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Diary of a Roller Derby Freshie - Day 5

Saturday 4th October 2014

Today was the first day I managed to walk in without my hood up!! (yes, I was hiding behind my hair, but that is not the point!!)

<== Hair shield!!

See it's not as if it's covering my whole face!!!

(I hate selfies)

We did a warm up with the advanced skaters and a few of the skills included in this, were ones we hadn't done before. One of these was skating backwards!!! I'm not sure quite where to start on this, but I was having enough trouble going forwards and at least when skating forwards you can see where you're going.

The advanced skaters told us to do backwards stickies (LEMONS!!!) and look over a shoulder to help with the sight issue, but I found that this messed with my balance. I also clearly didn't have the muscle strength in my legs to propel myself backwards, so basically remained stationary whilst trying to look over my shoulder and losing balance... Yeh, I may need to strengthen my legs for next week, so when we do it again I may be able to actually move!!

Anyways, after the trauma of the warm up, we recapped weaving in and out of cones and balancing on one foot. The next skill we learned was grapevining. This is essentially stepping made harder! (I was going to add a video about this, but have unfortunately been unwell this week, so haven't even made it to a single training session to film any more derby goodness. I promise to add it to next week's blog.)

We then moved on to double knee slides!! These were super fun and we all tried to go as fast as we could so we'd slide really far.

After this, we watched the advanced skaters scrimmage again. I can't wait to learn new skills next week, but I'm quite happy just watching the advanced skaters at the moment. Joining in the warm up with them was daunting enough!!

I don't feel I skated as well as I could've done today. The warm up really knocked my confidence (not that I had a lot of that) and I struggled with the grapevining more than I possible should've because of this.

Never mind, I know what I need to work on for next week!


Last week, I said there would be videos, but as I said above, I've been ill for quite a while and so couldn't get the footage needed. There'll definitely be videos next week though.

In this blog however, I mentioned confidence. As you probably guessed, confidence is something that I regularly struggle with. To people who don't know me, I come across as shy and quiet. Those who do know me, wish I was still shy and quiet!! However, derby is something which requires a certain amount of confidence. A lot of the skills you just need to go for and more often than not, those are the skills I struggle with and I know that I'm not alone on this.

To those of you who do struggle with confidence, anxiety or are just plain shy, no matter how many people say 'just do it!' or 'what's the worst that could happen?' we all know that this is NOT going to help.

I'm not going to tell people to just 'get on with it', as there's more to a sport like roller derby than just skating, but I would say to persevere. Most of the time, it gets easier.

Don't believe me? I'd just like to ask you to read the first sentence of this blog again... Yeh, I don't need a hood/hair or thumb shield anymore. I no longer shake when kitting up and am actually able to go up to other skaters to ask for advice/help. Last year, I could probably have broken something and still not ask for help. Now I'll complain about a paper cut (ok, not really a paper cut, but some form of minor injury!)

A lot of things get easier, not everything, but a lot!

Ok, I'm going back to bed now. See you next week when I (hopefully) feel a little better,


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