Well, I did it
Today I had my first practice with the New York Shock Exchange, the men's flat track roller derby team in NYC. As you can tell by the title of this post, I had a great wipeout.
First, let me go ahead and say that I really enjoyed the practice and the guys were all great and supportive. Patrick Bateman (pretty sure it's just a skate name and not his real one since that would just be CREEPY) helped me learn some of the basics but I wasn't used to skating on the surface and I had a lot of problems maintaining balance (more on this later). I was able to get some of the basic moves down (okay maybe not DOWN, but okay) but sat out the last half of the practice since it was all about blocking, jamming, and a scrimmage and I knew that I needed to sit out and watch what was going on and learn from it.
Well during my sessions with Patrick, he checked out my skates and determined that the skates of the truck were loose which he said was good. Well for him it's good since I outweigh him by almost 100 pounds. For me, I had problems maintaining the equilibrium point so when I took a stride I was able to solidly land in the same position and power off. At the end of practice, he adjusted the skates and I took a few good spins around the track and have a good setting now where I can maintain my balance. We're talking a night and day difference. I could take much more solid strides. One drill called "Coca Cola" (or at least that's what Patrick referred to it as) where you are basically doing an outline of the Coca Cola bottle curves with your skates. I could do it the first time and was okay as long as I maintaind a solid focal point. However, with the adjustment I was able todo them much more cleanly and with a lot more confidence.
While I was a little frustrated with how I did, the captain, Jonathan, told me that they have had more than a few people through their doors who couldn't do half of the stuff I somewhat accomplished. That at least made me feel good that I was able to pull some stuff and I knw that with the skate adjustments, it's going to be MUCH better (or at least it was when I tried them out). I may not have the speed or the agility of others but all I want to be when I grow up is like Beyonslay.