Reflections

It’s almost new years eve, it’s been a year of loss, challenges, health issues and some really blessed time. I start a journey back to school for my MBA. I have stepped back from leadership in roller derby and I have been able to meet my birth father and a sister I never knew I had. I got to spend some quality time with my mom before she passed and with my brother and his family. I wasn’t here for Harvey, which is best as my compromised immune system could have made me very sick. And knowing me I would have been out trying to help all my friends. 

I want to start 2018 better than this year and so far so good as I’m not in the hospital! I have renewed ambitions and lots of goals. My job situation is unknown but I’m leaving that in God’s hands. 

I miss my mom and it makes me miss my dad more too. Since my sister and bio dad live in Oklahoma I don’t get to visit them as much as I would like either. Traveling is more complicated so I stay close to home more than I might if I was younger. I miss seeing my brother and spending time with all of them.

I will spend new years with my family here and that is so awesome to have them close. I remember being excited and scared to move away from my home town but I have made Houston my home. I wish other family was closer but it just means I have places to visit and must plan trips in the near future. I will embrace life to is fullest no matter what comes my way. I am here to live, love and grow. 

To all of my family, wherever you all, I love you and pray for you daily and one day I will see you in person! 

To all of my friends, who are also my family, I love you all and appreciate you more than you will ever know!

Thank you all for being there with your strength and encouragement so I can move thru the hard times and celebrate the good ones! May the new year being you tidings of great joy! 

Until next year, love and peace be with you! 

Melody Kool

AKA Gina White 

AKA Melody Stanford

Roller derby journey

So I have found a new league close to home!! I am so excited to be learning from Rosie and Tex. They are awesome and we have a great bunch of new girls.  The Yellow Rose Derby Girls are just starting out and I am so excited to be a part of this brand new league.  There is much to do and lots to learn.  It is awesome to have new girls that are so enthusiastic and who actually think I am so good, which is only because I have been doing this a couple of years now.  After a few months they will be just as good or better and I love to be there to help them along.

Having a lot more one on one attention and bringing them up as a group is an exciting and rewarding experience.  I can remember the first time I went out on the track with the “Big Girls” of the recreational league and feeling so intimidated and inadequate and unsure of what to do or how to do it.  I can relate to the frustrations of not being able to keep up, or do the drills correctly or even know if I am close to doing them right.  Our little group of newbies that started at the same time bonded together.  It was good but we needed a not so newbie to take us aside, show us things to do, what to work on, how to work on it, and why it was important.

Until you skate in that first scrimmage, everything you learn seems to not relate to the actual game of roller derby.  Then that big day comes and you are thrown out there to skate without knowing what on earth to expect, what to do or even able to keep up.

Everything you do in the beginning is what gets you to be scrimmage ready.  You do have to play to learn, it is the best and fastest way, once you are comfortable on you skates and have built up your endurance and passed you basic skills, it is time to jump in and start doing.

But take the time to learn the drills, practice the drills, master the drills.  Put all your effort into doing everyone, getting better at them each time.  Push yourself a little farther at every practice.  Set mini goals, such as count how many laps you do for the 1 to 2 minute sprint during warm ups and try to improve on that each time.  Take the time to work on building up your body outside of practice.  It doesn’t have to be extreme just work on doing more sit ups, lunges, squats and things like this that will translate into core strength while on the track.  And skate every chance you get, nothing makes up for time on skates, even if it is skating around the rink with friends.  It will pay off.

Derby Love to all on my new team and those who got me here!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

The holidays are a great time of the year for me but I know it is not so for everyone.  We take this time to connect with family and take pleasure in each others company.  Forgive transgressions, accept each other and celebrate!

This is a time of reflection and of moving forward.  Living every day to its fullest and making sure my friends and family know I am there for them no matter what.  Knowing that they are there for me.

I remember my family members that have left this world and celebrate everyone who is here. I am thankful for my health and everyone who is important to me that passes through or stays.

