It’s been a while I know, but I’ve been busy, busy and this blog was always the one that would suffer as I write it just for fun really!

Today though, I am back, and I am achey. During Juneathon I started going to Roller Derby Fresh Meat nights on Monday nights, and since then it’s sort of taken over a bit!

I now have an official skate name and number #79 Gem Warfare, and while I’m a long way off skating in an actual Roller Derby bout, I’ve started down a path to becoming part of the team and learning the skills I need. I have spent an awful lot of money on roller skates, pads, and stupid shorts with Pow written on them.


Monday night was skills sign off. For the last 6 weeks we’ve been working towards learning the skills to pass level 1, and Monday night was test time. There are 24 different skills in total, split into 7 blocks, and you need to pass a whole block to be signed off on it, and all 7 blocks to move onto level 2. I managed 5 out of 7.

I worked myself up into a bit of a fit of nerves, for no real reason, in the week coming up to the sign offs. I was dreaming about cross overs and jumps. On the day itself I found that none of the 3 friends I joined up with were going along that night, for various reasons, and I got really, really nervous. What was normally a fun night out with friends was suddenly me going to an exam, alone. I calmed myself down, or I thought I had. But when I put my skates on I got cramp in my feet, which stressed me out and I had to relace them, and then I fell, gently at least, which didn’t do much to put me at ease.

We started the session with endurance skating. Getting 20 laps in 5 minutes, something I had done fine in practice a couple of weeks earlier. Except today I had changed my toe stops to new ones. Gulp. They are far lower than my old ones (I’m actually going to raise them back up a bit) and when trying to go fast I tripped on them, twice, at speed. I got up and kept going, and eventually managed 19.5 laps in the 5 minutes, which is disappointing, but not bad seeing as I had 2 falls. I knew I couldn’t manage one lap in 15 seconds and I failed crossovers as I couldn’t lift my back foot without tripping over my toe stops. So that was one block I didn’t pass. The only other section I didn’t pass included one foot glides, which is no surprise as I’m yet to master not just veering off at a random angle when I lift my foot off the ground.

Falling did knock my confidence, and I had a panic attack, a nice quiet one, no breathing problems, but my hands and legs were shaking so much I could hardly stand up. I felt unstable, dangerous and couldn’t put any pressure through my legs to stop properly. I must have been a right pain to sit with, everyone else dealing with their own nerves while I sat in the middle and shook and wittered on about how I wasn’t going to do any more as I was too shaky. Everyone else there was lovely and calming though, and after a mere 2 hours of a 3 hour session I was starting to calm down a little. And even tried (and passed) the evil “jumping over a broomstick” task that I’d sworn I wasn’t going anywhere near.

My fall did produce a nicely dramatic bruise, which I’m hoping will turn all lovely shades of green and yellow. I’m also aching head to toe. Seriously, even my forearms hurt, which I’m guessing is a side effect of falling.

So, I might not have passed level 1, but I have another 6 weeks to practice, and only 2 blocks to really focus on.

Adding skating into my routine has interfered with my running a little. I was trying to pick up the distances for my upcoming half marathon, but I’m often too achey on Tuesdays to run, but I’m trying not to let it stress me out, as the cross training and extra work on my leg muscles has to count for something, and I can’t keep aching forever!

So, with more skating, plus a half marathon to train for, I hope to check back in here a little more often over the next few months.

Ta ta!