Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Keep rolling


With our June bouts behind us and our first home bout likely to not materialize before September, you'd think July would be down time for the Old Capitol City Roller Girls.

Think again.

Coach Hitzy Blonde still has us going through our usual rigorous regimen of stamina drills and core exercises. That means endless pack exercises (think 40 consecutive laps), plenty of crunches and planks, flying basketballs (don't ask), side-stepping along gym floor lines, whips and suicide (fall) drills.

Oh, yes. The falls.

Last week Hitzy Blonde taught us a new fall. Or rather, reminded us of one that all of us veterans had already involuntarily performed -- the Barrel Roll.

A relatively simple concept: Getting knocked off balance or rammed by a skater of the opposing team, the assaulted player absorbs the hit by dropping to one knee and rolling to the side.

Yet, as we found out, there are a million ways to screw it up.

The few friends and family members of the Old Capitol City Roller Girls that came to watch practice were treated to a veritable sideshow of us all making utter fools of ourselves. My first attempt resulted in me rolling up onto my shoulder and yelping violently.

"This," I thought to myself. "This does not feel right." I looked around and witnessed my teammates attempting the barrel roll with little success. Hitzy Blonde, hearing the groans around her, demonstrated again while breaking the roll down into numbered steps.

As I dove into my sixth or seventh attempt, I overshot the distance and rolled into the next lane, nearly crashing into someone. Once the motion had ceased I looked up and found myself looking up Animal Mother's rear end, tan and plump as a honeybaked ham.

Some bruised shoulders and sore necks later, I'm still not sure what we accomplished. Maybe months or years down the road, when I am skating in a bout, a burly, unsavory Amazon will send me flying and I will come out of it unscathed, having instinctly performed the perfect barrel roll.

Or maybe not. But I'll just keep rolling with the punches.

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