Friday, December 14, 2012

Keeping it Slow and Steady

It’s ironic but the further I get into this roller derby world, the more I am constantly reminded of classic children’s tales, in this case the story of the tortoise and the hare. And the chief reason for that should be that age-old lesson that we’ve all learned from either reading the book or watching Looney Tunes.

Slow and steady wins the race.
That’s where I found myself last night, in the realm of the slow and steady. Our coach and trainer absent, feeling under the weather, and down one rookie, leaving only Trouble and I to work on our frustratingly necessary fundamentals on the sidelines while the “bigs” gave us something to shoot for on the big track, it was a tireless night of pacing ourselves and making it happen.

Slow and steady.
Pushing down along the mini track, feeling my feet actually gliding for a few moments before I then was at a place to turn, trying to implement some tips from Dr. Padron, the skate doctor, and busting.

Slow and steady.
Taking a few laps around for the sheer endurance factor (frustratingly, it’s not that I’m getting winded or anything particularly aerobic; rather, it’s the freakin’ burning in my lower back from that dreaded ‘skater stance’!) and then practicing T-stops and snowplows. My T-stops aren’t perfect but they’re coming along nicely, with me actually stopping. I know, right?  Pretty amazing!

Snowplows, however, continue to be the bane of my existence, along with many other things. I think these were the result of my once again living up to the name FallRisk all night, with my lack of stopping and multiple attempts resulting in plenty of tumbles, many more than I’ve had since starting.
But they were nicely controlled and “safe” falls, you’ll be glad to know.

And throughout the night, we were occasionally greeted with both advice and encouragement from many of the “bigs,” most notably some kind words from Jam Master Flex, helping not only with some instruction but also just reminding us that we’re already way better than from where we started and that one day we really would be out there.
But in the meantime, it was an evening of slow and steady, rise and fall, almost plows and substandard, but effective, T-stops. I really can’t wait until that day when it all clicks.

One thing that was strangely encouraging (and I hope he doesn’t mind my sharing this, although I shared this same thought with him last night) was while, at one point watching the “bigs” run through an agility drill, stepping and sliding and stopping and making me feel foolish as I simply try to stop at all, Bruce took a tumble.
Now let me preface this a bit. From afar, I’ve watched this guy come in with a strong derby pedigree and that pedigree shows through what he does on the track. He skates with precision, skill, and serious passion for the sport. That passion was clearly on display at the scrimmage last week and he brings it every night to practice as well, working hard to be the best.

And I respect that. Plus, he’s a pretty nice guy to boot which helps.
But this night, watching Bruce try to tippy-toe around a final obstacle and take a tumble was strangely uplifting to me. Not that I was delighting in his misfortune but rather that, and I know this sounds stupid, but that he makes some little mistakes too. When I’m over there tripping myself (don’t judge me) with my skates, it’s nice to see these seasoned veterans remind us rookies that it’s a constant battle of work to get there and to stay there.

“It’s like watching a Batman villain go down,” I told Bruce. “There’s just this idea of, ‘Wow, they can fall too!”
Well, falling I’ve got down. But pretty soon, working at this slow and steady thing, I’m gonna be hopping around that track with the “bigs” too.

I can’t wait…

No comments:

Post a Comment