The big guns, or I should say gun, was the founder of my skating team. She was my all-time roller derby idol. I'd seen her in bouts and had been in awe at how quick and talented she was at skating. It's like she had been born in roller skates. She had come in to write a whole new training programme which also coincided with the new WFTDA (Women's Flat Track Derby Association) rules. We were going to be taught everything we needed to know to pass our minimum skills with flying colours. This as reassuring and uplifting. But also kind of scary. Our coach was very intense. She lives and breathes roller derby and she wasn't afraid to push us.
So after some warm ups and stretches, me and my friend headed back over to the newbie area. Our coach for that area, called us back over. "Just listen to what she has to say and then we can go over there and practice". This sounded okay, until I realised I wasn't good at standing on skates without the rail. My legs started to shake. Right! Knee fall! I was going to stay here until we had to go and practice. I think I might need to work on standing!
The evening's sessions took the pattern of each skill being explained and demonstrated extensively and then we were given time to practice it. I loved the fact that each skill was explained. It helped so much as you could then focus exactly where you were putting your weight, your posture, etc. However, we were only given about 10 minutes to practice, which didn't seem enough to me. With my other sessions, I've been given more of a free rein to practice what I want for as long as I want. So, this week, I didn't feel I had enough time to truly practice the skills. What made it worse was that I had to sit out for about 20 minutes at one point! I have a respiratory allergy but haven't been told the cause yet and, unfortunately, I had a flare up where I was having a hard time catching my breath. Whether it was the sweltering temperatures in the rink or whether it was because the staff were painting the lockers(!), I had to go sit outside. I spent ages trying to catch my breath and couldn't for a while, but I knew I had to go back in and skate! Unfortunately, by the time I got in, we practised falls and then that was it.
My friends who had moved to the track were buzzing. They'd loved all the tuition and couldn't wait until next week. I, however, felt a little bit let down. I was expecting a lot, but had hardly felt like I'd skated at all! For the rest of the week, I was craving getting back on to my skates but never had the opportunity.