Sunday, September 13, 2009

I think I can...I think I can...

I'm finally beginning to feel like maybe, just maybe, I'm going to successfully get through this Fresh Meat period.  In August, when we first started, I really struggled at almost every practice.  It felt like the only thing I could do was a plow stop.  Everything else seemed to cause me great anguish.  I would go home and cry after almost every Monday night practice.  I'd feel okay about the Fresh Meat only practices after Tuesday nights, but as the week progressed and we got closer to Monday, little nervous worms of dread would start to eat away at my stomach.  I started to think that they were really trying to weed me out--not because I couldn't fulfill the attendance policy, but because I just could not skate.

It's been a month and a half now and I've finally stopped being Queen Sticky Wheels (all eight wheels on the ground).  My crossovers may be sloppy and I still have trouble pushing with my left leg in mid-crossover, but I'm doing them.  I no longer constantly hear "Pick up your feet!" and "Do your crossovers!" from the sidelines.  And I think what really helped this last week at Tuesday's practice, and which gave me a little boost of confidence, was when the coaches timed our twenty laps around the track.

The Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) has a minimum skills requirements list (pdf) and in that it indicates that skaters must be able to do twenty-five laps in under five minutes.  So the coaches did a mini-assessment of us.  They split the Fresh Meat in half and the first group of girls did their twenty laps.  I was in the next group and didn't have anyone to count laps for me, so our coach, Charlie Red Stick, volunteered for the job.

After the clock started, I struggled a little bit to get rolling, but somehow managed to do so.  If there is one thing I have learned from running and rowing long distances, it is not to waste all my energy in the beginning.  It felt like everyone around me burst into a sprint, but I decided to keep it at a steady, medium pace, and I fell in somewhere behind them.  Throughout the twenty laps, Charlie stayed right with me.  She skated out of bounds in the center ring and gave me lap updates.  She reminded me to constantly watch out for other skaters and when I faltered in my steps, she would shout encouragements.  I finished the twenty laps in just under 3:40.  I would not have been able to do that a month ago and am still so relieved that I was able to not only finish, but to finish in under five minutes.  Afterwards, Charlie came up to me and gave me a hug and later told me she was proud of me.  Awwwww!  Cockles warmed!

So, two skills down (laps and plows), thirty or so to go!  Turn stops are still beyond my grasp.  Every time we do knee dips, I really think I won't be able to get back up again...cursed creaky joints!  And what is this about hopping over a three inch object?? [insert increased heart rate and hyperventilating] Okay, wait. One thing at a time, right?  I can do this.  I'm trying to think positive -- I really want to be...

1 comment:

FM Daisy said...

Soon you'll be saying "I knew I could, I knew I could, I knew I could." :)