Sunday, August 30, 2009


There is still a pea-sized lump above my left eyebrow from the injury I sustained at my very first practice about four weeks ago.  I still find it hard to believe that tomorrow will be my fifth week of practice.  I have really tried to concentrate on working on my crossovers since Tuesday's practice.  In fact, I was concentrating so hard during Wednesday's Open Skate that I took a nose dive to the floor and smacked my right eyebrow on the ground.  No lump there, but it is still pretty tender.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Toxins B. Gone

I got home after practice tonight and just soaked my aching feet in a warm epsom salt bath while watching an episode of BSG 4.5. When I did that fitness bootcamp a few months back, the instructor kept telling us to soak our bods in epsom salt to rid them of toxins. I think I'm actually going to have to try full tub immersion one of these nights.

Okay, so tonight was better. After the warm-up, stretching and some drills, we were put in a pace line and before it even started, I was pulled to the side for some special instruction. I admit, that there was some welling, but when the coaches sent another Fresh Meater over too, well, it was such a relief. Misery loves company, right? Or maybe it is just nice not to be the only one who ever needs individual attention.

While the rest of the team was on the track doing their pace line, I stayed to the outside and practiced picking up my feet and eventually working my way to crossing over. This crossing over technique is supposed to help one expend the least amount of energy while skating and it helps to make one go faster. I definitely improved by the end and felt speedier. Not fast, but faster than before. I was so glad to finally have the mechanics of crossing over and picking up the feet broken down from the beginning.

Tick Tock

I have ten minutes before I have to leave for Fresh Meat practice. I am dreading it, of course, because last night was another fiasco of a practice. I could not even hold in the tears until the end of practice. I started leaking probably less than 45 minutes into practice due to my absolute inability to do a turn stop and due to multiple crashings to the ground while trying to execute said stop. Eventually, someone noticed my discomfort and I was then given some personal instruction by Charlie. Then the turn stop seemed nice and easy, but I was doing it slowly while also holding onto the handrail...but then we had to do it during suicides and it just would not come. Blah.

I had a bit of a break when I was called out of the pace line to have Pigeon look at my skates. That was actually really nice, because I made her narrate the entire process so that I could get my Skates/Wheels 101 fix. I rejoined the pace line only to eventually fall and trip a girl or two behind me. My knee got pinched in the fall, so I skated to the side to shake out the pain. Shamrock N. Roller then skated up to me and asked how I was doing and we talked about how derby is an emotional sport and she said that even though she yells during practice, she is really nice one on one. That was nice to hear, because she is intimidating when she yells. She also reminded me that I was there for a reason, because there were some girls who did not make tryouts and that I am not the only one who has ever been a beginner skater. That was also really good to hear, because it does seem that everyone else must have emerged from the womb with skates attached.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Thursday, August 20, 2009

RollerCon 2010??

If I get good enough and pass all necessary skills tests, I want to attend next year's RollerCon in Las Vegas, NV. Here is a promo video for RollerCon 2009, which ended in early August.

P.S. This video accompanied Mildred Fierce's article in Good Times.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

When the Levee Skates

Last night a group of FM'ers met for Tuesday night practice in the parking lot of PetSmart in order to skate the levee along the San Lorenzo River. (Limited panoramic view is here.) I spent a good portion of the hour before practice dreading this skate. I figured it would be another hardcore, kick my ass skate, but instead of on wood it would be on concrete. Oh joy! Plus, this is not a straight, level track. The levee has a lot of downhills, uphills, tiny pot holes, bicyclists, dogs, junkies, and other skating dangers. Eeek!

I pulled into the lot and sat in the back of the Fit putting my outdoor wheels onto my skates. As I watched people pull into the lot, I realized that a lot of them had not dressed in workout clothes, but in jeans. This was the first indication that this skate was not going to be as hardcore as I had imagined. The second indication was that hardly anyone was wearing their mouth guards (well, I'm still terrified so I wore mine on the downhills!). Heather Headlocklear gave us a few pointers for skating the levee and off we went.

