Return to Diary of a Wench in Training 2013/14

The Diary

First Training after passing Minimum Skills – 31st January 2014

 

Louise –

I had a great time, everybody was really cool, very patient and supportive. I was pretty apprehensive, as things have moved quite quickly since passing skills on Tuesday. I’ve already sorted out my subs, ordered my training tops, with name and number, it’s all got very serious, literally overnight! I was worried that although I’ve passed skills, everybody would be miles better than me, and I would feel very out of my depth. But I would say that I am good enough to skate with the Wenches now.

So the game of derby. To be honest it’s going to be a massive learning curve to get all the tactics and skills to play the game. There is so much to learn, even though I’ve been swotting up on rules for a couple of months. There’s a big difference between knowing the rule and knowing WHY you would do something to help your team, within this rule. So yeah, this is where I am. An enthusiastic, slightly confused rookie. One of the best things about my derby journey so far has been just when you’re starting to feel comfortable, the level gets stepped up, and I can see this is set to continue. The next chapter is going to be brilliant!

 

Meg –

I was so excited about going to my first Wench training session. I had no nerves at all until I walked in the door, and then a feeling hit me that I hadn’t had since I was 12 and going up to ‘big’ school…it’s akin to that feeling you get when you change from being one of the oldest in a school, to being one of the youngest. Thankfully the Wenches were very welcoming and empathetic to the new skaters feelings. I felt a definite psychological change – I wasn’t able to jump transitions on Tuesday, but when it was presented 3 days later as the basic step to learn in the run up to learning a more complex skill, suddenly it seemed like the easy option and felt pretty effortless. It was very reassuring that everyone remembered what it was like to feel like the only person in the room who has no idea of what is going on! It is an absolute credit to the Wenches that they made what could have been a really scary experience very safe and very fun. I am looking forward to my first scrim session on Sunday, and although I know I’ll have no idea what is going on around me, I now know I’ll be in safe hands – I am more than happy just to do what I’m told for now, and hope that it won’t be long before I understand enough to start to use some of my own initiative!

 

Week 13 – 28th January 2014 – Test night two

 

Midge –

So, Minimum skills is over, and I’m a little sad I didnt make it into the wenches. I fell down during 27 in 5 and my heart just sank and I couldnt muster the desire to really go for it, I felt like I’d let myself down. I had a bit of a grizzle when I found out initially that I hadnt passed but once I found out from the coaches that I had in fact passed everything EXCEPT 27 in 5, I was actually pretty chuffed! I was sure I’d failed more than that! I was so happy that I was told I could try for 27 in5 again on the next Freshmeat session, and if I do, I’m in! I am SO determined to get this, I will be a Wench! I will I will I WILL!!!

 

Meg –

I am so excited, happy, exhausted, exhilarated, proud, and generally overwhelmed to have passed minimum skills. I’m officially a Portsmouth Roller Wench! I had a totally different state of mind this week, and judging by the change in atmosphere I think everyone was a bit more relaxed. It helped to know that we had about 70% behind us from last week so it wasn’t quite so overwhelming. I skated until my lungs ached (literally) for the 27 in 5 and have never been so relieved in my life to hear that I’d achieved a passable threshold! My left T stop was my Achilles heal but frankly, if that’s my biggest issue I’m a very happy wench!

 

Emma –

Minimum Skills, what a ride. I can honestly say it has been probably the only thing I’ve been the passionate about in a long time. So my first year of skating, and I have come a long way. I’ve finally managed 27 laps in 5 after a few weeks of plateauing. I’ve started doing right knee taps at work in the hopes of strengthening my left leg muscles up. I’ve spent many hours at home spring cleaning in my skates to try and get used to the weight of that darn Triton plate!

I haven’t managed it this time round, but the benefits of a rolling course is that I won’t have to wait a year to give it every fibre of my being all over again! There are things that I knew I was never going to manage, and injuries and illness that took me off skates. I owe countless thank you’s to the fantastic coaches we had throughout this past course, and I look forward to milking every last bit of feedback in the next 12 weeks.

