Wednesday, 27 April 2011

They who get where they are.....

had to begin where they were - fab sentiment eh? Spotted it on a tatt and thought it was a perfect way to start my blog. As my Ladybrother Jinx'em G reminds us "do what you always do then you'll get what you've always got!" - I could have done with this reminder yesterday. I was having a bad one, I'd managed to convince myself that since retiring from the burlesque scene that I was a big fat nothing and along with that came the self loathing that sees me not moving from the couch. After getting a few things off my chest my other half reminded me that although my self confidence was low at the moment I should be proud of what I've achieved, "you're a derby girl and I've seen you putting your all into it, because thats what you do - when you love something you don't go at it half heartedly you really go for it!" Admittedly I've got a few things to sort out with the doctors etc but with that comment he'd really lifted my spirits. Everyone's entitled to an off day right and I guess yesterday was mine :) Randomly took the Refs hand signal test and WTFDA rukes tests online too, 79/100 and 87/100 respectively which I was rather pleased with, things are sinking in!

So today was back to a fresh start, I wasn't expecting that fresh start to mean 2 hours at the gym instead of 1 but hey ho its all good. I took the opportunity to ask the staff to show me how to use the weights equipment and which would benefit me the most. I've now got a nice little routine to do next time I'm there (which will be a couple of days as my boys are home again). While I was there I clocked up 3.5 miles on the exercise bike and a nice 2 mile hill walk on the treadmill (as well as my 2 mile round trip to the gym and back!) A had a few giggles too, why is it I can relate everything back to The Simpsons?? Seriously, Everybody Dance Now came on and all I could think of was the steel mill

mix that up with Prodigy, South Park and other treats that I've randomly got and I must have looked like a goon! I also discovered its fun to practice crossover footwork on the treadmill lol. The wonderful She'za Pa'yne has also given me a routine to do so I've got no excuses now!

Anyways thats enough waffling from me now, I have a chicken casserole to cook!



Monday, 25 April 2011

starts and stops

Hope you've all been having a lovely Easter (however you celebrate it) and enjoying the fab weather here in Wales. For a change I'm not too far behind but may forget a few bits due to a fab BBQ courtesy of my derby wife and her hubster.

So Saturday comes around again and despite having a bit of an 'iffy' tum the night before I know there's 3 sessions with no skating coming up so I'm determined I'm going. After an interesting bus ride into the city with Rhayfen we meet up with Jinx and RG to complete the journey to Eastern Leisure. Track went down, kit went on and warm ups ensued. As Rhayfen was taking the training session today we knew we'd be in for some fun and games (or evilness, depending on her mood) however we were shorter numbers this session as (I assume) people were making the most of the sun/holidays. One of the games she decided to start with was 'surprise' - basically everyone skated as a pack with the 2 jammers behind and when the whistle was blown the pack would single knee drop and stay there. The jammers then had to get through (fast feet) race each other back around the track and back through the pack, first through was winner. Fab fun and I didn't fall on my turn jamming - ok so I caught a wheel with my shin but I'm a klutz lol. After that she went on to do some pack games so I seized the opportunity to practice skating one footed and crossovers which are coming on rather nicely now.

Once we'd all re hydrated ourselves (it gets warm in that hall anyway so add heat and you're melting!) Rhay asked if there was anything we'd like to practise - silence....however when she then posed the question "so if I were to say right we're doing min skills now, you'd all pass?" ideas soon flowed. We separated off into groups depending on what we wanted to have a go at, I figured it's time to conquer those T Stops. Unfortunately Rhay couldn't demonstrate as she'd still got her outdoor wheels on and was sticking to the floor however she described more than adequately what we were aiming to achieve and set us all off one or two at a time so she or Drew could advise. First attempt saw me totally fluff it, undeterred I went straight in for a second try. Actually being able to get my foot behind me was a big achievement let alone planting it on the floor, but this time I managed to drag 2 wheels out of the 4 for a short distance. Drew advised me to bend at the knee more before starting the stop so off I went again, still dragging the two wheels but it was a start and as Rhay said it was a step up from what I was doing before :D Secretly I was soooo happy, it sounds kinda sad but it's defeated me for absolutely ages and now its starting to click!

More hydration and more games, this time 'Sausage'!! Basically whole hall tag with Rhay as 'it', you get tagged you lay down and become a sausage, you only become free when 2 other skaters lay either side of you to become your bun - hilarious to say the least!! It was pointed out that it was a fab communication exercise too as we had to shout out for buns! lmao!! A few other games later and a bit more practice on the T Stops and I actually managed to land a couple with all 4 wheels down - result!! Cool down, stretch and we were out!

Now on the way out of the centre the eagle eyed wifey notices an MP, "shall we go and hassle him?" my reply, "hell yeah" and so myself, Rhay, RG And Grazed all explain about how popular roller sports are becoming and how there is nowhere adequate for us in the Cardiff area, 10 Min's later and we're told someone will 'get back to you' - we shall see!

I won't bore you with the rest of my bank holiday weekend, as fun as it was for me, it probably wont be as interesting for you. I will however finish with the fact that I hit the gym again today and with the walking to and from clocked up 9 miles, not too shabby :)

Til next time and leaving you a very warm and happy roller girl in training


Thursday, 21 April 2011

All systems GO!

