Sunday, April 29, 2012

I took a licking and I don't keep ticking

Do you remember those Timex "torture test" commercials?

The watches were subjected to all kinds of ridiculous circumstances--being dropped 89 feet or attached to a dolphin or placed in a muddy wheel rut and driven over repeatedly.  And they kept ticking.

My team was subjected to a grueling off-skates workout on Wednesday night.  We ran sprints (ummm...  I think the last time I ran a sprint was when I was in college... That would be twenty years ago...).  We performed all kinds of exercises that used to be called calisthenics.  We repeated for an hour.  My comment was, "This practice was Degrassi (meaning intense)."  That doesn't mean I liked it.  It means it was hard.  Harder than anything we have done in a long time.  Maybe a whole year.

In the third station (out of four), I was dizzy and wanted to puke.

I had to leave the floor, go splash my face with cool water, pour water on my (very white) t-shirt, and resist the strong urge to put my finger down my throat. 

I'm sure I would have felt better if I could have puked.

I'm sure I would have felt better if I hadn't eaten two Chicago-style hot dogs an hour before practice.

I'm sure I would feel better if I was twenty-one or thirty or even forty.

All true excuses.

But still excuses.  And no one wants to hear excuses.  Especially in derby. 

My knees were throbbing from some side to side drill we were doing.  I told my coach they were hurting, hoping he would tell me to sit out.

He didn't.

He asked me if I could do the drill for one more minute.

I can endure almost anything for one minute, so I said yes.  He stood in front of me for the rest of the drill, looked in my eyes, and told me to keep up with him.  He encouraged me to finish.  And I needed that.  I operate better when there is someone encouraging me.  I think it's in my user's manual in chapter one. And I believe it's repeated in every chapter until the end.

It's the only way I could have finished that last minute (which BTW, had to be more than a minute.  I'm pretty sure it was a full jam length.).  I appreciate my coach noticing I was struggling and taking the time to help, not hinder.

I finished.

I was exhausted.  Tired beyond measure.  In physical pain.

The pain and exhaustion continued throughout the evening and on into practice Thursday night.

In the middle of a suicide stop Thursday night, my legs said, "we are tired." I flailed all over the place.  I was embarrassed, and I twisted my ankle.  I stepped off the track and took a break.  And I felt like an idiot. 

Then, I was skating in a relay drill.  It felt like I was slogging through mud with fifty pound weights on my ankles.  I tried to pass another skater who I usually can easily outskate.

Couldn't do it.  Couldn't speed up.  Couldn't breathe.

Got back in line.  Looked down to see that I was skating on my outdoor wheels.  No wonder I couldn't move.  No wonder my ponytail was wet with sweat less than an hour into practice.  I gave myself an unnecessarily difficult workout by not following the cardinal rule I teach to girls just coming into our league.  My rule is  Everytime you skate, turn your skates over and look at them.

I usually do this and teach new girls to do this in order to identify any potential problems early on.  You know, BEFORE they cause injury.  Had I followed my own rule, I surely would have noticed that I had my green wheels (outdoor, durometer 74) on instead of my blue wheels (indoor, durometer 93).  

My mind was elsewhere when I was getting my skates on.

Discovering my mistake an hour into practice was just too late.  The damage was already done.

My legs said, "We are finished." 

I knew if I stayed on the track they would give way.  I would risk a real injury. 

I was so disappointed with myself, so exhausted, so inside my head with Saturday's bout, so defeated by background derby chatter and changes that I had to leave practice.

I took a licking, and I went home.

And my calves are still hurting five days later.  I don't think I should make it a personal challenge to win every sprint next time....  Winning is not everything.  Walking without wincing is looking pretty good right now....

Friday, April 20, 2012

I don't know about you, but I'd really like to table this.

I haven't written much about roller derby lately. "I'm going to the derby. Roller, not Kentucky." That's my favorite thing my friend Jennifer said about attending my first bout. Jennifer cracks me up.

When I think about why I haven't written much about derby, it's because I'm having some problems with my mental game right now. I'm aware of this. I'm not entirely sure what to do about it at this moment, but I know it's an issue. I would tell you I am working on it, but that would be a lie. I can't quite put my finger on all of it, so how could I be working on it?  I need a working definition first, and then, I'll get right on it.  Maybe.

I just know I'm on a derby low right now.  And I'm trying to sort it all out. 

I still love the game. I still love the skating. I've hit a place where I see girls who I taught to stop, fall, turn, and hit surpassing my skating abilities. I don't begrudge them this at all. I'm actually quite a proud little derby mama when they knock me down because I know I have had a hand in that skill. I taught them well. Especially the ones who literally could not skate when they arrived.  When one gets up on her toestops and runs, I think, "I remember when she couldn't even stand still on her toestops without falling over." I remember when I couldn't stand on my toestops without falling over either.   And thanks to good instruction from VIP and a lot of practice, I can run backwards on them uphill both ways. But not in the snow... Snow would be bad.

