Had such an awesome skate today. Soon as I hit the track I felt like all the practice I did over Christmas has been paying off.

Some of the pre-mins skaters were being tested on their skills (there’s a set of required skills that all new skaters have to demonstrate before they’re permitted to play roller derby). I didn’t get tested, but I did tag along to see what the pass criteria were and practice some of the moves. I was quite surprised how many I am broadly able to do already, so I think if I practice a little more, I should be able to score well when I get tested.

Over Christmas I’ve probably spent about 8-9 hours practising at a local rink, a lot of which I spent teaching myself to go backwards and do backwards cross-overs (in the dark, on a sticky floor, surrounded by flailing children). So today, when I hit the hard, smooth, quiet track in the sports hall… Woah, it feels easy now!

One of the minimum skills is to be able to skate 3 laps of the track backwards within 60 seconds.  I skated it in 48s on my first go. I was so proud of myself, although when I was being officially timed, naturally I fell on my face halfway around and only managed 60.78s (oy).

As an experiment, I also tried timing myself going forwards,for my 27/5. The last time I did this was in November, and I scored 17 laps in 5 minutes – just under 18 seconds per lap.

My first attempt today I did 27 or 28 laps in 5:55 (lost count), then later I did 9 laps in 1:45 (which extrapolates to 27 in 5:15, assuming I kept the same pace).

Okay, so I’m not jumping for joy, but I feel like I have it in me to shave it down to < 5:00 soon. If nothing else, it feels like an achievement that I was able to maintain speed without freaking out, which has been really holding me back til now.