Thursday, August 30, 2012

Shin Splints

     For me the most debilitating thing in the world is shin splints. It doesn't take long before they flare up either. Maybe 5 minutes into practice and I already know I'm screwed. They start burning and my ankles start locking up and having my perfect luck guess what's on the agenda... 100 laps and 75% speed on the inside line nuts to butts or pyramid of pain. Which ever horrible endurance drill we come across shin splints is a "nothing helps but stopping" kind of pain that no one will understand unless you have had them yourself. 

My 1st or 2nd home team game
Sirens VS. Brawlers
     I developed shin splints in my fresh meat period in 2010 and they were Bay Area B.A.D. I thought I was going to die or snap my ankles clear in half. I tried everything from potassium pills to a point of overdosing to having the league's EMT roll out my shins with Bio-Freeze and a PVC pipe (that bringing me to tears). I asked around and everybody had all sorts of different remedies so I tried a majority of them and nothing seemed to work. I was totally discouraged and thought to myself that it would be the end of me but I pushed on and pulled off the track when I needed to stretch even if it was during a drill and I got yelled at. "Faster!" they said. "Pick it up, SINGAPORE!!!" They said when I was skating as fast and as hard as my stupid legs would let me. Fuck it.
     Like I said nothing really worked but there was somethings that I did to take the edge off. Drinking a lot of Gatorade or any type of sports drink and not solely water especially in the kind of heat we have here in the Texas summers. It helps to replace the sodium and potassium in your body which helps with muscle function and cramps. I warm up a bit more slowly if I have the time and stretch thouroughly ESPECIALLY my shins. After a while you get used to the pain as it never really goes away and it doesn't bother you as much. It does come and go so don't get too comfy. Right now for me, it's coming. Also, if your wheels are too grippy it will definitely intensify the pain. Clean your bearings too, dirty. Try some harder wheels than you are used to. Even as a blocker, wheels too grippy can do more damage than good. They may stabilize you more but what good is stability if you can't have the agility to put your ass on a bitch attempting to block your jammer on a power jam??? Exactly.
     Push through if you can but not until you are a hazard to your fellow skaters. It's better to take a second to stretch than end up really inuring yourself and taking weeks/months on the bench or even worse injuring someone else. Listen to your body. You know it better than anyone else. Trust me.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

No, I don't want to go to practice.

September 2012 HRD's Sirens VS. Brawlers 

          No, I don't want to go to practice. Well, not today. I think everyone would be lying if they said that every time they were more eager than the last. I didn't want to go today. I was tired from work and wanted to prepare for my kid's first day of fourth grade and sneak a beer in as well but I went. My attendance is sometimes on and sometimes borderline. It all depends on life. Then when my teammates arrived for carpool I was informed we also had B travel team practice after league practice as well and that began to further annoy me. 
     Good thing that with my car ride conversation and dabbles in gossip and perverse innuendo I got into a much better mood quickly. Scrimmage was pretty fun. We had a mix of some rec girls in with us tonight. I like when they are there. I feel like it's really important to set a good example for them and show them how the game should be played. Given, I am one of the more vulgar ladies on the track who is flipping the bird and swearing up a storm. I still do not to let that compromise my mental state in a game. I play cool, collected, and rarely lose my sense of "this is supposed to be fun" during a game. My team taught me that. Aside of yelling from the bench during a power jam I'm pretty stable I would like to think though I am sure some would differ. Fuck'em.
     We all have lives outside of derby. Some of us have kids, girlfriends, husbands, careers... And that can really take a lot out of you. Then you have derby. The virus. There is no cure but quitting. You have 3+ practices a week for 2+ hours each time not to mention the endless fundraisers and events that basically support our entire existence. It's a lot! But we do it any way. So, why do you do it? It's not always fun, convenient, or easy. There is something about it you can't seem to stray away from. Is it the work-outs? The pure love of the sport itself? The sisterhood you find yourself consumed by? Or the simple fact that you are part of something bigger than yourself? I know for me exactly what it was and still is. I always wanted to be someone. I had friends who were teachers, artists, musicians, contractors... but what was I? Nothing. I was just Jas and being just Jas wasn't good enough. Now, when I look in the mirror I am proud of who I see. I am proud to see the person who makes sacrifices to do the thing she loves, who gets up despite being knocked down numerous times, and is willing and eager to share her love with others. I may bitch and whine about all the time and commitment but on bout day when the crowd is going wild and you step out with your team every practice is worth it. You are part of something bigger than yourself and you share this same love with thousands all over the world. How fucking lucky are we? So, go to practice and bitch in car on the way there.  

