Thanks to all the ladies at Preston Roller Girls!
I have missed a few weeks of Derby training through illness, so last week when the coaches announced it was time for the first 27 in 5 attempt I was pretty daunted.
27 in 5 is the pace needed to pass minimum skills so you can go ahead and scrimmage: 27 laps of the track in 5 minutes. On my first go, last year I got 5 and a half laps. The best I ever did was 8, but since then both my health and fitness have declined.
I started out calmly, my skating has improved a lot and I felt much more sure on my feet than before. I kept a slow pace, keeping energy in the bank for later. By half way through I was struggling to stay upright: it’s not a case of balance exactly, closer to a fitness problem. Skating uses a lot if different muscles that I don’t get to work out much in my desk job.
As the minutes roll by I start shaking and wobbling and strugge to control my stride. My mind knows what to do but my body’s not willing. Eventually I stumble: I get right back up again (because I am a total warrior like). By 4 minutes I am managing only a few pushes each lap and slowly coasting the rest of the way round: my goal is just to keep moving.
In the last few seconds I push hard to try and finish my lap but I fall again and time is called while I try to get back up.
I am exhausted and know I gave it my all.
I got 9 and 3/4 laps! A personal best under personally difficult circumstances. I am delighted!
I know it’s a long way from 27 laps, but I am now rocking nearly 50 percent more laps than I could do at the start. That’s huge! I am really proud of myself and have confidence that I can improve a lot more as I get fitter and get my fibromyalgia under control.
I am also a huge (mahoosive) Harry Potter fan and the total of 9 and 3/4 means a lot to me: I’M GOING TO HOGWARTS BITCHES!
So, big news. The next intake at my local Roller Derby club is in 4 weeks time. 4 weeks today!
The best thing for me is that this time, the training set up has been changed so if I don’t pass the first basic skills test I can keep training at a slower pace.
The worst thing for me this time is that I am still pretty messed up physically, with an appointment with a Rheumatologist (joints specialist) looming, I don’t know “what is wrong with me” and it’s a bit scary.
… and whatev’s
Ultimately, my biggest problem will never be my health, even if I get really super sick like an actual sick person. My biggest problem is my total lack of coordination and bemusement at those who have it. How do they skate about so fast and not die?! It must be magic….
So, it’s same old same old really isn’t it? I have decided “to hell with it” : I am going to just work really hard at my physio and co-ordination exercises for the next month and just go for it, irrespective of the mystery physical ailments which may be resolved by then anyway, who knows!
Failure needs to be an option
One thing I am quite determined about is, while I have lots of plans for the next four weeks,… and colour coded schedules… and stickers for when I do good…. (*yay*) I need to accept that motivation is hard and I might not do as much as I want to. I can’t use that as an excuse later for not going to derby training.
I want do do my physio every day (three times!) keep going for walks and also start swimming and yoga, but if I don’t, I will still be going to derby training. I *promise*.
Allowing myself to Dream
Part of the next month is going to be about allowing myself to hope and dream: usually I am pretty cautious, I don’t want to get my hopes up because I don’t have a great track record with either sport or “sticking with it..” I even will not watch too many derby videos on youtube because the more I grow to love it the more it will hurt when I give up. Maybe, in a few years time, all of this will just be a distant memory and I won’t be any better at skating than I am now. It’s possible, I just need to accept that and not let it hold me back.
I have already succeeded
Even I never end up becoming a super awesome derby player, I have already won really. I am in touch with my body and listening to it for the first time since very early childhood. I have done a lot of work to improve my health and have the determination to fight for my own well-being when the doctor people don’t listen to me. And, of course, I have met some amazing women who have inspired me loads.
For all this, I am proud of myself and grateful for this amazing sport and the people who play it. If this is all I ever achieve, then it’s still pretty freeking awesome right?!
In my last post I mentioned that my Achilles are painful and that it’s messing with my motivation.
To be honest, I wasn’t honest….
My right Achilles is causing agonising pain at the moment. Doing the spring cleaning this weekend caused “throwing up and feeling like I am floating above myself” type pain.
Walking to the shops is off the table for now, let alone skating.
I feel pretty embarrassed the physical pain I have struggled with while learning to skate: these derby girls are so darn tough, I don’t want to seem like a cry baby.
Then I started to wonder how many girls like me quit derby before they even get started cause of these early-stage physical obstacles.
The truth is pretty simple: if you haven’t used your body for anything more than the bare minimum of physical activity since early childhood, you are likely to have problems getting started.
With the right help, these problems should be solvable. With no help, they are just going to get worse.
Seek help early
Don’t be a pussy like me and wait for things to get totally out of hand before you admit you have a problem.
I have a combined physio and podiatry appointment – but it’s not for another month and there is no way to bring it forward. I could have seen someone 2 months ago but I avoided dealing with it.
That’s right, I could have been skating right now and making progress, but I’m not because I didn’t seek help earlier. Don’t make the same mistake as me!
Look after yourself and do what you can in the mean time
Now I have admitted to myself I have a problem, I am going to do everything I can to reduce the pain and inflammation while I await professional help. I will blog more about what I am trying soon!