A pack of faster skaters, accompanied by Charlie Red Stick, went on up ahead and I stayed back with FM Daisy, FM Natalie, Heather Headlocklear, Cinzilla and Cinzilla's daughter/junior derby grom Hana Slam Tana, Mildred Fierce, FM September and maybe one or two others. It was nice to take it easy and to stop before each downhill portion. We would gather at the top of the hill and Cinzilla would spend time telling us what to expect, which was so helpful and I am again eternally grateful for all of her encouragement and support.

The downhill portions were really not that bad. Yes, they were really fast and scary, but it seemed that as long as I stayed loose, in a low, crouched position, with pressure off my toes and one foot just slightly in front of the other, then I made it down without crashing. Yay! And then I would hit the uphill portion and would just lose speed. I think that each attempt at going uphill in duck walk formation is what caused me to have a sprained womb this morning. Ouch! The lower abdominal muscles right above my pelvic bone are killing me.

I finished the skate with Cinzilla, Hana Slam Tana, and FM Kellie down a really steep slope and that was exhilarating! I'm really glad I didn't bite it when I ran over a plastic cup lid. Yay! I'm also glad I took time to tighten my jingling toe stops after both FM September and FM Elaina lost theirs. I am also still in love with my outdoor wheels...those monsters can handle anything!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Monday Night, Dry Eyes

At about 9:00 p.m. on Sunday I started to get butterflies about Monday night's practice at the Palladium. Those butterflies lasted throughout the flight home on Monday and right up through the first twenty minutes of practice. With my history of crying after each of the previous two Monday night practices, I just did not want to go through that again.

At the twenty minute mark, we had a group photo shoot with the Loma Linda Firefighters who were in town taking care of the wildfires up in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Then after our group stretch, the next hour or so was led by Hillary, a local skating coach. This was great. It was such a slow practice that focused on footwork and balance. It was not an easy legs (and right thumb) are definitely sore today, but it was just slow-paced, which is such a relief after the previous Monday nights. Whew!

Tonight, Fresh Meat skate outdoors at the levee, because the Harbor Hellcats need the Palladium to practice for their upcoming bout. This means, I have to switch out my wheels again. I'm a little bit nervous about skating the levee, because it is a pretty hilly skate and, as I discovered in Florida, I don't like inclines while on wheels.

(P.S. Photo lifted from Roxy Scharmichael's facebook page.)
(P.P.S. It's like a Where's Waldo game trying to find me!)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Oaks Park in Portland Rocked My World!

What's a wanna-be derby girl to do when she's out of town and has to miss practice and the joys it brings?? -- Ok, based on the description of Rachel's last Monday night practice, maybe missing wasn't such a bad thing-- Anyhow, only one day into the trip, Daisy felt the need for speed. That derby bug gets its disease into you and you find that roller rinks can beckon to you, with a flashing neon light reminiscent of demonic taunting from a cartoon character's craving. With the moon over the rink, Daisy was ready to let out a howl! Aroooo!

Oaks Park Roller Rink: scratched that itch, and how!

But really,I was just looking for some Safe, Wholesome Family Fun! Live Wurlitzer organ music made it feel especially wholesome! The teens (also rentals) were great skaters and actually asked me when we could go skating again! Yeah!! (and contrary to the pictured sign it was not "heck" in there!)

Persistent Daisy "please, please, please will you take us to Oaks Park????" pictured here with one of her (affable) Portland hosts, Kevin. What a trooper! Thanks for making my vacation skating dreams come true!

Rental Speed skates made Daisy a happy girl. Made it easier to practice a derby stance as Artistic style skaters elegantly danced by on the palatial sized floor.

