Last night's derby practice was awesome and totally boosted my confidence! Right from the start Coach had us fresh meat in with the team doing drills. We first skated in a super tight pack which helped to ease my fear of skating in a super tight pack! I didn't fall but I made a girl behind me fall and I felt bad. I guess I jutted my skate back too far on a push off and she hit it and went down.
Then we played three on three mini scrimmages and I was very, very nervous. But again it just totally boosted my confidence. I didn't really know what I was doing, but I was on the track skating in a pack, looking all around trying to follow what was going on while trying not to get hurt and not to crash into any down bodies. I did take my first hit though. Ivanna (I'll never forget her) came up beside me and totally caught me off guard and gave me a nice hit to the shoulder and I instinctively turned and apologized (as if I got in her way). D'oh! She started laughing and assured me she did it on purpose.
Then we moved on to hitting drills which Coach wouldn't let us do at first. So we watched. And then we practiced on each other and joined the group and did some different hitting drills where we skated the length of the rink on opposite sides coming together for one good hard hit at three specified spots on the rink. So basically: skate, BAM, skate, BAM, skate, BAM, and back to the end of the line.
Coach had us fresh meat sit down because he didn't want us scrimmaging. I was relieved. Then a minute later he had us get back up and stand with the rest of girls. Then he split us all up into two teams. My first scrimmage! (I was so nervous - I hope no one saw me shaking.) I took the number two position for my first jam. My heart was racing and then the whistle blew and well; it's kind of like driving in traffic, as silly as that sounds. You don't really think. Suddenly the discomfort of my mouth guard was no longer existent, my location on the track didn't matter. You just skate and look all around you and there are so many things going through your head but in a way your mind is blank because you just know what to do and leave it up to adrenaline and instinct. I can't explain it well.
I did good. At least I think I did good. I kept up with the pack about 90% of the time and when I lost it I hauled ass to catch up. I know I had two or three good blocks. I didn't hit anyone - I tried, but couldn't land anything - but I did manage to push one blocker out of bounds and something else I did I knew was really good but I can't remember. Someone even yelled, "Nice, Jessica!" It was really really fun. I had a blast!
I skated in three to five jams. You lose track - it's all adrenaline. I never played pivot or jammer, just a blocker in the number two or three position. I'm not ready (scared) to jam. I'm also still afraid of falling. Somehow I managed not to fall once all night. Very good, but also bad. I know I need to have a good fall for me to realize it's not so bad (hopefully it won't be). I also need to figure out how the hell to talk when you have a giant piece of rubber in your mouth! *Note to self, watch girls and see if they take out their mouth guards for a few seconds to yell to their teammates. Is there some trick I don't know? I also need to stop friggin apologizing! - it's instinctual. Sister reminded we all know why we're here so there's no need to apologize. She said she did that a lot when she first started and Coach made her do twenty push ups every time she said she was sorry and that helped her kick the habit really quickly. I assured her I'll work on it.
Before practice I would have never thought I'd be ready for the September 24 scrimmage against the GSRG, but now I think there's a good possibility I could do it. Maybe I will even skate at the October 18 bout. It's not really up to me, but it does seem a little more realistic now.
I think next week I may be "officially" on the team. Team Pres gave me my orientation packet last night with the forms I need to fill out, bylaws, and GIANT TEAM STICKER for my helmet. Who needs bylaws when you have a giant sticker! I'm stoked to register my name so I can start using it.
Any doubts I had earlier in the week simply washed away last night. And all the fund raising events are coming together. It felt overwhelming earlier in the week but other than one crazy week in September (with three events in one week) it is quite manageable and my excitement is renewed.
It was an awesome practice and I feel great today - no soreness at all.