Back on the Track

Happy New Year!  I have finally returned to the track and low and behold not just as a skater but as our Rose Bud Trainer (what we named our Fresh Meat).  Since this is a new year with new trainers and after a break we have gone back to basics.  This means that I have had the opportunity to run basic skills training for our league.  So far it has been a blast for me, and I hope for everyone else too.

I spent my recovery from surgery reading, researching and learning everything I could about roller derby, drills, coaching and I am putting all that to work on the track.  I have specific goals for myself this year and for our team.  We are now a WFTDA Apprentice League and that is a game changer for us.  We have more rules to follow and we hope to become full WFTDA league in the future.

That being said, I plan to to do some serious weight lifting and off the track work outs.  I want to improve my agility skills and up my endurance.  Since I will be planning practices and such when we have new skaters join us I have a plan in writing that I will hold myself accountable to.  I would like to see everyone on our team write down their goals and share them so we can help each other meet and exceed these goals. 

Running a team and league takes every single person to do some part and be willing to learn all aspects of the game from NSO to reffereeing.  The more you learn about all the pieces the better you will be as a player.  I also encourage everyone to take advantage of other training opportunities such as speed, and open scrimages.  The more you play, the better you get and the more you learn.

I have been so blessed to get to skate with some truly awesome people and look forward to a great year of learning and playing.  Another goal is to write my blog more often this year.  I am working on all aspects of my life.  Until next time, skate hard and learn things!

Injury Recovery-The Long Road Back

I am 8 weeks out from my shoulder surgery.  I have to say it has been just as hard as they told me it would be.  I am still having to manage pain and do all the exercises.  My physical therapist shows me what to do and I push myself to do it, but it is still slow going.  I am elated at being able to use my right hand to feed myself and type again.  I still cannot open doors and I am maybe 3/4ths of the way to full range of motion and that is being generous.

Every athelete that gets injured knows what is like to go through the recovery process and it totally sucks.  My surgeon assures me that I will be much happier on the other side of this.

Set backs are all a part of life and there are so many other things that are worse or more important than my injury and recovery, that I am still thankful to have my health and the ability to recover.  Team mates have been supportive and I know how hard it is to know what to say to someone who is off the track and struggling to get better so they can be back out there with everyone.  We have had our share of injuries this year.

It has made me do some research on preventing injury.  There is such a thing.  Extra protection gear is one way to help, I wear padded shorts and shin guards which are not required.  But I think that especially for fresh meat learning how to skate it is advisable.  Tailbone injuries can end your strive to be a derby girl and the shins getting kicked is just common sense.  Not everyone is going to be the same and some accomodations have to be made to focus on what is good for you and your body.

The coaches shout about our form and yet, 90% of even the most experienced on the team do not have good derby stance form, however all of them think that they do.  I had some newbies argue with me that they were in good form so I had them do their skating around the track and I filmed them, then I showed them.  It was an eye opener.  We need more sprints and squats while on the track, and sprints are not a race in which you sacrifice form to beat a team mate.  And when the someone tells you are you not low enough, believe them and work harder to get lower.  Remember that training is just that, you are not competing with your team mates, you are competing with yourself and the track and the drills.  You must work on the things you do not do well and not concentrate on doing what you already know how to do. 

We are just about to end our season with our last bout and take a quick break for holidays and then it is back at it to get ready for the next season.  I have had a very long break and am so ready to get back on the track with my team mates.  Hopefully, try outs will go well and I will be able to try out when we have them.

Watching from sidelines, I have seen our girls progress and the training intensify and it is an awesome sight to behold.  I am suppose to have all my range of motion back in 4 more weeks and my therapist and I will be working hard to get there.  In therapy, pain really does mean gain.  I have had to learn that the pain I have now is not injury pain it is healing pain.  But I will be back stronger than ever, there is some serious weight lifting in my future!!

Until next time – Love you guys!

Elation to Deflation

I did it, I skated in the bout uh game, I will never get used to that change, on Saturday. I was in 28 jams, wow, that was the most awesome time of my life. I had a some penalties that I would like to not get but having been out there so much I was able to get some real game experience.

Sore shoulder and all I am so glad to have that opportunity to skate with the YRDG Killer Bees and to bring in a win. We have worked hard to get where we are and have set our sights on just growing more and more in experience.

I will be watching my Bees play on Sep 7th as I did find out that I have a tear in my rotator cuff that I am going to see a surgeon about on Sep 10th. And that is the deflation part of this blog, I am so disheartened to have to stop and deal with an injury. I know it comes with the territory but it is still very hard to accept and deal with.

I was truly blessed to be able to play that last game and to play more than I ever have so I will take that elation with me into the abyss of injury and recovery. I hope to able to come back full force for next season and that will be my goal for this off-season.

Another goal is to stay in shape and continue to eat properly, it is so very easy to give into the depression and comfort eating, that I will have to fight this very hard. One really good way is to continue to go to practices and help as I can or work on my BOD duties.  It is important to stay connected to the team and be right there with them while you recover.

I am now 4 weeks since surgery and have been back to practices as a spectator several times now. It is very ha hard to just watch. I’m unable to do much south my arm yet so it is hard to help, not to mention the pain that I still have. PT is going good so I am taking it one day at a time.

Recovery is hard but I am hanging in there. Until next time!

Life Just Happens!

WOW! It is August and I have been so busy I have not taken even a moment to write. And where to start, oh my. The number one life event is becoming a grandmother again. My 2nd grandchild was born on July 6, 2014, Justin Alexander Shipley. What a joy what a blessing.

