MDJ | Bae and Pussy Foot

BAE

I was absolutely pumped for this practice!


On Tuesday Jan Drogynous and myself went down and visited one of our lovely sponsors Bruised Boutique in New Hampshire, and I finally got some new knee pads and a sparkly new CERTIFIED helmet. When I first started skating back in May I got triple eight pads and none of them fit me correctly. Since then I’ve spent every practice adjusting my knee pads and making sure they stay on, specifically when doing things like knee taps. This practice we did knee taps and the whole experience was different for me because of my gear! I bought a pair of slim knee killer 187s and not only do they fit like a glove but the impact when falling was way softer (I did discover a fun little bruise, picture included) and I was able to slide a bit on the floor instead of just full on stopping. So this was a good success for me from this practice.


It also had me looking back and reflecting on how far I have come as a skater in a short amount of time. I dropped in on a few practices from skate school’s first class in 2019 and we did transitions and knee taps. Both I struggled with, and absolutely hated them. After that night I went home and really kind of stewed on the situation, transitions specifically. I thought about how my brain just wouldn’t let me do the things out of fear and it started to make me angry. Then one morning I just woke up determined, put my skates on and started practicing in my kitchen. After a while of doing this almost daily and recording myself, it finally clicked! This was an amazing feeling for me, I FRIGGIN DID IT!


Last night at practice I was doing transitions like it was MY JOB. It may have taken me months to learn but I believe I have proved to myself that I can do anything I set my mind to. Roller Derby makes me a better person, and I am so thankful for that <3

**Bae Harbor Butcher #415**


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PUSSY FOOT


I walked into skate school last Wednesday worried that I’d feel out of place. I hadn’t been on skates in nearly a month. The whole point of me repeating skate school was to improve my skills. The only way to improve my skills was to practice, which I hadn’t been doing because I hadn’t been to skate school. I think, in the back of my mind, I had convinced myself that because I had missed so many classes, skate school session #2 was a bust and I’d have to re-learn during session #3.


I got my gear and skates on a little faster than usual - or so I thought, until I realized that I had forgotten to put on my wrist guards and mouth guard. Back to the bag to finish gearing up, and back out for a few more warm up laps. I didn’t feel wobbly. Early on, another skater took a pretty good fall, which reminded me that I hadn’t put on my butt pads. Back to the bag again.  I pulled on my padded shorts knowing I’d probably be thankful for them later.

We worked on transitions - turning from forward to backward to forward again. I was shaky at first, but the more I did, the easier it got. Using my right foot first was a piece of cake but trying to go left foot first got me nowhere. Ness, who was skating next to me, gave me one quick piece of advice: “Look where you want to go. Point your head and shoulders in that direction.” Like magic, it worked. I was giggling after a few successful left-foot-first transitions.


We broke into small groups and talked about what was working, what wasn’t, and what we were having trouble with. The skaters in my group were pretty confident with transitions, so we talked about some other skills. I mentioned that I couldn’t do plow stops, and again, got a few quick pieces of advice. I tested the advice I was given and - more magic - it worked again. I did a plow stop for maybe the first time ever.


We did lots of review. We covered everything I had missed in the previous four weeks. Transitions, knee taps, turnaround toe stops were easier than I expected them to be. And then we started hopping. We practiced hopping in place and hopping while we skated. Finally, we separated into groups, and practiced hopping over a couple of sideways safety cones.


Even though we were all getting enough height to clear the cones (a couple of inches), seeing an obstacle was scary. What’s the worst that can happen? You miss. You fall. No big deal - get up, get back in line and try again. I watched lots of great hops and some pretty spectacular falls. On my first try I cleared the cones and stayed upright. Second try, I cleared the cones, but took a pretty good fall, flailing and crashing and rolling. I laughed for a while and was thankful for my padded shorts.

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