Monthly Archives: December 2010

Happy Holidays!!

Skaters and Friends! Here’s hoping that you have a wonderful
holiday, an amazing new year and that somehow, some sweet derby
swag comes into your lives. It’s been nothing but amazing since
this all started and the New Year is full of promise. We look
forward great skating in 2011. We want to thank all our skaters for
their amazing contributions and an extra special thanks goes out to
all the non-skaters out there, who are skaters in spirit. Derby
love to all! ♥


Deanna Destroi’s Derby Work-out

We all know that the gym can get boring, right? Isn’t it more fun when you have something to work toward? When, on that hundredth leg lift, you think “I will use these muscles to knock a bitch down”?

I’m putting together a derby workout, so I thought I’d post what I have so far. It’s just a few exercises, but it should help you get through that sad skateless holiday break.

Side-to-side squats

Grab a medicine ball (or both of your skates). I like an 8-pound ball, but whatever works for you. Hold it at chest height like a basketball. Squat down into your derby stance, with your feet wide. Maintaining that low position, leap side-to-side from one leg to the other. Another name for this move is the one-legged squat: you’re shifting your weight from one leg to the other, picking your foot up off the floor as you leap onto the other leg.

Number: Start with 2 sets of 12 repetitions (leap onto one leg, then the other: that’s one repetition), with as short a break as you can stand in between sets. Work your way up to 3 sets.

It should look something like this, though you don’t need to raise the other leg as far as this guy is:









Jump lunges

Start off in a lunge position. MAKE SURE your knees don’t go past your toes; that’s bad for your knees. Jump straight up and switch legs in the air, so that you land in a lunge with the other foot forward. Take your time with these; form is far more important than speed.

Number: Again, start with 2 sets of 12 repetitions (lunge, jump, lunge is one repetition), with as short a break as you can stand in between sets. Work your way up to 3 sets.






















Arm exercises and the Bosu ball

Arm exercises are good for derby girls. We have to push ourselves up from the floor a million times an hour, and this is a lot easier to do with some arm muscle to back us up. For my own part, I use 7- or 10-pound dumbbells for bicep curls, tricep lifts (I hold the dumbbells up over my head, with my arms straight, and bend my elbows so that the weights are directly behind my head) and shoulder lifts (arms at sides, extend straight out until they’re level with your shoulders).

Where does the Bosu ball come in? Stand on it when you’re doing your arm exercises. It’s excellent for balance and all those little muscles in your ankles and all the way up your body. Bosu balls are essential for skaters.

I stand on it with the round side down, but I’d recommend round side up if you’re just starting out.







Push-ups and the stability ball

Stability balls are an excellent tool. I will probably be writing an entire stability ball post sometime soon. For the moment, though: push-ups.

Adopt a regular push-up position, with one variation: your legs should be resting on a stability ball. Start out with the ball under your shins. Once you get stronger, do the push-ups with the ball under your feet.

Make sure to keep your back straight; don’t put your butt in the air. Focus your eyes on a spot a few inches in front of your hands; you should not be looking toward your belly (looking under your body tends to cause your spine to curve). When you go down for the push-up, go as far down as you can. A full range of motion is way more important than the number of repetitions.

Number: As many as you can! Start out with 2 sets of 6 repetitions. Work your way up to 2 sets of 12, adding a push-up or two each time you do this.






Core strength is extremely important for derby girls. The stronger your core is, the less likely you’ll be to fall when someone shoulder-checks you or when you lose your balance on your own.

The plank position is like the push-up position, only your elbows are on the floor rather than your hands. Again, make sure your body is completely straight and your gaze is forward, not down.

Hold for 1 minute. Work your way up to 2 minutes, adding 10 seconds each time you do this.





Get on the treadmill! Cardio is a huge deal for derby skaters. I set these intervals at 2 minutes because a jam is 2 minutes. Sometimes I can be logical. Not often, though.

Warm up for 5 minutes, working your way up from a fast walk to a slow jog. Then come the intervals!

For 2 minutes: crank up the speed! Set the treadmill to the highest speed you can maintain for 2 minutes.

For the next 2 minutes: A comfortable jog. You should still be working, but this is recovery time.

(for reference: I’m not a great runner, and my speeds are 7.2 for the run and 5.3 for the jog)

Alternate these from minute 5 to minute 25. For minutes 25 to 30, jog at a slightly higher speed than your recovery speed. (mine is somewhere between 5.5 and 6, depending on how tired I am)

When you hit minute 30, push the cooldown button. Cool down for AT LEAST 5 minutes.

That’s everything I have for the moment. Stay hydrated. Always stretch. Don’t hurt yourself, but do push yourself. And remember, Christmas cookies make great workout fuel!

Deanna Destroi

Yay Melanie Tayler!

When people read this blog, everyone wins. I wrote about how sad I was that derby was done for two weeks and when Mel read the entry, she did with her brain what I could not do with mine: she made an idea. And not only did she make an idea, she made a great one—THAT SHE SHARED—and I’m going to put it out to the rest of you: let’s meet with our ice skates.

I will:
Find a rink with a free skate slot as similar to our practice time as I can.
You will (please!) offer suggestions if you know of great rinks.
Then I’ll post the time and place.
And invite EVERYONE to come.
An insist that we all go for hot chocolate after. (And cake.)

This way, we get to skate, hang out, have some treats and get to know each other way better.

Who’s in?


P.S. Eastern Block’her is still eagerly awaiting your blog submissions, which can be sent to everythingandafter(at), and then you won’t have to read my ramblings every day. Cheers!

What’s a little blood…?