Well, well, well dear readers looks like something may have clicked into place - I'm not sure how or why but my attitude has changed. Not only am I approaching all things derby with an 'I can' attitude but I've also joined my local gym. This may not sound like a big thing to you but to someone who spent most of her academic life dodging exercise and who sometimes still have to force herself to walk into the village for mundane things, believe me, its a big thing.

Admittedly I still have to look at my diet, and remember to take my meds properly but its rung one on the ladder, right? I'm hoping to talk to a dietitian locally, I am terrible for not eating properly and this whole thyroid thing really doesn't help so I figured it'd be best to get some advice.

After completing last weeks induction I popped back today to do an hour on my own using the exercise bike, treadmill and rowing machine. All in all, including walking too and from my house I managed to clock up just over 8.5 miles which I'm rather pleased with. I've also had a chat with the trainer at the gym and he's going to go over a weights routine with me so I can alternate weights and cardio through the week. I have to admit, as hot and sweaty as I got and as much as I had to encourage myself today, I left there feeling damn good! Although I also left feeling damn hungry lol - still steak, peas and a jacket spud soon saw to that ;)

Hows THAT for PMA!



Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Birthday Bout Day

wow playing catch up again!! Here we go.....

Saturday 16th saw me attending the Tiger Bay Brawlers birthday bout. We'd been looking forward to this for a while as the last one sold out and its
good to watch local roller derby, besides my wife Rhayfen was skating with them as a guest skater as was CRoC/Bridgend Bombshell Dave This so I wasn't going to miss the chance to cheer my wife popping her public bout cherry! On this occasion the theme was pirates and princesses and although Rhayfen was a little upset at not being a pirate (if you've been following this blog you'd know we're both pirates at heart) that was majorly overshadowed by the excitement of playing :) The bout was also giving me the chance to get my nerd on and help out with the NSOing. On top of all this excitement I'd offered to make a birthday cake for the team as part of my new business set up ( so I was reading up on my NSO handbook while mixing a few kilos of butter cream - do
I do things by halfs? lol

Anyways I digress, I can't give you a blow by blow account of the game as I was busy doing my job (outside whiteboard for you nosey types), it was good to try a different NSO job and the NSO team were fabulous! What I can tell you there was some awesome skating going on, both teams fought hard to win and it was a nailbiter with the final score Princesses 96 - Pirates 95!!

I was an immensely proud derby wife as Rhayfen only
clocked up 1 minor!! And so it was off to the after party to celebrate :) We couldn't stay for long as we have to get back to our valley and, well, we all know what a fabulous public transport system we have ;) It was good to see the girls partying as hard as they played and it was well deserved.

Congrats Tiger Bay Brawlers on a fab first year and may there be many more to come



ps for the nosier ones of you, the simple but big birthday cake lol


and so to Monday, due to one thing and another I'd been off skates for the last week so was looking forward to getting them back on my feet and practicing what I'd learned the week before (even if just to confirm in my head it wasn't a one off!) Usual nattering in the car journey on the way to Glan Hafren however Rhayfen, Knuckles and Jonsey learned that I don't give a crap about being politically correct. If it comes into my head, chances are its coming out of my mouth too - I often suffer from foot in mouth syndrome because of this but on this journey it gave us a good opportunity to laugh hard and get rid of any nerves.

Grazed Anatomy and Nikilla were taking the training session and we had no idea what to expect, however it was fantastic! The plan was we would split into partners and mentor each other on skills they flagged up starting with moving laterally. Partnered up with Rhayfen we started off and I knew the way I was supposed to move it was just getting my feet to do it. She was asking me questions about my trucks - cue blank face! After giving them a bit of a wiggle she loosened the front up as there was no movement in them at all (and as she said, just do the front that way you get used to the movement without feeling unsafe) and also that my bushings (bushings? cushions?) were rock solid. Back up to try again and its amazing how such a small adjustment can make such a big difference! Now have got the movement just need to pick up the speed. We went on to turning both left and right with RG Bargy and I'll skim over that as it definitely needs alot of work lol

From there we went onto hits, stationary practice at first and I'd practiced these with Rhay before. It was good to go over it with her again as she tells you the best places to aim for as well as other instructions/tips. We went on to doing them while moving and although I can only throw baby hits it was good to practice the mechanics of actually throwing them.

Games time!! This brings out Rhays competitive side lol - first up, how far can you push your partner across the hall with a short 'run up' - all the way baby!! and when it was Rhays turn to be pushee she not only made it across the hall but also helmet first into the wall lol! Next same again with no run up and we did it again! Second game and we were split into 3's and had to push 2 team mates along like a trolley for 2 laps fab fun and we won in our duo set off. The third game I did struggle with as it was skating for as far as possible on one foot but I still gave it a go :) The winners from each group on that game were set off together to find a champ and it got down to who could stay on the one foot the longest even after they stopped (I believe there was some cheating going on!)

