Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Week 31: Ever Upward

This weeks session was pretty hardcore! Well, for Level 1. I imagine it gets even more intense as you ascend the levels.
Our warm up was brutal. So many squats, knee-taps where we had to be up and off in three seconds (I did pretty well with that, though, so I was happy), derby stance, sticky feet. We got shouted at. A lot. "Keep going!", "You can get lower!", "One...two...three! Come on! You need to get up!", "This should be in derby stance so I don't know why you're popping up!" After the warm up, our coach for the evening announced "I'm a regimental bitch when it comes to coaching" You don't say?!
Every coach has a different approach to training and it had been a while since we'd had our asses whipped into shape. It turned out to be a very rewarding session.

It was week three so we were covering things like stepping, one foot balances, hopping, etc. We also covered crossovers as we didn't get to do that last week. With crossovers, we were told to think about pushing both legs, to get them really wide and keep pushing until we ran out of floor, etc. My crossovers got really wide, longer and more fluid doing this, which I was really proud of. For some reason, though, I'd kind of forgotten what they were. Well, I could do them on corners but on the straights I was trying to push my foot sideways without turning it or leaning so kept tripping myself up. It was very bizarre. The coach saw me doing crossovers but noticed I'd stopped doing them on the straight and told me I had to try and do a whole lap of just crossovers. She skated round with me and kept saying "Don't glide! Come on now!" Me retorting with a pathetic "But I can't!"..."Why can't you?"..."The corners are too sharp, the straight is too straight, it's too scary, I go to fast to keep up, [insert lame excuse here]" I was followed for about 4 laps, I must've cut track on the straights so many times, fellow skaters in the middle were cheering me on, but dammit, I tried my best! Afterwards, I was told that my goal was to do crossovers for a whole lap. I'll be damned if I don't do it! (It only feels like yesterday that I was writing about not even being able to do them!)

The next few skills brought me down to a bit of a low. Stepping wasn't too bad. I can step, I've been signed off on it. But I swear the floor at our practice rink is so awful that's it really hit and miss whether you're going to find a level surface. The floor is wonky, bumpy, holey, and just generally drunk. So when I couldn't stop rolling or just wouldn't move, I couldn't decide whether it was the floor or whether I was just making excuses. It was very frustrating. We even tried grapevine stepping, a way of getting us to see what crossovers would feel like. It was terrifying. Crossing a leg behind wasn't too bad, but crossing a leg over the front was really scary! We then tried 15 second balance, which I failed miserably at. I have no idea why I can't get it. But I just can't! So by the end of this, I was fed up. I just felt like the evening had come to an end. After trying our one lap in 15 seconds (which I tried twice and didn't make), I just felt like kicking off my skates and going home. It might sound like I was over reacting but I think we all get it at some point. Just that feeling where all motivation has gone.
We managed to get through everything scheduled for the session quite quickly, which meant that we could have another go at our 20 in 5, now that we had properly gone over crossovers. I kept track of laps for one of my derby wives. It was her first time at trying it but she did amazingly and got 21 & 3/4 laps! I was so proud of her! I was in the last group to try. I was hoping for 20 again. I knew I'd be gutted if I got less than 20, but it was the end of the session and I was feeling pretty fed up. I tried crossovers and I'm sure I got a few in, but they certainly weren't for a whole lap. If I had done them, maybe my legs wouldn't have been so sore at the end! Anyway, it turns out I got 21 & 3/4! A personal best and exactly the same as my wife! It was a very good way to end the session and boosted my mood considerably!

Sometimes, you just can't help but feel disappointed with yourself. Be patient, you'll get there, celebrate small victories, and just look at how far you've come!

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