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:
- 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.