Okay, as promised a post for all! Or at least one for those who will put up with my trashy trucker mouth. As I mentioned, I recently became the lucky owner of some second hand pads…. elbow, wrist and knee pads to be more specific (Don’t want to confuse you all). Now once I purchased these puppies, and got really excited by the amazing deal, I promised myself that now I had to go to the Drop-in-Derby. No excuses or letting the stomach butterflies win. I think it helped that Saturday night, Big Butter and my pal Christina went with me to the Rocky Mountain Roller Girls bout at the Fillmore. I haven’t been to the Fillmore since I was 17. I was there with my boyfriend, at the time, for the Cranberries Concert. He got the tickets for my birthday, but the only reason I knew who the Cranberries were was because of him…..hopefully he never reads this post, but thinking back I am kind of turned off by the fact that he was into the Cranberries. I mean, some of their stuff is pretty wailing and cool, but the stuff he liked was the more mellow chill sway-back-and-forth-with-your-eyes-closed kind of jams…which is what he did while listening to them…awkward. I must have felt some of that back then because, at my request, for another date we went to a Mike Ness concert….this was when he was out on his own from Social D. I think we both stuck out like sore thumbs at that concert though. I wasn’t up on the whole hardcore rocker scene at the time, I say that like I am now…hahaha I make myself laugh…so I show up in a blue and white sundress and white keds. Meanwhile everyone around us is wearing leather jackets, is tattooed, and looks like they would eat my heart out. Whatever, it was an awesome concert….well technically both of them were. Thanks ex-bf for going with me to both, sorry I broke up with you a couple months later….actually I still don’t feel sorry about that. So we were at the Fillmore and it was packed. We ended up sitting on the floor because there was no room on the bleachers or chairs. But we squeezed in right next to the track, so other than having to fight butt and leg asleepness, it was a rockin’ view. Compared to the Denver Roller Dolls bout that we went to a few weeks ago, this one seemed crazy agressive and fast. This was probably due to the fact that we were five feet away from the skaters as opposed to 50 feet away. But it was so fun watching them go. I just knew after watching them that this is something I had to try.
Lucky for me the Drop-in-Derby actually takes place about 10 minutes from our house. Score! Despite my self-doubt, I looked at a map, took mental notes of turns, and ran out of the house before I could talk myself out of it. I am actually not sure how I actually made it through the door, I seriously haven’t been on roller skates since I was 15…maybe younger. But I walked in, filled out the “if you die, it’s your own fault…but who should we call?” paperwork and grabbed the fashionable brown leather skates with orange wheels off the carpeted counter. Seriously why do they carpet every surface in roller skating rinks? And since they do, does that mean they vaccum all those surfaces?
So I could tell I was nervous, luckily no one else was paying attention because I sat down, put on my skates then pulled out my pads and quickly realized that I couldn’t put my knee pads on. They are like volleyball knee pads where you slide them up over your foot, only then they have velcro to keep them snug. So then I had to take my skates back off, again I was thankful everyone was busy chatting amongst themselves. Okay now the question was, can I skate? Kind of a funny place to try it out. It is like showing up to a gun fight and being like ‘how do you hold a gun again?’. I scooted around the carpet trying out my sea legs…err skating legs. Like riding a bike. Or at least the standing and rolling around part was. Shopping and turning and all that business was not like riding a bike at all. I survived though. Luckily there were 6 new girls other than myself there, so there were a couple who were having a pretty hard time. Not that I should be excited about that, but I was glad I didn’t stick out. First thing we did was roll around for a little while. The snazzy fast skaters weaved in and out of me, practicing their skills, and I tried to not freak out about it. Although if I get really good, I am going to try to be more considerate of first timers who are just trying to stay vertical. Okay okay, technically “considerate” doesn’t have a real place in Derby, but whatevs I’ll do what I can to be nice. After a few minutes the coaches came out, “Rockett” and “Wicked”, and started some drills. First up, form a giant line. The line moves forward and then the person in front weaves in between each of the skaters until they are at the back of the line. You don’t have to skate backward, you just skate slower than the line. Of course I was in the front of the line. And I made it through the line. Most everyone was super nice and encouraging. One woman, through her mouth guard, was giving me advice, which I thanked her for. A couple people at the back (we lined up “least confident” to “most”) were being tricky and I couldn’t get between them, but I didn’t mind. Finally I was back at the front of the line. Then we moved on to stopping. Contrary to what you might remember, slamming into the wall isn’t the best technique. This was really the only technique I used growing up. The newbies worked on T-shops and toe stops. While the oldbies worked on hockey stops, not sure what that is yet. But someday I’ll get there.