 

Louise –

Delighted! Elated, relieved. I got there tonight knowing that my dodgy areas were still to be covered, and kind of accepting that I was going to fail my transitions, although I spent a couple of hours earlier in the week doing nothing but them. And while they’re far from perfect, they were good enough. 27/5, I skated harder, faster than I ever have. To be honest my form was not my best, but again, it was good enough. But there are other things that I feel quite accomplished at, and I think the overall picture is that I’m good enough. Now the real hard work starts! Oh yeah!

 

Week 12 – 21st January 2014 – Test night one

 

Louise –

Most of it went ok, I think. Annoyingly, I did some really good knee taps, but every time my tester was watching I seemed to mess them up. Hopefully she caught some of my better ones too! Transitions need lots of practice this week before next Tuesday, but I knew that. And I’d like to do some practice for my 27/5. These are the 2 skills that I think will be my ‘make or break’. Am going to definitely try and get a skate in at Solent in between now and next Tuesday, at least one.

 

Week 11 – 14th January 2014

 

Midge –

Our last session before skills was a challenge, but fun and really informative. I gave jumping my best shot and think I did pretty well. Transitions were tricky but Im getting there slowly, and Im getting to grips, literally, with my whips now which Ive felt pretty weak at before.Fell over loads with Penny during hip checks which was hilarious, but it didnt stop us carrying on and getting them sorted. SO! Minimum skills tomorrow! Im feeling pretty damn nervous, but I’m going to try and go in there with the intention of giving it my best shot, and really thats all I can do. My biggest weakness? .. I think my 27 in 5 might let me down, and my transitions. Im pretty ok with everything else, I think, but .. well, just have to wait and see now. I can only do my best, as can everyone else. If I pass, great! If I dont, then I know I get to skate again with people I love being with, and take more time to perfect everything. but for now, .. here we go!

 

Louise –

So, a week before the test: Tess has been very clear about the objectives on Minimum Skills, and how we will be graded, with a 1-3 score on each skill. On the whole I think I’ll be OK, and am hoping for 2s and 3s on most skills. I’m haappy with the following: crossovers, stride, one-foot glide, stepping, knee taps, laterals, hits, pushes, whips, weaving, positional blocking and pack work and hope to score well on these. Jumps are OK, not perfect but I think I can get a 2 for them. My biggest weaknesses are my transitions, which I’m only just getting the hang of, and I still haven’t managed 27/5, although I’m getting closer. If I fail on anything this will be the one. I don’t think I’ll fail anything else. I’m fairly confident I can pass the written test. Most of all, I know that the coaches really want us to pass, they’re not trying to catch us out on the night, more that they’re looking for us to show our best. Will I still be at Freshmeat in February? Maybe to improve one or two skills, but I don’t think I’ll still be there in March. Am excited and nervous, and can’t quite believe that I’m testing already. What a journey the last 3 month have been!

With only a week to go before our first batch of freshmeat take their minimum skills test we’re interested to know how they’re feeling so we asked them! In three words, what are your thoughts about the test? 

Louise – Nervous, Excited, and.. well, is there a work for ‘I’ll give it my best damn shot!’

EmmaMinimum skills in a week? I first thought my three words were ‘s******g my pants’, but I think they may well change to ‘bring it on

MegFeelings on test in 2 weeks in 3 words…my giddy aunt.

LouiseMinimum skills in a week? BRING. IT. ON.

