Monday, 3 May 2010

growing pains

Yesterday was my first full-on intensive derby training session with the Brawlers. Carly, aka Biertrix from Rainy City Rollergirls. It was two hours of in-depth, non-stop training and my thighs certainly feel it today!

Within minutes of arriving, she gave us 5 minutes to kit up and start doing laps. Anyone who wasn't on the floor after 5 minutes had to do the plank in the middle of the hall for 30 seconds. Eeeeep! Then followed laps, stretches and then drills. The first drills were falls, and my left quad hadn't quite healed from Wednesday's fall. I tried to fall on the other knee, but just kept sprawling. I didn't feel I was able to do it safely, so after a quick word with Biertrix (who advised me to sit out the falls and stretch) I moved to the sidelines. Unfortunately, this was the point where I started to berate myself for not being good enough. I'm such a perfectionist, I always want to be the best. I want to get to the standard where I can play on the team, and I want to be worthy of rollergirl name. It's not enough for me just to think of a name: I actually want to feel like I've earned it. Of course, there is only one way I can earn it, and that is with my blood, sweat and tears. It's like sitting in front of a piano when you can play 'twinkle twinkle little star' and suddenly expecting to be able to play a Beethoven concerto: it's just doesn't work that way. It took me a while to stop feeling sorry for myself, but this morning I've come to the conclusion I was just being too damn hard on myself.

So, no more moping. Instead, I've come up with a list of things to do:

1. Strengthen my legs. Biertrix gave me some good pointers for exercises I can do to give me better strength in my quads. Not only will this mean I will be able to skate faster, but it will also minimise the chance of me pulling my quad again. I also need to remember to stretch, stretch and stretch some more.
2. Practice falls OFF SKATES in dining room (it has lovely laminate flooring). I want to be able to get my technique down and get it so that my falls are controlled and safe. The reason I hurt myself falling at the velodrome is because falls are not second-nature to me at the moment. I still over-think, tense, and end up hurting myself. This is something I really, really need to work on.
3. Work on my balance. Part of the basic skills is that you have to be able to skate on one leg for the length of the track, alternate legs. I read on the LRG forum that standing on one leg in your skates on a carpeted floor is a good way to train yourself until you feel confident enough to do it while moving.
4. Crossovers. I'm finding it frustrating that I lose speed when cornering, but I get THE FEAR every time I try and do a crossover and end up doing some weird hybrid thing. I'm going to start walking my crossovers until it doesn't feel weird to put one leg right in front of the other.

For those that are still feeling disheartened, Kitty Decapitate from LRG has these words of wisdom:

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