February 6, 2013
Comes with a sweet ass trophy.
Posted by jodi on February 6, 2013 at 4.51pm
December 16, 2012
I’m a Hiram Stalker!
Posted by jodi on December 16, 2012 at 2.28pm
December 15, 2012
Making the transition from Velveteen to Real.
You can follow the BCB home team draft action on the Border City Brawlers’ twitter starting around 8pm EST tonight, if you like. I’m one of 10 new players in the draft pool, finally about to find out which colour of booty shorts to buy.
Thanks to Mike Foster (Paynen D’Arz) for the photo!
Posted by jodi on December 15, 2012 at 1.03pm
July 18, 2012
The Border City Brawlers fresh meat team placed fourth out of fourteen teams in The Fresh and the Furious: GTA Drift tournament. We weren’t expected to perform that well; The Derby Nerd, a Toronto-based derby blogger, didn’t predict us making it through the first elimination round, and he wasn’t alone. We were ill prepared, having had barely two hours of dedicated scrimmage practice together as a team. But we came out strong in the morning placement round against Toronto’s D-VAS, who played a tight defensive game but didn’t really pull out a lot of strong offence, so with our own defensive weaknesses still untested we won the round 28 to 18, which put us in a good position going into the elimination round with a lower-ranked opponent, Lindsay, a very young league. BCB beat Lindsay 136 to 28 in what was the biggest goal differential in the tournament.
We then went on to win our quarter final bout 32-28 against Renegade Derby Dames (from Alliston), and to lose the semi final against Montreal Smash Squad (keeping them to a relatively low scoring game, 64 to 35, which felt like a pretty good result against the best league in the country). This put us up against the D-VAS once more in the battle for third place. After having fought back from their initial loss against BCB, the D-VAS had been shut out of the finals in a controversial reffing decision, so they were angry and had something to prove and they handed us our asses, 117 to 13.
BCB vs Montreal Smash Squad: this is me getting back blocked to the ground by Montreal’s jammer, which earned her a trip to the penalty box and us a power jam in our first jam against them. And for just a moment, we were up 18 points to zero against Montreal. Swoon!
As for my playing, I was a bit outclassed and didn’t feel fully engaged in the games a lot of the time due to my still not-that-strong skating abilities (at this tournament, at least I wasn’t the only one). But I did manage to get in the right people’s way at the right time a few times, and to draw a few key back blocking penalties out of the other teams in doing so. And the next night back at practice I was way more on the ball in scrimmage than I’ve ever been before. I just needed to play against some girls I didn’t know to see where I need to do my work to improve.
Posted by jodi on July 18, 2012 at 7.14am
July 13, 2012
Haven’t had one of these in a while, and here’s why: it’s been a frustrating season, in which I’ve struggled to shake a bad attitude that has me leaving practice feeling miserable more often than leaving happy (and this bad attitude has opened me up to allowing some relatively minor illnesses and injuries to interfere with my practice schedule, creating a dismal spiral, as you can imagine).
When I passed the minimum skills requirements I was the only one tested that night to do so, and it happened two weeks after the house league teams had been drafted for the season, bestowing onto me the dubious honour of being the only skills-tested player in the league NOT on a team. For a while the teams were practicing separately, and while the Hiram Stalkers invited me to practice with them (and were all wonderfully welcoming and supportive and amazing), I often felt on the outside, especially when scrimmages were set up using established bouting lines and I was not on any of those lines. Things got better when the two teams began practicing together again, but being the only one not involved in real game play has meant I’m unable to improve at the same rate as my league mates. I’ve got more physical strength and endurance than some people in the league but those mean nothing when skating skills are weak, and there have been times when I’ve struggled to give a shit. < /self pity>
Tonight we’re traveling to Toronto with a team made up of skaters who haven’t had much game play (I’m the only one of the lot who has had zero) and tomorrow I’ll be bouting for the first time in the Fresh and the Furious:GTA Drift tournament hosted by GTA Rollergirls. We’ve had very little time to work together as a team, and on a more personal level I am woefully ill-prepared, and am pendulum swinging from determination to prove myself all the way to a fervent hope to just not be completely useless, and back again. Please wish me luck, but more than that, wish me courage. I could really use some.
