Drill and Drill Again… Again

It’s been a long day and the post I hoped to get out earlier is–well, here.  Late.  Crazy late.  And I’m typing like made ’cause I’m on a time table.  So bear with me…

I talk a lot about derby practice.  I even show you video of what I do.  But what does practice really look like?  I mean, how does it come out in the long run?  What exactly do we do when we’re in skates and geared up?

Glad you asked.

Last Wednesday I manged to get some great GoPro footage of our practice.  Not just a few things here and there, but damn near the whole thing.  And I thought that rather than give long explanations of what’s going on, I figured, “Why not show what I go through?”

So this is what you’re getting.  Basically, this is all the practice–save for the cardio warm up, which was 40 laps and about 12 minutes of fast skating–that I experience, as seen through my eyes. You’re also going to hear what I hear and pick up on some of the instruction that’s given to help me improve.  You also get to hear some of the shit we talk back and forth between us, which can be somewhat amusing.

Let’s begin.

Part of this you’re already seen.  This is a long drill where we weaved up through a pack, then weaved back, then shot up the outside to return to the front.  Like I said, it’s long, but then so are all these videos.  This, like a lot of the things we do, is a timing drill:

 

You’ve also seen a little of this:  the blocker/jammer pace line where one person blocks the way through the pack so the jammer (your partner) can get through.  This is where I fell and someone tripped over me, but that was as shortened version of this drill.  Here is the full one, and it’s–you guessed it–long:

 

Here we get into our blocker/jammer drills, going two-on-one and three-on-one against a jammer.  This is where I’m told on several occasions about things I’m doing wrong and how to correct them.  The guy giving the instruction is a ref, Ted Nuisance, and he’s really, really good at what he does.  A lot of stuff happens fast–you’ll see:

 

This is an extension of the three-on-one drills, with us adding a pivot, who is on the same side as the jammer.  The idea here is for the pivot to move blockers out of the way and help the jammer get through the pack.  That’s why you’ll sometimes see a person with a stripped pantie on their helmet moving people aside.

 

 

This was something that Bi and I got into with Mary–she’s in the white helmet–explaining how bridging works and how to use it to run a jammer way back away from the pack.  She wasn’t present the day we practiced bridging, so this was her chance to learn.

 

There you have it: quick, dirty, to the point.  Don’t have to read much, just put on the video and watch me go crazy.

Or maybe you’ll feel like joining me…

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Love Among the Witches: Setting the Title

I’m running really behind today, so here is the rest of the scene with Coraline discussing the aftermath of “hook up” with the boy from her fight team.  And here, as well, you discover why she called herself Nurse Coraline for so long.  It’s really logical…

 

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

“Yes?”

“He got up and was like, ‘Okay, we can go to the Midnight Madness, right?’ I felt like I was dying inside; I couldn’t believe he was being so callous. And it was like that for the rest of the night. Sometimes if felt as if he couldn’t wait to get away from me.

“He later told me that he’d been with other girls and that I didn’t really ‘measure up’ to them. I took it in stride and then publicly dumped his ass. He didn’t take it well and started getting extra brutal whenever we had a match.” A wistful smile slowly formed on Coraline’s face. “In a way it was the way he acted there and towards me that drove me out of fighting and into healing, and the very next level I began interning as a nurse in the hospital.”

Kerry chuckled. “Hence the beginning of Nurse Coraline.”

“For the rest of my time in school and once I came back.”

“Why did you come back?”

“Jessica got The Foundation to pull me out of medical school because the school doctor was killed during The Scouring and they needed someone to help the wounded.” She looked down and away for a moment. “He was the one I interned under, so I felt something of an obligation.”

“I can understand that.” Kerry gave the doctor a bit of as puzzled look. “But why did you call yourself Nurse Coraline for so long?”

“You can thank The Foundation for that.” She leaned her right elbow against the chair arm and set her cheek against her fist. “Because I was now the school doctor I had to do all my learning here and The Foundation used my ‘real live experience’, you might say, as credit toward going to a real medical school. Since I wasn’t really a doctor, I just told people to call me Nurse Coraline because that was my last title when I worked here.

“I finally received my medical degree in 2008, but I’d gotten so used to being addressed as a nurse I kept the old title. It was only last year that Mathilde told me if I didn’t start referring to myself as Doctor Gallagher, she was going to fire me and then rehire me so I’d be forced to call myself a doctor.” Coraline spread her arms slowly. “And now you know.”

Annie nodded. “Yes, we do.” With Coraline’s story out of the way she had another question pertaining to something that came up during her questioning of Kerry’s sexual history. “When you booked us into the Sea Sprite Inn, did you believe something would happen between Kerry and me?”

