But it doesn’t mean I don’t have some writing news as well!
No word yet if we’re going out like a lamb, however…
Don’t worry: it’s good news.
And here we are!
My teammates and me getting ready to leave.
And a few pictures from Battle of the Freshies. I’m in a black jersey with 882 on the back and wearing mermaid tights.
Two photos of me and Tiny Tina. The first is to give you an idea of our sizes and the second is the hit I put on her.
This was me running down a jammer in the last segment of the night.
And a few photos of me in Jammer Hell. It wasn’t my happy place.
The Black Betties Team Photo.
And yes, they are!
It’s not often I get way out of my comfort zone and try something I’ve never done before. I should say, it wasn’t often before I started transitioning. Before that little event I was pretty content not to do anything that might make me uncomfortable.
Now, being uncomfortable is something of a way of life–
Like it was yesterday.
Yesterday, the first of the year, I headed over to City Island to participate in the annual Penguin Plunge, which involves jumping into the Susquehanna River. As you may have figured out, living in Pennsylvania means it probably wasn’t going to be warm and you’d be correct: when I left to meet with my teammates it was 19 F/-9 C. At least the wind wasn’t blowing–yet. Anyway, I was ready for that weather–
I met up with my teammates, because we, the girls of HARD, were going to do the plunge together. Ariel Wildfire organized the event and I jumped on it, figuring what the hell, if nothing else I’ll contribute money. However, I did state on my page when I promoted the event that if I raised more than $75, I would take the plunge–
And you know I raised more than that. In fact I nearly doubled that amount, raising $146 total so far. Doesn’t seem like a lot, but I couldn’t kick in any of my own cash due to losing my job and with the exception of one $100 donation, the others were small dollar amounts.
Once all my teammates arrived we got together, registered, and waited. For a while we hung around outside in a gazebo, which gave me time to head down to the river and see how things were going.
The answer to that was–not well.
As you can see there’s a lot of ice on the river. That’s due to the extremely cold temps we’ve have in our area for the past couple of weeks. For the first time in a long time the river was completely frozen over, so when I took the above photo the River Rescue people were doing their best to chop open an area for us to dive in. During this time they were using axes to open the ice, but since that wasn’t working, a few minutes after taking that picture they broke out the chainsaws and started cutting. On a local newscast they said it was only the second time in like 24 years they’ve had to do so.
Since the time to plunge growing near my teammates and I headed to the warming tents and began stripping down into whatever garb we intended on wearing into the water. That meant leggings or shorts, and one one of us that mean fish net stockings and a green Derbyskinz, which is something I’ll probably wear during one bout when I get to that point. (Note: Derbyskinz is not only where my team gets their jerseys, but it was actually started by someone who used to play for HARD. She wore an outfit to Fresh Meat practice her aunt made for her and it became rather popular. Now they run their own business in Camp Hill.)
Naturally we had to get a team photo before going out:
(Left to right: Unchained Maryilly, Ariel Wildfire, and the Fresh Meat collection: me, Sarah, and Ashly.)
Matt Barcaro of local station WGAL News 8 was there and streamed the start. You’ll see us within 10 seconds, on the left of the screen. I’m easy to see because I’m big, I’m wearing a lime green tank top, and I have a GoPro strapped to my head. Watch us go into the water and come out right after!
Now, as I stated, I was wearing my GoPro and managed to shoot everything from my point of view. And here it is in all it’s chilly glory.
And just for the record, here’s a screen capture from the news stream of me coming out of the water. My face says it all:
After that we headed back to the warming tent and changed. It was strange watching steam rolling off my body and my feet remained numb for about 30 minutes after this little jaunt. So I just went home and chilled out, right?
Yep, I went skating and Unchained Maryilly, aka Mary, joined me because… well, we’re derby girls, that’s why! And I got video of us not only skating, but falling! Yay! (I spend most of my time skating behind Unchained, who is the woman on the YouTube splash for the video. She told me yesterday she wants me to certify so that she’s no longer the oldest certified skater–she’s 47 until the end of February.)
2017 was sucky. I’m hoping that 2018 is gonna be a hell of a lot better, and even though I’m out of work right now I still hold that hope. At least I started out the year right by getting out of the comfort zone and doing shit that even a year ago I might not have done.
I can only go upward from here, right?
Let’s talk about my test:
Last night it was time to get down to business and find out if I knew my rules as well as I thought I might. I found out about two hours before I was supposed to leave for the rink that there wasn’t any point in arriving early as the person who was going to give the test couldn’t make it, so we were told to show up at the normal time. As it was I still showed up early, at the same time as my coach, and since she had copies of the test I put on my knee pads and went off to a quiet room–one of the rink’s party rooms–and sat down to start answering.
Since I have found a copy of the test online, I can show you some of the questions I had to answer. These three I gave right answers to:
7. If a Jam is called off for a Skater’s injury
(other than a suspected concussion) for the
first time in a game, how long before that
Skater may return to play?
A. As soon as the Skater feels well enough
B. A minimum of three Jams
C. The beginning of the next period
D. After the medics have cleared the Skater to play
The answer is B.
22. Red Jammer legally passes four opposing
White Blockers in a scoring pass, but is
then absorbed back into the pack. Red
Jammer fights their way back past two
White Blockers and a third White Blocker
has gone to the Penalty Box. How many
points will Red Jammer receive for this
The answer is again B.
40. What must a Pivot do to legally become the
Jammer after picking up the Star from the
A. Return it to the Jammer, who in turn passes it back to the Pivot.
B. Put it on their hemet
C. Hold the Star in their hand
D. Throw it to the Jammer
The answer is A.
Now you know as much as me. Aren’t you happy?
By indicating I got three right, that means I must have gotten some wrong, and you’re right to believe that. Here was one that I got wrong:
11. When both Jammers sit in the Penalty Box
simultaneously, how much penalty time
must be served before they return to the
A. 10 seconds
B. 20 seconds
C. 30 seconds
D. 0 seconds
I answered A, but the correct answer is D, zero seconds pass: the jammers are ordered to return to the track immediately because the rules for how to penalize jammers are strange as hell.
You are now aware that I didn’t get a 100% on my test because I did miss questions. But out of the 50 on the test, how many did I miss?
Yeah, I had 45 correct, which means I finished with a score of 90%. In order to pass you need a minimum of 80%, so I passed with room to breathe. My friend and teammate Mary, who also took the test, got everything right–I’m assuming she did as she said she “aced it”–which means she certified and that she is now the proud owner of a jersey number and derby name. So, as a team, we were able to spend a few moments welcoming #246, Unchained Merrily, to the HARD team.
With the test out of the way I have but two things remaining before I become a certified player and I hope I get past them quickly. When I started this at the end of May I stated that, at the earliest, November would likely be the soonest I would certify, and little did I know how true that look into the future would become.
Here’s hoping the next 30 pass with a change of name before it’s all over.