Monday, December 29, 2008
Letter to the Ettator
Skate don't hate. Words to live by, to be sure, improbably emblazoned on a ceramic coaster. Six months ago I could have never predicted that there was a market for such a singular item and that astoundingly that market would be me. After months of shaking their heads and meeting behind closed doors to discuss whether or not I had indeed gone crazy this time, my gorgeous family conspired to produce Doc Block's 2008 Very Derby Christmas. From highly coveted new skates to knee socks; the useful to the just plain weird. I laughed my way through Christmas morning and appreciated my family's support and collective sense of humor. Which brings me to my new family...
Six months ago I also could never have imagined having the women (and men) of the LIRR in my life. No matter where derby takes me, I will always, always love them for the way they welcomed me in and allowed me to search for my own limitations even though I might not have been the most likely of recruits. Since the very first practice I've been amazed by their generosity to each other and commitment to the sport. (they're also some of the most entertaining people to be around) I hope in 2009 everyone stays healthy and injury free (Are you listening D-Ball?) , and we continue to push each other to achieve what we didn't even know we could. Veteran, fresh bloods, support and coaches all have one thing in common..They f-ing ROCK! Oh and the coaster is actually a pretty good place to put my coffee.
Here's a pic of some of my favorite derby loot!
Friday, December 26, 2008
Injury Experience in Roller Derby Athletes
Attention Roller Derby Girls!Roller Derby is moving fast! Media exposure is expanding.
The next step is medical research! Sports medicine doctors at the University of Utah are studying Roller Derby injuries. By studying how athletes get hurt, they hope to figure out how to prevent future injuries and keep Derby Girls safely rolling.
Everyone's experience is important. Be heard by helping with this nationwide study. Follow the link below to answer some questions.Even if you haven't been injured, please fill out the survey. It will only take five or ten minutes, and we aren't collecting any names. We will collect your year of birth, insurance status, and description of non-Derby and Derby related injuries.
Your information is safe and will only be used for this research project. All data will be password-protected on a University website and database. However, with everything there may be risk- a potential risk may be loss of confidentiality. There is no reward for completing the survey; but, everyone's experience is important! Be heard by helping with this nationwide study.
Do you have any Roller Derby friends that didn't get this link? Please send this link to them – we don't want to miss anybody!
If you have any questions, concerns, or complaints or if you feel you have been harmed by this research please contact Dutch Plante(Research Coordinator, Division of PM&R, University of Utah) at 801585 6998.Contact the Institutional Review Board (IRB) if you have questions regarding your rights as a research participant. Also, contact the IRBif you have questions, complaints or concerns which you do not feel you can discuss with the investigator. The University of Utah IRB maybe reached by phone at (801) 581-3655 or by e-mail at email@example.com
Thank you for your participation,
Ethan Colliver, D.O.
Stuart Willick, M.D.
University of Utah
Sunday, December 21, 2008
And the winners are........................................
Warm Holiday Wishes,
Friday, December 19, 2008
Simply click here and fill out the form on the page. Good luck derby girls!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
In other news, I've added a poll to the right of the posts here. I'm hoping to get some feedback. If you're worried about me finding out whether you voted "yes" or "no", you can relax. I can't see who voted, only how many people voted. So please help an ettator out and cast your vote. This really is so that I can make the blog better for all of you. I could sit here all day and write, but if no one wants to read it, then why bother putting it out on a public blog. Right? I want you, my reader, to be involved with The Roller Rebels. That's the beauty of this blog. If you can't skate, you can still be a part of what's going on in the league.
Oh and one more thing! If you notice at the bottom of each post, I've set up boxes that you can check off telling me if something "rocks" or if it "sucks". (I'm thinking of adding a few more options here) If you don't want to leave a long "write your own" comment about a post, then simply check a box to let me know how I'm doing.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Stephanie was kind enough to send me these as a thank you and since I also make cards (and notepads), we actually decided on a little trade. So Stephanie, arriving soon in your mailbox will be these:
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Within a month I was in contact with Cyanide Kisses (one of the veteran skaters) and her initial email left me with a positive feeling. Since then, that feeling has grown into a love for the sport. I HATE EXERCISE….and I mean that with a passion! Roller Derby is obviously exercise – but it's not to lose weight (which happens naturally) it’s to be apart of a team, made up entirely of woman, who support and take care of each other. When I first started practice they would take us “freshies” in the corner and focus on teaching us the basics. Now in their off season, the whole practice is dedicated to helping us become as well trained as the veterans. It’s awesome!
