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.
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.
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.
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.
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.