Working My Derrier On

I would like to report that I have worked my Heineken off for the love of derby.  
In fact, the opposite may always be true in this sport.  I have actually worked my Heinekin on.  
I swear it is growing from all of the skating, hopping and cutting.  I was looking in the mirror the other day and have notices a marked improvement in the size and shape of my derrier.  I am not complaining.  It looks good on me….if I do say so myself.
I have finally completed my skills testing.  I am a Vixen now.  Not a baby Vixen or a toddler Vixen or a prepubescent Vixen.  I am a full fledged, card carrying member of the Lansing Derby Vixens and it hurts so good.  I have a very colorful bruise on my shoulder from my future derby wife Psycho Hose Beast (I will explain all of that later – think BFF with skates).  I will be checking tonight for her half of that bruise.  
Someone on the team was looking for the crutches that apparently have been passed between many team members today.  I am pretty sure their is not pedicure in the world that can cure the callouses from my derby feet.  It sounds crazy good to ask my husband if he has seen my purple tights.  The grocery list now contains high protein chocolate milk, blister care and ace bandages.  My most exciting purchase this week was a package of Gumball Toe Stops bought online by my girl Annie Oxident. I have a weekly date planned for the Dispatch and have begun to realize that nothing derby funny is funny anywhere else…as far as I can tell.
I do love this sport even if every week I get all nervous before practice thinking this is the week they are going to realize just how sucky I am and kick me off of this awesome team.  Once I put on my skates I regain confidence, fall proudly and revel in my elbow pad Velcro scrapes with the people on my team. 
I am addicted to the confidence I have in my body, my girls who help me Jam through a pack or line up to booty block and my team that works together to make every bout happen.
It is good to be a VIXEN.


I am scarfing down the yogurt and granola (stuffed with flax seed and nuts).  I have a cup of soy milk next to me and a banana.  I never eat a full breakfast like this at one time and the banana may be thrown in the bag for later on.  I’ll need the energy and the potassium to keep the cramping away.

You see, ladies and gentlemen, I have roller derby practice this morning…..for four hours.

I am so excited.  I am piling on the protein, skipping the dehydrating caffeine and filling my water bottle.

We, the fresh meat, have graduated (mostly) past falls, stops and whips.  We are now going to get to hit!

Hit! Hip check!  Pack work!

If you could see us get all derby giddy when we talk about it, you’d be all a twitter with our contagious excitement.  We are crazy excited.  Crazy may be the key word.

So this morning, I have bandaged my two blisters that seem to be growing more or callousing over with every practice to prevent them from bursting.  I will dig through my bag to check for my mouth guard and scrimmage shirts.  I am praying for a low center of gravity and quick feet.

Ah, so much fun.

The Random Musings of a Baby Vixen

I get a thrill when I peer down into my gym bag and see these items, in no particular order;
  • lip gloss
  • wallet
  • cheetah print duct tape
  • keys
  • mouth guard
  • cell phone
Tights on clearance for $1.25 and knee high socks 5 for $10 at Target on the very same day I found out I could practice with the Vixens is seen as an omen.  Socks were purchased and their will be Hello Kitty.   
It is also important to note that I made my husband feign interest in a very limited supply of socks listed on derby clothing websites.  God that man must love me.
The next time I am asked what my name is at practice, I may just say, “Nina…Nina Firecracker.” Maybe like James Bond and maybe not, depending on my mood.
I don’t think I will ever forget how my son came up stairs and kind of nodded proudly in my direction as he said, “Your on the team“. 
I find myself daydreaming of how I am going to cut across the track this way, get lower while skating or the technique I learned to turn myself around without busting my sweet keister.  Is that how you spell keister? 
Just a few random notes I have been pondering about roller derby.  Thought you should know.
Oh and I almost forgot.  The fun of saying appropriate things that immediately sound inappropriate once they have left your lips, in no particular order;
  • I like your plow.
  • I like the way you move me.
  • I can’t wait for you to put your butt on me and make me fall.
  • Don’t pee on your skates, ladies!
I could explain what all of that means but where in the world is the fun in that?!

Derby Addiction

This morning I woke up and all I could think about was Roller Derby.  I just had a practice yesterday.  It was a great workout filled with learning and encouragement.  I am compiling a post for The New Citizens Press about the lessons I have learned as a Baby Vixen.  I am mostly enjoying how strong I feel afterwards.
This morning I thought of how I managed to twist my body in a fall to avoid the holy grail of sitting down, the tail bone, and landed on a butt cheek instead.  A much more…ahem…cushioned option. Complete with a smile and a thumbs up to Rock of Shove and the other skaters who asked if I was okay.
I thought about doing a 180 Knee Drop and how it made me feel like Lara Croft without the weaponry.
In this video it’s called a knee slide and turn. Somehow, I think calling it a 180 knee drop is just cooler.
I thought about the barrel roll…
I spent a lot of time thinking about where the best place to get inexpensive colorful tights, socks and shorts is.  
I thought about picking up my own gear this week at Modern Skate and Surf.
I am considering where I can practice during the week.  Maybe I’ll stop out to Edru and try not to flatten anyone as I practice my drunken sailors. Sorry. I couldn’t find a video of this one before racing off to work.  Just know that the previously mentioned fall happened during this drill.  It will be my favorite until I rock that drunken sailor!  
Don’t tell my husband…. lol
I thought of the other Derby girls who were cheering me on as I tumbled into a barrel roll or stopped myself from falling.  I thought of the tips given from the more experienced and giggles between slightly inept beginners(my category).
I most certainly have Derby on the brain.
Someone told me before I began that this sport was addictive. 
My name is Nina Firecracker and I am addicted to Roller Derby. 
*pumps fist and barrel rolls*

