Skate Crush – a derby wannabe’s schedule

Posted on November 18, 2010 by


I have a crush on skating. I think about it all the time, dream about it, willingly skip meals to spend time with it – I’ll even stay up past my usual 9pm bedtime for it!

Monday night was the last training session.

Tuesday night Erica and I went to Veale Garden on South Terrace in Adelaide for a skate. The meandering paths and large swathes of green grass promised an easy, tranquil skate. I envisioned us gliding effortlessly around, chatting and having a good catch up.

Firstly, we kitted up and then realised we needed to put our bags in Erica’s car. Which was parked on the other side of South Terrace. Our first go at crossing a real road. I was reminded of being a primary school kid as we stood there and waited for absolutely no sign of cars before we crossed the road. The gap we were waiting for came and we dashed across the road. We tackled the footpath all the way to Erica’s car and back, then did the exciting cross back to the gardens. I was relieved to get all the excitement out of the way and get down to our nice, relaxing skate. Erica lead the way and off we went following along South Terrace. Soon a pretty, little path branched off to our left and we followed it as it meandered lazily over a cute, little creek. Then it started heading up. And up. By the top we were no longer skating and more stepping up the hill. Of course, what goes up must come down. Erica, being the ballsy thing she is, belted off down the other side of the hill.

There was a fitness group training at the bottom of the hill and Erica and I tried to keep our squeals to a minimum as we alternately rolled, stumbled, braked and flailed down the hill. Then we set off along another path and ultimately up another hill. By this stage I had myself in such a state that I couldn’t stop giggling. I think it was a nervous response. Again Erica took off first. As soon as she built up too much speed she kind of just stepped off the path and ran on the grass until she slowed down. I took off after her determined to stay in derby stance and ride it out. I kept in mind the advice I had given Erica “if you feel like you’re going to fall, just take a knee”. But as I reached the corner in the downhill, the green grass in front of me seemed less scary than whatever slope was waiting for me around the corner and I threw myself off the path and tumbled over and over on the grass to a stop.

Having spent as much time on my butt as on skates and with sore abs from laughing so much, we set out to explore the other side of the gardens. All was going well until we reached a gorgeous little bridge made from slate pieces and set below the path level so that the path on either side sloped down as it reached the bridge. Erica, in true Erica fashion, just rolled on down there, hit the bridge flailing and stumbled across. I, however, sat on the other side half screaming with laughter and half screaming because I thought she was going to fall in. Then it was my go. It was Erica’s turn to laugh as I sat down and kind of upside-down crab walked my way over the bridge.

On the other side we found an awesome driveway with a path beside it. They were both quite long and had a good steady slope on them. We skated up them and then glided down. We did that a few times until we had our fill and decided to set off in another direction. The sprinklers had come on and I decided to impress Erica with my amazing general knowledge and announced that the water used was part of the Glenelg to Parklands Reuse scheme. It means that the water is recycled wastewater so the park can stay lovely and green without using drinking water.

This time I was leading the way and took off along the path that runs along beside the road (note: where all the drivers can see). Then up ahead I noticed that the sprinklers were facing towards the path and spraying water right where I was about to skate. I screamed hysterically about poo water and tried to stop. All advice about ‘taking a knee’ went out the window as I did an amazing 520 degree pirouette, flew into the air and tumbled down in a sprawling heap right in front of Erica. How she managed to not skate right over me, or join me in my heap I don’t know.

We rounded out the hour without further drama and impressed ourselves by crossing back to her car via the pedestrian crossing and not falling over in front of any of the cars that had stopped for us.

Last night (Wednesday) we met Michelle for a skate in a big car park in Gepps Cross. We actually spent some time practicing derby skills including pushing each other (on the butt – it’s an assisting move you use to get your jammer out of the pack), giving and receiving hip whips and giving and receiving arm whips. Michelle left early and Erica and I stayed on to work on our arm whips, which thankfully were getting stronger by the time we finished up.

Tonight it’s derby workout dvd time. That’s right, there is a workout dvd by derby chicks.

The girls wear their skates for most of the workout. Erica and I did it last week without skates on and we were crying like little babies even without that weight. This week it’s skates on. If I can move easily tomorrow I will be disappointed!

Given that I intend to cain myself tonight, Friday will be rest day, I think.

Saturday, Michelle, Erica and I will spend some time on derby skills before our figure skating lessons (it all helps – learning to jump and land backwards on one leg in figure skating has got to help with the two-footed, forwards derby jump, etc).

Finally, on Sunday one of the other derby wannabes has the rink booked for two hours so I’ll go along to that and hopefully practice my blocking, along with everything else we’ve covered at training so far.

So that’s a one week snapshot of the activities I’m doing to keep my relationship with skating fresh 😉 Hopefully it’ll all pay off and on 29 November I won’t find myself dumped!

Posted in: Fresh Meat 2010