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Diary of a Roller Derby Freshie - Day 6

Saturday 11th October 2014

Today was the speed and stride session with the whole league. Dot Slash was teaching us the correct form aka ‘derby stance’ (basically, get as low as you can and then a little bit lower) before teaching us crossovers. Derby stance wasn't particularly comfortable, but Dot said that it was meant to hurt as we weren't used to using those particular muscles.

There were many steps to help us learn our crossovers and I found that I struggled with most of them. Having my legs the wrong way round just felt wrong!! ...clearly my bad relationship with balance wasn’t helping matters either.

In the past few weeks, I’d found that skating along as if I knew what I was doing, kept the advanced skaters away as their help was needed more elsewhere. Unfortunately that plan failed today as no matter how much I tried to look as though I knew what I was doing, I clearly didn’t have a clue.

First of all, Big Miss Steak came over to help. I found having the drill explained to me in a slightly different way helped me to understand what I was meant to be doing better and even though she was terrifying, it really helped me. I think I mainly got through the experience by constantly reminding myself that she was only a year older than me and so therefore a baby too... She’s still really scary though!!

Also, Dot Slash spotted me and then decided she wouldn’t leave me alone!! She’s determined to stop me from being shy and says she feels like she should look after me because I’m the youngest. When we then moved onto parallel turns, she gave me loads of extra support amongst despairing that she’s old enough to be my Mum and telling me off for sucking my thumb. (See Dot, you were worried about being my Mum and now you're my derby Nanna!!)

At some point near the end, I found time to quickly practice a little backwards skating with her and although Dot said my technique was good and I was doing what I should, I lacked the muscle strength to propel myself backwards. I shall work on building that muscle this week.

I didn’t find the skills today easy, but I really improved over the session and am quite pleased with myself.

Thanks to Graeme Willetts for the photo of Dot Slash. More of his amazing work can be found here; Graeme Willetts


Here is a little video on crossovers. It doesn't go into too much detail, but will hopefully help you to grasp the basics.

See you next week for some more random gobbledegook and videos of goodness!!


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