You might be saying, "Reckless, get back in there and up your game. Beat up those girls you taught.  Get crucial.  Make it intense.  Degrassi it up."

I agree.   However, it doesn't work always that way.

Sometimes, you push yourself and nothing happens. There is a thing called a plateau.  I'm camping on one right now.  And this campground has flushing toilets, electricity, and good food.  I'm finding it hard to pack up and leave because it's a pretty comfortable place.

I was on a plateau last July, too, and it spread out as far as my beady little eyes could see. It was discouraging. However, I figured if I kept skating I would eventually get off it. I did. I didn't see it at the time, but if I look back I can see that expanse and know I'm beyond that particular place. I can also look at the pictures of all the bruises I had last July, August, and September. 

The photos of bruises are ugly evidence that I was challenging my body to do something it wasn't used to. 

I was Degrassi in living color.  Ask me.

I call those pictures the Derby Dozen.  Maybe I'll post them all together sometime.

I was pushing myself, and I spent months making out with the floor. The floor and I got very personal, even strangely intimate in moments (We have special derby names for those injuries where we land on a wheel or skate.  Ask me in person so I don't further contribute to the delinquency of minors who come to this site looking for pictures of a naked housewife.).

It was frustrating. It was painful. I was angry at my body for not responding the way I envisioned it responding in my head. I told my feet to turn one way, and they just stayed still. I told my hips to hit the girl on my left, and I fell on the floor. It felt like I was not making any progress, and there were many moments when I left the floor on the verge of tears wondering how I had ever made a team. And, yes, there were moments where I wanted to quit. I *may* have almost quit after every practice for months. But, then, I'd wake up the next morning and decide I would give it one more practice and then decide if I would quit.  We know I didn't quit, but I wanted to.   

I had to skate it out. When I looked back months later, I realized one day that I could do something I couldn't do a few months ago. And then I was off the plateau. Progress was noticeable.

I realized not too long ago that I can actually do a decent running start on my skates now.  I know I couldn't do one at all last September.  I don't jam, so I had not practiced it in drills for months.   When I went to show some Crash Test Hunnies what it was supposed to look like, I did it.   I'm not sure when I started doing a running toe stop without having to psych myself up for it and really concentrate on what I was doing, but somewhere between September and last Thursday, it happened.

So, I know I make progress. I just do it slowly.  I have to wait and skate this place out, too. 

But here's part of the problem with that. 

I just don't want to.

I've become a camper.

And although I'm telling myself it's time to leave the campground because my vacation time is running out, I've realized my car is dead because I purposely left the door open all night to drain the battery.  And then, I'm all, "Whee! Vacay extended until someone can drive me to Costco."

I know.  The camping metaphor isn't working for me either.  And neither is the camping, but...

Sometimes, it's hard to fight through a good thing to get to something even better.  

I know I need to skate it out, and I know I need to put in at least 95% effort (I know you are arguing for 100%, but I don't feel like having a major injury right now, thankyouverymuch.  100% is registering as a broken ankle or whiplash or torn meniscus today.).  And 95% is far greater than the 72.4% I'm pretty sure I have been operating at for the last two months.

I, in no way, shape, or form, think 72.4% is acceptable.  72.4% is passable.  It's safe.  It involves no risk.  I won't arrive anywhere with 72.4%.  In fact, as far as The Game of Roller Derby is concerned, I'll never arrive.  The game is constantly evolving.  The limits of skating skill get challenged every single day.

I need to challenge my body to do something it's arguing with my mind about, but I'm not sure how to get my brain to agree to ramp it up to 95% in order to get my body to stop shouting at my mind. 

Do you see my problem? Conundrum much? Self-fulfilling prophecy? Defeatist elitist?

I know part of my mental block is all the injuries around me right now.  They are everywhere.  And some are pretty gruesome (sorry, ladies).  I think I'm afraid I can't get off this plateau without a serious injury, and rather than skate full force (or at least 95%) to get beyond it, I've been skating in slow circles to avoid that injury and stay where I am.  It even sounds ridiculous as I type it, but I know I'm drinking that Kool Aid.  It's cold, and it sure tastes good. 

I'm psyching myself out.  I'm tabling my own internal discussion. I'll get back to it after the Muertas play the Mafia. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Would you take a bullet for me?

...or maybe a bullet from me?

Yeah, yeah... I'm giving you a bullet list of random stuff from the past couple of weeks.