 

Now we’ve learned everything we can about Coraline’s first time.  Up next comes the story of when Annie and Kerry had a little relaxation time to themselves–no, not Kansas City, where they were probably under a bit of stress due to, you know, being out on an operation–and we’ll find out what happened there.

As soon as we discover who knew what would happen before it happened.

Love Among the Witches: Closer to Romance

All my rest is coming to an end.  Tomorrow I start back on my practice schedule and likely do four in a row, which will test whether or not I really am rested up and I can continue pushing forward hard.  We’ll see where this goes.

Meanwhile there’s writing–and I did write today.  Almost eight hundred words in one shot and I didn’t even realize I’d gotten that far.  And I’ll likely get into more this afternoon–but right now it’s time to continue Coraline’s story and see where it’s going–

As if we didn’t know.

 

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

 

“Something did. I went to the Samhain Dance with friends and about a third of the way into it he came over and asked me to dance. We ended up sharing four dances, including a slow one, and he invited me to join a group of people who were going into Salem the next day—this day, as a matter of fact. It was him and me and three other people—two girls and a boy—and I remember he bought me a chocolate shake in the afternoon before we returned to the school. I thought it was a sweet, grand gesture at the time and make me like him even more.

“I let him know I was interested in him and he agreed there was an interest there as well on his side, so through November and December we dated, going out for weekend lunched and a movie now and then. We even went on a long walk along the River Charles in Boston, holding hands the entire time—” She gave both girls a bright smile. “I’m sure that’s something you know well.

“We went home for Yule and right after Christmas I received a letter from him. He told me he’d been thinking about me and missed me and all that, and every time I read the letter my heart melted. I felt like, you know, this guy was gonna be the one for me. Which, I learned from experience, is a bad way to think—

“So when we returned from Yule I let him know I was really interested in him and that I wanted to take out relationship further. I mean, I was a thirteen year old girl who had particular ideas about how an affair should proceed, so it wasn’t that hard to get me into the right mindset…

“The Friday night of the Polar Express, about forty-five minutes before the Midnight Madness, I took him to a storage room just north of the History and Arts Building. And we—” Coraline shrugged. “We did it.”

From the start of the story Annie knew this was going to be the logical conclusion. She only had one question— “What was it like for you?”

Coraline smirked. “The most forgettable fifteen seconds of my life.” Now she laughed as the memory returned in full. “Seriously: it was just read, set—and done.” She gave another little shrugged. “But what came after—”

 

And what did come after?

Well, I’m certain Coraline is gonna tell us what happened after once she has the chance–

Love Among the Witches: Remembrances of Feelings Past

Last night I stayed home and tried to edit video.  I say “tried” because my GoPro suite was being a real pain in the ass and it took me the better part of a couple of hours, perhaps three, to put together seventeen minutes of video.  Seriously, I was about to reboot the computer to see if that would help ’cause I was about to throw things around the apartment.

The seventeen minutes of video appears here.  This was one drill I did on Wednesday night, where I and others in my line ended up skating about 1.8 miles/3 kilometers during the seventeen minutes of weaving in and out and back and forth.  It really was a workout and if you watch the whole thing you’ll hear me breathing hard starting about half-way through.  The good thing is that two months ago I probably wouldn’t have finished the 43 laps we skated–yes, I counted–which means my endurance is up considerably.

So if you want to get tired just watching me and others do our drill, by all means, enjoy the video.

 

Now, in a world of imaginary witches…

We were promised a story, something Coraline was going to tell Annie and Kerry.  Something about when she was probably young–well, younger for sure.  So let’s get started on that story, ’cause she won’t be the only one talking in the end…

 

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

 

“When I was a C Level I was starting my second year with the coven Martial Team. Since you and I have the same birthday, Kerry, you know I spent nearly all my time being a thirteen year old girl fighting with people who were older than me. Even the other C Level on the team turned fourteen six days after we arrived at Salem to start the new school year, so I was always the youngest.

“Back then the teams weren’t a big deal, just like they are not. We had matches once a month on a Thursday night, five people on a team, and three people from each team went at each other in a round robin to figure out who scored the most points. Even though I was the youngest on the team I was a good fighter: I actually fought against Ramona, who attended school at the same time and was in Ceridwen. It’s how we became friends, because she saw that I was someone who took what we did seriously and I wasn’t looking to learn martial arts just so I could beat up people.

“There was a boy on our team. He was a D Level and he turned fifteen at the start of October, so technically he was two years older than me. He was a good fighter and he didn’t seem to be on the team because he was into hitting other people. But most of all, he was cute. At that time I was drawn to cute because I didn’t know any better, so you might say I was smitten by him. And I knew he noticed me because—” Coraline held up her hands and shrugged. “I wasn’t like all the other girls.”