When, when, can I go back to Oaks Park?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Florida Heat

I brought my skates and pads to my sister's place in Orlando, FL. I figured that I would just roll around the parking lot outside, but luckily there is a tennis court right next door. So I switched the blue wheels that came with my skates for my hot pink Radar Pure outdoor wheels. I was a little bit nervous about switching wheels without proper instruction, but I used the anatomy of a skate diagram from Sin City Skates and it was easy-peasy: Nut comes off, wheel comes off, bearings pop into new wheel, new wheel slides on, nut goes back on, and tighten. Yay!

I wanted to get out there pretty early to beat the Florida heat, but I was still on California time and did not make it out until 8:20 in the morning. It was already hot and humid. I took the wrong turn out of my sister's place and ran into a downhill slope. Uh oh! I had not expected that. I wondered if I should attempt a plow stop, but without helmet or mouthguard, I decided that the best course of action would be to just roll into the grass. I eventually found my way to the courts via concrete sidewalks. My new wheels handled the sidewalk cracks with such ease! They are not made of the same hard plastic as my blue indoor wheels, but are instead made out of some kind of thick rubber.

I spent an hour skating out in the heat...And I was soaked through after about ten minutes...At least I took frequent water breaks...

Monday, August 10, 2009


I think that for every one ounce of sweat that pours off of me during Monday night practices, I cry one ounce of tears. Yup. My sweat to tears ratio is now 1:1.

I think the worst part of Monday nights is that I am agonizingly SLOW. I have never been the fastest person, but I have also never been the slowest. I have always managed to stay somewhere in the middle of the pack, but on roller skates there is no doubt about it: I am the slowest. Case in point: During our first half hour of the night, we formed two parallel lines. The person in the back touched the person in front and that went up the line until it touched the first person in the line. The first person then sprinted around the track to the back of the line and touched the last person, she touched the next in front of her, and so on. When it came my turn to race around, I swear it felt like it took me three or four revolutions before I was able to touch FM Ariel's back. I'm pretty sure that we lost.

Next we had more sprinting drills and at the end of those revolutions we had to do push ups and sit ups. I would do those all practice if I could, because surprise! surprise! I am actually good at those. Then we had a quiz on hand signals given by refs during the games. This is something I should have been good at, but I have not studied the Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) rules. So again, lots of laps for FM Rachel as punishment.

The next part of the evening was my favorite. I was partnered with Mildred Fierce, Hallie Pena Popper, and one other person. I think she called herself Anny and maybe that means she was Anny UpYours, but maybe she said something else completely. It is so hard to annunciate with the mouth guard and it also distorts ones face and then when the helmet covers the hair and shape of one's head, it is really hard to tell people apart. My group was really nice and I think we had a lot of fun going around the track and then squishing together as a line. Every time we squished I would make weird grunting sounds, which made us laugh. I thought I did okay at this drill and that is mostly because it was a set pace and not very fast.

We then broke up into packs that were cleared to hit and packs that were not. The non-hitting pack consisted of Fresh Meat and Mildred Fierce until she gets a doctor's note that clears her for rough housing. There was more to this drill than keeping in a pack, but that's what I did, because (thankfully) Blonde did not call my name to sprint away from my pack into the other pack and back into mine. Mildred ran our pack and she was really nice and encouraging.

Our two hours finally ended. It was funny, because I am pretty sure that Blonde had said it would be only an hour long and then there would be more advanced drills for more advanced players, but I guess not. It took about twenty minutes to get all my gear off and that was mostly because I spent that time concentrating on not crying. I almost lost it when Coach Slayedher came over to say that he had been watching me skate and he thinks that if I could just lift my feet up then that would help me. I know. I try, but the wheels really want to stay on the ground and when the legs get tired it gets harder and harder to lift the skates. And that leads me to an addition to my wish list:
  1. Ankle weights: I don't know what happened to my last set, but I probably got rid of them because they were always spewing ash onto my ankles so that I had these black circles around my socks. It looks like I need these just to make my legs get used to having something heavy on them all the time.
And did I mention that they all knew who I was last night? That's right, instead of remaining under a cloak of anonymity, I listened to directions from Orientation and put my name on my helmet and shirt. So instead of just being that Slow Girl, I am now FM Rachel, the Slow Girl. Yay.

