is decided til the last skater crosses the line then you switch. This goes on right up to 5 laps, then you work your way from 5 to one repeating the exercises. Squat thrusts, planks, fast feet, the works! Now, having had serious words with myself I was determined to keep up - OK, maybe not with the speed yet but I'm working on that, but the exercises it was a case of go on gal! You can do it! By the end, I was hot and tired but pleased with myself even if my ankles were screaming at me (although the wife has promised to buy me new ones - score!)

From there we were split off, the less confident and newcomers to work on crossovers which I think I've got now, I just need to force myself to do them! From there Catriona took us to work on lateral skating and passive blocking - I think I've got it, I certainly felt sturdier on my skates last night, the old confidence is creeping back!

And so, it was time to leave once more - endorphins a plenty going on in the car and just over half way into the journey home Rhayfen and I must have done impressions of half of comedy central! Needless to say Up Ya Jonsey and Knuckle Sandwich Nancy now think I am a loon, laughing at nothing getting out of the car til my side was aching! Oh and talking about aching, no aches this morning - win!

Now, car pool ladies, need I mention slip on skates? Velcro attached padding? rickets? hahaha what goes on in the car, stays in the car.........