Kerry giggled. “You were curvy.”

Coraline pointed at her as she winked. “Right in one. I was already ‘developed’ by the time I started as an A Level and if I was in street clothes I was often mistaken for an older student. Because of that I got noticed by a lot of boys—and that included one boy in particular.”

Annie gave a knowing nod. “The one on your team.”

“Exactly. By the time he turned fifteen I’d been on the team for almost a year, so he had plenty of opportunities to see me on and off the mat. It also helped that when I started on the team as a B Level, we shared the same floor, so there were more than a few times where we just bumped into each other. I didn’t say anything, but through October of that year it became obvious that he was watching me, just as I was watching him. We didn’t say much, but I could tell something was maybe going to happen.

 

There have been a few mentions of Coraline’s involvement in the Martial Teams, a.k.a. the Salem Fight Club, where people skilled in the arts now taught by Ramona get a chance to duke it out on Thursday nights.  We know that at some point Coraline’s involvement with her team soured her on beating people up and she turned to healing, first becoming an apprentice school nurse and then a doctor.  If face–and I and a few people know this–Coraline returned to the school in 2000 when she was pulled out of her then residency at a Normal facility to tend to those injured in the Salem Scouring because the then school doctor was among the victims of Deconstructors.  And just like that, “Nurse” Coraline went from “just helping out” to becoming the school’s Chief Medical Officer the following year–though it’d take her about a decade to ditch the nurse title.

Now we know: not only did Coraline and Ramona square off against each other–they both started and graduated at the same time–but there was a boy on Coraline’s team that she liked.  And she wanted him to like her back–

Which means there’s got to be more to this story–right?

Probably.

Freshie 9: Number Nine, Number Nine

Yeah, had to get that Beatles reference in that for the title, doncha know?

Last Tuesday was my freshie practice and something of a special day.  Why is it a special day?  I tell you in the intro:

 

Now, you’ve seen push drills before, but this one I liked because I was really moving along well the whole time.  I started getting a little back soreness at the end but it’s not that bad that I can’t finish what I do.  While I’m not quite able to keep up with the OG, I like getting the speed on here.

 

The 27/5 keeps coming up from me a lot and there’s reasons for that: it’s like the Golden Fleece of the Derby World: once you do it you never have to worry about it again.  Ida wanted Sam and me to skate our and while I was feeling a bit tired from the previous night’s practice, when the coach tells you to do something, you make it happen.

It was not, however, my finest hour.  I start out okay and even managed to do half-ass crossovers around the track as I skate the diamond–and I was hitting it almost perfectly.  It’s just that on Lap 3, as I go into Turn 3, I lose it big time.  From what the video shows it looks like my leg buckled because I wasn’t maintaining a good form, and I just did a baseball slide into Turn 4.  From the time I started to fall to the time I’m back on my skates is ten seconds and I figure the fall screwed by time by thirty to forty seconds.  However, my time of 6:18 was good enough for almost 22 laps, which is what I’ve skated before, so I figure without the fall I’d have made 24 laps.  Closer and closer every time.

Sam was up after me and as you can see, she has great form.  She also skated a 5:25, so when she builds up her speed a bit and gets her form right, she’s gonna beat a 27/5 like it was committing a crime.  It’s all each of us want to do.

 

After that skating to a back seat to rules.  Registered Curse, a ref who lives nearby and comes over to help now and then, stopped by to go over some of the rules of derby.  We first start out leaning about the pack: what makes one, what doesn’t, and how you can find your zone of engagement.  This is important because it lets you know when and where you can score and hit people.  It also lets you know why, when you go to a bout, refs are yelling, “No Pack” and “Pack is Here”.  This is why.

You’ll need to listen closely: I didn’t mic Curse and we have to deal with open spaces and background sounds.  But you can hear her.

 

Part Two of Registered Curse’s Rules of Derby involved going over where you can hit another place and what parts of your body you can use to hit.  She also goes over what constitutes a cut track and how to get a misconduct call made again you, which I help out with from off-camera.  We had to deal with a lot of background sounds here as the men’s roller hockey was on the track and they were being supper loud with their slap shots.

 

Lastly we go off-skates and Curse shows us the ins and outs of block, starting off with something I’m bad at doing–as she points out–the clockwise block.  She also shows a stop block and tells out the quickest ways of getting kicked the hell off the track, which does happen from time to time.

 

There you go: nine freshie practices, nine different things going on each time.  The next one, next Tuesday, is my tenth, which means I’ll have twenty weeks of freshie practice under my belt.

It won’t be long before six months done is here–

Questions on Questions

Which means if there are questions, there must be answers.  And they are in this video!  Enjoy!