 

Week 10 – 7th January 2014

 

Louise – 

25 laps!!! 25 laps!!!! Up two from my PB, which I’m really pleased about. There was a time when this was enough to pass minimum skills, and I finally feel like I’m getting there with the 27/5. Tonight, before we started, the coaches demonstrated a few laps and I had a little epiphany. I’ve not been crossing over at the right time, ie. I’ve been taking the pressure off where I should have been putting it on. So I concentrated on getting the technique correct, not listening too hard to my counting buddy and I improved. Sooo pleased! It wasn’t perfect, but much much better than I’ve been doing, and I overtook some people too, which I’ve never done before. Aside from the 27/5, everything else went pretty OK for me tonight. Am on a different wheel set-up now, and it’s not quite right, am experimenting with a few different set-ups over the next couple of weeks before skills, so hopefully by the time I need it, I’ll have found that soft spot that’s right for me.

 

Meg –

Was a bit ambivalent about going tonight, because I was desperate to skate but keen not to do further damage to the coccyx I broke over Christmas. But once I saw everyone getting kitted up there was no way I wasn’t going to skate! Proudest moment was being quarter of a track off of 26 laps for the 27/5. Only one and a quarter laps and I’ll have nailed it! Need to work on digging right in with the edge of my wheels when blocking- I’m doing too much rolling forward to block effectively. I plan to walk around the kitchen practicing this technique which my daughter thinks is hysterical and should liven up meal times a treat!

 

Emma –

I went into this week feeling pretty nervous about how much my fitness levels would have depleted after Christmas. I was dripping with sweat just after the warm up laps! I really did try and give everything a damn good seeing to, and we started off with a couple more complicated skills. I adore hits, and my hitting partner gave some really good feedback which makes all the difference. Pacelines are another favourite of mine, these were weaving rather than hitting, laterals are something I always like to work on so I really enjoyed that part of the session.

It’s easy to forget how much fun fresh meat is until you are in the midst of a session, and I even found myself excited to try and grasp those elusive 27 laps in 5 minutes! I almost made it to 26, and this session has definitely inspired me to crack on with off skates fitness.

 

Midge –

This weeks sessions was brilliant! Challenging, fun, and knackering! When asked who was going up for minimum skills, I didn’t put my hand up, but Peggy Peril made sure that I was going ahead with it, despite my reservations that I wouldnt make it. We got to wear the infamous Panties! Those of us who were going for minimum skills got put into a large separate group and moved onto important needed skills such as blocking, jamming, pack work, hitting and more. It was so challenging, but the determination of everyone to make it all work, as a team, was fantastic. On top of an amazing session, I finally got 25 laps!!! 2 more laps than last time! I put this down to gliding on the apex rather than using crossovers all the way around which I usually do, I’m sure this helped! I MUST work on my laterals if I’m going to be any where near passing Minimum Skills, but now I’m this close I’m really determined to do my best.I’m feeling so good right now, not bad for my first session back in 3 weeks! As always, looking forward to the next one!

 

Week 9 – 10th December 2013

Louise –

Some of the best bits for me this week were the hits and pushes. I really concentrated on getting as low as I could, and focussing my energy through the skater I was hitting, and managed to dislodge quite a few people, including Peggy Peril, which is definitely something to be proud of! I also held my own when being hit, through being braced in such a low derby stance, some people found it hard to hit me at all (that was the plan)!

We also worked on transitions, which have been worrying me a bit, as we hadn’t covered them yet. Bizarrely, I’d been having a go of the footwork off skates that day, although I didn’t know they were going to be in the lesson that night (my hidden witch obviously knew they were coming up). Having always previously rolled to turn, and been unable to continue skating, I was pleased that I got the stepping right and was able to skate on in both directions.

Once again, my bug bear is still the 27 in 5. My technique is improving, and I’ve borrowed a set of 4 stickier wheels for the inside of my skates, which really improved my grip on the crossovers, and my confidence to push a bit harder. Everything was going quite a bit better actually, I was on target for 24, maybe 25 laps, but I fell halfway through and it took me a while to get back to full speed again after this. I got 23, as usual (groan), but if you take into account that I probably lost at least a lap with my fall, I’m not unhappy with this, more unhappy that I stacked it when I was going so well.

Atom did mention afterwards that I am capable of crossing over much deeper that I was doing, and McMurphy said that I was starting to crossover a little late in the apex, which was probably why I ended up on the floor!