* When looking through old photo albums of me in high school, Miss Noteworthy busts out with, "Flash to past to find out your mother is the ultimate dork."  Well, I never have tried to hide it.  I OWN my dorkiness.  I guess she just now started paying attention.  Or maybe she's finally embarrassed by her parents like all other teenagers in the world.  My comment when looking at a picture of me on my high school graduation cruise, "My pants had sea creatures on them."  Wow.  Please remind me that although printed pants come into fashion from time to time, they are NEVER a good idea. 


*I got a new car.  I've already put over 2,000 miles on it.  I even vacuumed it myself yesterday.  I know.  I was so proud of me, too.

Isn't it me?  Thanks, Mr. Incredible!

*  When trying on clothes in my closet, Miss Noteworthy came across my favorite pants from 1993.  Brown and cream plaid wool stirrup pants.  They were so gorgeous back then.  And I was so tiny at twenty-three that the pants were too tight on Miss Noteworthy.  Her comments, "Mommy, those are hideous.  Why did you like them?"  Also, "Oh!  There's straps on these pants.  Do I put my foot in them?"  Miss Noteworthy shook her head at me when I put them back in the closet.  I might be able to wear them again someday...

*We cleaned out the garage.  After 8 years.  We have done small cleanups every year, but we never committed to turning the two car garage into a garage capable of housing two vehicles simultaneously.  The right bay has been filled to the brim with useless junk, bikes, wagons, paint cans, tools, and other scary items.  However, the threat of extreme weather over the weekend and the thought of either of our vehicles being out on the driveway during that weather helped us commit.  We could have cared less if the hooptie sat out during a tornado.  In fact, we may have wished a tornado would have picked it up and carried it away.  We sorted, swept, organized, trashed, and dontated for seven straight hours.  And then we crashed dinner over at our neighbor's house because we were too tired to think about our own meal preparations.  Thanks, Kernsie!  We can now pull both vehicles into the garage if severe weather (mainly hail) is on it's way.  It's a tight squeeze, but it will work in a pinch.

Mr. Incredible sorting through "old pimentos" Some people might refer to them as momentos. 

We said goodbye to the Little Miss Sunshine playhouse after twelve years of fun.

There really is a floor under there...
* I nearly peed in my pants this morning listening to Miss Noteworthy's dream from last night.  She was naked at junior high, which is a dream we pretty much all had.  However, in hers she was sitting in the band hall rubbing deodorant on her knees and repeating "I'm a nerd. I'm a nerd." over and over.  Then, in the dream she went into another room to put a bra on and told people not to watch.  She was snorting while telling the story.  We were crying we were was laughing so hard. It was a fun morning with her.  One more year of junior high dreams, then she can move onto the dreams where she is naked in the hall at high school. 

*I did make the wonderful salad.  Mine isn't as pretty as Julie's, but it tasted wonderful.  RNR did think it was pretty awesome to have spinach, asparagus, bacon, eggs, and lemons all in the same meal.  And we discovered that asparagus roasted with fresh thyme is amazing. 

There was not one bite left at the end of the meal. I hated that I broke an egg, but I wasn't going to cook another just for the picture.   That would be Julie's job.  What am I saying?  Julie would never break an egg. ;)

*I went to Corner Bakery two days in a row with different friends.  Someone asked if I could go today.  I said no.  I'm tired of Corner Bakery.  Plus, I had copy and lunch duty up at the elementary school. 

*A friend and I decided we would attend a local Going Beyond (Priscilla Shirer) conference together in August.  Perhaps some of our other friends will decide to join us.

*I ticked off an opposing jammer in scrimmage on Saturday morning.  I threw one of my teammates into her.  It was completely legal, but she didn't like it.  She fell to the ground and shouted at my teammate instead of jumping to her feet and getting back into the jam.   I felt victorious even though she lapped our jammer and won the jam (more points) because I figured out a way to momentarily distract her.

*Ruby SoHo and I got to pick the teams for scrimmage on Saturday.  I hated that I had to pick someone last.  I like it much better when we can just play in our regular teams.  I can't remember who I picked last.  I just know I felt bad about even having to do it.  Sucks.

*A friend of mine coined a new phrase I am liking to use.  It's called "having a Wilson moment."  It's that moment when you realize that you are much older than you thought you were.  Like when you find out that the bartender you and your friends were chatting it up with is NINETEEN.  I could have birthed him and had a legal drink after.  I was hoping to set him up with one of my single derby friends, but he was even too young for them. 

*RNR threw two huge fits yesterday, which is highly unusual.  I think she is getting sick.  I sent her to her room to cool down.  As she stomped up the steps she yelled that she wished the sun didn't exist.  From across the kitchen table, Bonus asserted, "If the sun didn't exist, we wouldn't be alive."  Apparently, he does occasionally listen during science.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

One Question

Why do men who drive Range Rovers always think that they own the whole world?