Derby Posters

I posted my last bout advertisement today during lunch. I ran around town yesterday doing errands and managed to get rid of some then. I am so bad at this sort of thing. I'm just a tad too shy to be good at it and I always hate being a bother. I ended up getting rid of one at a coffee shop, one at a local crafts store, and another at a music store. The guy at the music store insisted that the tithe for displaying a non-music related poster on his bulletin board was to give him an extra poster. Hmmmm. That seemed a bit suspicious to me, but he said "the other girls always give me an extra one." Whatever. Then today I got rid of one at the Bagelry and another at the laundromat. Phew! I then had to run to the library and was bummed that I did not have another to put up there. (FM Daisy, the Branciforte branch is calling your name for putting up a poster!) I was also given all these little postcard sized handbills, but I can't find them. They must be in a different bag. Anyway, maybe next time we should strap on our skates and roll around town asking for permission as a dynamic duo. What do you think, Daisy?

Friday, August 7, 2009

FM Rachel's Derby Wish List

  1. Functioning anti-perspirant deodorant: So a few months ago I decided to commit to buying as many products as possible that are not tested on animals and that included deodorant. I found a roll-on product in the natural section of the drug store and that seemed to work okay for about 15 hours and then I would start to smell like fetid maple syrup. Plus it seems that these natural deodorants do not have any anti-perspirant ingredients. Ugh. This does not work for me and my new derby life. Last night I used my BF's manly deodorant and that seemed fine, but I would still prefer some nice girl smelling one.
  2. Water-proof mascara: I bought some expensive BareEscentuals mascara a while back and have hated it ever since. By the end of the day I have these gray circles under my eyes, because, I swear, the mascara flecks off little bits with each chime of the hour. Ugh, but I am too cheap to chuck it and have been trying to use it all up before committing to something else. But it is definitely time for a change, because this mascara does not work with the amount of sweat that pours out from beneath my helmet. I think I really need to go get my mom's old green and pink Maybelline standby.
  3. Confidence to wear short-shorts: It seems that short-shorts have returned to plague me. I managed to wiggle my way out of only wearing the skimpy nylon maroon numbers they wanted us to sport for high school track meets by wearing unflattering gray spandex underneath. Then in the college years, while I was not plagued by short-shorts, I was forced to wear hideous unitards that left nothing to the imagination. And now it looks like, once again, I have chosen a sport that seems to really dig clothes that I have tried to avoid wearing in public. So bring me to the wizard, cause this bit o' Meat needs some confidence. And what goes with short-shorts?
  4. Bush bikini wax: Need I say more?
  5. Socks, socks, socks: I took to wearing knee high socks around the house about three or four years ago, because I was always so cold in the winter, but the collection is still pretty small. I have blue/green stripes, woolen brown/pink stripes, ninjas (with hole in toe), blue & red soccer socks, and I think that's it. This collection needs to be expanded, especially since I do not do laundry all that often.
  6. Wheels 101: I definitely need a lesson on how to change out my new (hot pink!) Radar Pure outdoor wheels so that I can go practice on the tennis courts with FM Daisy. I'm sure I could figure it out with a YouTube tutorial, but I still don't know much about the fine tuning of how tight (or loose) the wheels need to be. Plus, what is a truck?? What does it do? And how much lube does one need? These are things I need to know.
  7. Bandana skills: FM Nikki showed up to practice on Tuesday sportin' a super cool pink bandana wrapped around her pretty blonde hair. Then last night she had on a cool Jose Cuervo bandana. I think I really need to learn these bandana tying skills. I have one bandana that I made in Japan at the traditional indigo-dying workshop and I have no idea what to do with it. Every time I put it on my head, I feel like I should go clean a toilet.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Not yer grandma's Do-si-do

