Saturday 20 July 2013

Roller Derby vs Crochet - Toe Guards

Check out my sweet derby skates!
Like pretty much everything I own, these are second hand. The leather has already been worn in! No blisters for me thank you very much!

I am slowly beginning to customise these to be my style but at the moment they are a bit mixy-matchy. The toe stops have been swapped out to something with a bit more surface area and I have put in some pink laces for now. They came with some sweet wheels but I need some new bearings and also I need to grow my wheel collection because of the variety of different surfaces we skate on.

But the biggest problem with these skates is the toe guard. Since derby invloves a lot of falling (intentional or not), skates will end up a bit scuffed. The leather toe guards do well at protecting the toes but not either side of the toes. The poor skates were looking a little worse for wear so I thought that I would try and make my own toe guards. Crocheted toe guards!

Now I know these won't last long but how cool are they! I can make them any colour too so I can match them to my outfit (yes, a huge part of derby is the outfit!)

I am giving them a test run tonight to see how they go :)

Sunday 14 July 2013

Diary of a Derby Girl: Contact

So it has now begun. The Freshies have begun contact. Before, the only time we fell was because it was our own fault. Now there could be a hit coming at any time – paranoid much?
The very first contact we did was with a wall. In a controlled manner this time. We stood with the wall beside us, got into derby stance and used our hips to hit the wall. “Hit it like you shut a car door when you have your hands full!”
I can do that! This contact thing may not be as scary as I thought! Well let me tell you a story.
After we moved on from using the wall as target practice we partnered up and started hitting each other with our hips. After we apologised profusely after every hit and missed-hit, the adrenaline kicked in. Somehow I got partnered with Punch – one of our awesome dimpled coaches. She was complimenting me on my hip checks and then she checked me back. The first time was fine, it hurt a little but I didn’t go flying. Then all of a sudden WHAM! I lost my breath and my balance and let out a huge OW! (I stayed on my feet though!) I look over at Punch and she had a cheeky smile on her face and she said, “Ok, now I know how hard I can hit you!”

 Say what! She was going easy on me the second time even! I have got a lot of work to do to be able to give and receive these hits. As well as be hit while concentrating on a million other things going on in a jam.
One of the things we get taught is not to apologise when we hit someone. It is part of the game, plus it ruins our tough-girl image! But when you send a teammate sprawling on the floor it is hard not to yell SORRY!! I am sure I will get used to it, as well as be the victim many, many times
Looking back on my last post, I didn’t quite pass my first round of skills testing – all the ‘hard’ stuff I was worried about I passed, it was the basics that failed me! My un-fitness is catching up on me and my challenge is to get low and stay low. Endurance is my downfall and after 20 or so laps my legs are burning and my back is complaining, so I am getting my core strength up so in a week or so when we re-test I will hopefully pass and be able to train with the Big Girls or ‘Old Meat’ as we affectionately call them.
In other derby news – ‘my’ derby name that I had so carefully chosen has popped up on the International Rollergirls Roster so it is back to the drawing board for me. My life has been consumed with coming up with a witty, punny derby name.

Summing up:
Hit hard. No apologising. Get lower. Engage core. Be tough.

Friday 5 July 2013

Going, Going, Gone

Over the last couple of days the building across the road from my work has been in the process of being demolished. Apparently it was only around 17% of current building code*
*I may have made that up. In any case, it was easier to knock it down than fix it up. The occupants moved out over a year ago so it has been sitting there all empty and tagged since then. It is not quite down yet but my goodness it is amazing how much more sunlight gets through now! Amazing.

The cordons around Christchurch CBD have all gone now (for pedestrians) and all there is to look at now are big empty spaces where you rack you brain to remember what used to be there pre-quake. Christchurch has become a giant gravel car park (where you STILL have to pay for parking - thanks Wilsons).

I am looking forward to this blank canvas becoming something new, edgy, and modern with still that small city charm. Because lets be honest, Christchurch's way of life is on the lazy side of NZs largest cities. Which is exactly what I love about it.