I never joined a sorority because of all the catty women involved (that’s just my opinion of sororities) However, I always loved the “family” aspect of a sorority…I was just afraid if I joined one I would end up hurting one of those princesses…with derby you have specific rules like ‘no douche bags’ or ‘drama’ queens!
I’m not sure if I found derby or if it found me…but I belong to my derby family, and whether it be a fellow fresh blood sister or veteran skater, I feel the support and constant push to become the best player I can be. I know that sounds like a commercial – but the truth is – I finally found my family away from home...and this is only the beginning!
Friday, December 12, 2008
Also, I highly recommend watching some bouts. When I first started watching bouts, I had no idea what was going on and didn't think I would ever understand it. The more I watched, the more I learned. Some of us learn better with visuals, others need it in words. So combining the written rules with a visual, will definitely give you a better understanding of how the game is played. Go on youtube and search bouts. Borrow DVDs from other league members and as always, keep those questions coming!!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Tail Gunner Flo answers: After weeks of searching and racking my brain, my name came together like a fine orchestrated symphony! I was new to the league and the Mortal Skulls were having a fundraiser. Ms. Blockwell suggested we set up a table and get the Rebels some publicity. I arrived not knowing what to expect but when these bikers flooded the parking lot I was a bit intimidated, but over some drinks and fantastic company, that feeling disappeared. As the day went on we proceeded inside for some singing and dancing. Then I saw this man make his way to the stage. He sang House of The Rising Sun and it was amazing! I read his jacket and he was a tail gunner from the motorcycle club. So I was like, that's it!! That's my name, Gunner!! After some collaborating with Ms. Etta, Kosher, and FB Mary, I decided on Tail Gunner Flo. I said, "I'm gonna be a tail gunner"! Then I did some research to come up with my number which is B52 a model # of the strato-fortress where tail gunners hung out! The rest is history.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Fresh Blood Aly asks: How long did it take to get good and not be sore?
D-Ball answers: Who says I'm not sore after practice anymore? Especially if they really kick our ass. ha ha I had shin splints and Sciatica that took almost a year to heal. I used to tape up my shins and use Icy Hot on my back, but I don't have to do that anymore. Everyone's body takes a different amount of time to get past the soreness. If you're already athletic, it might take you less time than someone who's not. Either way, there will always be some practices that will make you sore. I would say it takes about one year for a skater to be good.
Fresh Blood Kat asks: What are the best off-skates exercises that will help improve squats while skating?
Captain Morgan answers: I think the best off-skates exercises would be to do wall squats. You squat up against a wall and hold it for a minute or two and then repeat. 3 sets of any exercise are normally what is recommended. Also, I think 3 sets of 30 leg lunges, alternating legs, really helps build the hamstring and quad muscles. One more exercise you could do, and this helps with falls and also builds those quad muscles, is off-skates falls. Just get your knee pads on, and alternate falling on each knee and getting up as quick as possible. Keep doing this and you will have thighs of steel just like Jackie Daniels of Grand Raggidy Roller Girls!
Fresh Blood Kat also asks: How do you strengthen for reverse crossovers?
MadDonna answers: Keep doing them. Just like when you learned to do a "regular" crossover (right over left), the more you practice the easier it will be. -MDFresh Blood asks: What are the best exercises to do off the rink to improve your "game"?
Ruby Redrum answers: Doing yoga is really good to keep your body & muscles flexible. Yoga has been extremely beneficial to me since my injuries. And I would say Sk8 as much as possible. The more comfortable you are on your sk8s the better, and it will make everything you do easier! Even the simplest drill can be challenging when you are not comfortable on your sk8s. Go to adult sk8 just to dodge people, that will be extremely helpful in a bout. Sk8 on trails or your street, this is great practice. When you fall you will NOT want to use your hands on cement or potentially broken glass. Get the basics down perfect, the better your cross overs the better everything will become & the better you will sk8 and look while sk8ing. Learning to stop properly and controlling speed are extremely important in a bout. Look behind you while sk8ing, look behind you while sk8ing in a pack. Even if you cant get on your sk8s and just go running, look behind you regularly. This is a common problem for new girls, they are doing great in a scrimmage or bout and keeping up with the pack, everything is going good, and the jammer comes up and goes right past them, b/c they never looked behind to see her..... what is the point of being in the pack, if you don't know where the action is? Also, eat properly take vitamins and drink plenty of water regularly, to help keep your body in good shape. If you are in good shape you will feel better and your body will perform better at practice. These basic things can go a long way. If you can't get out to run or sk8, just do sit-ups and push ups & jumping jacks or get a jump rope at home, get a yoga dvd for at home, run up & down your steps at home. Even 15 mins of working out a day makes a difference, just ask c roll.