And don’t tell anyone on the other teams that I’m anything less than 100% confident. Because I am NOT GOING TO BE THEIR FUCKING GOAT.
Posted by jodi on July 13, 2012 at 1.26pm
July 8, 2012
Today I put my name and number on my derby helmet, finally, with two colours of adhesive-backed vinyl.
The blue is 3M Scotchlite, which my dad gave me so that I can cover my bicycle frame with it and make it glow at night. So my helmet numbers will glow in flash photos (theoretically). Here’s a photo taken with flash in our dark basement:
Posted by jodi on July 8, 2012 at 3.12pm
April 11, 2012
Posted by jodi on April 11, 2012 at 9.00pm
March 20, 2012
So, I passed the Minimum Skills Requirement test last week. By the skin of my teeth, but that doesn’t matter, because the difference between a fail and even a barely-pass is the difference between having to continue training with Fresh Meat and being able to scrimmage with full contact. My subsequent performance on Sunday night, in my first ever full contact scrimmage, showed pretty clearly how much I need that full contact play if I’m going to get better from here.
So, about my first full contact scrimmage: it was a weird, off night where everyone had the jitters or couldn’t concentrate or just sort of collectively forgot the last six months, or something; the packs were all elbows, people were falling awkwardly and backwards and spread out all over the place, and there was an alarming number of injuries. Our pack control was nonexistent and at times it seemed like all we were doing was racing for no reason. Perhaps it was the effect of St. Patrick’s Day having been the night before, or upcoming bout jitters, or the moon, I don’t know. What I do know is that in amongst all of this I was essentially ineffective, unable to even hold the inside line (hold the inside line is what Fresh Meat are always instructed to do, right? because it’s relatively easy?), too unaware at times to know when it was my jammer tapping me from behind and not an opposing blocker (UGH), and pretty much completely not in control of my elbows. Even with my league mates having a bad night and playing below their usual level, I was massively outclassed.
I did manage to get past some skaters a couple of times, and to positionally block effectively a couple of times, and the one time I got goated I was lucky in that the opposing team fell down in their communications and the player who had me isolated at the back was abandoned by her teammates to try and keep me there herself, and I was eventually able to get around her. But all of that is just barely playing, and really I struggle just to keep up most of the time. I joke about changing my derby name to “The Goat” because as the slowest skater I’m destined to be made the goat A LOT in games (and, surprisingly, the name’s not taken!). I get the sense that my teamies consider this a defeatist attitude, but you’ve got to admit The Goat is a funny name. My dad used to have a cat called The Goat. < /tangent>
The things I need to work on, then, are mostly the most basic of things: awareness. Elbows. Counter-blocking. But also, since I’m going to be the goat a lot, I need to work towards getting really good at breaking down walls. I think I mostly understand the concept of how to break down walls well: arms up so as to avoid a penalty call; wedge a shoulder between the players and then wiggle your body in there, hitting with arse and shoulder until a space opens up; stepping through instead of skating, using toe-stops to gain an extra push instead of trying to glide through with the leading skate on the floor. But of course in practice I’m unable to do any of this. So purely for the purpose of breaking through walls, I need to work on getting more comfortable stepping around on toe-stops, practicing moving on my toes with quick stops and starts and changes in direction (and, damn it, get over the fear that moving around on toe stops is going to result in a broken ankle). And at the gym: balance board work; box jumping exercises; core strength. Same old, now with more of the same old.
Posted by jodi on March 20, 2012 at 8.36am
March 11, 2012
These don’t come often enough of late, in part because I’m bored with my workouts, and bored with writing them down here. I wrote a whole long boring blah blah blah about it but that’s all deleted now, and we’re all better off for it, believe me. So! Onward.
