Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A bump in the road

Fair warning: 
this is a post of the personal nature.  
This is, after all, my personal blog...documenting my life in roller derby.  And, this stage, as emotional and confusing as it is, is a legitimate part of this life.
I've decided to step out of the league for a bit.  I say 'a bit' because I don't have any set plans for how this will work out.  I can only say why I made this decision.  Past that, it's all a 'see how it goes' sort of process.

So, the 'WHY'...
...basically, it's too much emotion for me...
Yes, i said that.

Here's some history. 
 A little look at my personality a year and a half ago.
If I didn't have to work, and I lived in the woods, I would've been that creepy person parents told their children to stay away from.  I liked being alone.  I didn't like people around me for too long. I liked not having plans.  I enjoyed a life of getting up early, getting work over and done by 1pm at the latest, and then locking the doors behind me once I made it home again.  I turned down most plans, and those I didn't turn down, I would either cancel last minute or deal with the sickness I got from my anxiety (that is how people really knew I cared...I suffered social situations for them!).

But, I was so intrigued by this roller derby thing!!  It always fascinated me, what little I knew about it.  I had the supreme fortune of starting when the league formed, knowing the co-founders already, making it easier to convince myself to check it out.

I put my heart and soul into this league, and I regret not a single minute of it.
But, as the past few months have chugged along, I have been less excited to go to practice.  Less impressed by having guests come skate with us.  I longed for the days when my minimal skills were enough to get by and make me happy.  I had not progressed, skill-wise, in quite some time.  I was scared that it would be so obvious during our first bout, that I had considered leaving the league before the game!!
The smarter, braver side of me won out and I pushed myself, hoping the bout would re-ignite my passion.  
It did, to a degree...but I was still pretty stagnant in the skills department.

I have been becoming increasingly negative, as far as my own perception of myself...and the last thing I wanted to do was let that toxic attitude spill over into the league.  Not after we've come so far.  Not when the league is at a pivotal point in it's advancement.  Not when everyone needs to be positive and helpful and eager to do whatever it takes to keep the momentum going forward.
I'm not saying I'm a hero for stepping out...I'm saying that I love this league and I want to be able to get my issues worked out and still have a league to crawl back to!!

I am proud to say that I have been part of our training committee pretty much since the league started forming committees.  I have done what I can, but in the meantime, I have let myself go.  I am unable to help the training move forward, while I am in such bad shape.  My number one goal, in the up-coming month is to get back into shape and work on all the little things I am having trouble with.  That way, when I re-join, the rest of the league can see that I have improved and I'm ready to play.  Getting fit will hopefully give me that boost I need, personally, to get better at derby.

In the meantime, I'm still going to blog.  
I'm going to continue to keep track of my fitness progress.  I'm going to bring my camera to a few practices when I can make it.  And maybe try to get to some open practices.  
I'm not leaving for good.  I'm just dialing back the intensity for awhile.  
And, in doing so, I'll be enjoying the company of my in-laws for the first two weeks of september!  Free meals and cocktail hours! Ya-hoo!!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Bout Re-cap! (were YOU there?)

It's been how long since our first public bout?
I know, I know...this post should've happened weeks ago!  But, there were a ton of pics to go through, my sister got married the following weekend, other life stuff happened (as it always does), and I'm dealing with an old-ass computer that needs to scan and update pretty much any time I turn the beast on.  Editing and uploading pics is like a full day project with this thing!!
Big thanks to everyone who made it out to watch us play!!  Thanks also to anyone who got there late and couldn't get in! Yes, that's right!  Sold out!!
Maybe 're-cap' isn't the word I should use for this blog, since i remember little of what actually happened.  I remember i had fun!  I remember it was packed.  I remember my husband being super excited after the bout, telling me how awesome I was!  I remember a couple good plays I made.  I remember jamming once...glad it was only once!
Were you there?  Was it magical?  Would you go again?
Here are some pics....in no particular order.
The calm before the storm.

I was so nervous that no one would show up, when I saw all this empty space just a little after doors were open.  Sold out crowd, proved I was nervous for no reason (except that I was about to play in my first ever public bout...there was that.)

Just some of the 450 or so spectators!

Introducing: Cape Cod Roller Derby League!
Salty Dolls (black jerseys) and Dockyard Dames (white jerseys)

Waiting for the whistle...
Pure Awesome!
There is so much happening in the pic above! Bandita and Boom Boom Kitty stare, each of them telling the other 'I dare you!'  I'm pretty sure that's Emma Getcha's skate coming around the side of my downed self.  Looks like DreamReaver is daning...?  So much happens in the little pack!!
Our cool logo signs!

Some Official Business...
Al Jynx U, Head Ref
Talya Mama, Jam Timer (Co-founder, CCRD)
Slamity P.D., OPR
Safety first!! Everyone gets all safety gear and skates checked before a bout...EVERYONE!
 ...and, more random shots...
Boom Boom Kitty...kill face!

Derby is not a pretty look for me!
Great teamwork! One of my shining moments as I held the Dolls back while Mighty Medge got through as our Dame's Jammer!

Waiting for the official final score....Dolls for the win with just 4 points!!!  132 to 128!

Power Jam for the Dolls!
(more of our great officials timing penalties and making sure everything is on the up-and-up! Thanks to Pepper Sprout, Dussault & Battery, and Cah Ma Suture for taking care of the Sin Bin!!)
Dolls take the win!!
Dames fall by a margin of just 4 points!

