I arrived 5 minute early this time, so I started gearing up while waiting. I figure if I can skate in pads, I can warm-up in them too! We started on a smaller section court than usual, which meant we got to run twice as many laps. Hurgh! Next we had lunges (turns out they’re much easier when wearing knee-pads! I can tap the floor and explode upwards instead of wobbling slowly up and down), side lunges, push-ups, crunches, and a plank (I swear, I’m getting worse at planks, not better). We spent too long talking after so then we got to run more laps to warm up again! Then we had a human obstacle course. Wearing kneepads again made this easier. Thankfully they had two of the tallest of the guys make the tunnel and the kneepads meant I could just throw myself and slide through their legs instead of trying to crawl. We then had two people-hurdles. I almost tripped over the second person, I leapt too far forward when going over the first and only just recovered in time. The final ‘obstacle’ was a 20m sprint being chased by another Freshie. Definitely a fun way to round-out the warm-up.
Finally it was on-skates time. Because we were working on a single basketball court with 30-odd people it made for a lot of congestion when practicing stops (plow, T and knee falls). One the one hand, practicing obstacle avoidance is a good thing, but it did make it harder to do the skills that required extended straight lines (one-foot glides and pushing). I was a bit wobbly at the knees thanks to all the laps and lunges earlier, I am so looking forward to my legs and core getting stronger as we go on.
The team practice finished so we got to take over the track,, hooray!. We had just started skating laps and practicing falling on the whistle when one girl went down badly. She ended up being taken to hospital with a broken ankle, poor thing At least training is only 5 minutes from the hospital?
Finally we finished off the night with another Truck and Trailer drill, first in pairs then in groups of 4 (or in my case, 5). When I was towing my group I actually managed to overtake all the other groups, I was almost on the point of lapping people when they called swap. Fuck yeah long legs!
One of the things Varsity does that I love is the ‘Circle of Lurby’ (Derby Luv). At the end of practice we all sit in a circle while we gear down, and take turns to each say something positive about the training. It might be props to someone who has improved, it might be a good hit someone landed on you, or a clean recovery from a fall, or even something you did yourself you were proud of. Anyhow, I received lurby from 2 of my group-mates for my speedy tow, and from someone who I overtook on the track. It seriously made my day.