I've yet to encounter even one who doesn't.

If you know one, please introduce me.

I'm skeptical that it's possible.

Six weeks of school left.  So ready to not have to get in the drop-off lane.  Tired of Mr. Range Rover drinking his coffee, talking on his cell phone, and not waiting his turn at the stop sign.  Everytime I see him.  Apparently, his time is far more important than that of everyone who takes the time to actually stop and take turns around the intersection. 

This morning when Mr. Range Rover pulled out without stopping would have been one time when I wouldn't have cringed as Bonus yelled "BOGUS" at passing cars with the windows down.  I might have cheered.

I think I'm going to try to actually set that up to happen tomorrow. 

Is it wrong to encourage that type of behavior in your child?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Roasted Asparagus Salad with Lemon Mascarpone Dressing | Mommie Cooks!

Roasted Asparagus Salad with Lemon Mascarpone Dressing | Mommie Cooks!

Thanks to the most amazing, Julie, an old MOPS pal, I will be making this recipe to go with some grilled salmon and a crisp, sparkling white.

Bacon, eggs, and asparagus...  three of RNR's favorite foods in the same dish.  I am so going to be the best mom in the world for fifteen whole minutes.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I can't find a penny. Can I just borrow your thoughts and return them later?

I'm going borrow from my friend Jennifer. It's always good to have a friend who will lend you things without a second thought when you don't have something you need.

Outside my window-- I see a sky unblemished by clouds. A far cry from the hail, relentless rain, and tornadoes of last Tuesday. Grass so thick and dense it looks like an emerald carpet. Mr. Incredible sure can grow grass. 

I am thinking-- deep thoughts. Not like Jack Handey. Seriously weighty subjects. Like how God's sovereignty impacts and orders my life.  And how the first words that come to mind when I think of the Lord are refuge, strong tower, shelter, and hiding place. No wonder He's the savior.     

I am thankful for Easter.  The power and victory of the resurrection of Christ.  I'm also thankful for safety in last week's severe storm.  That I'm no longer the owner of a hooptie (I'll tell you more on another day).  I guess I'm not a hooptie hottie anymore.  I can live with that.   

From the kitchen ... lots of counter clutter that drives me crazy. But I'm not going to do anything about it today because I'm tired. Insurance policy, cake, pie, cookies, Easter candy, a Nintendo DS in a Bakugan case, Pirates of the Caribbean at World's End, a huge jug of wallpaper paste, a box of Legos. No sign of cooking anywhere, but somehow the sink is full of dishes. All this means someone is definitely going to drop by unannounced. I guess I should get dressed and brush my teeth.

I am creating artwork for RNR's hot pink wall. I could step that up a notch and say I'm creating lifetime bonds, trust, love, and security.  Nah.  When I try on that type of schmaltz I feel uncomfortable.  Like I need a shower.    

I am going to go make beds in a few minutes. It seems more palatable than picking up the kitchen right now. After that, I'm considering gathering, sorting and doing laundry. Laundry makes me feel accomplished. Although it never ends, a load of laundry is an easily measured task and has a distinct beginning and ending.

I am reading My Life, Starring Dara Falcon. I would rather be reading The Outlanders by Diana Gabaldon or Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. They sound much more interesting than this as yet uninspired search for identity story by Ann Beattie. But like my dad with bad movies, I even finish stupid books. I have to know the ending. It's a serious character flaw at times. And other times I know it's an endearing trait.

I am hearing the sounds of my own breathing along with the sound of my Strawberry Margarita fingernails on the keyboard. After the busyness of the weekend, I enjoy this kind of quiet. 

Around the house are suitcases that need to be unpacked, palm branches that need to be taken to the trash, the most comfortable sofa you may ever sit on in your life.

One of my favorite things is my green suede shoes.  I have searched for green shoes for years.  I found them.  I should have bought two pairs.  Silly how wearing green shoes can make me happy.  Tells me a great deal about the fleeting condition of happiness.  Reminds me to always choose joy over happiness.  You dig?   

A few plans for the rest of the week...  It's a Tuesday that feels like a Monday.  Which means my week will be screwy.  And I have no idea what is going on.  Let me think... Haircut.  Derby practice.  Derby practice.  Derby practice.  Coffee.  Cleaning house.  Returns and errands.  Paying bills.  Basically, the usual.  

A picture to share

I give it an 89.  I can dance to it.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Catchy Little Tune

RNR was singing this on Monday to the tune of the Pillow Pet commercial:

"It's a toliet."
"It's a tree."
"It's a tolietry."

That's my life right now.  Eat your heart out.