Home » Creativity » The Road to Recruitment: Here Be Gear

The Road to Recruitment: Here Be Gear

The writing continues and the derby chapter has seen a couple of changes.  First up, I finished the second scene, which means in two days time I’ve written a total of 3,301 words, which is pretty much a record for me of late.  It’s probably due to getting some of my writing energy back, though I imagine part of the deal is just finding that I’ve writing about something I know and care a whole lot about.  Write what you know?  I’m sort of doing that.

Also, today I did something I’ve not done in a while: I added two scenes to Chapter Twenty-two.  So what, you say? The two scenes take place on different days and I did that because, (1) I wanted to continue what I’m working on with this chapter, and (2) I didn’t want to start another chapter just for these couple of scenes.  Since they are logical extensions of what’s happening in this chapter, it only makes sense I keep it all contained here.

Sometimes you gotta add them ’cause it makes sense.

 

Annie’s got the release forms out of the way, so what’s next?  How about gear?  Yeah, sounds like a good idea.  But first–

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017, 2018 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

Annie turned quickly to Kerry. “See you after?”

He smiled. “You know it.”

The blond immediately directed Annie towards a number of tables filled with equipment. “Name?”

“Annie Kirilova.”

“Okay, you’re right over here.” They moved a couple of meters to their left and stopped before what looked like some kind of protective gear, a helmet, and a pair of skates laying on their sides. “Okay, I’m gonna give you the quick gear up tutorial: I’ll tell you what’s what, but we want you to put it on. I’ll help you if you run into issue. Sound good?”

Annie nodded. “It does.”

 

Say your goodbyes to Kerry, kid, ’cause you’re about to enter a whole new world.  And here it comes:

 

“All right, then. These—” The blond held up something that looked like fingerless gloves. “These are wrist guards. They’re designed to keep you from breaking your wrists if you take a fall. You thumb goes through here—” She pushed her thumb through a hole in the soft leather. “—and you wrap the straps around so they fasten on the top. Remember, this plate—” She turned the guard so Annie saw a long plate embedded into the leather. “—always goes on the bottom part of your wrist.

“These—” She held up something that looked like a sleeve with a hard shell on one side. “These are your elbow pads. You slip them over your arms until they are fixed over your elbows. Remember, the shell is on the outside and this rounded part—” She touched the hard shell. “—goes closer to your upper arm.

“Last we have knee pads.” She picked one up. “You’re gonna spend a lot of time falling, so these are important. There are straps in the back that help hold it against your legs, then this strap—” She tugged on a large, thick one. “—goes at the top, around your leg to fasten on the top. The bottom strap goes through this buckle and then you pull it tight and Velcro it together. Keep the buckle on the inside of your leg. Any questions?”

Annie had one. “Are you sure these will fit me?”

The tall blond laughed. “We got your body measurements from your CMO about four hours ago, so yes, it’ll all fit. Besides, there are sizing enchantment in place so some scaling will likely take place.”

“I thought that might be the case.” She picked up the helmet. Unlike the ones Kerry wore while racing, this one looked more like the ones they’d wear for casual flying. “Same with this?”

“Absolutely. You won’t have to put that one until after Angry gives her speech, but keep in mind, any time you’re here with us and you’re wearing skates, you need your helmet on. It’s an insurance violation if you don’t.”

 

First off, this is all the same stuff I have.  For a bit of reference, last November, 2017, I did a black and white challenge on Facebook, where you took one B&W photo a day for seven days and posted it to your wall.  One of the photos was of my then derby gear, and here it is:

 

All the stuff here is the same as Annie’s, though I have a couple of differences.  First off, in the foreground, is the protective gear.  Left to right are the wrist guards, the elbow pads, and the knee pads.  Annie’s wearing the same stuff, set for her body size–thanks to the hospital and Doctor Gallagher–and if there are adjustment needed, a little magic will take care of that.

In the back are my skates–The Riedell Darts that I used to wear–and my helmet.  The biggest different here is Annie is wearing a normal derby helmet, while these days I wear a hockey helmet, which I feel–as do other skaters–gives better protection.  If you want to see the differences, here’s my old purple helmet, which I gave to the league:

 

And my current helmet:

 

And when I’m all geared up I looked like this, taken one year after my recruitment night, wearing my Bont skates:

 

In the gear picture above I showed knee gaskets, which I wore for a while because I needed the extra knee support.  They’ve gotten stronger and I rarely put them on now.  Also, in my “One Year After” picture, you can see pink tape on my right wrist guard.  That’s because the Velcro doesn’t stick well any longer, so I tape it up before practice. Hockey and Duct Tape are a derby girl’s best friend.  Trust me.

There’s also something visible in my hockey helmet picture, and we’re coming to that right now–

 

Annie set the helmet down. “Do we really worry about that?”

“Normally no, but if you’re outside the school playing Normal leagues, you could screw their insurance up if you aren’t following regs.” The blond picked up a small plastic case and removed a thin, flat piece of white plastic. “Open your mouth.” Annie did as told and the blond inserted the flat piece into her mouth. “Bite down and hold for about ten seconds.”

Annie did as told. For the first few seconds nothing happened, then she felt the plastic fold upward against her upper teeth. After ten seconds she opened her mouth and removed the molded plastic from her mouth. “What—?”

“That’s your mouth guard. You won’t be doing any hitting tonight, but you will if you decide to stay with this, you’ll need that.” The blond took the mouth guard and put it back inside its container, which she set next to the helmet. “Go over by those benches and put on your pads. After Angry talks we’ll get your geared up the rest of the way.” She pointed towards a group of long, flat seats not far from Kerry and a few others stood. “Go on.”

Annie took her wrist guards, elbow and knee pads, and walked over to closest clear spot, which happened to be next to Anna. The German girl—who had everything but her wrist guards on—looked to her friend as she sat. “What do you think?”

“Well—” Annie shrugged. “I don’t know yet.”

Anna sighed. “What exactly are we getting into?”

Annie chuckled as she set one of the knee pads into place. “I believe we’re going to find out soon.”

 

That pink think in my tank top strap is my mouth guard:  specifically, a Sisu mouth guard that I molded much the same way as Annie’s, though I needed hot water and my hands and not magic to achieve the same results.  If you don’t wear a mouth guard, you can do cool things like get in a pace line with the vets or hit, or block, or any stuff like that ’cause it’s an insurance violation otherwise.  Got to protect those teeth.  I actually have a couple of mouth guards, but my Sisu is the only one I can wear that doesn’t make me gag.

So Annie’s got her stuff and she’s almost ready to derby–

Almost.

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