Today while I was 'on desk' my co-worker spoke to me and I made the huge mistake of turning my head toward her-- slowly about 30 degrees to the right. Aaaaaaaaa! My neck/shoulder/right arm juncture is killing me from all that whoopin' it up at practice with FM Alayna doin' the derby do-si-do: one partner whips the other from behind her to directly in front, then the other returns the favor... and on and on for what feels like about 20 laps. Super fun, but ooh that smarts! This is my first more-than-fleeting derby inflicted pain so far (I know, lucky!!) and though I was movin' kinda slow today, I did feel pretty butch. I figure if I take the pain doses incrementally I will get acclimated. Slow boiled frog, anyone?

New Skates. No Tears.

Last night, carrying my new Riedell Vandal 265's in a vintage plaid bag that I bought for a buck at a yard sale last weekend, I hit the Palladium with the other girls for our first official Fresh Meat only practice. Our head coach, Charlie Red Stick, gave my new skates a mysterious adjustment and out I went.

We started with 15 laps in a pace line, which means we are all in one line following a leader around the track. We had to stay in our "derby form," which means we skate around in a squat-like position. It's better to stay low to the ground, I think for both balance and speed. My legs and lower back were really starting to throb by lap 12 or 13, but it soon ended and we were allowed to stretch in the middle of the rink.

Besides Charlie, our coaches last night were Heather Headlocklear (who is still off skates per doctor's orders after giving birth 3.5 weeks ago!), Bronco (Ref), and Crushed N. Slayedher (Ref). We went around the room and said a little blurb about what we had learned the night before. As for me, well, I learned what happens to one's head when one's helmet is just slightly askew. (Update on the forehead: the lump is still red and very tender.) Then the coaches spoke for a bit and I thought the best advice came from Heather who said that we should not compare ourselves to the other skaters, because everyone is at different levels and we all learn at different rates. That's pretty good advice, because I am constantly comparing myself to others.

We then did the shopping cart drill. This drill involves two people. One person is in front squatting in derby form and the other is behind and pushes the other girl forward. Thanks to some personal instruction from Pixie Painful two weekends ago, I was ready for this drill. I have trouble pushing, but it helped steady me to have someone in front. As for being the person being pushed, Pixie instructed me on how to go through corners by staying low to the ground and extending the right leg out to the side to help steer us. It felt good to start the night with something I could actually do.

Charlie then wanted to work on stopping. She wanted us to skate halfway down the rink and then stop with a plow stop and then skate to the other wall, do a quick turnaround, and stop backwards on our toe stops. I could hear a collective shudder go around the room. Heather must have heard it too, because she asked if any of us needed assistance. I think almost half of us went to the side to practice these stopping techniques while the other half went and completed the drill.

We started with the backwards toe stop. Okay, so I really can only go forward at this point and have not worked on turning around while in motion. Coach Slayedher took some time to work with me on turning around and said not to worry about the stop just yet. Sound advice, because it probably should be learned in increments. I still had not mastered turning around by the time we started on plow stops. Half the group went and joined the rest of the team, while about six of us stayed behind and worked on plow stops.

I guess the best way to describe a plow stop is to think of how you would stop if on skis and pointing the tips of the skis together to plow through the snow. It's the same concept here, except there are no skis. You have to spread your legs pretty far apart, squat down like you are taking a massive dump (or giving birth to a massive baby), and then put pressure on the outer wheels. I've been practicing these in rental skates since tryouts with minimal success. Perhaps the wider wheels of my new skates helped, but I think the real Aha! moment came when Heather Headlocklear said to turn my knees in toward the end of the stop. It totally worked! Coach Slayedher seemed pretty impressed and encouraged me to try stopping while going at a faster speed. Yes! After last night's fiasco of a practice, it felt so good to actually be able to do something with some success.

