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This year, I have a reason that's pretty familiar to many of you to be Thankful.

This year, I'm thankful for Roller Derby.

Because of Roller Derby, I am now in the best shape in my life. I don't mean I dropped 20lbs and am now made of rock.

I mean last week I was able to do ten minutes of sprint intervals. I mean that my resting heart rate is 64bpm. I mean that my labs are textbook perfect.

Wanting to improve my skating finally got me to an orthopedist for pain in my right leg that had been plaguing me for years, which got me into physical therapy. I saw an almost immediate improvement in my skating, and now I have hope of resolving chronic pain that was impacting my life in ways I didn't even realize.

I'm thankful that by signing up for this one thing, I went from knowing a handful of people in my new town, to knowing many people. My weekends of sitting at my computer wondering where the party is are a thing of the past. Okay, I still do that sometimes, but then, don't we all?

In all seriousness, derby really did take me from "I live in Austin," to being an active member of the community.

I am thankful for the wonderful women I now have in my life. They make me laugh, support me, cheer me on, and make me push myself until my legs come out from under me from exhaustion.

I am so thankful I finally chased this long-ignored desire.

Thank you.

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Work and Derby going well.

[livejournal.com profile] airspaniel and [livejournal.com profile] rockradar came to visit last week, and it was amaaaaaazing. I love them both so much, and I miss them so much, and it was so awesome to have them in my house.

That their flight didn't get in until 5am Friday when it was supposed to have arrived 11:30pm Thursday really sucked, but the important thing is that they got here, and we had all the fun. And drank all the beer.

Operation: CONVINCE THEM TO MOVE HERE was moved further towards success. Pictures and a more detailed post to come.

Here, have some links...

-Either Gearbox are stupid, or their PR firm is really stupid.

-Enjoy a free download of Samuel L. Jackson reading the instant children's classic, Go the F**k to Sleep. Yes, this has been linked everywhere. BRB, not caring!

-Why Groupon is Poised For Collapse. Wow, eerily reminiscent of the housing bubble's burst...

-6 Reasons Engagement Ring Shopping Objectively Sucks. YES THIS. If you're dropping many figures on my engagement ring, I'd want to know why that money wasn't thrown at your debt. Or a sweet vacation. Or something more useful than, to use a quote from the comments, "something that could be left on a sink in a public restroom."

-I'm a little late to the party with this one, but [livejournal.com profile] bodlon is raising money for top surgery. I <3 him to tiny little pieces, and he deserves all the help he can get.
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My roller derby league is having a shooting range social.
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Last night, I went over to my friend Blitz's apartment complex and we worked out in her fitness center. Yeah, I've got one of my own, but it's more fun to work out with a friend. I ran again, and it felt goooood.

After, I showered and headed downtown because there was derby socializing to be had: A party at a bar with a mechanical bull!

I assumed the bar was near the restaurant where people were meeting up, so I parked near there...and then had to walk nearly the length of 6th Street to get to the bar. @_@

That was really interesting, because the part of town I walked through is the bit that's actually on a grid. With sidewalks, and tall buildings, and OH GOD IT FELT LIKE 3RD AVENUE IN MIDTOWN. It was so weird and creepy and it fucked with my head. Because I started my walk in Austin, went through midtown Manhattan, and then ended up (on what feels like) Bourbon Street. COGNITIVE DISSONANCE WHAT.

I finally got to the bar, met up with some of my derby ladies, and yes, I rode the mechanical bull.

My thoughts?

Mechanical bulls (at least this one) exist in a creepy not-an-animal-but-looks-like-one uncanny valley. That, and ow, they hurt.

My legs are too short to get a decent grip on the "beast" with my thighs, and what purchase I can get just felt poky and sharp.

I did, however, manage to stay on for a reasonably respectable amount of time for a Northerner like me. But when I fell off, it was as much a "tapping out" as getting thrown.

I walked back to my car with two derby mates who'd also parked their cars by the restaurant.

I was home by 11:30.

I has the sleepy.
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Despite my concerns that I wouldn't be skating well enough to do a practice, I went anyway. )
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I just figured out why my neck hurt all week. It wasn't from a bad fall, as I'd suspected. Nope, far more stealthy than that...

I think I hold my shoulders awkwardly when I skate, which tenses me up and throws me out of alignment.

As I sat here just now, my neck and shoulders started hurting more and more. I just did some yoga stretches, and I feel much better.

While in child's pose, I felt two vertebrae between my shoulders pop. Whoof. Ow. I guess now I know which stretches to pay more attention to.
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I went to the afternoon skate at one of the rinks here in town.