I think next week I really need to focus on my technique, almost to the point of forgetting about how many laps I’m doing. If the technique is right, the laps will just come (so they tell me)!

It’s great to know that the coaches are watching us so closely that they were able to feed back like this though, there is so much experience in the room that all of us can absorb. So lucky to be learning from such great skaters!

With Christmas on the doorstep, it’s getting quite hard to get any extra skate time in in-between Freshmeat sessions, due to family commitments. Once we get into the New Year, will be back on it, big time. Am pleased with my progress the last few weeks, and really don’t want to let this slide.

 

Week 8 – 3rd December 2013

Kayla –

This week we started going through minimum skills. Crossovers, sticky skating, plow and t stops, one foot glides, laterals and skating backwards. I haven’t been at my best the past few weeks due to illness and missing a couple of sessions. R.I.P, psyclone and Atom were great coaches throughout the session. I still need to perfect my derby stance and get my butt down!

 

Emma –

Last night was fantastic, we got a chance to see what skills we can pass already, I need to work on my brisk pace T Stops, having only just started doing them confidently, trying at a 25 in 5 pace was a bit more challenging! I’m happy with everything else we tried last night, I’d like to keep working on backwards skating and laterals. I found the easiest way to get my legs in the right position was to pretend I’m Zorro. It’s the little things! Back to the squats, only a few weeks till the test…

 

Louise –

Yeah, it was great! We really focussed on technique, crossovers, backwards skating and laterals, and am pleased to say my technique is improving. The coaches really looked at where we are at and am proud to say that I would pass some of the most important skills now! :))) A major fail though, was my T-stop. It’s bizarre really, as when I started Fresh Meat, a T-stop was about the only skill that I was quite adept at, but last night we were stopping from a brisk pace, rather than a considerably slower pace that I usually use them at. My technique is essentially fine, I think I just need to practice them a bit more, and gradually build up the speed from which I’m stopping. My plough stops are really improving though, and have also learned to do a one-foot plough. Did one foot glides for longer than I have done before too. So all in all a good night!

 

Week 7 – 26th November 2013

Emma –

After sitting out last week due to my ankle, I was glad I came to the session to watch the skills but it’s so frustrating to see things you know you need to work on and not be able to join in. The pack work this week was amazing, so much fun, and you can tell that we have improved as a pack, I didn’t lock wheels with anyone! I know I still need to work on right knee taps, Peggy gave me some pointers so I’ll be hitting the streets and the corridors at home to work on my muscles. I seem to have plateaued on 25 laps, I didn’t want to push my ankle too hard but I can see if I did small changes I could easily make it…

 

Louise –

We went really back to basics this week, with knee taps/falls/full body slides. Am really pleased to say that my off skate fitness regime is really helping with the skills! Have been running for 7 weeks now and this month Freshies have been doing a plank challenge. The core stability and overall fitness is essential to be able to perform the skills we need to pass, so it’s nice to see this paying off. We did a really tough drill, where we basically did lunges on skates across the hall, and there’s no way I could have done this without the fitness and strength being there. I’ve also increased my skating outside of Fresh Meat this week, there is a new roller rink in Fareham, so am using this facility a couple of hours per week on top of normal training. My crossovers are improving, although my speed didn’t increase on 27/5 this week, but it will. I’m also feeling at home in ‘the pack’ now, and not afraid to come through the middle to get to the front, or drop a knee and recover. We did some pace line weaving, both alone and in pairs. My partner and I did quite well on this, we communicated well and managed to get our laterals to work together. This is probably the bit I’m most proud of this week. So, all in all, a good week, I know what I need to work on (my technique for speed skating) and I will be doing this in between sessions as much as I can. We’ve got about 5 sessions to go before we test, and still quite a lot to cover. I need to devote a bit more time to the rules, so am watching as much derby as I can in between, and am NSO-ing the Wenches bout this weekend.

