Thank God for Knee Pads and BenGay

4 Mar

I don’t know if you can cover your butt with BenGay. I don’t know if that’s possible, but it should be. Every muscle in my gluteus maximus, every muscle surrounding it, and every muscle within its vicinity hollers out for that medicated Methyl Salicylate cream.

BenGay … it should really be a roller derby sponsor.

I’m walking around the house today, victorious for surviving my first roller derby session. Well I really shouldn’t say walking … more like hobbling. Every inch of my quads feels the pain of this work out. Apparently skating muscles are completely different from running or triathlon muscles. Completely. In truth I don’t remember feeling like this the last time I skated, which happened to be when I was in elementary school. I guess muscles in your 30s are a lot different, but it’s all good. I survived and this helped me cross off an item from my Bucket List and that’s what counts.

However, if I’m going to be honest with you I was pretty nervous about the whole thing. I really didn’t want to break anything and was so hoping the pain would be minimal. But as soon as I drove into the parking structure I thought … yeah there is definitely going to be some pain.

 

The parking lot entrance.

The parking lot entrance.

 

This little mural didn’t boost my confidence, but I was committed. Even though I was unsure of what to expect, I cowboy-ed up, grabbed my mouth guard, and made my way toward the entrance. I thought that there would be 15 or 20 ladies at the most. There were about 40 women in the class and for some reason that made me even more nervous. I’m not used to massive audiences witnessing my falls and challenges with gravity. But I came to learn that at least half of the class shared that same issue.

Now seeing that there were a lot of chics in this class I thought it would be best to scramble and get some equipment, which was pretty difficult. After fifteen minutes of scavenging through a pile of roller skates I finally found a matching pair.

 

I was stylin' in purple laces, but felt out of place in my non tight sweatpants. Everyone was looking pretty svelte in their nylons or spandex attire.

I was stylin’ in purple laces, but felt out of place in my non tight sweatpants. Everyone was looking pretty svelte in their nylons or spandex attire.

 

I wanted to get a really cool helmet. Something that exuded confidence, but all the badass names were taken. So I was left with this, pretty ironic considering I was rolling in the slow lane.

I wanted to get a really cool helmet. Something that exuded confidence, but all the badass names were taken. So I was left with this … pretty ironic considering I was rolling in the slow lane.

 

Now when I was getting geared up I noticed the youth group practicing on the banked track. They were zooming on and off the track, spinning and stopping with such ease.

 

The "young" girls practicing.

The “young” girls practicing, looking very non-BenGay like. Unfortunately there were no shots of me in my roller derby attire as I was too busy battling the power of gravity and everyone else seemed pretty focused on not falling either. I really didn’t want to disturb their concentration in order to capture my Kodak moment.

 

I thought if these pre-teens can be rolling without issues, I should be all right. I’m badass. I did the Warrior Dash for crying out loud. I’m a triathlete. I’m on it. I mean I may not be able to skate backwards, but dude I can do this. I got this. But the fact that I needed assistance putting on my safety equipment gave me second thoughts. This concerned me a bit. I mean if I needed help with that, how would this adventure turn out.

Well pretty good overall.

We began with some warm up exercises and just basics on the flat track, trying to work on every inch of your quads and definitely feeling the burn. Suzy Snakeyes was actually pretty nice and patient with those of us who were slow learners, and after thirty minutes I seemed to be gaining confidence. I wasn’t the fastest skater, but I wasn’t the slowest one either. And when she started to teach us how to fall without completely killing yourself, I thought man I got this. I have years of experience in this field. I’m a professional faller. And sure enough I was … making good use of those knee pads and the soft sides of my butt cheeks, although by the end of the exercise I wish I had more cushion.

After about an hour we headed to the main track, ready to test out some of the skills we learned. Or at least I thought I learned.

 

Passing all the banners as we entered the main room.

Passing all the banners as we entered the main room.

 

Now mind you, no matter how much confidence I gained on the flat track I wasn’t crisscrossing my legs, body checking, or spinning backwards. I was doing the basic swaying maneuver. However this is completely different on the banked track. It’s on a slope. A slope people! Confidence and staying low are important factors in roller derby, but when the person in front of you totally eats it, your confidence isn’t what it used to be a second ago. All you can think of is not repeating history. So needless to say that my first roll on the banked track wasn’t smooth, but it wasn’t catastrophic either.

I’m glad we covered falling earlier in class. I proved to be good at it. I managed to do plenty of it on the banked track, and I did it without needing any Band-Aids and without getting the “Ooooohhhh” reaction from the rest of my roller derby mates. However I would have liked to do one complete lap around the track without falling. I would have like to do the roller derby classic move – you know the one where you pat your hips two times and then raise your hands up in the air. Maybe next time.  For now I’m glad I didn’t need to use an ambulance. For now I’m grateful for knee pads and BenGay. Until next time.

10 Responses to “Thank God for Knee Pads and BenGay”

  1. TBM March 5, 2013 at 2:58 AM #

    Thank goodness no ambulance. When I was a kid I couldn’t stop when I skated. I had to slam into the wall each time. Not sure this would be my sport at that age of 38. But I appreciate you taking the “hit” for the team. Have fun!

    • The Guat March 7, 2013 at 12:12 AM #

      Definitely thanking BenGay right about now. Yeah it’s definitely not everybody’s sport, but I’m thinking outside the box, trying to get more adventurous, but my yes my 37 year old body is definitely paying for it now. :)

  2. mrsdeboots March 5, 2013 at 3:45 AM #

    Ben Gay is awesome. However, I find the fumes noxious. But I guess if its on your butt it wouldn’t be too bothersome!

    • The Guat March 8, 2013 at 11:43 PM #

      Ha! That’s probably true.

  3. klsprout March 5, 2013 at 4:49 AM #

    Way to go! If I lived near you, I’d go with you the next time and we could try to defy gravity together!

    • The Guat March 7, 2013 at 12:13 AM #

      Dude that would have been cool. I was out there solo, would have been good to have a wingman, both of us falling. :)

  4. adinparadise March 5, 2013 at 5:17 PM #

    This is something I would never try, even when I was younger.Well done to you. I’m so glad you didn’t need the Band Aids or the hospital. :0 May be next time you’ll manage a whole lap without falling. I hope so. Let us know. :)

    • The Guat March 7, 2013 at 12:15 AM #

      Yeah I was so hoping the hospital wouldn’t be necessary. Thanks so much for the props, I’m trying to be more adventures and out there. I am so hoping to make it around the track once … just once without hitting the concrete floor. Maybe next time.

  5. Cayman Thorn March 5, 2013 at 7:41 PM #

    Hey dudette, you have been summoned. Show up at your earliest convenience. Bring chocolate and beer. It’s optional, but . . yanno . .
    http://drinkswellwithothers.wordpress.com/2013/03/06/me-inspiringly-versatile-i-bet-she-says-that-to-all-the-nominees/

    • The Guat March 7, 2013 at 12:16 AM #

      :) Thanks, you know I always carry chocolate with me wherever I go.

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