Finally we went onto sticky skating as fast as we could for 2 mins, as was explained it was a necessary evil and we needed to practice. On completing this and a quick water grab we were set off in groups of 5 to see how many laps we could sticky skate in, it was either 1 or 2 mins, I forget. Anyways I managed 3.5 which I was happy with (though I should apologize to the newbie who's wheel I caught and put her off balance!) During inbetween and cool down times I'd been practicing backwards skating, the movement is basically the same as on ice skates so I'd not found it difficult to get going. RG Bargy pointed out that if I was comfortable with moving like that I could go onto backwards crossovers as my foot was trying to do it naturally anyway, so I thought I'd give it a bash! Alot of work to be done on that and I met my old friend the floor once or twice but I got up and kept trying, the more I do it the more it'll click :)

I left that session feeling more positive than I had in a long time and feeling that I'd actually learned something rather than glossed over it, and now thanks to Skate Bristol I have my fab outdoor wheels and can get on my skates more often!

Derby love


Sunday, 10 April 2011

Anger - one letter short of Danger!

First off, apologies! I can't believe I let it slip so long between blogs! There's been a lot going on but on the same hand not a lot going on, don't worry all will become clear!

I missed 3 or 4 of our training sessions as I managed to pick up a lovely spring cold, I hate being ill and a lot of the time I refuse to acknowledge the fact I am ill and just carry on regardless, I don't 'do' ill! However, being bunged up and grumpy does not make for a productive Emilie and I especially didn't want to spread the cold to other team members so I behaved and stayed away. Instead I used the time as advised by a fellow skater to 'derby train my brain' and watch bouts, read up on rules and the like and recover.

My return to training happened to coincide with the fabulous She'za Payne coming to take us for a special training session. On the car journey up we were all panicking and decided that we were going to die after this session - although Up Ya Jonsey was reassured by Rhayfen that she wouldn't let her die as she was a very selfish person and required Jonsey to stay alive so she could get home lol. I was kinda nervous but also quite looking forward to the session too. After meeting She'za and Effin Elle we were asked what level we were - unfortunately I wasn't allowed my own special needs level so was put with the beginners lol The track went down, and the ladies took an off skate warm up then on to skates, this is where I started to unravel - my confidence had disappeared totally. After doing the right leg push sticky skating we went onto some single leg skating, and that was me off. If you've been following me up to now you'll know that my lack of balance is whats been throwing me for a long time and I felt so embarrassed that I couldn't do it that, after stripping my skates and pads off, I disappeared to the toilets and cried my heart out. Stupid huh? In all honesty I felt like I didn't belong there, if you can't do the simplest thing then how on earth are you going to manage anything else!? I got very angry with myself and was in danger of throwing the towel in.

So, I composed myself and after a big hug from the fab Hellcat Harri and a word with Dotty Destruction I redressed and got to work on the NSO stuff instead - what can I say, I'm a stats geek and like to get my nerd on! I continued to watch the session and pick up tips for stuff to work on in the future. At the end of the session I thought there'd be no harm in asking a couple of questions so I approcahed She'za and asked if there was anything I could be doing to help with my balance problems - she was lovely and explained a few exercises I could work on and also that I should develop my core as its key to becoming a good player. I took all of this on board and decided maybe I wasn't quite ready to quit yet - as was said, different people develop at different speeds, don't compare your ability to others just concentrate on doing the very best you can and things will click into place.

And so we come to yesterdays session - a few team members were missing due to the big WFTDA Anarchy in the UK bout weekender so some of the Tiger Bay Brawlers came to train with us and Rhayfen assumed the position of coach. In a bit more of a positive mind frame this gave me the opportunity to try my wheel set up on the Eastern Leisure centre floor (for the more curious of you, I've just switched it so my pusher wheels are on the left on each skate). After doing some warm up laps and stretches, we were 'treated' to sit ups, push ups and planks - thanks, really you shouldn't have! lol. A quick drink as it was so warm there and I went off to practice plow stops with RG Bargy, then on to cross over practice which I've more or less got licked now I just really need to stop looking at my feet! This did highlight for me that my toe stops may be a little too low as I was catching them every so often on the floor. From here we were all told to skate one footed, no matter if it were for 2 seconds or 30, just go as long as we could. Time to give it a bash, it was literally 1 second before my other foot wanted to go down. Not to be defeated I kept at it then Hell Neenio from TBB came alongside and explained something that Judge Redd had mentioned to me before about shifting your weight and making a line so you knee is kinda between your boobs when you look down - I guess it kinda clicks more when someone demonstrates it. I know I need to bend my knees more, its something I always get picked up on so I made sure I did this and put the advice in to practice - and now I've figured out how I used to teach myself things I went and did this over and over and over, trying not to favour one foot over the other (although my left was winning). My right foot always leans inwards whenever I try to balance on it so I figured I better try and sort that out and by the end of the session I had it cracked! Not for a huge amount of time but I've gone from not being able to skate on one foot to being able to glide about half of the straight :D I'm going to keep at practicing this and my next obstacle - turns! I WILL DEFEAT EACH SMALL SKILL ONE STEP AT A TIME, y'know PMA and all that ;)

I close with a little video I made as a kinda training aid, my wife Rhayfen demonstrating how she turns, enjoy!