 

Meg –

Another fabulous week of fun! The wenches always apologise for making us do ‘basic’ skills but I don’t get bored with them. It’s not like you can get too good at something and frankly, judging by how quickly my thighs ache when doing knee taps repeatedly, I need the practice. Something important happened for me this week…I felt exhausted after 27/5. This might not seem like a good thing but to me it represented an important change in psyche. I had been getting very stressed that I wasn’t pushing myself hard enough during this skill, focusing more on avoiding other skaters and not losing control, than on speed or form. I would finish after 5 minutes able to talk and not having broken a sweat. Tonight however, I pushed it, I pushed it until my face was beetroot and my chest was tight. I still only got 24/5 but at least I know that it was because my technique still needs polishing and not because a sense of logic was blocking me.

 

Midge –

This week I really struggled to keep any sort of pace up. I had a pretty full on weekend of drinking and bad food so I felt very sluggish come Tuesday and I really believe it affected my training, I felt so weak! I sat out for part of the training as I felt my legs were just going to go underneath me, but managed to get back up for 27/5 which I only managed to get 21, and I fell halfway through. So this week, only happy with the fact I took part in 27/5, not happy with anything else at all. Moral of this story is, drinking lots, and eating shit food really does affect your game. Look after your body and it’ll look after you. Looking forward to some motivational and inspirational play from the Wenches at the TASH BASH bout this weekend!

 

Week 6 – 19th November 2013

Louise –

APH_5014

OK so I really loved the hitting! It was brilliant to have the Wenches there to work with, as I didn’t feel we had to ‘play nice’ as I might have done with a less experienced skater. We worked on concentrating your energy and power through the skater you are hitting, which I already have an idea of through my years of Taekwondo, so this helped me a lot. Yep, proud of my progress with this.

I still need to work on my jumps, I can do it, but watching the Wenches technique, they kind of do a tuck jump, I can see a massive gulf between that and what I’m doing. My laterals are going quite well though, and we used them during our hitting practice, so it was useful to see why we have to weave in and out of a load of cones, in a real derby scenario.

The biggest thing I need to work on is my 27/5. I got 23.5 laps, which is really no improvement since I started skating. I could blame the floor, which was quite dusty, I could blame my wheels, which are very hard, but at the end of the day it’s my technique. I came home really mad at myself for not improving on this, and when I got home I asked some of the coaches for advice. Both Tess and McMurphy came up with some really good tips, and some online tutorials that can help. I will be working on my stride and crossovers both off skates and on between now and next session. I need to perfect the technique so I’m skating in a controlled way, rather than 5 minutes of scrabbling and panicking, which is what I’m doing now. Grrrrr, the frustration!

 

Kayla – 

APH_5035

Last session went so quickly! we had some wenches in and practised hitting them which was fun. Wheelma told me I need to trust the leg I lean on in order to get a better swing to hit. I think I’ve hit a plateau with my 27/5 as I can’t seem to get any better than 19-20, which is a bit frustrating. Just need to keep at it and hopefully improve soon.

 

Midge –

APH_5027

Make way for the wenches! The celebrities of Portsmouth Roller Wenches arrived to teach us a thing or two this week. Dan and myself got put with Dropkick Molly for our ‘teacher’ of the session and it really helped me understand the importance of laterals in jamming. I had no problem hitting Dan although because of my balance I almost went over and dug my fingers into his ribs (sorry dude). Dropkick Molly was really patient and thorough with our techniques so it really was invaluable time. My proud moment came when I worked my way back up to (almost) 23 laps, and thanks to Floss I know where I could’ve gained the extra half a lap or another complete lap which I’m going to aim for next time! My laterals are what I want to work on next, plus maybe aiming for a goal of 24 next time! Fantastic session once again!

