It’s been a bit quiet around here in July and August, apart from a few reviews and things, and for that I apologise.

Back at the beginning of July I sprained my ankle at my second Roller Derby scrim, and it’s been a long and stressful road to something that looks almost like Recovery. I wasn’t able to run or go to practice for most of July and August, and, well, I didn’t really feel like writing about exercise and fitness, or even my feeble attempts at staying fit off my feet.

But now I find myself back at scrim practice with an Aircast A60 ankle brace, and 2 weeks out from my first public Roller Derby bout. I’m both weirdly calm and terrified about it. At first my concern with the ankle sprain was that I wouldn’t be back on skates in time for it. Now it’s that with only 3 weeks back on contact before the bout I won’t be anywhere near as prepared as I hoped.

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So, here’s a list of the things I have been obsessing about for the last few weeks. Because out of my head and onto the screen has to help, right?

Team logos copyright Tekura Maeva. I’m a Sailor Jerry!



  • The width of the track
    We train on a 90% track due to venue restrictions. The game will be my first time on a full size Roller Derby track. This is scary.
  • The raised edges
    A proper Roller Derby track has a raised border made from rope under tape. When we practice we simply mark the track with masking tape. Am I going to trip over the roped edge and make an idiot of myself?
  • Getting a penalty
    Not just getting a penalty, but remembering to skate the right way to the penalty box. I’ve been given 2 penalties in 3 scrims I took part in, both times I forgot and turned around and skated the wrong way to the box. I. MUST. NOT. DO. THIS. Is it wrong to consider deliberately getting penalties at scrim in order to practice?
  • Losing
    It took me a while till it occurred to me that this was a proper scored game and someone would lose. I’m prepared to play as well as I can, and I’m prepared to lose by a few points (I don’t WANT to, but I could live with it). What terrifies me is being faced with a blow out and losing by over 100 points or something. What if I’m really that awful?
  • Injury
    Weirdly this hasn’t been hugely high on my worry list, probably because I’m still dealing with the end of the other injury. I’m worried that it will affect my skating and there’s the ghostly spectre of an idea that I might hurt myself again, only this time in front of a crowd.
  • Not being fit enough
    This year has sucked. Earlier this year I had an awful cold that lasted nearly 6 weeks and knocked my fitness badly. I ran my slowest 10k ever in April and my average pace over a 5k has gone up by over a minute a mile. When I sprained my ankle was just starting to work on introducing Sprints and longer runs again to try and get my fitness and endurance back. Another 10 weeks off hasn’t really done that any good and a 4 mile slow run on Sunday left me wiped out. What if I’m not fit enough to keep up on the day?
  • Losing Focus
    I’ve never skated in front of (hopefully) cheering people before. Will it distract the hell out of me? Will I know what on earth is going on? Am I going to skate into a wall waving at my Mum & Dad?
  • Leggings
    Yes, leggings. I know. This is a themed Mixed Opener and we have the most amazing logos on our t-shirts. I LOVE to dress up and I really wanted something fun to wear, but I also need to be comfortable to get sweaty and work hard. All the leggings and shorts I found wouldn’t arrive for weeks as they came from China. Argh! What the hell am I going to WEAR!?
  • Forgetting everything
    Strategies, starts, how to skate completely, what team I am on, my name and number. You name it I’ve worried about forgetting it.
  • Basically sucking
    Yeah. I don’t want to be rubbish, but I feel unfit and un-practised. Argh!

Calming words of advice and wisdom entirely welcome.