Are you interested in joining a roller derby league? Read about our adventures from Day One of being Fresh Meat with the Santa Cruz Derby Girls. Start with the first post and work your way forward by clicking on "Newer Post" following the comments. Enjoy and good luck!
Remember my post about Fresh Meat Craft? Well Craft just compiled a list of their favorite meat projects after seeing Lady Gaga's recent meat outfits. So there are many more meat crafting ideas for your favorite Freshie! Though I would personally leave the real meat in the fridge, away from my sewing needle!
Santa Cruz vs Santa Cruz: League members don black and white and duke it out with no announcers, no beer, no music, just derby. AND the debut of Dewey Decibel!
Yes folks, Tonight is my first time playing derby IN PUBLIC!
Maybe that is why I woke up at 3:30 am and could do nothing but wash dishes and pay bills. Yowie! I've invited a ton of people, friends, family, co-workers, my library director, my city manager, Jose Luis Orozco, and even random strangers-- now I wonder if that was a good idea. My thinking is that having a crowd (loud!) rootin' for me will give me the added oomph to really kick ass. Let down my fans? Never! How will I face my teenage nephews if I totally bonk?
I'm taking this afternoon off work (to go take a nap, I hope!) to prepare and this mornining on the reference desk I plan to over and over visualize myself getting past walls, accelerating like crazy on my skates and blocking, blocking blocking.
Since Wednesday's practice I've been replaying Glitter HitHer yelling "Balls to the Wall! Balls to the Wall!" as she rounded the turns on our track at the warehouse. Balls to the Wall indeed. Please, derby gods, let me unleash my inner-amazon tonight!
So much to think about... what kind of face decoration shall be my trademark? (I'm thinking a "READ" tattoo leftover from the Summer Reading Program), when will I get to play with my new team? (Seabright Sirens, along with Barbarian Librarian). And most pressing on my mind: Will I eat shit and look like a jive-ass turkey tonight?
This derby journey has been incredible. I want to thank Scarlett for making it all happen by simply saying to me "I want to do that" when we attended our first bout just over a year ago. Doing derby makes everything else in life so much easier. My world has opened up since I braved try-outs last year. I'm so lucky to be involved with such powerful women, dedicated coaches and off-skates bad-asses (I'm talking about you, Secret!) and amazingly awesome, gritty Groms (our junior derby girls). I hope to make you all proud of me tonight!
So if you're in Santa Cruz, come on down and watch for Dewey Decibel, hopefully skatin' like a mofo!
So, I realize that I have not submitted a blog post in over two months. You see, I've been going through some growing pains with the sport and have decided to spend the rest of the season off of skates. This was a pretty hard decision to make (I think I cried for the entire week before and the entire week after changing my status), but I needed to regain my perspective and perhaps my sanity.
About two weeks before our scheduled scrimmage assessment I decided to stop skating. I felt like I was so close to the finish line and it still feels like I gave up too early, but I was (am) still unable to do that turn stop and my entire eligibility to assess and to someday tryout for a team seemed to hinge upon that one skill. I know that I had two weeks to practice, practice, practice, but I had just lost my drive and my enthusiasm. I felt angry and frustrated and I would dread going to practice; my attendance significantly dropped off and I didn't even want to go watch practice. I used to cry a lot after practice, but when I started to cry consistently before and during practice, I thought I probably needed a chance to regroup.
I didn't quit the league entirely. I had considered doing so, but I think that I do have some value in an off-skates capacity. I am on two league committees and I'd like to think that I am pretty good at what is asked of me there. So I'm just taking some time off and focusing my energies elsewhere..maybe I'll do more sewing, because I am definitely good at that and could use an ego boost. I'm going to give my knees a rest (they've been hurting a lot walking down inclines) and when I feel a little better, maybe I'll consider getting back on the wheels.
In the meantime, I'd like to congratulate all of the gals who did their scrimmage assessment on Wednesday. I'm very proud of you all and it was a pleasure skating with you. Your FM cohort was made up of a really sweet bunch of girls and I wish you luck with your derby future. For those that didn't take the assessments, that's okay too...You'll do it when you're ready and you'll be great!
And a BIG congratulations to Dewey Decibel! Yay!!! I'm very proud of you for all of your hard work and thank you so much for your encouragement and support.
