Thursday, 20 January 2011

I think you'll find awesome is spelt B-R-A-W-L-E-R-S....

It's bout recap time folks!

Saturday the 15th of January saw the first EVER roller derby bout take place in South Wales. My beloved league, the Tiger Bay Brawlers, took on the Bristol Harbour Harlots in Newport's sports centre to a sold out crowd of raucous derby fans.

Shall I tell you how it all went down?

First, let's rewind a little. This bout was the culmination of months of hard work by our bout organizing committee, headed up by our own Jen Clawed Van Slamme. There were so many things to organize: venue, insurance, PA, music, announcers, seating, the afterparty ect ect. We were looking at about 300 ticket sales to break even on the venue, and according to the venue owner we would need 400 for 'an atmosphere'. Well, guess how many people we got through the door?


We SOLD OUT at our very first bout!

And my role in all this?

I was commentating!

Yep, me and my big mouth. If there is one thing I love more than derby, it's talking about derby. And talking about derby to a captive audience? Heaven.

Before the bout I didn't have a chance to get nervous...I was stuck in work from 7am, and if there is one thing that will calm your nerves it's people throwing up on you. Repeatedly.

But...once my shift had finished and I was rushing to the venue the nerves started to kick in, BIG time.

Seriously. Terrified.

I was so scared I wouldn't be able to think of anything to say, or worse, I would just talk utter crap or accidentally swear and my league would hate me and drive me out of the country with big sticks. Big POINTY sticks.

There was one thing I wasn't worried about though: my amazing Brawler travel team. All the hard work we'd been doing with BB and the coaching team during training had really been paying off, and our performances during scrimmage were showing it. I was confident we were going to win. And you know what? We got a lead early on in the game and just ran with it. Our jammers were fast and agile (particularly worthy of note were Crash Bandicute and Billie Pistol) and our blockers were walling up and providing a hard hitting defence (my favorites were Queen LaQueefer and Prisilla Deadly). Bristol put up a good fight and had some really stand out players, particularly Tattooed Terror and Katie Clysmic. I missed their game against Severn Roller Torrent, but weighing what I've heard against their performance on Saturday, I would say they have seriously upped their game, and this experience will allow them to kick it up another notch. Now, there has been some debate about the fairness of having BB in our line up, and I'm going to give my two cents on it. Going up against BB is a pretty terrifying experience, and I should happens to me all the time at scrimmage (in fact, she took great delight in pummeling on Sunday!). But...there is NO better way to learn than to play against people who are awesome, and get your ass kicked a little. Frankly, I think it's the only way to really learn derby - not the actual skating part of it, but the game itself. A smart team is a strong team, and I think that's what really gave us the edge against Bristol - skater for skater, I don't think their skill was much different to ours, but the strategy and game play that BB has taught us has been totally invaluable. So there.

BB Bombshell herself <3

And the final score?

So proud &lt;3

To the TT skaters, to BB, to Jen and the bout organizing committee, to everyone who came...THANK YOU FOR BEING SO AMAZING!

Trauma xx

Monday, 10 January 2011

what I want.

1. To get faster. Work on stance and crossover, crossover, crossover ALL THE WAY AROUND. I have long legs. It's time I used them properly.

2. To get lower. Squats, squats and more damn squats (already on this).

3. Quick feet. I'm not so good at faking out people. Practice this at free skate night and during warm up/cool downs.

4. Jumping from foot to foot. I hate it. Again, do it at free skate and during warm up/cool downs

5. ENDURANCE. More cardio needed. Again, really give it my all during endurance drills AND do an endurance during free skate.

6. Bigger hits and better timing. They're getting there, just need to keep practicing with Judge Redd (she doesn't know the meaning of 'light contact'!)

Sunday, 9 January 2011

game on!

Today was our first training session back after the Christmas hiatus. I'd been to a few free skate sessions, just to get my wheels back under me, but OH MY GOD. The pain! The blocking! The ENDURANCE!!

