[personal profile] tara_hanoi
Last year, my attempt at Fresh Meat came to an abrupt halt due to a groin strain. I was fairly disheartened given my poor performance for that second session (I was falling over on basic knee falls, which wasn't exactly safe). Eventually I pulled myself from the session and realised a few days later that while most of my owies had disappeared (as expected), this one was a real injury.

As a result, I dropped out of the programme and, as a way to keep involved with a great bunch of people, I decided to help out as a Non-Skating Official (NSO).

As a quick side note, if anyone ever feels they want to get more involved with their local league, without learning to skate, I would suggest volunteering as an NSO. Leagues love good NSOs, and it's a great opportunity to get to know your local league, and all the people within it.

With 2012 rolling around, I decided my new year resolution was to get through a full Fresh Meat programme; I don't care about whether or not I pass assessments at this point in time, I think it's ambitious enough to work towards surviving the full 8 to 12 weeks.

While I was on holidays, I made a token effort towards some running. I did some stretches according from the Roller Derby Workout video (made by the Heart Attacks of the Angel City Roller Derby league) to warm up and cool down after a run. While I wouldn't break any records, I made sure to do a run every 3-4 days after letting my various aches and pains disappear (I only mangaged about 4 runs in total). Having just mapped the run, it turns out I was doing about 3.5km of my local Lanzarotean neighbourhood in about 28 minutes. Like I said, it wouldn't break any records, but it's something.

However since getting back to work, I've been feeling a lot more complacent about exercise. The most I mustered was one kettle-bell session before I had to go to the UK, and then I realised that the sessions would be the day after the Fresh Meat sessions (ow). This is the sum total of my exercise in the past while.

Roll around week 0. A new addition to the Fresh Meat programme was where all the skaters got to meet each other and do some basic no-pressure skating on the floor that was going to host a bout in a few hours. I have to say, I loved it. It was the perfect tonic I needed after my ungracious bow out from the previous session. I was still feeling precious about my leg (and knew that most of it was unfounded), and needed a nice little no-pressure skating to get me comfortable with the idea of being back on them.

It was also the first time I got to try out my newly-Frankensteined skates. I had new wheels (given to me by a very kind skater) and new toestops on my skates (which really makes them just feel like new skates), and I had new pads. Basically, I was trying out a lot of new gear, and was very glad the first time wasn't amid a lot of whistles and falls. Sure, I fell, or just took a knee when things were unstable, and sure I crawled over to some other freshies and chatted for a bit, before going back on the track, but that was pretty much what I needed. (Mental note: buy a pint for whoever came up with that idea as I think it worked really well)

Today, I've finished my first proper session. The whole session I knew I wasn't fighting my equipment in the same way that I was last time; I could be reasonably confident that if I was doing something correctly, the wheels wouldn't take it upon themselves to scoot out from under me (fuck you Radar Caymans, fuck you right in the core). I even managed things like a precursor to a t-stop (I won't call it a real one, but I got much further than I ever did on the other skates). These new skills were only partially down to the equipment, and more due to one of my favourite jammers for the league teaching me.

Thanks to her I learned how to start turning (still not there, but doing better - but I've learned I basically have to aim my body where I want to go), manage an attempt at a t-stop, and I managed to 'get' sticky-skating, where you don't take your wheels off the floor to skate, and at one point hit a little straddle point between conscious competency and a little half-way point where I could let myself switch off and not think too hard about what I was doing.

Actually that straddle point seems to sum up my whole experience of the day. There were points where I had to remind myself I was on skates; even though I very conscious of the fact that I was unsteady, I wasn't thinking about the fact I was on skates, if that makes sense.

By the end of the session, I was sweating profusely, but I didn't have that nauseous feeling that I had the first time around, nor did I crash on the couch this time. Hell, if it wasn't for plans being unmade, I'd have happily headed into town to meet a friend. And while I write this, it's 2am, and I'm still not sore, and still have energy. I'm sure I'll have hell to pay in the morning, but for today, I don't think I've done too badly.

The main point I have to take away are that I need to relax; even though I'm not afraid of falling, I seem to tense up a lot (I think it's just my mind spinning around saying, "I'm useless here"), and apparently have a really serious look on my face to go with it (that said, that doesn't mean I'm not having fun - anyone who's seen me play guitar hero will see that exact same face). As far as I can tell, relaxing make stuff a lot easier, including turning, striding, sticky-skating... all of the basics. (I can already attest to relaxing making falling an easier sensation)

I also seem to try to control my feet with my hands. As in, if I'm doing a t-stop, I'll end up also turning the hand on the same side as the foot I'm turning. This made for some weird witch-over-cauldron impressions as I desperately tried to get my plough stop to connect before potentially colliding with the second freshmeat class. I'm sure it was an interesting thing to watch. (And no, you'll be sorry to hear I didn't collide with them)

All in all, 'twas fun. And I'm still not sure how I'm not sore right now. (Warning, this post may be edited tomorrow so that I can articulate exactly what exquisite pain was waiting for me in the morning)
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September 2015


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