A couple of weeks ago, Cinzilla had these scrimmage tanks I ordered ready for me at practice. Seeing my name and number right there in black and white made my throat go "Ulp..." a little. Am I ready to don these babies and scrimmage with the big girls?
I've experienced various delays with time off skating--including sprained (not broken!) wrist, and laparoscopic (non-derby related!) ovarian surgery. Perhaps this has made me a little too comfortable hanging back a bit? Many of the girls I tried out with have passed their scrimmage assessment tests and even placed on the Hellcats team. I watch them with pride, (my sisters are kicking butt!) but sometimes wonder, shouldn't I be pushing a little harder to catch up to these girls? Don't get me wrong... I've been having an absolute blast at practice with the new batch of fresh meat. (Birthing the Baby, anyone?) But time has flown and oh my gosh, now they've gone and reached their 90 day mark and aren't so fresh anymore themselves. I'm feeling like very moldy, maggoty meat, indeed.
Gotta move along! It's time for me to take things to the next level and push myself into the land of the scrimmaging--aka: the skaters who have been cleared for practices that involve full contact--aka: hitting. In order to be cleared for scrimmaging a skater must demonstrate a bunch of stuff including:
good form (good, good. I can do that),
that she is a safe skater with clean hits and clean falls (Pretty sure I've got that down)
that she can conduct herself appropriately in a pack (Yeah, I'm good with that too)
Oh, and show aggressiveness. That's where the "ulp..." comes in. The pacifist, non-athletic part of my brain whines, "I've always been a lover, not a fighter! I've never been mistaken for Sporty Spice--I didn't do soccer (or any other sport) as a kid. There's no hitting in salsa dance!!"'
As much as old voices in my head argue, I cannot deny that derby has taught me a lot. Physical and mental challenges abound. I've skated way past the point where I want to give up, shown up for practice absolutely dead-tired and left rejuvenated, and launched myself at girls trying to go 'through' my target--trying to channel every irritating library interaction of my workday into one big wallop to the quadriceps of my drill partner.
There is so much in derby that is absolutely nothing like anything I've ever done before in my life. It's been a challenging and interesting process on so many levels and I'm loving how strong it makes me feel. Really, it makes sense for me to push for this thing I really hope to master: feeling like I can really be an ass-kicker to be reckoned with. So, with that I say "Bring on the Scrimmage Assessment!"
Wish me luck at tomorrow night's practice where I'll kick off the scrimmage assessment process by having Coaches Shammy and Crushed N. Slayedher look at my skating form and determine whether I'm ready to move to the next level.
And if all goes well, I'll be able to post a picture of me wearing those scrimmage tanks soon!
Hooray! Something to do with all the pre-bout energy!
We're holding monthly fundraisers-- building a travel fund to get our players to away games. This one is hosted by my very own committee--Spirit! Fresh Meat Franny, one of our dedicated newbies worked out the details with Surf City Billiards and it's on! This gorgeous flyer was produced by one of our newest deckhands--Thanks Cailin! Come on out and play pool and/or eat and/or drink:15-25% of what you spend on any of these activities will go to our hard-workin' girls. Yeah!
Tickets for SCDG's bouts can be purchased online at: www.santacruztickets.com, by phone at (831) 420-5260, or at the Civic Auditorium's box office, located at 307 Church Street in downtown Santa Cruz.
Box Office hours are:
Tuesday - Friday: 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
Saturday: 10:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
The Box Office will open 90 minutes prior to events for event sales only.
Advance-purchase, general admission tickets are on sale now.
Doors open at 5:45, Game starts at 6:30
Adults $20.50 (advance)
Adults $24.50 (day of event)
Students (under 18) $13.50
Kids (under 13) $7.50
Babies in arms free (under 2)
A limited number of season tickets are available. Sales of season tickets will end May 1st or when available season ticket bundles have been sold out, whichever comes first. Season tickets are non-replaceable. Cost of season tickets are $140.00. Season tickets cover eight scheduled home bouts at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, including the double header on October 23rd. Service charges included.
At my last practice I realized the importance of security. That is, the security of one's self in one's sports bra. After a desperate search for the aforementioned athletic garment in the clean clothes pile and a realization that all were buried deep within the dirty pile, I decided not to wear a sports bra. It wasn't like I thought we were going to be jumping up and down at practice, which is, in my estimation, the major reason for tethering oneself in restrictive undergarmentry, so I decided to risk my security -- I grabbed the first thing I saw, a soft black nylon number lacking in underwiring and strapped in.