  

Week 5 – 12th November 2013 

Meg –

 This week was lots of fun, and the ‘ante’ has noticeably ‘upped’ as we were doing jumps and more technical skills against the clock. I had a bit of a wobble when I realised that I need to knock 2 seconds off my lateral turns through the cones as well as off of my circuit speed if I want to achieve the 27/5. With only 7 weeks before the test, that feels like a tall order but I know that technique is key. On a positive I really am feeling more confident in my skills overall and I think my balance is improving. I have decided that not being ready in 7 weeks is not the end of the world – I am having fun and enjoying the skating…if I need longer then I need longer and I know I will get there eventually. In the meantime practice makes perfect…

 

Louise –

After taking last week off with a dodgy knee, I spent most of the weekend watching the WFTDA Champs, really studying the game. I was raring to go. I’ve been fairly happy with how things had been going at Freshmeat so far, I felt on top of most of the skills, and wasn’t really that worried about anything we’d covered so far. Which is probably why the coaches cranked it up a couple of levels this week. We did jumps. My 4 year old can jump on her skates, it can’t be that hard. I could feel the fear rising as my turn arrived, and then I stacked it on the 3rd one. I was so angry at myself, I knew I’d been too upright, which is why I fell over on my ass. Needless to say, it didn’t happen again. I had to really dig deep, skate low, and just eat that frog and go for it. And it was okay! Later on we had a go at positional blocking, which took the stepping drills, which we’d already covered a few weeks ago, into a real derby situation. I was pleased with how I got on with this, I managed to keep my jammer in order for about half the track, and when it was my turn to be the jammer, I managed to break through! Really pleased with this. Everything we covered this week was a little bit out of my comfort zone, but feeling that fear and overcoming it was awesome. I can’t wait to see what the coaches have got in store for us next week!

  

Emma –

The positional blocking was a really good drill, and something I know I need to crack on with. The level of learning this week compared to the previous sessions have really stepped up, I feel like we are still going over essential skills but now there are hits included, and the skills are being crafted from basic to how they need to be for us to be proper derby players! My least proud moment was when I twisted my ankle doing the 1 lap in 13 seconds! Luckily the girls sorted me with an ice pack so I should be fine for the upcoming session. My proudest moment was just giving every drill everything I had, there’s a lot to be said for a positive mental attitude in derby.

 

Midge –

 This weeks skate was awesome! Laterals, jamming, blocking, jumping, leaping and hitting! THIS is what we’ve been waiting for! I felt my laterals suddenly clicked and it felt so good to weave in and out of the cones at a half decent speed. Then came the jumping, which initially looked terrifying, had to mentally prepare my backside for that one! However I kept on jumping and didn’t fall! The leaping was a tad terrifying, I built up speed leaping over the mats and every time I almost went straight into the wall. I MUST LEARN TO BRAKE!! The blocking and jamming was great fun, blocking is a lot tougher than it looks! We were knackered at the end of that part of the session! I don’t feel steady enough on my feet yet for blocking, as you have to be so aware of the Jammer behind you let alone watching where your going! Loads to take home and think on this week. I think I’d like to keep working on my stepping and jumping to help myself improve on moving quickly from side to side to get past a blocker, and to help myself become more stable on my feet. So! Next week we jam with the wenches! Arse pads at the ready!

 

Week 4 – 5th November 2013

Midge – 

This week got a little more close and personal than previous weeks! We teamed up with others, weaved in and out of the group whilst going around the track and we finally got to try blocking! I was still a little hurt from last weeks session, so found I was aching a lot more than usual and a lot earlier than I expected. However! Learning to block with two other Freshmeat skaters who are roughly on the same level on me was really valuable, and it was great to literally push each other into learning the techniques for blocking, whilst having a right laugh with it too. I think I’ve finally got my t-stops sorted now (at least on one side) which I am really chuffed about. As for what I’m lacking, my stamina on 27 in 5 seems to wax and wane so I’m starting to become a little anxious about doing that side of the session, but hopefully sessions outside of Freshmeat will help me work on this and build up a regular result which I’ll be happier with.