Because I stuck around to do more stopping drills, I missed the hip bump drill. When I rejoined the pack we were working on a Do-Si-Do drill whereby you whip your partner around and then she whips you. (This is accomplished by extending your fist behind you and your parter then grabs on with two hands and gets pulled around for some massive forward momentum.) I was partnered with FM Natalie, whose nose is in remarkable shape after meeting my forehead on Monday night. I have no problem being whipped around (though I need to learn to move my feet and not to coast through the turns), but I have not had much luck at whipping others. I have lots of upper body strength, so I'm not quite sure if I'm not using it correctly or if I'm still too unsteady on my skates to get any momentum behind this action.

FM Daisy and I were then partnered up for some sort of cone drill where we had to look behind us to see the number of fingers our partner was holding up. This seemed like a pretty confusing drill and I'm still not sure we did it correctly. We then worked on jammer starts. There are two different kinds. The first is where you run on your toe stops and I'm pretty terrified of this one. The second is called a duck start, I think. You run with a wider stance, but on all wheels. And then we ended up having some clockwise (yikes!) cool down laps and an organized group stretch. We did not stretch after Monday night's practice, so I really liked that we took the time to do this.

So overall, I had a much more positive experience than Monday night's practice. It was calmer and I did not feel as singled out as much as I did the other night. I did take a nasty fall to my right hip, but there's lots of padding there and it doesn't seem to be too damaged. I also put pressure on my right wrist when I fell. There's already a bruise on my palm from Monday night's many falls, so double ouch.

And did you notice? There was no crying! Yay for me!

After practice, FM Daisy and I picked up my BF and we went for some celebratory ice cream at Marianne's, where we were instructed by annoying tourists on how to go inside and get a number. While waiting in a ridiculously long line for a Tuesday night, we posted the latest bout poster on Marianne's bulletin board!

Appropriate Dress

I was stoked to get my Bumperboy and Bumperpup Fist Bump t-shirt in the mail right before practice # 2 and wore it proudly to the rink. When Charlie (our coach) announced that we would be doing our first "bump" drills I beamed!! I was in (drag queen/girl) Heaven, my outfit matched the drill!! The 'bumps' were the babiest little hits to your partner on the hip (think 'doin' the bump' to the mellowest of motown music--perhaps the Temptations 'The Way You Do the Things You Do'). I was in a delightful hip-bump threesome and as they were baby bumps, I don't seem to have any bruises to show for it. Thanks, Debbie!
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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

They must like their Meat pulverized...

I feel like what was once a lovely, fatty slab of well-marbled Kobe beef, has now been chopped up, put through the grinder, and turned into cheap ground chuck. And this was only after one night of practice as Fresh Meat with the Santa Cruz Derby Girls (SCDG).

Has my mind been addled by the HGH-fed beef that I've been subsisting on for my near entire existence? I mean, seriously, what was I thinking? Prior to last night's practice I only had about 15 hours of cumulative skating experience in the last month. And before that, you ask? Well, let's just say I hugged the wall at each of the three or four elementary school birthday parties that were held at the rink in Ferndale, NY.

That being said, after watching my first bout of the Santa Cruz Boardwalk Bombshells vs. Jet City Pink Pistols on June 27th, I fell in love with the sport and the grace with which these women squeeze through the pack. So with a nudge from FM Daisy, I strapped on some skates for the first time in close to 20 years and went to the Santa Cruz Roller Palladium. As the night went on, I moved inch by inch away from the wall. Progress. Two weeks later, FM Daisy and I got all dolled up for the next bout's theme of Tutu Army, which caught the attention of some of the girls on the team who then encouraged us to try out, even after my vehement protestations of "I don't know how to skate!"

As you can imagine, I found myself stumbling and falling through the tryouts, yet sweetly encouraged by my lovely evaluator, Liv N. LetDie. And then after four agonizing days of waiting, I finally got the call from Head Coach, Blonde Claude van Damme. I was in! Was she sure, though? I didn't bother to ask, in case she realized that the call had been meant for Smachel the Super Star Skater and not Rachel the Pink-Faced-Porcupine on Wheels. So I continued to go to the Palladium with Daisy. We then went to buy skates and gear at Cruz Skate Shop in San Francisco. I was able to pick up everything but the skates, which had sold out during that weekend's super sale.

