Monday, December 10, 2012

Derby Break: Derby Constipation

My name is Elektra Q-Tion and I'm addicted to derby.

I don't know about your league, but our league takes mandatory breaks every year; during the summer, we have a three week break, and during the holiday season, we have a two month break.  UGH.  I know that people who skate a lot need a break from derby, but I can tell you that every year when break comes up, I get a little anxious.  Ok, I get a lot anxious.

I'm a kinesthetic kind of person, which means I learn more and retain more when I'm in motion; you can read about it here. Most of us have different learning styles that overlap, but if you're a kinesthetic learner, "resting" can be serious torture.  I don't like sitting around, because I need to exercise, but I hate exercising by myself.  Part of the reason I joined roller derby was because I wanted the group support in exercising.  Please don't tell me to go running, because it hurts my knees and back like crazy, plus it bores the crap out of me.  I know that some of you are runners by nature, but to me it's just plain dull, and when I'm bored, I start thinking about how bad my body feels and I want to quit.  I never want to quit when I'm playing derby, mostly because I don't have time to dwell on things when I'm playing.  I do work out and do weights, but man, it's a struggle for me without the distraction of skating.  I'm even starting to do Insanity, but it's still way less fun than training with my team.

I personally like small breaks; our speed skating coach once told us that taking a week off from skating gives your muscles a chance to mend those small tears, but so many teams tend to take months off.  Most of the arguments about taking a break in derby come from people comparing derby to professional sports.  "The NFL takes a break, so we should too."  I'd like to remind people that most derby girls and guys aren't practicing 8 hours a day for the entire season.  That's what professional athletes do; they practice 6-8 hours a day, and the definitely need to take a break and heal their bodies for a couple of months.  Most leagues aren't there yet, so I don't always think we in the derby world need to take two solid months off.

But Q, people need a break to heal, live their lives and take a mental break.  Of course they do!  Spend time with your family and non derby friends (if you have any left!), get more sleep, get that awesome tattoo you always wanted to have but couldn't because you wouldn't normally have time to heal.  Breaks can be good things; I get that completely, but I hate being forced into taking a break when I really don't need an extended one.  I think some derby girls and guys who go on break don't do anything, so the first couple of months back in the season are spent trying to get endurance and strength back.  If you're going to take a break, don't just sit on the couch and eat bon bons. You shouldn't take a break from fitness.   Also, if you're taking a long break this year, please read that new rule set!

Sorry for my rant, but I have noticed that I'm a lot happier playing derby than not playing derby.  I've been able to keep my habit in check by going to a couple of invitationals and practices with other leagues.  I can't wait until the new season starts!
Deck the Dolls Invitational with Palmetto State


  1. By comparison, Bay Area doesn't so much take a break as stop taking attendance in November and December (at least for the all-league scrimmages, which I, as an NSO, would attend...I'm not certain whether this is true for individual team scrimmages or practices). Skaters can come or not as they choose, and take as much of a break as they need...

    1. I think that's a very smart way to handle that.

  2. Q - I think I love you.
    that is all.

    Red Haute

  3. Yea I have issues with the whole "break and attendance" thing. Mostly because we didn't schedule a said break yet after thanksgiving the vets seem to think they don't need to show up to practice. We have 14 new skaters and it has been left to me Capt and coach to train them along with 2 other vets that have continued to come to practice. Mostly the anger stems from the fact that most the girls quit improving in October and as co captain I have continued to bust ass to improve as a role model and those that took the extended break sat and ate bonbons. And now our tots who have been working out with me and Capt for the last two weeks r in better shape then returning vets. So roster time will be tons of fun.

    1. Maybe it's time to shake some things up.