Sunday, September 26, 2010

In Which I Demonstrate The Art Of Falling

I'm wasting no time getting into roller derby shape!

So today I took a trip up to visit Fast Girl Skates, which is the first brick-and-mortar roller derby store in the world.  Lucky for me, it just happens to be in Seattle!  I dropped my car off to have the oil changed across the street (scoring an easy parking space at the same time, which is a rare thing in the wheelchair van) and walked over.  One of the proprietors, Morty (who was extremely nice and is an awesome derby girl to boot) fitted me for skates and hooked me up with a set of beginner's gear.  I walked out with a full kit, complete with a set of nifty black Sure-Grip Rebels (size 8 in mens-- I have huge feet) and a shiny new helmet in cherry red (the only color they had in XS-- I have a tiny head) and was rarin' to go.

I am about six inches taller than Jeremy in skates, by the way.  I feel like an Amazon.  It's awesome.

As soon as I got home I switched out my indoor wheels (bright pink!) for my outdoor set (bright blue!) and strapped on all my protective gear, which I had a feeling was going to see a lot of use.  My neighborhood had rough sidewalks and a whole lot of really steep hills, which is pretty much a recipe for disaster when you've been up on roller skates maybe four times since you were twelve.  I sort of figure that if I can learn how to skate in that sort of terrain, though, a flat track should be no sweat.  Jeremy took a picture of me geared up (though somehow he neglected to get my skates in the picture) and I took off. 

Or rather, I got about three feet down our steep, pebbly, curving front walk and then ate it. 

The next half an hour was an exercise to see how evenly I could distribute bruises to all parts of my body.  I have discovered that I have a natural, hidden talent for falling down; I do it easily and effortlessly.  I believe I invented at least six new ways to become extremely intimate with the asphalt before I'd rounded the first corner (which was, of course, a sharp turn at the end of another long, steep, bumpy curve of sidewalk).  Most of my truly spectacular falls were directly in front of neighbors or preadolescent boys.  The neighbors all looked concerned and vaguely disgruntled at the sight of a woman who was obviously pushing thirty staggering around on roller skates and throwing herself face-first at various hard surfaces.  The boys all thought I was hilarious.

But I had a fantastic time and I plan to go out tomorrow while Connor is in school to a flatter surface in order to get some practice that doesn't involve falling down.  Not that I won't get some of that in; I still have several inches of skin left not currently sporting bruises that I need to cover.  I also plan to stop by the store to get some duct tape; I'm already doing a number on the toes of my skates, thanks to the number of times I've skidded across the cement.  But I'm having an absolute blast, and my only regret is that I didn't discover roller derby sooner so that I would have skating skills by now and could already be playing. 

Maybe I should get a part time job as a carhop.  Juggling someone else's food on roller skates would probably cure me of that falling habit really quickly.



Jennifer said...

I fell off my bike and scraped my knee a few weeks has finally healed and then I tripped while hiking today and scraped the other one (didn't draw blood this time). I feel you on the "very bruised" bit.
A funny thing happened re: lamictal after my bike crash. The doctor asked if I had a history of seizures (no) and what medications I was taking (lamictal). I got a strange look until he confirmed with me that I take it for non-seizure reasons. I was pretty excited to meet a GP who had even heard of it, since I seem to spend a lot of time spelling it for people.
Hope you enjoy the roller derby! Sounds like a blast.

Mary said...

You look SO CUTE in your gear. Er, is CUTE what you're going for with that whole roller derby thing? I dunno. Maybe that should be your shtick anyway, because you look SOOO CUTE. :D

Also, that owl with an eyepatch? F&^%ING ADORABLE.

I'll be brainstorming a name for you. Are we going for badass or.. SO CUTE?

Jess said...

Probably something more SO CUTE, because that's kind of my personality. But I have plenty of time to come up with a name; I sort of have to learn how to skate first. And also have to make a team, which will probably take a while.

There's a registry of all the names that are taken (having a name too close to someone else's is a recipe for a rear kicking in roller derby); you can find it here.

I was saddened to see that my two immediate thoughts: Pippi Longsmacking and Punky Bruiser, are already taken. Oh well-- feel free to help me brainstorm!

Anonymous said...

Dude! I would SO be right there with you if my skating didn't result in irreparable damage every time! As it is I LOVE roller Derby and haven't been in forever (or ever found anyone who also thought it was awesome) so if you need a tag along to watch with you, I'm your girl!
P.S. This is Kim, my stupid phone won't let me sign in as psychologizer for some reason. Le sigh.

xraevision said...

Oh my gosh, Jess, you are my hero! If I didn't live on the other side of the continent, I would come and cheer you on! Maybe I would even get some skates and train with you, although I'm sure that I couldn't keep up. My inability to stay upright would make you look like a pro . . . a very HOT pro! Seriously, you already look like a veritable roller derby girl! Awesome photo!!!

Kirsty said...

You rock! I've always secretly wanted to do roller derby! Maybe the falling thing can work for you, if you just take one of the opposing team down with you...

Joy said...

Arnica ointment on those bruises.... Really.

Julia said...

You should work velociraptors into your skating identity somehow. Unless, of course, you take the cute route -- velociraptors are definitely more badass than cute. (If your sister can swear online, then I'm gonna do it too.) Probably too many syllables to morph into a nickname, but I'm thinking stick-on decals on your helmet?

leah said...

I'm voting for velociraptors, too. You are my hero- I would kill myself if I tried to put on a pair of roller skates. Unless I wrapped myself in Nerf for protection, I would fall endlessly down our hilly street.

I really hope you get Jeremy to take pictures of you during your first Derby!

txmoabite said...

Need to talk to you soon... your life sounds exciting!

Julia O'C said...

Oh, my God - you are the cutest thing on roller skates I have ever seen! I LOVE that you're doing this!! What a great way to get some exercise, make new friends, let out some tension and have fun!! Go, Jessie, Go!!

I am SO proud of you for you doing this!!!

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