Ali's Adventures

July 3, 2012

Derby lows

Filed under: Adventure,Derby,Plans,Weight loss — by Alison @ 12:03 pm

I registered for the Rat City Rollergirls try-outs the day after Bacon Camp ended. I was nervous but thought that I had a fair shot of making it through the try-outs.

On the Saturday morning I got there a little after 9:30 and saw a lot of people I recognized in the registration line. There were over 30 skaters there, and I knew at least half, either through camp or through PFM. PFM (Potential Fresh Meat) is the practice group I go to about once a week. I was excited and still a bit nervous. I’d had a weird back cramp the night before, it seemed to relax but I tried to pay particular attention while I was stretching so it wouldn’t cause problems.

As all the skaters were getting photographed, having their gear checked and being numbered up, there was a general warm-up going on. Then we were all called to the centre of the track, and they outlined the plan for the morning. There would be a warm-up, some drills, then some off skate drills, and finally interviews. Skaters who made the Rat Lab (the place before being placed on a team) would be called later in the afternoon. We were told that cuts would be made throughout and that there wouldn’t be any specific feedback provided as to why. The evaluators and those leading the tryouts introduced themselves, all the team captains and co-captains were there as well as other league officials. All in all, in seemed that there was at least a dozen people watching.

The warm-up went well. We did some pace line drills, a cutting worm, and a double pace line. I was being encouraging where I could, and trying to explain the double worm to my partner as she’d never done it before. We also skated laps as a pack, I fell during one pack drill but I can’t remember if this was the only one I did.  I felt good afterwards. Then after stretching, and water, they made a cut. I was sad to see one of my friends go.

Then we started with drills. There was an agility drill, where we had to cut side to side or jump depending on the whistle blast. Then a stopping drill, with turnaround toe-stops and plow stops. I did not do well in this drill, I was getting so flustered by not being able to turn around that I couldn’t manage to do a solid plow stop either. We took a brief break after this. I was worried I would be cut, but much to my relief they didn’t make any cuts.

Next up were hitting drills. First we did a worm where we hit everyone on the way by. It was also a lesson on how to stand your ground when being hit. When the first league player demonstrated, I went flying way out of line but managed to stay on my feet. It was challenging to make 30 hits in a row. Then we divided into 2 groups for positional play, and moving other people off the track. The leaders decided we needed pinnies to make it less confusing, so while they were getting those we were doing planks. I find it hard to plank while wearing skates because it’s difficult to balance on my toes or toe-stops, I can never get set. This also put some strain on my back, so I had to take a knee for a second and then go back to it. I also made a joke about the pinnies arriving and it was time to stop planking. The angling people out drill, is one I’d done before in PFM and camp. I had a few mis-starts but got quite a few people out in our alloted time.

After this we gathered back in the centre, and Penny came to make cuts. My number wasn’t called and I was asked to leave the track with one other skater. I was crushed. I didn’t think I was doing that badly. When I got off the track, one of the League skaters who had been involved with the camp came over to me. She took off my number and asked if I was going to try again in three months. She was positive and told me she liked watching me skate. I was a bit numb. I took off my gear quickly and went outside to wait for my ride. I didn’t even say goodbye to the other skater, we’re derby friends and we’re both on the Green Army at camp. I just didn’t want to talk with anyone.

Sitting outside waiting to be picked up, I was so upset. I could hear the tryouts continuing, they seemed to be doing more pack drills and I think I could have kept up. I really wish I knew why they decided to cut me then, and why they didn’t think I was worth keeping around so I could show what else I could do. Was it my inability to turn around, my bad planking, did my joking make it seem that I wasn’t taking it serious, was I a lot worse at hitting than I thought. What did the skaters staying have that I didn’t? It was a very long wait for my family to get me.

I was so disappointed, then that afternoon my Facebook feed was filled with the fantastic news that many of my derby friends had made it and would be skating with the Rat Lab. So now not only was I disappointed I hadn’t skated better, but I felt like I was losing some of the new friends I’d made at derby. I wouldn’t be seeing them at PFM anymore. I was feeling pretty low, but also happy that these skaters had done so well.

On Sunday, I decided to splurge on some new toe stops. I have decided to master turning and stopping. It’s my main goal for skating in July. Then when I return to Seattle in August, I can work on all the derby stuff at practice. At the store, I ran into two women who had made the team. after congratulating them, J told me I’d done well. I didn’t feel I’d done well the day before, but tried not to be too negative. I was getting a bit choked up about it. Then I was taking with one of the Rat City All-Stars about it, and again it was hard not to burst into tears. She was very encouraging and suggested I try out again. It was the small confidence boost I needed.

I’m going to get ready for the try-outs at the end of September. That gives me three months, which is longer than I’ve been skating so far. I will master turning around. I will keep skating fast and in control. I will be able to hold a plank on skates. I will last until the end of tryouts, and if I don’t I’ll be back again in December.


  1. […] on try-outs soon. Like this:LikeBe the first to like this. Leave a […]

    Pingback by Derby highs « Ali's Adventures — July 3, 2012 @ 12:06 pm |Reply

  2. That’s hard Alison. It sounds like you really did your best. I think your approach to practice more and work on a few things is good. I know you will be even better the next time you try out! Hugs.

    Comment by Brie — July 3, 2012 @ 10:04 pm |Reply

    • Thanks Brie. I think not knowing leads me to agonize over everything I did or didn’t do. But I’m feeling better about it now.

      Comment by Alison — July 4, 2012 @ 12:13 am |Reply

  3. I am so sorry to hear how hard that was. i feel for you and wish that they had given you some feedback – if nothing else, to help focus where to work. On the flip side? I am SO impressed with how far you have come. If you are hear in one month of skating?! LOOK OUT SEPTEMBER. I think that you will master those skills, and so many more!! xo

    Comment by krista — July 4, 2012 @ 11:48 am |Reply

    • Thanks for your support Krista. It was funny, until someone mentioned it I had forgotten that I’ve only been on quad skates for 2 months. I’ll keep you posted on my roller skating adventures.

      Comment by Alison — July 4, 2012 @ 9:40 pm |Reply

  4. Wow, it all sounds pretty brutal. It really sucks that they don’t give feedback, I suppose it’s so people don’t argue but still… but IMHO, just showing up is something to be proud of! Go you!!!

    Comment by Sasha — July 4, 2012 @ 2:51 pm |Reply

    • Thanks Sasha. I also think they don’t give feedback because the try-outs keep going, so I’m not sure they really have the time. I think if you make it to the interview stage and then don’t make the team, they explain why. I’m going to keep showing up until the decide to put me on a team 🙂

      Comment by Alison — July 4, 2012 @ 9:42 pm |Reply

  5. I think you are a winner simply because you tried out. Seriously, wasn’t it just a little over a year ago we all went to the Fresh Meat here in Ottawa? You have come a long way, baby. Look at you. And in a new town, heck, a new COUNTRY! Having to courage to try something so new and on your own. It’s all so very admirable. Can’t wait to see you soon!

    Comment by Krista - The Tech Mom — July 5, 2012 @ 9:21 am |Reply

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