Monday, November 22, 2010

My Mind Blowingly Awesome Weekend

So, I've been doing this Roller Derby thing for about seven months now. In that time I've experienced a lot of emotions - fear, horror, anxiety, excitement, pride and most recently LOVE.

An established Roller Derby League nearby decided to host a two day Roller Derby bootcamp right here in my city this past weekend. There would be three Coaches - Coach Pauly, Bonnie D. Stroir and Smarty Pants all of whom I'd heard/read about but had no idea how incredible they actually were.

I arrived on Saturday morning feeling incredibly nervous and intimidated, knowing that I would be among the least experienced skaters there. After attending my first session with Bonnie I began to relax. I was doing okay and she was so entertaining and informative that I stopped worrying about anything. Throughout the rest of the day I had some periods of feeling clueless but mostly I had SO MUCH FUN. The other skaters were really great about helping each other out.

My first day ended in a session with Smarty and I completely fell in love. She is the sweetest, most hilarious woman and if that wasn't enough she is the most unreal talented skater and coach. She's the kind of person you meet and you immediately want to be their BFF but you have to chill so as to avoid being creepy.

There was an exhibition scrimmage at the end of the first day which I was totally sure I wouldn't have the opportunity to play in because it stated on our itinerary that the teams would be made up of "All Stars". Now, I'm not being modest when I say I KNEW that did not include me. In the end a decision was made that they didn't have enough time to determine an "All Star" team and didn't want to be unfair so anyone who wanted to participate was welcome to do so. I'd invited my husband and friends and had planned on sitting with them and enjoying the game. I made the decision to go with that original plan instead of skating. I felt mentally and physically unprepared (and unskilled) to throw myself in the mix with these talented women that evening. It was a great game and I only had a few pangs of regret for not playing throughout. Smarty Pants played in the scrimmage which was absolutely thrilling to watch even though I know it was probably not even half as entertaining as watching her skate with her home team on the bank track.

The second day began with something called the "Smarty Party" in which we essentially danced around on skates and Smarty imparted the genius idea that playing derby could be a lot like dancing or moving around in a packed club, that sometimes your body rubs up against someone else's as you try to get by but it's not meant in animosity, you're just trying to get where you need to be. I LOVE this philosophy for blocking and when you see this woman block it is a thing of beauty. This session was easily the most fun I had the entire weekend and as if I didn't have it bad enough already she had to go and mention her love of 80's music and how she liked to pretend she was Molly Ringwald sometimes. Sigh.

There was another scrimmage at the end of the bootcamp and I had decided I would skate in it, unskilled or not. It was a blast and I was so amazed by all the help I received from more experienced players. I even skated a Jam as a Jammer and wasn't horribly slow and I didn't get knocked down. I think I'm beginning to own that I could be intimidating, my size that is. People may think twice about messing with me purely based on that. I have to have something in my favor I guess.

It's not difficult for me to say that although I missed my family like crazy it was one of the best weekends of my life. It's been such a long time since I've felt excited about something this way. Excited about the journey that's ahead of me.

Here's a photo of me and my new hero (my coloring is so strange, I look grey or something) and two videos that demonstrate her fun loving personality and her balls.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Fact. Facebook has been the ruination of my blog. I totally take it for granted that most people who read or used to read it are friends of mine there. I know it's not true but I completely convince myself that it is and allow myself to be lazy and not post here. I hate it and it makes me sad. Oh well.

Anyway, to those of you who haven't seen these on facebook - the Halloween costumes!! You may remember Miss A wearing this same costume at 2. Miss A needed some direction with her costume this year so I suggested a Ninja. She was all on board and ordering me to "Buy the costume!!" already. Mysteriously, a short while before Halloween she announced to me that she no longer wanted to be a Ninja. When I asked her why she told me she would be embarrassed. It didn't seem to matter how much prompting I did she wouldn't tell me what had changed her mind. My guess is that when one of her peers asked her what she was dressing up as they replied in one of many ways, such as "Girls don't dress up as Ninja's." "That's weird." "What's a Ninja?" which then made her reject the costume.

I explained that I'd given her time to think about what she wanted to be before I bought her costume and that I wasn't buying another costume. I refuse to be a parent who has to come up with fifteen different costumes before Halloween because their child keeps changing their mind. I asked her if she knew much about how cool Ninja's were. She asked me to tell her about them. I relayed the tiny amount of information I had and showed her this video I found.

As you can imagine, this clinched it for her. Unfortunately, I could find toy Nunchucks so I had to settle for Katana Blades. She ended up embracing her inner Ninja which made me glad and Miss B was just happy to get "Tweets!!"

Incidentally, this video is also very cool. I'd kill for that kind of flexibility.