Saturday, January 15, 2011

Just Waiting

On Monday we had tryouts for our teams, to either make the Bombshells, Hellcats or Sirens. I played two seasons on the Bombshells (or All Stars) and then took last season off to have my beautiful Liliana. I stayed active with the league as a coach and one of the main reasons for doing that was I wanted to keep my mental game fresh and to stay in touch with the league, the players and the game. I am now back in full swing (started skating about 5 weeks postpartum), skating up to 3 days a week. I am putting it all out there, on and off the track. I have been doing Yoga every day to build up my core strength, to stretch and lengthen my muscles, to get more fit, improve my agility and become a better derby player all around. I have been sore for almost two weeks now, which makes it a little hard to do what I want while skating but it feels really good to be sore like this and I can already see results from the Yoga in how I'm playing derby.

The day of tryouts I was so anxious, I really did have that feeling of butterflies in my stomach. So many people asked me why I was nervous or told me how silly I was being for feeling that way. Just because I once was a Bombshell and played there for two seasons, doesn't mean I will be placed on that team when I return. That reality was creating the uncontrollable feelings in my stomach that finally subsided once tryouts began.

Today is Saturday and we are waiting for the teams to be posted; we were informed at tryouts it wouldn't be until Monday that they would be finalized. My hopes are to be a Bombshell once again and to play on the WFTDA team for the Santa Cruz Derby Girls. I know that I have to work harder tomorrow than I did today to be at the level I was when I left but I really don't feel that far off. My knowledge and understanding of the game is far greater than it was when I left. My body may not be quite where I once was but that will come along so quickly between practices, lifting weights and doing Yoga. And I may have a lot going on in my life, a full-time job, a part-time job, two kids, a husband and whatever else distracts me from derby but that doesn't mean I want it any less or am going to work any less harder than the person who does not have these responsibilities. I am and always have been a hard working and determined individual who gives my all in all aspects of my life. Derby is no different and I will not be brought down by the naysayers. I may not live for derby, it does not solely define who I am but I am in love with it and will play it and will give it everything I've got as long as I am able.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

One Week Down...51 to go.

I am not really counting the weeks of 2011 because I am going to enjoy taking this year slow, experiencing and being with every moment as much as possible. We had our first week of the 2011 season this week, with our first practice on Monday. The positive energy was palpable and it felt really good to see everyone on the track excited for the first practice of the season. There is something different in the air at our warehouse and it's good I tell you.

The first practice we focused on stride and basics. I have been skating for many years and spent many years in my childhood skating at a competitive level. When we started working on stroke I went into automatic pilot and just started doing what I know and was taught. But as I was skating around, I remembered a seminar I had recently attended where the speaker told us the four most damaging words in the English language are "I already know that." And it's true, think about it, if you constantly say to yourself, "I already know that," you will never explore something different that might just be better. When I came to this mental realization, I reset my thinking and I decided I was going to try something different. So I bent my knees a bit more and brought my body slightly more forward. I found that I could really accelerate and skate faster and stronger with just a slight modification in my stance. It felt really good to know that I have something I can focus on and improve on my own in my skating.

The other thing we worked on was our stops moving at different speeds. I have no problem with turn stops at high speeds but hockey stops are relatively new to me as I just picked them up about two months ago. So now I had the opportunity to really work these stops at different speeds and found my limits of where I was comfortable doing them. At a full out sprint, I could not quite make the stop effective and found myself falling every time. So, there was another thing to push myself to improve on.

On Thursday night we had our first scrimmage of the new season and damn that was fun! Taking the skills you know about skating and derby and putting them into practice is awesome but working with your teammates and executing the "strategy" that you know is the greatest.
Team White was having a great time that night and we watched some of the younger skaters do some great things and it made the feeling in the warehouse fun, loving and encouraging for the season.

So here's to 2011, where I promise myself I will never say, "I already know that." I will open myself up to what's out there and always look at another perspective and strive to be the best I can be in 2011 for the Santa Cruz Derby Girls.