Sunday, March 29, 2015

AHHHH!! I don't suck!

As you may or may not know, I joined the Vindicated Vixens in September of 2014. As you may recall, prior to joining, I hadn't skated in 17 + years. After a couple months tho I started showing improvement. I was feeling much more comfortable on my skates, and I was able to skate a lot faster than I had previously been able to.

But suddenly it stalled. Big time! I found myself struggling to skate. Still struggled with a lot of the most simple things. It felt like I was constantly trying to skate through mud. 

My body (and my mind) just wanted to go go GO, but my feet and left ankle (not quite the ankle tho, it is more so the top of my foot where it bends and runs up the outside of my calf) betrayed me every chance they got. The most basic of movements felt like I was trying to fight my way out of quicksand.

I remember sobbing at the end of practice on night because I felt like I was consistently pushing myself to my limit but yet I wasn't improving. My ankle issues kept holding me back and I had no clue what those issues were. I just knew that I was feeling intense pain about halfway through practice to where I had to stop after every single lap to stretch my foot out. And the pain would get to the point that when I took my skates off at the end of practice, I was shaking and couldn't get my skate off fast enough to try and ease the pain. 

CHANGE #1: I went and got fitted for better skates. Actually fitted for them. Steve out at the Lombard Roller Rink was amazing as usual. Very knowledgeable, helpful, and friendly. Turns out my left foot is smaller than my right. BUT the boot actually felt way tighter. Say whaaaa? Also turns out that the arch of my left foot is higher than my right which is why it felt so much tighter. I also have wide feet. The skates I've been using? Yeah, they are not wides. I cannot wait til my new skates arrive and I can try them out. Hopefully the sizing will help take care of some of the pain.

Anywaaaays... So tonight at practice, I was trying to work on skating backwards. Crimson was showing me the movement and how to make it happen. She swayed her hips and leaned and her foot started moving back. She swayed and leaned to the other side and her other foot moved. I did exactly what she was doing but my feet just wouldn't move. They literally would not move. My mind was flooded with thoughts of "What the hell?!?!? I don't understand this! I'm doing what she is doing!! Why aren't I moving?!?" She asked if I had ever loosened my trucks at all. I had not. I remembered Hex telling me many months before that I should try to loosen my trucks a bit, but I was so nervous about feeling unsteady all over again so hadn't done it.

CHANGE #2: This time tho, I figured what do I have to lose? I mean, if I fall, I fall. That's what all my gear is for, right?? So our amazing Hex In The City loosened my trucks for me. She warned me that I may feel super wobbly for a while. I very well may fall a lot while I get used to them being loosened. With my heart in my throat and my stomach ready to profusely vomit butterflies, I stood up. Okay, that's not bad. But wait, I still have to move. I moved out onto the rink floor, slowly, very carefully. And then I took off. Like, I literally took off. And it felt amazing. I felt more stable. More comfortable. My feet weren't stuck in mud anymore!! 

Crimson took me to the side to try skating backwards again. I swayed and leaned to the side and GASP! What was that?! My foot moved!! I swayed and leaned to the other side. That foot moved, too!! Shut up! I wasn't quite skating backwards, but the movement was finally there where it hadn't been before!  I wasn't able to go more that a foot or two at a time, and it was anything but graceful, but for the first time ever, I was moving the right way.

Then we did a drill where we weave through cones. Normally I'd be slowly stumbling my way around the cones, but this time? Ohhh hell, this time I was going fast. And weaving through them with no problem. It was amazing. I was doing the damn thing!! My derby sisters were yelling and cheering me on. Dare I say I had a moment there. I'm honest to God tearing up right now as I type this. I felt so damn... free. And while I wasn't great and still have a looooong ways to go, now I know that after all this time, I didn't just suck. My trucks needed to be loosened. LOL

It can be scary to take the plunge and change things up a bit. But if you are struggling with something to no end, changing things up may just be your best bet. I did and it was so worth the risk. I cannot wait to see how and where I progress from here!

Syd Vicious, Over and out.
11:00 PM / by / 0 Comments

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