Thursday, March 20, 2014

Coming back from an injury in roller derby

It CAN happen! Almost seven months since my ankle break and torn ligament, I skated in my first post-break bout this weekend! In the first jam, I thought about my ankle. That was it. Every other jam I was consumed with what was going on with my team, and what plays to call (I am a pivot now!). No swelling. No pain. I even wore cute shoes to the afterparty and didn't worry about my ankle then either :)  It was fabulous!

I never knew derby could be like this. I broke my ankle right after my first season as a skater. It was all blur. This bout, something was different. I was more aware. At times I felt like the whole thing was going in slow motion and I had HUGE amounts of reaction time. I didn't feel completely beat up and exhausted afterward. I took and gave some great hits, but found myself focusing on positional blocking a bit more than landing the big hits. It was fun. I wasn't so nervous I almost puked. In fact, I was calming the newer skaters! Its a completely new world for me and I LOVE that I wasn't consumed with fears or worries about my ankle.




Thanks to A.N.C Rockstar Photography for taking this gem of a photo of me. Yes, it pretty much sums up how I felt about this amazing bout :)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Back on Skates

I got the all-clear from my doctor to start skating at endurance practices at the beginning of December. I am still a bit timid, and I have to wear a compression sock and an ankle brace for now. I am still not cleared for full contact. BUT. Coach had us to 27/5 just to see where we were last Sunday. Old and new skaters alike, everyone on the track. I was terrified. I hadn't really pushed myself and I was trying out a teammates wheels, and was terrified of sliding around on the slick floor. You see, my old team fell apart while I was injured. The remaining skaters joined another local league that I would visit for Sunday Endurance Practice. I loved skating with them and how Coach really pushed me. But most of these new teammates haven't ever seen me skate. I felt like I had something to prove. Not to mention the differences in floor. My old practice floor was very very very grippy. Like skating in syrup. I felt safe on that floor. The new floor is wood, and can get dusty....and you slide everywhere. Turn one always gets me. I fly almost completely off the track, no matter how close to the inside line I start out. I just knew I was going to fall, and being the first measurable thing I had done since my injury, well, I felt like I was going to prove myself as a failure.

The whistle blew. I took off. I was determined not to let everyone pass me, and to hold my own in the middle of the pack, toward the front if I could. I started out slow and steady, not going too fast around those turns, sometimes not even crossing over--just coasting because I was afraid of falling. All the things I had been telling the Fresh Meat NOT to do for the almost four months I was off skates. I am pretty sure I got at least seven laps in my first minute. Whew. That meant that even if I fell, I could still reach that goal of 27. While I had passed my min skills before, I had never done 27/5 on this particular floor. Not when it counted. We have done pyramid drills, and had done as many laps as we could in 5mins 45seconds (right before my injury I did 32). But never the dreaded 27/5.

Coach had us keep skating until we reached our 27 laps, so we could see what our time was. I flew out on a few turns, passed a few people, stayed close to a few others and was determined that if someone passed me I would catch back up to them.

5mins 15seconds. 15 seconds over the required time, after four months off skates!!!!! I felt like a rockstar! I asked Coach if he was SURE that was my time, I asked my counter if she was SURE she hadn't miscounted. I feel so accomplished. I know if I don't play it as "safe" I can easily trim off those last 15 seconds. I had already told Coach I wouldn't bout next season, I wanted to take it slow...so I have plenty of time. I feel like I proved to MYSELF that I can still do this derby thing I love so much, and I feel like I proved to my new teammates that I CAN keep up....even after injury.

Now to work on those other skills....like my weaving--hard to do with a brace on that won't let your ankle move :(

Friday, November 8, 2013

Update

Well. Its been a while. A lot of things have happened in my world. First and foremost, I am not able to skate right now. On August 17th I was attending a Training Camp with the Texas Hustlers Roller Derby Team and took a fall that resulting in multiple fractures and a torn tendon in my left ankle. Surgery, a plate and seven screws later....I spent 8 weeks on crutches with absolutely NO weight bearing on my left leg, then some time in a walking boot...now I am wearing a brace and will start physical therapy soon. I haven't skated in over two months, and it will probably be even longer before I'm back on 8 wheels.




