Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Week 56: The Scrim

I was recently talking to a fellow skater about a recent practice we had. I was telling her that I felt like I hadn't done very well and I wasn't that great, to which she responded:

"Just a few weeks ago you were feeling like you couldn't carry on and now YOU ARE SCRIMMING!!!! Blog that shit!!!!"

So that is what I am doing. I am blogging that shit.

I'm not going to lie, I was quite terrified. Actually, to begin with, I wasn't. But that was because I had no idea what was lurking in my near future. We were told that we were going to have a surprise at our gameplay and tactics practice, and that we should bring both white and black tops. (I should have guessed from that, really!) The session started with some harmless wall formations, but then moved on to starts. So, basically, we'd line-up, and when a jammer had got through, we'd start all over again. This wasn't too bad, although, I was caught out with my stance and a jammer, who's tactic was to skate full pelt into the wall, managed to knock me straight on to my arse. That'll learn me for not being in derby stance.
 After a few more starts, we were told we were actually going to play the game. Errrr....what?! No big hits, focusing on wall formations, penalties resulted in 10 push ups. My derby wife was up as jammer for the first jam, and did an awesome job! (Although, received a cutting penalty, and was in the box for the second jam.) No one seemed keen to volunteer to jam for the third, so I thought "What the hell!" and stepped up to the plate (or should that be line?)

Never again. It was horrible! My pack were brilliant. How they didn't just get pissed off with me, I have no idea! They were breaking through the other team's wall, making holes for me, calling me through, by the time I got there the gap had closed up. I had no confidence to break through the wall myself, so they created another gap for me, which I failed to get to, and on this continued for what felt like forever. I didn't get lead jammer, obviously, so when I finally got through, I realised that I had to go on for as long as the other jammer wanted. After my second time through the pack, which I seem to have repressed, but was probably as terrible as the first time, I actually scored points, but felt like I just wanted to quit. My legs were shaking, I was knackered.... no more! I skated back to the bench at the end of the jam, slumped down on the floor, ate my banana bread I'd brought as a snack, and stopped myself from crying. All I wanted to do was quit. I wanted to take off my skates, go "No! No I am not doing this! I just want to sit here and eat my banana bread!" and then sulk for the rest of the evening. I looked over to one of my friends who was chosen to ref. That's what I want to do! Not get myself beaten up and shattered and feel pathetic.

However, another blocker was needed for the next jam and, instead of sulking, I skated across to the line-up, with a mouth full of banana bread and placed myself back on the inside line. (It turns out I'm quite good at guarding the inside line thanks to my long legs!) The whistle went and I steadied myself, kept my eye on the jammer, and actually managed to brace and create a wall with the rest of my team. We managed to hold the jammer back for a while and ours got lead! That was a good feeling.

The rest of the evening carried on like that. The feeling of you and fellow team member, putting your full weight against each other, ploughing as if your life depended on it, and actually stopping a jammer, is incredible! You feel so bad ass! You just want to yell "You shall not pass!" and act like their derby gatekeeper.

I'm not gonna lie, by the end of the night, I was full of mixed feelings. I was knackered, I was sore, I was full of adrenaline, I was psyched, I hated it, yet loved it all at the same time! I had a taste of what real roller derby was like....and I didn't really know what to make of it!

1 comment:

  1. Scrimmaging is scary but it is fun. We all have good and bad jams - at the last scrimmage I spent 2 minutes as jammer getting hit to the ground and did not make it out of the pack. That was pretty unpleasant. One of our A team skaters told me that there was no shame in a star pass, something I had completely forgotten about. I was focussing so much on the other team I was not looking at my team! I hope your next scrimmage is enjoyable! Fury