He has an older sister who is now 3 and smart as a whip and loves her Justin! My husband and I are so very, very blessed and Life could not be better.

I was honored to get to skate with the Yellow Rose Derby Girls All Stars for the first part of this first season and also with the Killer Bees. I am currently skating for the Killer Bees since mid-season try outs and I am thrilled to get to skate. Our next bout is August 23rd and I will be out there working hard for my team!

I have had some set backs with an injured shoulder but I plan to skate out the season and then do what needs to be done to fix it. After October I will be only training and staying in shape to get ready for next season and next try outs. Since I have stayed away from contact so I can play in the games, I have had the pleasure of teaching our newbies, who we lovingly refer to as Rose Buds. LipStick asked me to help her out and I have had a blast doing it. It is exciting and fun to watch the Rose Buds learn and develop over the first 6 weeks. I have gotten so much out doing this that I am seriously considering studying coaching so that I may contribute to my league when I have to retire from competition. Make no mistake, I will go into retirement from competition as a skater, kicking and screaming NO I’M NOT READY YET!!

That being said, I know that day will come and when it does, I will want to teach as many people as possible to skate and compete in this sport.  I have watched so many changes and so much growth in the short time that I have been invloved with roller derby, it has been overwhelming at times.  My hope is that it continues to grow and everyone gets an opportunity to participate in a team sport and truly learn what it means to be a TEAM.
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New Year, New Season

The year is off to a fabulous start. YRDG had try outs and now have an A and B team. We have an awesome group of women on both of these teams. A year ago we were only a glimmer in the eyes of our founders, Kari and Marion.

Last February, I found out about a new roller derby league starting up and it was in my back yard. A good number of ladies showed up at meet and greets and a new league was born.

I could not pass up becoming a founding member of the greatest sport I have had the pleasure to participate in. We have grown and thrived this last year training long and hard for this season, or first and the first for many of us.

Derby Life Balance

My Life

Not long ago I did a post about Work Life Balance and with the start-up a new team and the commitments I have made to Roller Derby, it occurred to me that I needed to think about my derby life balance as well.  Learning to balance all the things in my life that I enjoy doing with those obligations that I need to do is always a very big challenge.  Family time is very important, and doing things that we love to do is necessary.  Roller Derby is time-consuming and very demanding.  Just like we have vacation days given to us from work, we need a vacation from our hobbies at times also.  For me this may or may not mean a break from skating, but more likely a break from business side as well.  I have  a hard time thinking about not skating for any length of time but if you are struggling with the idea of practice every time and finding that you are not rejuvenated after said practice, it might be time to take a break.

Some times those breaks are forced upon us by circumstances, obligations, or injury but even healthy skaters need some time off to regroup, recharge and evaluate their personal goals and how it is affecting other aspects of their lives.

Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with wanting to be a recreational skater and being satisfied with that is all good too.  Having been a recreational skater that supported a very large league for several years and volunteering for that league, burn out can occur here as well.  We always need to set realistic expectations of our team members, volunteers and everyone else that works to support our league.

All that being said, everyone that is part of the league should be sure to support their league with volunteer time, serving on committees actively because the more people who do that, the easier the jobs are and a handful of members are not going to burn out so fast.  It takes lots of work, planning and dedication to run a league and we are not just the athletes, we are management too.  So get involved and do you part, find something you like and take it on.  Give your team-mate a break if needed and work together for the benefit of the team!

The picture above is my heart and soul, my grand-daughter and my husband.  I breath and live to be a part of their lives and the other members of my family doing things together and without their support, derby would not be a an option for me.  Because of them I am here doing what I love.

Derby Love!

Kool

Are You Scrimmage Ready?

When I first started Roller Derby I would hear this question being asked at various times.  At first though I didn’t know what was meant by that.  How do I know and no one could really tell me.  I think it is very important for the trainers/coaches to have a really good idea of everyone’s capabilities before throwing newbies into the scrimmage.  safety for everyone should be the biggest concern and a big factor in determining if you are scrimmage ready.

Our team did something different for the first time at our scrimmage practice which was suggested by the Refs and worked out awesomely well.  We split everyone up between seasoned (advanced) skaters and the intermediates and newbies.  One jam was only advanced and the next jam was intermediates/beginners against each other and the next jam was 2 advanced skaters mixed in with intermediate/beginners.  We rotated this way the entire time and it not only worked out really well it was awesome to watch each jam be competitive and no one got hurt.  I personally had a great practice and I hope everyone else felt like they did too.  Having enough players to make this work is a key factor too.

It is difficult as a seasoned skater to dial back when scrimmaging with not so seasoned players every time and this was a way to get them out there so they could go hard and work on their game as well.  And then have the opportunity to help teach the other girls and provide guidance on the track.

As with all things in life you must study that which you want to conquer or become good at!  Every single practice will give you exactly what you put into it.  There are always those days, when I don’t feel so great, tired, cranky or just wanting to not do anything.  I have found out that if I make myself go to practice and get on the floor by the time warm ups are over I have renewed energy, better focus and much better attitude.  It is what keeps me going.  I love doing and helping and learning and teaching.  And most importantly I have learned not to give up trying something even when I am struggling with it!  So you will be ready to scrimmage probably sooner than you think but the harder you work on the drills at practice the better your scrimmage time will be!  Get out there and Get it Done!!

Derby Love!!

Melody