Yeah, I pretty much thought I was going to die. Big props to Peril Flynn who kept shouting at me to keep going. Apparently I respond well to shouting. Who knew?

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Only problem was, during the endurance my skates had rubbed a massive, horrible hole in my foot. OW OW OW. And it was time to scrimmage. DOUBLE OW OW OW!!

The scrimmage itself was a mixture of awesome and absolute suck. There were moments when I did really cool stuff (like knocking BB Bombshell out of bounds. OK, it must've been an accident and she quickly got back in the game...but hell, I'm still proud!) and balancing on one leg, Urrk'n Jerk'n style-ee as Kid Block hit me.

(photo by the AMAZING Joe Rollerfan, Oly vs Rocky Mountain at Western Regionals)

She even came up to me after to tell me how impressed she was by that, which totally made my day. Then I was blocker 2 with BB Bombshell in the next line-up, and I was so obsessed with guarding the inside line that I didn't pay attention to where BB was. Which wound up with her yelling at me, which is fair. I wasn't where I was needed. Will be working on this in future sessions.

So...all in all training was a mixed bag. There were bits of awesome, and bits of fail. Still, I came out at 6 with a big smile on my face...because no matter how much derby causes me to sweat/bleed/lose foot skin/lose sleep/want to cry, I love it more and more each week.

I'm in this for the long haul, baby. And I'm upping my game.

Until next time, sports fans...

Trauma xxx

Monday, 3 January 2011

new year's revolutions...

Happy new year all! I hope you had a wonderful time drinking, dancing, or just chilling out at home. Whatever you did, I hope you had fun! Mine was spent in the company of good friends, excellent food and plenty of booze. I went easy on the sauce though becuase I had work the next day...and doing a 10 hour shift with a hangover isn't good.

So, moving away from the excesses of the festive season brings us straight in to new year's resolutions. I gave up smoking a few years ago (yay!) and for the past few years my resolution has simply been to keep not smoking. Sounds silly, but it is hard for me. While I was never a 20-a-day gal, whenever I'm faced with stress/boredom/beer I want a cigarette. And there is no denying I am heavier than when I smoked. But now...just the thought of how much I would suffer at training is enough to make me put down the lighter. So, this year I'm looking at making some different changes to my life. And yes, a lot of them are derby related!

1. Kick start my fitness. What with being ill and missing training in November/December, I am UNFIT. Like, horribly so. It really hit home yesterday during a freeskate session with my leauge how out of shape I am. I was happily pottering around the outside of the hall, watching everyone else...and I felt a little like I'd forgotton how to skate. My dynamic movement was little to none (in fact, I accidentally locked wheels with another skater, sending us both to the floor. FAIL. UTTER FAIL.)and don't even talk about my stance: any more upright and I'd be on my damn toestops. This has GOT to change. So, I've signed myself up to the 'Roller Derby Workout Challenge' to start eating right and give myself a proper kick up the backside when it comes to my leg/core strength. I did the DVD this morning and almost died during the core section...but I figure if I do this 2/3 times a week then by the end of the 8 weeks I should be a)able to finish the whole thing with my skates on and b) a lean, mean derby MACHINE.

2. Get out of my own head and stop worrying so damned much. I've always been a bit of a neurotic, but recently my rediculous unfounded fears and self-criticism has hit an all-time high. So, enough of this shit already. I'm going so start daily positive affirmations and all that jazz. If that doesn't work...

3. Start doing my damn physio exercises. I've been lax of late, and my knees are protesting in response. This should feed nicley in to perfecting the thigh-burning derby stance I so badly need.

4. Finish the scarf I've been knitting for oh, about 2 years. Yes, I like to knit! It's very relaxing, even if I suck at it (hmmm...kind of like with derby!) and I've never learned more than one type of stitch.

So, that's my list.

Over and out!