After stopping we worked on Skulling and Crossing, both of which I definitely need my own skates for. The rental skates were too big on me and they felt all wobbly. I couldn’t control them that well. Yeah had nothing to do with me and my fitness status, ahem. Okay apparently it takes a lot of inner thigh strength to do the skulling. But if there is one thing I have, it is thigh strength….although maybe not inner thigh. After skulling and crossing we did falling. Which was actually pretty fun. Pads are awesome, you don’t feel any kind of pain when you land on your knees. I am going to wear them while I work on the back patio (more on that some other post). Last but not least was the Derby scrimmage. Now according to the website, it sounded like you worked up to staying the full three hours of the practice. First you just skated, then you worked on drills, then you participated in scrimmage. Well that is not how it actually was. Everyone does all of that, in some form or another (again they separate the newbies out for modified training). Well scrimmage actually rocked. First off, I am like a foot taller than everyone around me. So I was able to easily look back and see the entire pack behind me and watch the jammer coming up behind us. Second, since my legs are so stinking long, it puts my hips at most ladies’ chests. Makes nudging (not to the pushing stage until we’re more solid on our skates) them pretty easy. Although I did almost eat it, thanks to the other new girl who was technically on the other team, but helped grab and stabilize me, I think overall it went really well. And it was so much fun! Next week practice is cancelled for Mother’s Day, but there is another bout this Saturday at the Broomfield Events Center. Rockett and Wicked are both playing, so it will be cool to see them skate.
When I got home from practice Andy was so cute. He had been on the phone, despite the fact that he should have been working on his final papers (but I can’t scold him for this one), talking to everyone he knows telling them I was at Derby practice. I don’t think he could have been prouder or more excited. He kept saying ‘I just never thought you would actually do it’. Which maybe should be an insult, but I know he meant it as a compliment for my bravery and badassery…good thing he wasn’t there to watch because it was definitely more assery than badass. I was happy he was so excited about it. He is going to paint my helmet and last night he sat with me to pick out skates. You know you have a cute and supportive husband when he is like ‘if you want the red skates, just get them’ me: but they are $50 more him: ‘yeah but you should get the ones you really want, it isn’t like you do something nice for yourself that often’. Awww so cute! I didn’t get the red ones. I got black. I am a penny pusher. $50 is a lot of money to me. I could pay for 5 drop-in-derby practices or three tickets to the bouts or a crap load of cover-up from all the bruises I am going to have on my face when I really get into this. Always have to budget in the cover-up. Can you imagine going to a client meeting with a black eye? Actually going anywhere with a black eye, especially if Andy was beside me. Poor guy would get horrible looks. Which reminds me of another funny story!
A few New Year’s Ago (in NY), Andy and his friend Logan decided that they could be UFC fighters…..I am not going to expand on that one…it could go forever. So they have the genius idea that they are going to fight. Well they had both been celebrating already. Therefore the “fight” really consisted of two drunk guys tripping each other and then taking turns slamming their faces into the ground. Yeah boys are dumb sometimes. Well neither of them looked that great after it was over, but Andy got a black eye. The next day we were at some store buying something. I was already walking towards the door and Andy was at the check-out. The cashier was giving him an astonished look and Andy said ‘She hit me…..shouldn’t have talking back’. The lady glares at me like I am a monster. I couldn’t hear what was going on, so after we walk out Andy tells me what happened. I was appalled. I am surprised I didn’t get picked up and put into jail.