SO MUCH has happened in the last month, and most of that “so much” has been in scrimmages. In fact, the week before last, I skated 3. September started out with the regular monthly PFM scrimmage (above). I had just gotten over the stomach flu that day, and didn’t even know if I was going to play. Much to everyone’s surprise I showed up determined, skated my very best ever, and completed my 6th scrimmage. It was a little bit of a turning point for me. It was the first time I felt like I had a strong sense of what to do on the track, and I was able to focus my energy on trying to improve my blocking.
The weekend of September 13 &14, we headed down to the NW Derby Summit for the most skating I’ve ever done in such a short period. It was a super fun weekend, not only because of all the great coaches, and my derby besties, but also because I was able to convince Thomas to go with us. We had a lot of fun taking classes together and practicing some new moves. It was also Thomas’ first contact drills. He’s attended a few non contact fitness type practices since he got back on quads, but had never done any hitting or blocking. We did all the beginner and all levels classes. His lifetime of skating was really evident here, as he was able to jump in with no problem. The second and final day ended with a short, kind of informal beginner scrimmage, which Thomas decided to skip, and video for us instead. It was the first time I ever skated with strangers before. It was terrifying to step out of my PFM comfort zone. It comprised a small group of girls with a similar skill set as me, but also a couple of guys and junior skaters of varying levels. It went okay. Mostly everyone was just exhausted after skating so much all weekend.
The following weekend I joined Jet City Rollergirl’s Cadet (Fresh Meat) program. My 1st day was part of the 6 week Bomber’s Clinic they’re running, and was an open scrimmage! Eeep! I was so thankful that I had done an open scrimmage the weekend before because it really helped me to deal with the fact that I was about to skate with very experienced skaters and all stars from all over the area. It was a leveled scrimmage so the first 30 minutes was a beginner level/positional blocking only half, so that we could include the junior skaters. The second period was a adult only, full contact, intermediate level including some big name fancy pants all stars. This scrimmage ended up being just the confidence booster I needed. I ended up skating against a couple of ladies that I had just seen playing against the best WFTDA team in the world two weeks before, AND I was able to get out of the pack every time I jammed. I was so proud, and glad that I survived!
The following weekend was double practices (Jet & PFM) on Saturday and Sunday. We were alerted that Saturday that they would be assessing us on Sunday to clear eligible skaters to begin practicing with teams. What an exhausting weekend! The assessment consisted of some minimum skills and scrimmage scenarios. I was really unsure if I was going to get cleared, as my weak sided turn around toe stops at a 12 second lap speed left a little to be desired. We spent the next week frantically awaiting any word of our results.
The next week also happened to be the week of 3 scrimmages! PFM had a special opportunity to do a late night scrimmage on Tuesday September 30th with a full officiating crew and Rinxster doing our statistics. (Since we’re just a practice and learning team, we usually don’t have all that fanciness.)
Again, I used this opportunity to work on developing my blocking further. I did some pretty successful jamming too.
That Saturday was another Jet City open scrimmage. This time I was pretty fearless, and just had fun. We were really hoping to hear the results of our assessment that day, but were told we’d hear back the next day. The next day was the 3rd scrimmage of the week, and PFM’s regular monthly scrimmage.
I think you can probably just tell by my expressions in these last scrimmage photos that my mental game had changed into something a bit more focused and determined, already.
That weekend my goal was to start playing a more aggressive game. And by that I don’t necessarily mean trying to kill people, but just not giving up as easily as I have in the past, and also relying less on other people to bridge forward and back.
It was also a lot of fun to be skating with my original team twice in one week!
We finally got the results of our assessment on Monday. It turns out I was cleared to scrimmage with the league, but not to attend team practices yet. They were still getting to know my skill set, so they wanted to be sure I was ready for team practices. I was really hoping to knock their socks off at team scrimmage on Thursday so I could skate with my other good friends that were cleared, but unfortunately after the Sunday scrimmage my shoulder was feeling a bit sensitive all week, so I declined. They were very understanding about it. I did however, get all my scrimmage shirts ready for this week.
This last week was a bit hard emotionally, for reasons that I will probably save for my next post, but I’m hoping that I can get it together again in a few days, and get back on that wave of confidence I was starting to feel and push through. We shall see!