I bought my Roller Derby skates this week!! I was going to wait a few more weeks but I just didn’t want to go to any more practices with the wrong skates. I went into Turn Left Roller Derby Shop on Thursday afternoon after the gym. I was very fortunate that a friend of mine was willing to join me and help keep an eye on my daughter. I tried on 3 different styles. I went with a brand called Bont. Apparently they are a new brand from Australia. I liked them because they had less padding than the typical Roller Derby skates. I also like that they are heat moldable, I can put the boot in the oven and then put them on and they will hold to my feet. I bought toe guards to protect the skates and out the door I spent 180 Euros.
If you are interested in learning more about my fancy new skates you can check them out here: Bont Skates
Friday night there was a “gear workshop” (as in a workshop for my gear not about gears) at Turn Left. I wanted to go mostly because I think, as the only foreigner, it’s important that I make the effort to be a part of the team. I’m really glad I went. It was 2 hours of Dutch sitting on a cold hard floor so it was mentally exhausting but I was able to keep up with the Dutch pretty well and I learned a lot. One of the owners of Turn Left took us through every part of our skates talking about how to care for them as well as all the different options for each. It took 2 hours! I had absolutely no idea how intricate these skates can get. Every piece is changeable with what seems like unlimited options. For now I’m happy with my “starter skates” and I hope they will last without upgrades for the next several years.
Man oh man, what a difference the skates make! I had a really difficult time adjusting to them in the beginning. The wheels are set much wider and they are faster (like the wheels spin faster) so I was loosing my balance much easier. There is no ankle support so that gave me a little trouble for a while. Once I got used to them though, I was so happy. I was able to go faster and manoeuvre loads easier. I suppose it bacause of the cushions but if I shift my weight just slightly the wheels will sway in that direction. This was hard to get used to at first but in the end it makes turning so much easier. I’m very happy with the skates.
This is a side by side of my Derby skates and my normal roller skates.
I really feel like the trainers stepped up the intensity a lot today. The last 3 weeks has been a gradual increase where tonight felt like a real leap. We played games and ran (or skated, I suppose) drills. Like: skate to this line and drop into a 4 point fall (meaning you land on your knees and fall forward on your elbows and wrists protecting your head and slide) then back up and skate to this line and then a rockstar (fall forward on your knees and lean back into a slide like a rockstar sliding across stage) then up then at the next line……. and it went on like that forever. Across the track and back, over and over, for what seemed like forever. And it went on like with different drills for what felt like forever!
We practiced skating forward and turning so we were skating backwards and around again for a long time as well. Thank you Power Yoga, balance is so critical!
I fell on my butt twice and I must have fell on my hand at some point because by the time I got home I had a bruise on my hand and I couldn’t move one of my fingers on my right hand. Hopefully it will be better in the morning.
This was my favourite practice. I think we are starting to get to know each other a bit and it’s starting to feel more like a group. We are cheering each other on and in general being very supportive. There was quite a bit of laughing this evening. I was questioning my decision to try a group sport because I have never been on a team before but I’m really glad I am giving it a try.