There are so many more pics!!  But, you know what...this is a sport best experienced live!!  Why not check out some of our girls TODAY! (YES, it's short notice...a handful of our skaters were invited to fill in some spaces on the roster for MARD'S Bloody Bordens tonight.)  Here's a link to the facebook event page, so you can get the details....GO HERE...BUY TICKETS!
also...go to OUR CCRD fan page to keep up with all the happenings (if you haven't already.  if you have...tell your friends!!)

(all photos courtesy: Jason 'Mr. Hartless' Hart)

Saturday, August 9, 2014

It's bout day, folks!

Cape Cod Roller Derby's first ever intraleague roller derby exhibition game is happening TODAY!
(here are some FAQ'S...)
What in the world is that?
Well, though spell check doesn't want me to use it, I continue to do so!  I like it.  It works for this situation.
Cape Cod Roller Derby has split it's league into two teams.  We now have our original Salty Dolls team, and our brand new Dockyard Dames team.  And we are playing against each other.
Why play each other, instead of another league?
Because we can do whatever we want!!
And, because the official roller derby season is heading into the, umm... post season wrap up phase.  The larger teams around the world are gearing up for National Championship type bouts (though, we wouldn't be playing them anyway!).  The closer, local teams that we would be able to play are also winding down their seasons with a slew of bouts that makes it difficult to organize an event with a neighboring league.  Throw into that equation our short time at our 'bout-able' space (we have just a couple weeks left in our Hyannis space...the space where we are allowed to have the public gather around us), and we do what we gotta do.
And what we gotta do is split the league and play each other.
If you've been following along, and I know you have been, you know that this is a year and a half in the making.  A large portion of this league has been working towards this day for, what seems like, a life time.  But we also have some new skaters!  Ladies that have been with us for mere months.  We are all equally as excited to get to finally play in front of a crowd.
What is it like, playing against our own league-mates?
Odd.  Of course we don't want to hurt each other, but if we were playing another league, we certainly wouldn't want to hurt them, either!  Yes, there are certain players that we 'know'.  The players who you see in the line up and think, 'oh, okay...she's just gonna stick to the outside line, so I'll go the other way.'  Or, the one you see line up and think, 'um...is it too late to pull out of this jam?!'  But we all have the same goal, no matter which team we are on, and that is to score points while keeping the other team from scoring points, and to not hurt each other.  Sorry, that means no dirty stuff on purpose.
What's the basic rundown...how does this game even work?
Well, if you don't know by now, then I can only assume that you, in fact, have NOT been following along as I had originally given you credit for.  And, if that is the case...
Two teams.  Each team fields 4 blockers ('the pack') and a jammer.  The jammers wear stars on their helmets...they score points by breaking through the pack of blockers.  When the whistle blows to start the jam (the two-minute free-for-all, when the points are being scored), the pack starts to move and the jammers try to get through.  No points are scored during this first try, and the first jammer through gains 'lead jammer' status.  Being lead jammer gives her the advantage of being able to stop that 2-minute jam before time has actually expired on the jam.  She also has the obvious advantage of being able to (hopefully, depending on the speed of the opposing jammer) get back into the pack and start scoring points first.  After each jam, the line up changes, and we go again...for 2 halves of 30 minutes each.
You'll also notice a player on each team with a solid stripe across their helmet.  This is the 'pivot'.  This position is mainly for strategy, these days.  They tend to be the communicator of the their team's pack...the director.  The pivot, may have jammer status transferred to her during a jam.  This is a 'star pass' and it's kinda cool to see.  The jammer may pass her star helmet cover to the pivot (only the pivot) and the pivot becomes the jammer!  Now she will start scoring points and the previous jammer is now a blocker!  It's crazy out there!! Mayhem!! You gotta keep your eyes on the action the whole time!!
Are there rules?  Yes! Hundreds!  And, like hockey, you must sit out if you get called on any penalties.  What you're most likely to see...'elbows', 'forearms', 'track cut' (a player must re-enter the track legally after being hit out...you'll catch on), 'back block' (as in, blocking TO the back...not WITH).  A skater may not use her hands, head, or legs from mid-thigh down.  It really is a crazy scene! My hats off to anyone who is a roller derby ref!!
But really...you should just come watch...you start to catch on after a few minutes.
Please tell me how to NOT miss out on this part of Cape Cod History!
Well, come on down to the Hyannis Youth & Community Center in Hyannis today (the old Kennedy Arena...by that fancy little rotary...near the Hyannis fire station...141 Bassett Lane).
At 4 pm.  You can watch the teams warm up if you come early to get a good seat.
Bring $10 for each adult, $5 for each person ages 6-17, and zero $$ for anyone younger than 6.
Feel free to make and bring a sign for your favorite player and/or team! (here's some inspiration... Jenerally Hartless #7.8.9 Dockyard Dames! Heave Ho!)
Seriously...just go.  There are few things that could be more entertaining or awesome.
Are derby girls as cool as they seem?
Yes and no.  We're cool because we're all so different.  We're not because honestly...who's to say who's cool and who's not. Actually, you can find out for yourself!  Come to the AFTER-PARTY!!
There's an AFTER-PARTY!?
Yep!  At the Irish Village in Yarmouth! Details are in the program...which you will get when you come see us play tonight!!

I think that about covers it...I hope!  I have a ton of other things to do before making my way into Hyannis on a Saturday in August (allow yourselves plenty of travel time!!)...including making the final decision of whether or not to bleach my hair before tonight!
I have one last request...
If you are reading this, and you do make it out tonight, and you see me before or after the game or at the after-party ...come say 'hi'?