We’re coming to the pointy end of the year, and as much as I’m going to miss derby during the 5 week summer break, I’m also looking forward to a bit of downtime. We’ve had a massive year with the League, with lots of home games, travel games and multiple tournaments including the first ever Australian Men’s competition last month, as well as being super-busy on the Executive front as we negotiated for a new venue and dealt with some membership turnover. Personally I have also had a rather insane last 6 months, with a lot of work travel and several management changes and I’m really looking forward to having a couple of weeks off work as well. The weather is getting hotter, and with all of the social and family events that happen at this time of year it’s useful to get those evenings back and to have a short respite from saying ‘I can’t, I have derby’.
That being said, the break doesn’t mean no skating and no derby family. The sudden influx of free time (since I normally train 10h/ 3-4 nights a week) means I’m more likely to go outdoor skating, something I have missed a lot since I started bouting and therefore training and travelling more. It’s also the season for BBQs and movie nights, and WFTDA have just released another rules update so it’s a good excuse for a rules party . Last summer over the break I made a WFTDA Rules drinking game to help us learn said rules, and practice drunkenly arguing with refs at the afterparty. It was a lot of fun, but 2 rules updates this year means I need to make an entirely new game if we want to do it again! (I also don’t recommend sitting next to the League’s head ref to play it, I got a lot of drinks that way. Unless that’s your goal for the game…)
Anyway, other than making a new version of the WFTDA Rules game, my goal for this summer is to get fitter and stronger. I’ve had a lot of injuries this year, most notably two separate triangular fibrocartilage complex tears (aka TFCC, both in my right wrist) which amounted to over 6 months in a brace, and a grade 2 tear from a sprained ankle which led to a week on crutches and 3 months on I’m only just getting the same strength back from before the accident (not there yet with flexibility, and the joint is still swollen). Add in a nasty case of the flu which knocked me around for a month after The Great Southern Slam in June and that’s almost the whole year spent broken. I still went to training as much as possible, and even around all the work travel I managed to scrape minimum attendance for the League (although not always for the team, though I tried), but I’ve really noticed the plateau in my performance. Yes, my skills have improved overall with more time on skates and more challenging training, but my fitness hasn’t kept up. My off-skates workouts have been pathetic to non-existent for most of the year other than my physio exercises (my main go-tos are weights or floor exercises, it’s hard to do either with a busted wrist or ankle), and it shows in my skating. I’m staring down the barrel of the 27-in-5 early next year and I desperately want to complete it. I have done it before, but that was before I did my wrist the second time and got the flu. The best I’ve managed since was 25.5, which was also only a few weeks after I’d busted my ankle which didn’t help either. So I know it’s achievable, I just need to get out there and do it! Kettlebells a couple of times a week, outdoor skating 1-2 times a week and some core and plyometrics work will set me on the right track, and if I can keep up the kettlebells once training starts up again in January all the better. Getting fitter will also reduce my chances of injury down the line, so that I don’t get stuck in another cycle of broken-so-I-can’t-exercise-so-I-break-myself-more again.
So, my derby goals for the summer (and the new year):
+Kettlebells 2-3 times a week (because they’re awesome!)
+Skate the Western Basin of Lake Burley Griffin (my goal for this year was originally to skate the entire lake in one go, a distance of roughly 28km/ 17.5mi with a large number of hills, but that now seems unrealistic given my lack of fitness and outdoor skating. I’ve done the 5km Central Basin loop many times, so next up is the 16km West Basin!)
+Blog more regularly. It doesn’t have to be often, but I want to actually schedule this blog, make it less whim-based and get rid of those several-month-long gaps!
+Improve my rules knowledge
What are your big goals, and how do you intend to achieve them?
Edited to add: A few hours after I wrote this I saw my physio, and she gave my ankle the all-clear! I’ll still need to tape it for games or hiking, and keep up the exercises on a semi-regular basis to prevent further injuries, but overall it’s good enough that I don’t have any more appointments with her. Hooray!