 

Kayla –

This weeks session was so much fun. Drills, stops, pace line, walls and whips! Inside and outside whips, I really enjoyed whipping Dan around the track but we needed to control our speed as we were going a bit too fast. We had a taster of a bout and I wore the jammer helmet knickers. For me that was my favourite moment of the session and it’s made me want to pass minimum skills even more. I wore my outdoor wheels to see if they would help me to stop sliding around the track and they did. I felt more in control of my crossovers and my overall skating so I’ll continue with those for the time being, hopefully they’ll help with my next 27/5. T-stops still need work so I’ve been practicing putting my feet at 90 degrees at home, whilst brushing my teeth or washing up. The new Sisu mouth guard is a godsend!

 

Meg –

I bloody loved this week. I was very close to not going at all as I had had a long tiring day, splitting headache and felt drained. A few minutes into the skate though and everything felt better. It really made me realise just how much I love skating So many things felt right last night, lots of pennies dropping into place with various skills…I’m not suggesting that I have perfected anything but things are starting to make more sense and I can feel the difference between when things are right and when they’re wrong. We did a little bit of light tackling which was a first for me and it was loads of fun – I must watch my elbows or I’m going to be spending a lot of time in the sin bin I’m still finding T stops hard work but I realised last night that unlike previous weeks where I’ve been frustrated at my inability, I’m just enjoying the repetition, the practice and finding fun in seeing the small improvements. It’s all a bit Zen, but I think I’ve shifted from wanting to be good NOW, to relaxing and enjoying the journey.

 

Week 3 – 29th October 2013 

Kayla – 

This week we focused on stops. T stops and plough Stops. I’m getting on well with plough stops and t stops on one foot but need to work on the other foot. Like my knee taps and slides, still having difficulty going down on my right knee. My 27/5 wasn’t great as I only got 20 but I’m going to change my wheels for the next session and see how I get on. It was a really good session and i really enjoy it but still have lots to work on.

Again the wenches were awesome and helpful.

 

Louise –

It was ace! In all fairness I shouldn’t have been skating, I hurt my knee at the weekend, but such is my addiction to fresh meat, I strapped it up and soldiered on. Had some great crossovers going on, found the knee taps hard going due to my dodgy knee, but coaches were really supportive (you really ought to rest it). We did a cool drill for plough stops where we had to stop at a target line of cones, which am proud to say I was jumping over then carrying on. Didn’t do the 27 in 5 as my knee was sore, but determined to beat my current 23 laps next time.

Also spent a lot of time this week watching bouts on YouTube, and really starting to see how and why jammers call a bout for different reasons. And have volunteered to NSO at the next Wenches home bout. Such a valuable experience to see another side of the sport.

 

Midge –

This week Atom was in charge and boy did I feel it once I got home! Think I over stretched some muscles as I was pretty sore (almost couldn’t get out of the car), but it kind of felt good! Starting to enjoy the Thursday ache! I was glad to get to grips with T-stops finally though and my crossovers are coming along nicely too. Next week I’m going to get my lap score back up to 23 as I went back down to 21 1/2 laps this week and felt really disappointed in myself, but apparently I wasn’t the only one who fell behind in their scores. The floor was unusually slippy and dusty which would explain why I felt my wheels slip out every now and again during 27 in 5, but I’m hopeful that next week will turn out better. I was also more conscious of getting my crossovers correct and ‘skating the diamond’ this time so I think I sacrificed speed for concentration. Will try my best to combine the two next week.

 

Week 2 – 22nd October 2013 

Meg –

Really enjoyed this week. I was pleased with my stance – I seem to be able to stay lower longer before my back and thighs start aching! My proudest moment was holding a plank for 30 seconds with ease…my core strength is definitely improving I dropped 2 laps off of my fastest 27/5 but I’m not beating myself up about it, I think my technique is improving so I’m expecting that to pick back up again- everyone has a bad day sometimes?! Just makes me more determined to get the 27 next time!

