It has actually been almost two weeks (precisely? 11 days) since I first met my teammates and put on my skates. And it already feels like months! Here’s a (not so) short recap.
Learning, learning, learning
My favorite thing so far is that we’re learning TONS of things. We’re not taking a lot of time for every technique yet, just training maybe 15 to 30 minutes on every new thing we learn, but thanks to that we already saw a lot of what we’ll be able to do in the end. And that’s the best motivation. To trip on your transition but know that soon, if you work hard, you’ll do them without even thinking about it (hopefully?).
And even though we’re not spending a lot of time perfecting what we’re learning yet, we can still feel our progress from one day to the other, and see it in our teammates. That’s such an awesome feeling!
Becoming part of a team
My second favorite thing is my team. And that was kind of a big surprise. I mean, I guess I didn’t really think about my future Freshmeat teammates before, so I’m really happy I found awesome people and that we’re getting along well and communicating a lot. And I saw the A team of KRR play before, but the players were so amazing, I was kind of shocked to find them training me and to have a drink with them so quickly (fangirl mode on).
I don’t know a lot of people from KRR yet except for the Freshmeat and our trainers but everybody seems so nice and welcoming it really makes me feel at ease. I feel like I want to make my teachers proud by giving my best, and I prefer this type of motivation over fear and stress, so that’s cool (but eh, the stress will probably come later). And when your teachers tell you they’re gonna make you the fastest and strongest skaters ever, you actually believe them.
Ah, and also? I’m the only one not talking Finnish and because of that everybody’s always talking English. Like…. what?? I’m always amazed by that, and honestly sometimes feeling a bit awkward, because I mean what if some people struggle with English and don’t understand the class properly?…
On a side note, the fact that most of my team is queer (I mean, it’s known that derby is a lesbian sport, but our name and logo contains a rainbow so it’s like, extra queer) also makes me at ease because then I don’t feel awkward talking about my girlfriend all the time (I probably talk about her too much even for them but eh) and I fell like I’m with… my kind of people? I don’t really like the idea of communitarianism (does this word works in English?), but sometimes it feels good.
Muscles? What muscles?
Even though we have 3 or 4 classes a week, people are already talking and organizing themselves to go to the gym to get those bodies muscled up outside the skating classes. It feels good to do sports for once and to feel productive!
Talking about which, it’s way too soon to notice any change in my body. I didn’t even get muscle ache yet?! I wonder if it will actually change my body in any noticeable way. I don’t really expect to get slimmer, maybe I’ll just get more muscles and people will wonder why I look bigger since I started sport. That’s how it goes sometimes.
But I’m sure my body is happy to be used for something else than sitting in front of a computer for once!
Testing your gear
Roller Derby gear is expensive. Like, really expensive. I mean, there’s probably sports which are more expensive for a beginner, but for someone whose last sports were Quidditch (yup) and martial arts, it’s expensive. Also, said person is a poor student.
So I took the decision to buy all my gear second hand. I was very lucky to find gear as good as new, and quickly too! For instance, I got my skates (on the picture above) and most of my protective gear from a girl who did only one class of Freshmeat before quitting. Her skates were shinning.
Now, where am I going with this? Oh yeah, the fact that you can’t really replace your gear if something doesn’t fit perfectly right, or replace your wheels because others look cuter. So you have to work with things!
The skates turned out to be quite uncomfortable on the toe area but I found some tips on different lacing to arrange that, and it already got way better even though I’m still working on it.
And my wheels are already super cute, but they are veeeery slippery (93A). And we are mostly skating on veeeeeery slippery coated wood flood. Not a good mix. I always feel like I’m gonna hit the floor when I do crossovers. So I started looking up which type of wheels would be better for me, and how I could use wheel set ups to only buy 4 new wheels instead of 8 (sneaky!). But then I was told that when we first skate on concrete (that’s tomorrow) our wheels will probably get less slippery, so I’m hoping that will do the trick!
Ah, and my toe stops are super short. Like, at their longest, I can fit my entire hand under my back wheels, instead of the 2 or 3 fingers recommended. It works for the moment but I should do something about it.
I am so SO glad I decided to start this sport, despite thinking I would suck at it in the beginning. Even though I’m mostly stumbling (well, not that much actually), I feel so good on wheels, and when I hit that crossover the right way, I feel like I’m flying. And that’s one of the best feeling I know. I can’t wait to get better at it, to get faster, and for it to become natural.
This post was originally published on Salmi A. Kick’s blog, read all about it here: salmiakkick.wordpress.com.
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