We wear helmets. Mouth guards. Elbow pads. Wrist guards. Knee pads. And silly things like…socks, which may prevent you from bleeding on your skates. 😛 So I bled on my skates. I still think socks are for pussies.


Blood. Skate.

*Sobbing, choking, sputtering*

This Saturday marks our last practice until 2011. If someone could give us an arena to practice in year-round, this post would be wholly unnecessary. Given we rely on schools for space (without which we’d be toast so thank you Ottawa Carleton District School Board and Ottawa Catholic School Board for giving us a floor), we have no choice but to comply with their holiday closings, though I have considered stealing keys and holding clandestine practices: flashlights, no music and no yelling. It would be a lame practice, but at least our skates wouldn’t feel abandoned and unwanted.

Two weeks of sitting on our derrieres eating too many cookies is not terribly tragic for the derby girl. Bigger bums make for more obnoxious blockers so I’m not exactly going to suggest any serious derby athlete deprive herself of much needed nutrients from cakes and cookies. But, I will suggest continuing to exercise and train because your coaches will be merciless in 2011. With a bright new season quickly approaching, we need to be fast and fit so that we can be ruthless.

For ideas on how to keep moving this holiday season, see your coaches. We’ll tell you what you can do at home or at the gym so that your first practice next year doesn’t result in you going to your local grocery store and moving into the freezer for a few days while your muscles recover.

Happy holidays! And remember…it’s not wrong to sleep in your skates.


Silly Socks

It’s 11:45 p.m. I had a practice tonight and it kicked my ass in that great way you want a practice to do that you. It would have been perfect had my car decided not to start in the parking lot. With everyone gone, I had no choice but to call CAA. They showed up quickly, which was good as my sweaty body was on the verge of freezing.

This is not the point of this evening post. The point is that I bought new socks at Winners. And these socks are certainly worth discussing because they’re magical.

Way back in the day, when I used to speed skate, I wore NO SOCKS in my speed skates. I copied the older kids and learned that the lack of socks helped me feel the ice better and react a little better to the surface. Seems the same is true for derby. I’m spoiling the end. Not wearing socks is really not an option in my skates; the leather boot virtually guarantees that after a few practices, my skates would smell like a bag of milk left in a car trunk for a week during a heatwave. Not awesome. Nike makes little slippers. They’re nylon-thin, absorb sweat and make me feel like I’m barefoot. My skates are still new-ish, so they still nibble at my feet a little but it’s well worth it because the difference makes a couple of nips here and again seem like no big deal.

Glad I bought six pairs. Which in retrospect is sort of lame; if they’d sucked, I’d be stuck with six pairs of totally worthless garbage. Guess I was lucky. 😀


Winning socks


Ice derby: our beloved sport on a hockey rink.
*Unitards in fun colours and prints.
*Add shin guards to the other standard pads.
*Replace roller skates with hockey skates.
And that’s it. We can even build banked tracks by piling zamboni crumbs, watering them, and creating awesome steep banks (cheapest banked track ever).

Who’s with me??

Delicate Plow’her

Derby Kiss

I knew when I fell that that my hip would hurt the next day. It stung, a lot, but I’ve wiped out before. The pain was not unusual.

When I wiped out at the 4:30 mark of my 25/5 and landed on the exact same spot, I nearly cried, I know I swore, and it took every ounce of strength to get up and keep going.

When I got home and noticed that my skin was hot and my hip was swelling like I was hiding a baseball under there, I guessed that a wicked bruise was forming.

How could I guess that this one-eyed monster would emerge?

I guess if my bruise is happy to see me, I should be happy to see it too.



I’m writing this blog on my iPhone and for some reason, it’s bringing me tremendous joy. This is a short one.

What music do you want at your practices? Right now, we listen to a lot of Hanson. Because Deanna sent me a list of songs. Send an email, subject heading MUSIC, with your requests or leave a comment on the blog and I’ll load it up for the next practice.

Happy Sunday!

25 in 5

For Fresh Meat, who may not be aware of all the aspects of the WFTDA minimum skills, there is an endurance component called “25 in 5”. Skaters need to skate 25 laps around a (legal) track in 5 minutes. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but by the time three minutes are up and your lungs are burning and you think you’re almost done, you realize that you STILL have two minutes ahead of you.

The only fun part of the 25 in 5 is when it’s done. You’re exhausted, thirsty and feel like your legs could possibly take a permanent leave of absence but at least you don’t have to keep skating. 🙂 It is probably the worst part of any skater’s min skill evaluation.

When I first tried the 25 in 5, I came pretty close to doing it and have since been able to exceed the requirement regularly. It’s important to note that I DO NOT do it with a lot of grace, despite regular endurance drills at practice. So it’s on me to do it more often, until it ain’t no thing. (Read: not lying on the floor, sputtering and flopping like a fish out of water when I finish.)

If I could give beginner skaters just ONE piece of advice, it would be about this. Bouts are an hour long. Jams can go up to two minutes. It’s doing 25 in 5 over and over again (with some fun hitting and juking). After my first bout, I felt more physically exhausted than I ever have before. Even playing 10 football games at tournaments in a 48-hour period never left me as exhausted as ONE BOUT. Practice it, do it, get good at it, because it makes you a great skater.

To all the CCDD Freshies: The 25 in 5 is boring. We’ll crank the tunes for ya, we’ll shout encouraging words, we’ll understand your groans when we make you do it every week, but you’ll thank us. You may set our houses on fire in the interim…but when you’ve skated your first bout, you’ll quietly thank the 25 in 5. (And offer to replace my coffee maker, which burned when you set my house on fire.)


Never getting up again

25 in 5 afterglow