 

Louise –

We worked on stance, stride and crossovers, which all went well, although having missed last week, my thighs were shaking when we stayed in a low skating stance for a while! Must work on my strength for this, which I can do off skates.

I really enjoyed the stepping work (crossovers, side stepping and grapevines), especially when we were doing it in pairs, and mirroring each other. This really started to feel like we were playing Derby, and my partner and I got quite excited by this!

I’m still struggling to get past 23 laps on the 27 in 5, I know I can get faster if I have stickier wheels, but am more concerned with mastering my 95a wheels. I’m beginning to understand now why I am slipping out on the crossovers, it’s about crossing over at the right time, so I need to focus on when I crossover and making this consistent on every corner. I am ‘skating the diamond’ though, which is an improvement.

Also, after hearing about the off-skate fitness last week, I was a bit worried about how tough this would be. But I was fine with it. Am really glad I’ve recently started running, as this is really helping my fitness levels.

Bring it on!

 

Midge –

This weeks session was great fun, again! Learning to do grapevine side stepping and crossovers proved a little tricky but I found it didn’t take long to get the basic gist of them. Just need to practice, practice and practice some more. My proudest moment this week was beating my previous weeks lap score on 27 in 5, by getting 23 laps. One more lap than I was hoping to get! My new skates, new wheels, and using crossovers during the laps all helped immensely. Going for 24 next time! Next week I MUST learn to brake. I seem to still be afraid of falling over whilst doing Tomahawks and T-stops so I’m just falling to my knees to stop – and slamming into walls. Not ideal really. But its all coming, bit by bit!

 

Week one – 15th October 2013 –

Kayla –

First fresh meat went well. We practised knee taps and slides. Left knee taps are fine but I’m finding it difficult doing it with my right knee. Something to focus on as we need to be able to do it on both. The circuit at the beginning was killer. Definitely need to do more fitness outside of fresh meat! Also, getting decent kit is important, especially mouth guard. My first one was cheap and awful. I couldn’t speak with it in and it made me dribble. Gross!  The coaches were brilliant and so encouraging and training with the wenches gives you something to really aspire to.

Emma –

I’m proud that I went to the gym before the Fresh Meat session, not that my muscles are agreeing with me! The off skates work out before was a good test of my current fitness. It was also good to see a lot of new faces along with the old Wreckers, and it was nice to be able to help some people out with what I’ve learnt in the past few months, in regards to proper derby stance form, one foot glides and not worrying about falling over in front of each other. Finally, I DEFINITELY and DESPERATELY need to work on my knee taps! My dominant leg can get me back up no problem but I’m only doing single leg squats when I remember my left leg can’t lift me, and actual squats maybe once a day when I drop a pen at work. Must try harder!

Meg –

So… I’m proud of my overall fitness- the warm up exercises did just that, warmed me up, whereas not so long ago they would have done for me. I wouldn’t have been able to skate after 30 burpees, if I’d managed to do 30 in the first place! I feel an improvement in most of the skills we did tonight, so that went well, but I don’t think any of the skills I tried tonight are consistently good enough yet, so plenty to improve on!

Midge –

The first FreshMeat session was full on! Four sets of workouts plus laps to warm up and introduce us to the real level of fitness that we will coming up against in the future. Burpees and Planks were so hard, though that’s obviously where I am fitness wise which I want to work on improving. Although my heart wanted to fall out of my throat it was a really enjoyable challenge. Going back to basics was well needed, and each step explained thoroughly. I felt much more comfortable falling to me knees, and chuffed that I could do knee taps over and over again again! ‘Strong Legs’ RIP McMurphy stated Next time I want to work on my stance. I’m still getting told I’m not sitting low enough or I’m not bending my knees enough. It doesn’t yet feel right on my body, plus I feel I like I look a bit of a tit but I know that that’s the way its done, and its gotta be done right. All in all a great first FreshMeat session. Cant wait for next week!

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