Brawlin’ with the Betties
Last night was the first night of Bettie Boot Camp, my local roller derby’s eight-week hell session. Holy Mother of Fuck. I am so sore today that I cannot sit down or stand up with out swearing that mantra. Just know this, it washes over me and gives me a much needed momentary sense of peace.
Also, know this. I was probably the worst “nugget” there. (Nugget is the affectionate term we’re given during this hell session.) I have barely gotten to the point over the past two weeks where I could skate on my own. Last night, skating on my own was the easy part.
Shortly after warming up we formed two large circles (there were about 50 nuggets there) and proceeded to practice falling on our ass – 40 times. Fall. Stand. Fall. Stand. The standing part is supposed to happen without putting your hands on the ground. Yeah, right.
After this, I was pretty much toast. Everyone went on to practice lunge steps (knee to ground) across the track, then one-knee falls, two knee falls, baseball slides, figure 4 butt falls, rock star slides (picture David Lee Roth sliding on two knees across the stage, arms extended to the heavens with skates on). When I ran out of gas, I did my own versions of the above, which was mostly skating forward in a low, crouched position.
The Betties were all there in full force and were *amazing* coaches. They were definitely tough, but so kind and so encouraging. I love them already for teaching me how to get strong. Posted on the Brawlin’ Betties Facebook page today:
“Full of awe at the sight of so many amazing women pushing themselves to be stronger! It means so much to be a Bettie!!”
About half way through, feeling like I was going to throw up, I contemplated leaving the rink. Oddly enough, I kept looking up at the spectators and even though my son was not there, I swear I kept seeing his little face in the crowd. This gave me the inspiration to keep going.
I did end up leaving the rink 15 minutes early because I honestly didn’t feel like my legs could hold me up any longer. The rest of the group finished up with a punishing core workout: abdominal crunches, bicycles, side lifts, sustained push-up position lifts, etc. Two hours in total. All with skates on.
Today, besides the pain, my main battle has been with my psyche. Even though I know last night was an enormous accomplishment for me personally, it is verrrrrry hard to not feel like shit about myself because everyone else did so much better than I did.
But everyone else there hasn’t been fighting for their life for the past several years. Like me, they have not just lost 175 lbs. and are not returning to health from a life that used to be riddled with heart problems, pulmonary problems and Diabetes. Because of this, I tell myself to be proud.