This is my journey and I do not have to be famous to have lived a famous life! My greatest pleasure comes from serving and giving and teaching my life lessons to those coming behind me. And I never stop learning and growing.

We brought up our children with deep seeded traditions that are still being practiced today by all of them. Our greatest gift we could pass on!

I want to wish everyone a blessed holiday season and may all your desires be realized!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Turn up the training

I attended my first out of town roller derby bootcamp! It was awesome. I have come away with a clearer view of what I need to personally work on to improve. The most valuable information was the importance of cross training. Everything I ptactice on skates needs to be practiced off skates too. And I believe strength training is beneficial as well.

Getting more and different drills is very important also. I am sure these will be shared with our league. And I am excited to use my new knowledge.

Playing with and against all levels of skill is beneficial. Must play with more skilled players to improve and I cannot wait to go to rollercon for the first time on 2013!

I am looking forward to an awesome new derby year!!

Who is Melody Kool?

I have had a few people ask me about how I got my derby name.  It was actually my husband who made the suggestion.

I have known all my life that I was adopted and that my first name had been Melody.   Since I was 2 When I was adopted, my parents were asked to pick out their own name for me and so I was renamed Gina after my dads Italian heritage.   Since I never had any nicknames (that can be mentioned here) it was a cool name for starters.  And one I should recognize when hearing it.

The next part was taken from a song by Prince, Melody Cool, my absolute favorite artist of all time.   I purposely changed the spelling so as not to infringe on any copyrights.  The song is not one of his big hits but is a good one. I use music notes as my symbol to go with my derby name, although I’m not sure people get it.

I find it very interesting how and why derby names are chosen. It can say so much about the person. I have personally had to overcome myself to evolve into this alternate persona and it has been a blast creating her! So as you newbies consider you derby persona think about it and choose what is your alter ego and have Fun!!! See you on the derby track!!

Derby Grandmother

Our first grandchild was born on April 14 2011, Katelynn Nicole.  I heard many grandparents rave about their grand kids and how different it was from being a parent but I was completely unprepared for this.  Words just cannot express the feelings and joy and pride I have.

It is amazing to watch another generation from you come into this world and see them grow and become little people.  Every time we babysit we come away in what we call baby daze.  Nothing else matters.  Of course she is the smartest most perfect child ever born.  The best thing is how much patience I have with her.  Not to mention seeing those little things in her that are you. You know like when she throws herself on the floor for a tantrum and your mother reminds you how you used to do that. Ha, me, not me!! Well um maybe; it is cute when she does it though. 🙂

Obviously she is also my motivation to continue my derby experience to help me be able to keep up with her.  And I cannot wait to teach her to skate.  She will love it as anything that makes her go is her favorite thing to do!

It is also incredibly awesome to watch your children become parents. My daughter has become great woman and now a mother and I watch in awe as she moves along with her life and her precious family.

As Thanksgiving fast approaches I have so very much to be thankful for.  My family is my support and my husband my rock.  Spending the time with my family is the best gift in the world and we come together in love regardless of what is going on in life.  I remind myself daily to be thankful for all that I have and all that is to come.

As our children grow up and we grow older and our parents older still, I am humbled by how short a time we have to be with them, make the most of every single minute!

Roller derby over 50

Melody Kool was born on September of 2010 when I got brave enough to go to my first roller derby training.  I discovered this sport about a year before when I went to watch a friend play.  I grew up roller skating and loved it.  Little did I know that it could be a sport that I could learn.  Mind you I was terrible at everything except swimming and even then was to timid to compete.

I wa alreedy 49 when I became a part of the sport and I have to work very hard to keep up with the 20 to 30 year old players.  I am determined to get as good as I can even if I can’t make a public competing team. I’m still trying and am going to my first bootcamp in
December. 

Regardless of how things go I plan to skate right into the next life. I had to find the motivation to get up off the couch and get into shape and this is how I am doing it.  I am in the best shape since my early 30’s.  I have discovered it is never to late to start.  I have had set backs with some injurys and watching some many pass me by but I will not give up!