Monday, January 30, 2012

The Roller Derby Workout Challenge 2012 – An Introduction

How Did I Find the Roller Derby Workout Challenge?
A few days ago, while catching up on the Derby Deeds podcast, I heard mention of the Roller Derby Workout Challenge (RDWC). Given my desire to improve my fitness for skating, I couldn’t help but check it out on Facebook, and found myself deciding to give it a crack. The challenge officially started on the 29th January, and runs during the same period of time as my Fresh Meat training. I’ll be blogging about my experience with the program in addition to my roller derby progress.

So What IS It?
For those of you who haven’t heard of it (or can’t be stuffed looking it up), RDWC is an 8 week fitness and diet program designed for roller derby, by lovers of roller derby. Of course, you can also do it if you don’t do roller derby, looks like it’s going to be an amazing workout. The program focuses on building strength, rather than weight-loss, a very appealing proposition for someone with my aversion to fad diets. Every week, a meal plan, workout plan and a series of ‘homework’ questions get posted for members to follow, with the Facebook group providing a community to support and encourage, trade ideas, and generally be as awesome as roller derby communities tend to be.

The Food Plan
Now, I should point out that while it does include a diet-plan, I probably won’t be following it too strictly as I’m not worried about my weight, it is too meat-heavy, doesn’t seem to incorporate enough variation for my liking, and doesn’t match with what is seasonally available here. That said, I like most of the underlying principles they have used in the creation of the food-plan, such as cutting out highly refined sugars and carbs, reducing processed meat, upping your vege intake, and putting a stop to that pesky drinking habit. I’ll probably be switching around some proteins (chickpeas instead of all that chicken!), having salads instead of cooked veges, and finding some form of substitute for nuts considering my seriously allergic housemate comes home in a couple of weeks. One thing I would like to see is the nutrient breakdown (Carbs, Protein, Fats, Calories, etc.) that they used, so that I can work with it in my own way, rather than trying to figure out what appropriate substitutes for each individual meal are. I’m going to give it a week, and then decide whether or not to continue with it.

The Exercise Regime
Whilst the exercise program originally calls for a copy of the official workout DVD, the admins have also provided an alternative workout for people who do not have the DVD, a god-send for someone like me that can’t afford the extra cost at the moment. This program is obviously designed to be supplementary to derby training, with two days using it as the primary exercise, but I’m guessing it could be substituted for any high-intensity activity, like a good long run, gym session, swimming, etc. I’ll only be having 1 derby practice a week, so I’ll have to experiment to find a replacement for the other.

Day 1 was interesting. It was the first day I’d actually had enough money to go grocery shopping since coming back from my trekking around, so contrary to my usual method of “feed what the body is asking for”, I actually sat down with the meal plan, made a shopping list, and then went to the supermarket. Took forever, but in the end came home relatively happy with my choices, including a few substitutions based on availability or preference (i.e. switching lunch ‘meat’ for tuna, pears for bananas, brussel sprouts for green beans etc). I decided to pre-cook a few things for during the week, like turkey mince or pork fillet, so I could just throw some in to a container with salad and rice for uni. I also made a batch of tahini dressing based on Bonzai Aphrodite’s offerings, which, due to its immense yumminess, I can foresee going on EVERYTHING! In terms of what I actually ate, it was a bit of a shambles. I’ll save it for a later ‘Week in Review’ post, but suffice to say it wasn’t the best start. *grins*

Outside of RDWC2012
I utterly failed in my aim this week to start getting back to my strict physio routine, mostly because my usual exercises have been making my ankle hurt a lot more than is usual, and I’d prefer to see my physiotherapist before continuing too hard. Because I was only doing some exercises, that meant I slacked off a lot with the others too, so this week, it’s back on the table: Physio for Neysa!
The last week, with Australia Day, glorious warm weather, and a fridge full of ciders, I drank more than I should, and the tennis has been on so it’s been a lot of late nights (But last night’s final, WOW!), so I’m looking forward to using February as my ‘reset’ for the new year, and getting my butt back on track!

I hope you’ll all join in on my journey, be it encouragement, chastisement, or just having a general chat.

Neysa xo

Sunday, January 22, 2012

This Is Roller Derby.

Darby, by Myka Jelina
Today was the day. Today, I became part of something bigger than myself. Today I started roller derby.

The Geelong Roller Derby League had their sign-up day today, so at 4.30pm myself and about 10 other women were sitting in the sweltering heat of the big blue Barwon Valley Activity Centre shed, listening to some of my derby heroes talk about what we are going to work through during our Fresh Meat course. Can I just say, Ace of Hearts, Eva War, and Boneyard Betsy are really wonderful in person, and I now respect them even more than I did for their on-skate performances.

The tenish of us are all different. I didn’t get a chance to really talk to anyone before everyone left, but we’re all different ages, have different body shapes and sizes. Some have piercings and tats, others (like me) had none. Some came in full make up, hair up etc, some didn’t. And pretty much everyone signed the form to start training. I like that we have such a diverse group, and look forward to getting to know the other women in my intake, as well as the rest of the league, in the weeks to come.

Fresh Meat starts on Sunday in 2 weeks time, and will include both off-skate fitness & strength training, as well as learning how to skate safely, fall, lean and all the other fun derby stuff. Some people looked surprised at the prospect of having to do push-ups and sit-ups, something which I was already anticipating from years in other sports, and from my research of derby. Being honest, the prospect of the fitness training excites me, as I’m really looking forward for a new opportunity to push myself.

And I am going to have to start pushing myself. Over the two months since I left on conference leave, I’ve been very very slack with my physio, and it’s starting to show. If I’m going to be any good at derby, and avoid needless injury, I have to start getting back in to it, so that’s what I’m going to do. As of right… NOW! I’m going to work hard, train hard, and get back to my peak. I’ll be aiming to run through my full physio program twice a day, as I was when I hurt my shoulder this time last year. I’ll also be aiming to spend at least 30mins on my skates every day, even if it is only around the house, as I was doing before I went overseas.

I’m very excited that I am finally able to make a start in the sport of roller derby, after a couple of years of waiting, watching, and wishing.  Bring. It. On.

Neysa xo