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So, this weekend derby started for real with a Fresh Meat Bootcamp for all new members of the league. It was very much fun, but also extremely tiresome.

First off, the trainers introduced themselves and said welcome. Then we all warmed up and stretched, before we were divided into three groups. Basically, the purpose of the weekend was that we were to go through all the minimum skill requirements. Not so that we were supposed to master them immediately, but to get an idea of what to expect from training.

First, my group started with falling, stepping and gliding on one foot. Then we proceeded to learn about stops, and after that we learned about sticky skating and crossovers. I feel that I learned the most from learning about crossovers, since I have practiced most of the stops on my own, and falling isn’t that much of a challenge. I actually have some kind of a crossover pinned down now, but I still have to make it more smooth and fast.

Then we had lunch, and then continued to learn about juking, cutting and weaving. After that we learned about backwards skating, jumping and turn around toe stops. The floor we skated on during the bootcamp was incredibly sticky, so jumping was easy, while skating backwards was nearly impossible.  I also think tomahawks and turn around toe stops are kind of hard, but I definitely saw an improvement in myself.

After that we learned about leaning, and did some squats. I found that leaning was very much fun, the first kind of “blocking” exercise I’ve done.  After that, we stretched out again, and went home. Everyone was extremely tired and sore after 7 hours of skating.

Day 2 consisted of more “advanced” exercises. We learned about giving pushes and whips, how to take care of our equipment, and how to pick up and control speed. Then, we started to learn about skating in a pack. That was a bit scary, especially since we are total newbies, and everyone picks up their feet when they want to gain speed. That’s not what you should do in a pack, since you skate so close, and someone will probably skate into your foot if you pick it up.

Then, we put on our shoes, and learned about blocking. After that we played sock (or shoe) derby. That was so much fun! We then had lunch, and after that learned to block while on our skates. We ended the bootcamp with a scrimmage. We are not actually allowed to scrimmage yet, since we haven’t passed our minimum skill requirements, but we played a version were only positional blocking were allowed. Scrimmaging was so much fun, and I think it made everyone who participated more motivated to learn so we can scrimmage again.

After this weekend my muscles are incredibly sore. I can hardly walk. I also had some bad luck during the warm-up on day two, and my shoulder dislocated. I dislocated my shoulder for the first time many years ago, and sadly, once it has been dislocated, it’s much easier for it to dislocate again. This time I meant to do a four-point fall during a game we played, and landed kind of funnily on my arm, and so it dislocated. It doesn’t hurt as much as it did the first time, and I can pop it back on my own now, but its a really freaky experience, feeling your shoulder halfway down your upper arm.

Anyway, the combination of dislocating my shoulder, and then using it for blocking has now made it really really sore, and I can hardly move it. I think it’s just the muscles around the shoulder that are exhausted, but those are what keeps the shoulder in place, so I’ll have to rest it and be careful. Then I’ll have to start building some muscle around that shoulder again, as I don’t want it to dislocate every time I fall funny!

There was way to much happening for me to take pictures, and every brake I was too busy emptying my lunchbox to photograph. But, here is a picture I shamelessly stole from one of the veterans on the team.

Me at the front, everyone listening intently to the trainers.