Friday, August 24, 2012


     There are a lot of things that I have learned being in derby. A lot of things that I thought I knew and later realized I had no fucking clue. Now, first off I have to say that derby is one hell of a drug. A high that has good times and bad but regardless is a serious addiction that quickly forces its way throughout your entire life and those around you who choose to stick around. I've learned that the people you look up to won't always have your respect and the ones you have disappointed you will go out of your way to take that back. You do everything for your team, your league... Then after a while you start doing it for yourself and that's when you really start to find your place. I remember during try-outs in my interview I told the panel I wanted to be a jammer. LMAO- I learned real quick that where you want to be might not always be what's best for you or your team and once you figure out where you should be you should embrace it and hard. After an epic fail as a jammer I had it in my mind that I needed to be a pivot, I had to like I needed to breath. I was ok but, ok was not good enough and I knew it. So, my capts took a chance and put me as a B3/B2. The pack's beef. Mind you, I'm like 5'8 and 160lbs and I'm one of the bigger girls on my team so I don't see myself as being beefy at all. Lol- This last season I found my place. I'm sad to say that it took until right before the championship game in my second season for me to realize it. I love being the first line of defense. Nothing makes me feel more alive and not because this was where I wanted to be but because this is where I play best and most importantly benefit my team.
     My team. My team is a very interesting and impressive group of bitches. I use the term bitches and not ladies and I use that term for a purpose. They are bad, like bad asses. During try-outs this was not the team I ever imagined myself being on. They were intimidating, fierce, blonde, and gorgeous and that was just the tip of the iceberg. I had my eyes on another team. I heard the draft was happening and I gathered our fresh meat girls to all get together and hit the gym. Slowly but surely cell phones start ringing, girls walk off and return with his strange face that looked like a mix between happiness and constipation but no one said a word. I was with a good friend (now my derby wife) who is now retired. After we both got calls be texted each other and told each other our new home teams. She was a Brawler and I was a Psych Ward Siren. The Siren who called me later said how indifferent I sounded after being welcomed to the Psych Ward. I was shocked. What did this team of type-A personalities want with me? I just could not believe it. Long story short I could not have been happier, now. I would not  be the skater I am today without the relentless land drills, endless sprints, and the intricate discussions of strategy. These bitches are bad and getting badder. And, I love each and very one of them. Funny thing, I am blonde now and fierce ;)
     There is no feeling compared to being on the track and not just any old track. I'm talking about selling out the Verizon (now known as Bayou Music Center) in downtown Houston. That is one hell of a feeling. I still get nervous. The crowd screaming, it's a type of heat you can't even imagine under the lights. You do your intros, equipment check... and it's on. This last game was my first time in history to be in the first pack, ever. No pressure, lol- Everything suddenly goes deaf. I can't hear anything except my teammates and I can't make out anything around me but the opposing jammer. You do work, then the whistle blows. It's those very moments I feel alive. 
     I work a crazy amount of hours at my full-time job and do a side job here and there. I have my kid, Spring Roll who is almost 10 and is a spitting image of me, my wonderful girlfriend you has struggled a bit with sharing me with derby. Though on bout day she is the loudest voice I hear screaming for my team. All the events we have to attend and meeting we have to make. It's crazy and so are all the women who participate but I wouldn't have it any other way. Derby continues to inspire me and help me grow as a person and as a human being. Sirens POR VIDA!!!