Fresh Blood Maryann asks: For Etta Jams: Did you always skate so low? If not, how do you do it? Were there specific exercises like squats? I wanna get low like Etta!
Etta Jams (hey that's me!) answers: Hey Maryann, thanks for your question. No I did not always skate that low. I remember at one of my first practices, Jen Party, one of our coaches at the time, telling me that I did crossovers well, but I needed to get lower. I could not comprehend how I could possibly get any lower than where I was already at. Remembering back though, I was standing straight up! I tried to work on everything that I was told and so I worked on getting lower. What helped me a lot was the endurance drill we do where we squat and hold it. Eventually, when I started warming up at practice I was always sure to stay in a squatted position. I constantly skated with my knees bent and my butt down, out and back (in a squat position). Then I realized to get lower than I was already getting, I needed to get my feet out of my way, so I moved them over to be shoulder width apart and sat my butt back and down as far as I could. Now I can pretty much touch the floor with it. Granted you are probably not going to bout in a stance this low, but its good to do at practice just to build up your thighs. When you're off skates, do squats and also do squats with feet more than shoulder width apart. Climbing stairs also helps build your quad and thigh muscles. Hope this helps!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
When you start a new sport, be it running, boxing or even swimming, you want to know what type of gear you will need to help you become the best that you can be. Today, there are so many different choices for roller derby gear out there and it can be overwhelming when you're not sure which will work best for you. Some of us just want basic gear, while others have more specific needs. A lot of our Fresh Bloods had questions about what type of gear to buy and our veterans were happy to answer.
Fresh Blood Vanessa asks: What are the best skates to buy for someone who doesn't wear leather?
Roxie Heartless answers: This is a problem I have struggled with. I am a vegetarian and don't wear leather. I also have problems with my feet, so really supportive quality shoes are also a priority for me. My original skates were ok for my feet and non-leather, but I don't think they were completely vegan. They also wore out fairly quickly. They were discontinued, and when I needed to get new skates I had a really hard decision to make. At the time there was one pair of completely vegan skates that were available, but I knew with my foot pain issues that I needed a higher quality skate. I made the difficult decision to save my feet and go with Riedell 265's which only came in leather (although there was the option of special ordering non-leather materials and having them custom made =long wait time and higher prices). I am really happy with my 265's. They have been very comfortable, and I've had very little foot pain. They have also held up really well over time. If you are a vegetarian/vegan buying skates now, you have much better options!
In my opinion, the best vegan skates would have to be the Riedell 265's with the vegan package. The 265's are really popular, good quality skates that are designed specifically for derby skaters. Riedell has recently starting making them with a completely vegan boot. They are a bit pricey, but it's worth it to get a quality non-leather skate.
The Riedell R3s are also completely vegan and they are much cheaper than the 265's. However, they are of a much lower quality. I would suggest these if you are trying out derby and are not sure if you are going to stick with it. They are ok for beginners, but they will wear out pretty quickly, so they will need replacing sooner than higher quality skates.
The new Riedell Outlaw is also totally vegan, and about the same price as the R3. They are new, so I haven't heard any skater reviews, but they seem to have quite a few features that the R3s didn't have, like a reinforced toe cap which should improve their longevity.
Chest Blockwell answers: I recommend buying Riedell Vandal 265s. Those are the skates I bought when I first started skating and I love them. They are $269, but you can get them for a bit less if you buy the package with all your gear through Sin City Skates.
Cyanide Kisses answers: For outdoor skating you want to use a wheel that is softer than your average indoor wheel. It helps absorb the shock of things you might roll over outside like a rock or a crack in the pavement. I would suggest the Radar Energy wheels. The price is right and they're a little bit on the grippier side, so for someone who has just started skating outdoors it will help you maintain your balance. I personally use the Sure Grip Aerobics. They're a little bit harder than the Energy Wheels, but I've had them for almost 2 years and they're still in pretty good shape. Either wheel would be great for outdoor skating.
Visit these shops for gear:
Thank you for the Q&A ladies!
Saturday, December 6, 2008
I'd like to start out today with a post written by one of our most determined "Freshies". I think she truly expresses the way many of us feel/felt as a new girl. I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I did.