So, still without my own skates, last night I showed up for our first practice with all my gear and used the rental skates from the Palladium (Size 8, #06 -- I go so often I know which pairs work and which pairs don't). It was a Skills & Drills practice with the full-fledged members of the team also in attendance. Yikes! As it turned out, they were all super nice and supportive. Liv, Lulu Lockjaw, and Charlie Red Stick all pulled me aside at different times to help me go backwards, forwards, and around turns with crossovers. Double yikes! The goal of the night was to keep us moving, which they did. I was pretty grateful for that, because every time we stopped I wanted to just sit down and cry. After a frustrating drill or two and while listening to the directions for the next drill, I would feel my eyes start to well up, so I would then covertly use my t-shirt sleeve to wipe the "sweat" from my eyes. We also had to do push ups if we were passed by the coach or passed the coach on stops. I was also grateful for those, because though I cannot skate, I can certainly do massive amounts of push ups. There was also a rule about not touching the wall under threat of additional push ups. My secret inner wimp was really hoping to be caught touching the wall, because my secret inner wimp actually prefers push ups to having wheels on her feet.

And so the two hour practice ended, but not before I found myself all damaged. And would you believe this was done after we had taken our skates off? Blonde lined us up in one long row with no spaces between us. She then instructed one person at a time to run full speed ahead into the line with her eyes closed. This is considered a Trust Exercise -- like when you fall backwards and trust that the person behind you will catch you. Well, for this exercise we had to trust that the line would stop us. So, I was ready for this. I mean, what better way to show that I am not a complete klutz than to run around without my skates on. I watched new and seasoned Fresh Meat do the exercise and I also watched the actual team members doing this. They all seemed to automatically slow down as they reached the line or they would peek out of their eyes. Hmmmmm. Well, when it came to be my turn, I ran full speed into my line and WHAM! My brow hammered the nose of a fellow Fresh Meater. She claimed to be okay and apologized for her nose piercing which also scraped my brow (don't get me started on people wearing any kind of jewelry to sports practices). As I stood there, eyes smarting with the pain, I tried desperately to hold in the scream that was pretty close to bursting forth. FM Ariel ran and got me an ice pack and because it seemed foolish to continue participating in the exercise when my trust had obviously been broken, I went and sat out for the last five minutes.

As people filtered over to check on me, mini tears of pain would bubble forth as I pointed at the hideous red lump that was rapidly taking over my left brow. As one person said, "Well, at least it's a lump and not a dent," which is something I had not considered. As soon as I was in FM Daisy's car and away from all the others, I started to officially cry and these were not the tears of pain. These were the tears of frustration and exhaustion and anger. Daisy was super sweet and told me how proud she was of me during the entire practice for falling and getting back up each time. She later sent me a virtual ice pack over email and that also made me cry...what a wonderful derby fiancee!

So as I trudged into the house, I went up to the BF and just started to blubber on his very supportive shoulder. I'm not quite sure that I was coherent as I pointed at my lump and explained what happened. We went into the kitchen where I grabbed a frozen bag of corn and (gently) plopped it against my forehead. We checked Web MD for symptoms of a concussion, because while it would have been a relief not to contemplate another night of practice, it probably was not a good idea to go to bed and die. I didn't seem to have any of the symptoms, so I numbed my brain by watching a DVD before showering and suffering through a night of restless sleep and derby-related nightmares. The crying stopped eventually, though there was some leakage when I looked at the shiner on my brow this morning.

I have Fresh Meat practice again tonight and I just got word that my skates have arrived at the house. So it looks like I'm heading to practice again in about four hours. Tonight we will only have Fresh Meat at the Palladium and again I'll fight through it, but hopefully throughout this Fresh Meat training program, my ground chuck self will be molded, shaped, and formed into a decent enough skating meat patty.