My league fell apart. It was a new league, and we had some challenges...in the end the three remaining members merged with the Fort Stewart Roller Girls, another local league that was established around the same time. We combined forces to create a much larger, amazing league with a coach and several more experienced skaters. It has by far been the best decision we could have made! I'm very happy and can't wait to actually skate with my new team. For now, I'm assistant coaching. Yeah, you heard that right. My little bit of experience over the past season has helped me land a coaching gig where I get to shape the new skaters. It has been AMAZING to say the least (although I do very much miss being on skates)

Maybe by next year I'll be healed and back on skates.

Obviously, with a broken ankle sewing was NOT an option. I even had to take time off of my day job to recover. Slowly, I'm getting back into it making a few things, but nothing major yet. I think I'll work on re-stocking the Etsy Shop and making some items for my local retailer soon :)

Just wanted to tell you that I'm still out here....just hit a little bump in the road.



Thursday, June 13, 2013

5 minute composition book makeover

I took a boring old composition notebook and followed THIS tutorial, and ta-dah! In less than five minutes I created a unique, sparkly place to take notes for Derby and hold my pen so I don't lose it!



I used some sparkly vinyl to create it, and changed the measurements from 10.5 inches to just 10 and its a perfect fit!! I especially love that I will no longer lose my pen, and I can throw this notebook in my gear bag without worrying about it getting wet from my sweaty gear :)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Other sports have them, why not Derby?

A few weeks ago I was in my local sporting goods store and spotted these gems :

Its a dry erase board with a permanent picture of a sports field (baseball, soccer, lacrosse and basketball). Coaches can draw out plays on them and wipe it off, draw out another one. I almost picked up a basketball one for our league since we practice on an indoor gym floor, but I was sure something existed for Roller Derby.

A quick Google Search proved me wrong. BUT I had seen small dry erase boards at my local Dollar Store, and I DO have a Silhouette Machine for cutting vinyl....

Ta-dah!

I found an image online of a derby track, erased most of the markings off of it, plugged it into my Silhouette and traced and cut the vinyl in my team colors, and applied it to the dry erase board. Who knows what the longevity of this one will be.....but for now, at least maybe I'll be able to understand some of the drills our Training Committee has us do LOL  :)




Monday, May 6, 2013

Skate Sling

I found some 2" wide black webbing on sale at Joann's a few weeks ago. It was packaged like ribbon, on a spool and pre-cut. I picked it up thinking I would use it for handles on a tote bag or something, but quickly realized I could use a skate sling! My gym bag is kindof small, and I can either fit all my gear (helmet included) OR my skates and most of my gear (helmet clipped on the outside of my bag). With a skate sling, I could easily transport my gear and my skates and still have a free hand to lug the medic bag, copy of the rules and any other goodies I bring to practice...without having to make two trips to my car--success!

I tried this several different ways before finally settling on this particular method. The strap is only about two feet long, then two loops that are about a foot long sewn directly to the main strap.

It was so plain and boring that I decided to use some blue glitter paint and add my derby name :)



Thursday, April 4, 2013

Home Bouts, Banners and Water Bottles...random I know :)

I've been so insanely busy lately! We have had several Roller Derby Bouts that are only weeks apart! In fact, this Saturday is our very first home bout! I cannot wait...but there is so much to do.

1st I'd like to show you some fun easy things I did with my Silhouette Vinyl Cutter.

When I saw these adorable water bottles on sale at CVS I knew I had to have one...then I took mine to practice and all my derby sisters wanted one too...I went all over town checking all the CVS stores and even my boss at work was looking at the ones by her house for me! I managed to get three that still had the rhinestones on them and were in good shape...for $1.75 each!! So I added Derby Names and gave them to my derby sisters :)




For our first home bout, we needed a banner to hang over the penalty box. I didn't have enough heat transfer vinyl on hand, so I ended up appliqueing the words on, but used the most awesome glittery heat transfer for the star :)

Then, our Bench Coach needed a tie! He had one previously, but one of our girls had applied the heat transfer vinyl in a rush in a hotel room literally minutes before we left for our 1st bout....and ended up burning the tie and the vinyl wasn't stuck very well. So before out last bout he dropped another tie off for me to work my magic on...




Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I survived!

Well, we lost our first bout....but man did I learn a lot!! We were spazzy for the first half, but by the second half we really got our act together and were at least able to keep the other team from scoring too much more by then :)

It was a great experience and I can't wait for more! This is by far my favorite picture of the night. Me and two other girls who have gone through this whole journey together. We all did the boot camp with the other team last January, all tried out and all didn't make it. We all did the wreck night, and still didn't make it. Then we found Coastal Derby Empire and encouraged each other not to give up on this crazy derby dream.


Now we are here. Having passed our minimum skills tests and survived our first public bout.(And all smiles!)

I'm so happy to have these lovely ladies in my life, and on my team. :)


Thursday, February 21, 2013

First Jersey!

Well, my new Roller Derby League is Official. We have our jerseys and are skating in our first public bout this weekend!




To say I'm nervous is a HUGE understatement. I feel like there is so much pressure. To be a good teammate, to look "derby", to have fun. Its all just overwhelming....I mean, the actual GAME is pretty overwhelming to a Fresh Meat like me already. I'm just hoping that my nerves will calm down a bit once I get my massive to-do list under control and that we do just have a lot of fun! The team we are playing are supposed to be super nice ladies and they are great friends with some of the seasoned skaters in my league...so I'm looking forward to meeting new derby friends....and trying not to think about the audience and question my skills.


Oh and did I mention I am running a 5k the morning of the bout? Yeah...didn't check my schedule before signing up for that one :) I think a nice run will help me relax a bit though, so its a good thing...maybe a morning run will become part of my pre-bout ritual this season :)


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Fresh Meat Class of 2013

Well, its been about a year in the making.....and FINALLY I have passed my WFTDA Minimum Skills Assessment and am officially Fresh Meat!! (Like REALLY passed it...25 in 5 and all!)

I am now eligible to bout, and let me tell you....its a great weight lifted off my shoulders. I have been wanting this for so long, and it seemed like such a HUGE obstacle for so long now....and finally....in one short night I did it!!!

A. Mean O. Acid finally comes to life and will be playing Roller Derby alongside some amazing teammates :)

With the season starting (First bout is Feb 23rd) I have decided to close up my Etsy Shop for a bit....not sure how long, but I simply do not have time to sew right now.

See you on the track! :)


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Roller Derby Wheel Bag

I've been trying to make a compact wheel bag for my spare sets of wheels, but one that can be washed when it becomes stinky from being in my skate bag all the time.  This was my second attempt, and it still needs work (notice that not-so-straight zipper top stitching? yeah, me neither)

Its clear vinyl on the top so I can see which set of wheels are in it, made from cotton fabric and light interfacing, has a handle so I can grab it and go easily. The zipper runs along the top, and it fits 8 wheels. While I do like it a lot, there are some changes I will make next time.







#1- move the zipper further down the side (leaving a few inches of fabric above it so my top stitching can look prettier--which also is what sealed in the raw edge as the bag is not lined)

#2-make the zipper ends a little neater

#3- use a sturdier fabric, like a cotton canvas or something. This one is very flimsy.

Other than that, I'm pretty pleased. What do you think?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Nov 28th will never be my favorite day. Ever.

Today marks the 6 year anniversary of my Mom's death. It has been a totally terrible day. I slept terribly last night thinking about her, cried myself to sleep in the middle of the night....cried all morning, and in the bathroom at work a few times. Our son saw me crying this morning and he got upset too. Which made me feel guilty on top of my grief.

I don't even want to face anyone today, although not one single person has asked me how I was doing or even knows what a difficult day it has been for me (except my sweet husband), and I'm grateful for that!

After hiding my crazy out of control emotions at work all day, I'm not going to practice tonight. I can't face people.I am going home to snuggle with my sweet little boy (who informed me this morning that I could still talk to my Mom...I just had to make sure to look up to Heaven when I did it so she would hear me.) Then I'm going to crawl in bed, pull the covers over my head and probably cry myself to sleep....and wake up in the morning knowing I've survived another year without my Mom and nothing has changed. It still sucks. :(