I realized the error of my ways even before I had made it out onto the floor. On my walk from the house to the car and from the car to the Palladium, one of the girls had become unleashed. Through my t-shirt, I discreetly tucked Miss Lefty back in her place and went out onto the floor. Maybe it wasn't even the best choice in normal bras!
Not long after skating a bit, I again cursed my foolish thinking. It doesn't matter that they do not bounce up and down as they would if one were out jogging, because in skating they sway from side to side; it's sort of a swish-swishy-swish movement. After the pace-line, I made a dash for my bag. I knew I had an Ace bandage and some sticky athletic tape tucked into one of the pockets. I had visions of a Just One of the Guys/Boys Don't Cry wrap-job. As soon as I found them, I ran to the bathroom and started picking at the tape with my fingernail. It would not peel away! Time was running out, because we had only been released for a quick water break. Ugh! What to do?!?!
I ended up skipping the tape and finishing the rest of practice with lots of adjustments, maneuvers, and shimmies to keep my girls in place. Never again will I be without security whilst on skates!
I am under the impression that if we cannot successfully execute a turn-stop, then derby life, as we know it, will abruptly come to an end. Okay, well maybe we'll still be allowed to practice if we can't do this, but we will be shunned by polite society and we will be banned from team playing. You could feel the ripples of panic wash over the turn-stop-challenged skaters at practice on Monday night when this edict was given.
The following video demonstrates three types of stops, the T-stop, the Plow, and the Turn-stop (or Tomahawk). The lady clearly states that the turn-stop is an "advanced move" (1:22) and is "difficult to execute" (1:28). I can do the plow stop and am very wobbly when it comes to the T-stop. So I'm one for three, because the turn-stop reduces me to tears of frustration each time I attempt it.
I'll get it eventually. I mean, I eventually got the crossing over thing after a loooong time. Of course, I'm pretty sure that I still look like a doofus doing them and the WFTDA minimum skills requirements clearly state that one must not look like a doofus when doing crossovers (1.3.3). In short, I am personally not in a complete panic about these turn-stops. I haven't even passed the scrimmage assessments yet, so the chances of making a team at the end of the month were slim to none to begin with. So, I'm just going to plod along as Slow N. Steady Sue and I'll get there...someday.
I just washed off seven layers of sweat after a very, very long skate along the Coastal Trail from Sand City to Monterey. Eight of us gathered at the Borders in Sand City this morning to gear up and skate what could have possibly been a twelve-mile roundtrip excursion. This trail was great; there were exciting downhills, challenging uphills, gorgeous coastal views, and the weather was fantastic!
On those exciting downhill slopes, however, I tended to be a Nervous Nellie. I wanted to go fast, but I feared plummeting to my death off the embankment and into the ocean. To prevent the aforesaid death, I took a dive into the pavement on the first major downhill slope. I just kept gathering speed despite my attempt at plowstopping all the way down and when the speed became too much, down I went. I ended up skidding on my stomach along the pavement. It was a pretty hard hit and it definitely knocked the wind out of me. I now have a 1x2 inch patch of road rash on my stomach just below the belly button.
Soon after recovering from this bit of treachery, my forward progression was hampered by sand traps along the trail. There are these fantastic golden sand dunes along one portion of the coast and they tend to meander....right onto the path. There were a number of these patches along the pavement and I quickly discovered that you cannot go through these sand traps with any sort of momentum and must either walk through them or get onto the roadway, which will thus cause little old ladies driving red cars to honk incessantly at you to get out of the road.
Otherwise the skate was pretty uneventful (in that there was no additional damage to my body). We stopped for lunch in Cannery Row and skipped a big ol' uphill on the way back to the cars. I ran into a coworker (Hi Phil!) who recognized me because I was wearing my Scarlett O'Feral track jacket. The whole experience was a lot of fun and definitely worth another try!
(This is the only picture that was taken with my camera. We stopped for a very pretty one with the marina in the background, but the kind photographer could not figure out my camera. Oh well. And that's me in the shark shirt.)
The opinions expressed by the Fresh Meat bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of the Santa Cruz Derby Girls or any member thereof. The Santa Cruz Derby Girls is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by these bloggers.