Last spring, my most important workout concern was strength training and building bone density, but now my workouts need to be tailored more towards training for roller derby. The most important change is this: no more distance running. It’s not the right kind of conditioning for short, two minute bursts of intense work in a jam. From now on if I run at all it will be intervals. The routine I do on the stationary bike, a random hill programme at a relatively high intensity, is good and I will continue with that. On days when there isn’t time for my full cardio warm-up on the bike, I will row 1000 metres (which takes about six minutes, and in which I sprint all-out for 100 metres, rest for 100 metres, repeat) or do two minutes on the ladder machine (which gets your heart rate up very high very FAST and two minutes is about all I can take at one go and bonus! that’s the length of a jam!).
As for weights, I’ll still do my kettlebells routine at least once every two weeks, and once a week if I can fit it in, because it’s fun. Pushups will continue as well, along with more core work so that I’ll have the power to deliver a killer sternum blow to a lady when I need to. Dedicated upper body weight training will mostly go on hold for now and be something that gets thrown in for fun when there’s extra time. Generally when I’m feeling uninspired to come up with a workout I’ll just do the circuit of 6 weight machines, which provides enough arms and shoulders work that I won’t lose ground.
Lower body work is where things will be switching up, and the focus will now be on plyometrics and balance work, developing those fast twitch muscles in tandem with the interval training. So, lots of jumping on and off of boxes, jumping side to side, quick ladder work, squat jumps (yeah!). And a squatting sideways crossover walk back and forth across the gym, to hopefully force that backwards crossover, left over right, to feel natural. As for balance, our gym has a very wobbly wobble board and a not wobbly enough wobble board, so for now I’ll be working on just maintaining balance, and a slow controlled side-to-side motion, on the very wobbly board (it’s so hard, you guys!), and high reps of weighted squats on the not wobbly enough board. These exercises all carry a pretty big bang for your buck so the sessions can be shorter, making it easier to find time for working out every morning. All will help with the quick stop-and-start of derby, with reaction time on the track, speed in getting from one side of the track to the other, confident footwork both in blocking and in breaking down walls, agility in moving around on toe stops. All good things!
In skating practice we’ve been doing a drill lately where we alternate core work (burpees, planks, situps) with track skating (skating backwards, skating clockwise, skating sideways or coasting on one foot in the corners) in two minute bursts, which is nice in how it spreads the burn from quads to abs and back again, but also because I can count that as a partial core workout in planning out my morning routines. We’ve also been doing an exercise where small groups of skaters come up with drills to lead the group in, which results in more standing around than I’d like but the drills end up being a bit more varied. During available moments of free skating I’ve been working on my crossovers, focusing on getting that push with the left leg and trying to find that sweet spot in the lean where both legs are doing the same amount of work. It feels like I’m getting that, more than ever before, although I have no idea what my form looks like at the moment. If it’s shite I’m sure someone will tell me. Tonight I tried crossovers in the opposite direction (skating clockwise) for the first time; it’s terrifying, and the urge to put the right skate’s toe stop down while crossing the left leg over is strong. That’s not something I ever did when first learning regular crossovers.
Skills testing again this Thursday. I feel like I’ve improved quite a bit since last time, when I only failed the test by 1.2% (you guys I went around for a week with a giant thought bubble over my head alternately flashing the word EXCRUCIATING and the number 1.2% in glitter block caps, for real). Obviously the bare minimum is not a goal to strive for, but when that bare minimum, a minimum 1.2% improvement, is the only thing standing between where I am now and finally being able to train with FULL CONTACT, just for this week I will be happy making the bare minimum. Next chance after this isn’t until June.
Posted by jodi on March 11, 2012 at 11.02pm
February 13, 2012
At The Loop, February 12 2012.
Posted by jodi on February 13, 2012 at 8.44am