Brand New Skates

Today is Derby 101 and…..
Okay, so they are clearly not new. They are my friend Audrey Floorburn’s. She is letting me borrow them until I am for sure not going to suck rocks attempting Roller Derby. As you can see, they have rad multicolor star shoe strings and duct tape protecting the toes. The wheels are pretty cute too.
I’m just excited that they say tuner…you know, cause I’m kind of a music nut! So today I will go and work out. I hope it goes well. I should mention that all of the Vixens are supportive and very accepting of new baby vixens. No skepticism or quizzical looks.

You. Really. I can’t wait to knock you over.

They are all lovely and helpful….for women who will knock you over eventually. :)
Attending their last bout only made me want to participate more. It’s not just about the Vixen’s awesomeness.
It was my fellow NSO’s (non-skating officials) who were also rock solid fun.
It was my friend Black Mando who brought me a burger that was of the three cheese, medium rare, onion ring kind with a side of pickle and tater tots. Wait. I thought this was about derby. I got distracted by the yummo-licious burger. He did a fantastic job announcing the whole evening.
It was also DJ Dita Von Beats, who upon hearing my newly chosen derby name, played a little Sinnerman for me.
And of course their was an amazing band playing too! Gosh, I forgot their name. Forgive me. They were fantastic.
Okay. I mentioned my derby name. So I guess I may as well tell you what it is. Apparently, even as a NSO you need a derby name. I had to write it down on the record books. Is that like the Derby Book of Life?
I don’t know….
Peace, Love and Derby,
Nina Firecracker

Mouth Guard

I do not consider myself a tough woman.  To clarify, I am a strong woman but I have never considered myself physically tough.  I hate pain and do everything I can to avoid it.  Think 30 year old woman with impacted wisdom teeth and you will understand me better.  I have never participated in any sport that involved contact.  I am a lover not a fighter.

Yesterday, I purchased a mouth guard for my Derby 101 training. 

The very idea of the slobber inducing gear grosses me out but I bought one.  Clearly the idea of me with ice hockey mouth grosses me out more.
My husband and I carefully read the directions on how to mold it to my own teeth using boiling water in the kitchen late at night.  My husband forgot to set the timer.  Correction, he set the timer and forgot to push start.  It was a little hot when I put it in my mouth and I complained when he told me to push it onto my teeth to make it mold correctly.  Once formed, I ran it under cold water and wondered at my little mouth guard.
And then…
I couldn’t take it out of my mouth.  We sat on the couch and watched Get Smart (one of my favorite movies of all time) with my lip forcibly protruded.  He looked over and laughed at me.  I giggled at myself.  Once I realized that I couldn’t drink a glass of wine with it in, I decided to take it out.  Priorities and all.
I then realized I did not purchase a case for it and so there is no real hygienic place for me to keep it.  It spent the night on my coffee table.  
Germs, psssh!  That’s how tough girls do it.

The T-Stop

I tried.  I laced up Jess’s rainbow shoe laced skates and went into the rink.  I let her show me how to put on the wrist guards (I tried to put them on backwards).  If you saw me, you would know I wore no makeup and didn’t do my hair.  Of course I didn’t take pictures.  I have a pimple….okay so I dabbed some concealer on that but mostly I was primp free.
Today their was no Derby 101 *frown*.  That is the actual training course for baby Derby Vixens.  Today was an open skate to practice skills on your own.
What skills, I ask you?!
However, today was a lovely day to get my skating legs underneath me.  I skated around the rink and felt my calve muscles tighten up.  I lost my balance in slow little jerks but I didn’t fall.  Truth be told, looking at the real Lansing Derby Vixens with knee pads, wrist guards and helmets on, falling is not really a concern.  I would like to fall doing something awesome instead of trying to stop myself from going .0001 miles per hour.
I learned how to do a T-Stop.  I learned in theory.  I am still trying to get the concept in action.  So far so good.  One of the more experienced new girls gave me some tips and I practiced the T-Stop until my doing it sucked less than when I started.  A good place to start while trying to learn a fast paced, contact sport on wheels is how to stop.
I asked questions about the technical skills you have to learn before you can actually join team practices.  It’s all about safety.  Learning how to not hurt yourself or the women around you…or yourself. :)
So this week I will wait for next week’s chance to put on my skates.  The ones I borrow.  The women I met today kept saying that Derby is addicting.  I can feel myself getting the itch. I will think some more on my derby name.  I think I have one.  It clears the database of used names which is awesome.  However, I won’t share it until I’m sure I can participate.  Otherwise it’s just a really cool name for no one I know.
Don’t forget to come out and support our local Lansing Derby Vixens in their bout with the Floral City Roller Girls at the Lansing Center February 12th.  Tickets are available online here.  I will probably be helping out in some way.  Hope to see you there!!!