Two major things: First, as I figured, I was immediately more comfortable on skates than I was on Tuesday. That's just how my body is. First time, suck, second time, more comfortable, after that, it's okay. Though I imagine it'll be a few more go-rounds before I'm actually comfortable on skates.

Second: I knew skating with a random group of people would be terrifying. What really shocked me was how many people weren't wearing protective gear. I was stunned.

I got there and did a first pass around the rink, falling twice. Just as I was getting ready to go around a second time, a guy who I'd seen giving some instruction skated up to me and introduced himself as Mr. Skate. He suggested I try walking up and down the carpeted outside of the rink until I felt comfortable, then tool around a little in the kids' section, and then when I felt comfortable, to find him on the rink.

As I was talking to him, E, my friend who's doing Primer with me skated up. She needed to sit down, so she found an empty bit of bench and we chatted. I noticed a woman sitting next to her reading a book, and as we were talking about drills, I saw her smirk. Turns out she's a former jammer for the bank-track league nearby.

We chatted with her for a while, then I did my walks up and down the rink, and then went into the kiddie section. Once I got more comfortable in there, I decided to skate for reals.

I made it around the rink without falling.

Even better? The two times I did fall, one was because a girl was falling in front of me, and I grabbed her before I could hit her, and held her up. So I fell, she didn't. I got back up, and not long after, a kid slammed into me. The scary part about that was that my left foot went up on my toe stop. I felt okay, so I went back to skating.

I skated some more, and then E and I went for coffee.

Just before we left, my left ankle started to hurt. Grr.

So now I've got it up on the coffee table with some ice on. I'm hoping the fact that it took an hour to hurt is a good thing, not bad.

NGL, I'm a little nervous about waking up tomorrow and finding it ballooned to twice its size. :-/

Anyway, to sum up: I feel more comfortable on skates, and I can't wait to be back skating with people who know what to do when I crash into them, rather than being out-skated by ten year olds without protective gear.

Yeurgh

Jan. 20th, 2011 09:51 am
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I am still a ball of hurt.

My right quad is charley horsed, and for some reason, my forearms feel like I went to the climbing gym and climbed for an hour straight. My shoulders are tight as hell, and I think my neck is stiff. (It's feeling better than it was a few minutes ago.)

This morning, I just did some sun salutations and 100 crunches. I need a long, slow, root canal yoga class. Co-worker A and I have faint hopes of catching one tomorrow, but we're not making any bets.

Right now I'm having vanilla whey protein in milk and a banana. (Side note: the vanilla whey protein in cold milk is fucking DELICIOUS.)

I'm hoping the protein and potassium helps the muscle stuff, because I wanna skate on Saturday, and I think if I went out the way I feel right now, I'd just hurt myself.

The sick part? I've always loved feeling like this after a workout. Yeah, I'm sore, but I feel accomplished.

Totally unrelated ETA: Good lord, Michelle Obama is so beautiful.
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I was totally this chick last night:



Uh...the falling one. Not the teacher.
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Sooo...tonight was my first skate. )

I know derby has the reputation of being a warm, supportive, awesome environment, but this group has already gone above and beyond what I was expecting.

I can't wait to go back and actually get proficient and comfortable on my skates. :)
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OMG SKATING TONIGHT.

I tried to get on my skates yesterday, and it was laughable. I hope I have better luck on the rink rather than the uneven sidewalk outside my apartment.

I did the Shred yesterday, and this morning I went on to the second level routine. I really like the cardio a lot better, as well as the strength moves and the abs. But all the planks and pushups can blow me. Okay, I lie. I did like the walk-through pushups. But the squat thrusts and the plank jacks can blow me.

I am going to be a world of hurt tomorrow and I can't wait.

In other news...A friend of mine sorta got into it with a woman over on her blog. I couldn't resist commenting as well, and wow. The post and her response to both of us are amazing examples of How Not To Blog About Body Positivity and How To Be A Bad Blog Host. You can find the lulz here.
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I have decided the motto for 2011 is PUT UP OR SHUT UP.

All the things I've been like, "I'm gonna do that. One day." about, well, this year, "One day" is here. With that in mind...

So remember last week I was all, I HAVE DONE AN EXCITING SEKRIT THING?

I'm going to jump the gun a little and tell you guys what I'm doing.

I'm joining the Texas Rollergirls Rec League!!!!

Basically, this is where people start if they are totally inexperienced with skating, if they're coming in off an injury, etc.

I've been saying for years that I wanted to relearn how to roller skate and learn how to derby and if I'm good enough, join a team? Yeah, I'm doing it, thanks to the rec league.

I'm going to a meet-and-greet later this afternoon, and my first skate is on Tuesday.

I AM SO EXCITED YOU GUIZE.

<3

No, I don't have a derby name yet. I have some ideas, but none that have been YES. THIS.

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