Derby School Dropout

Tahoe Derby DamesDuring the ski season, I deliberately schedule my life to avoid sacrificing my weekends for non-skiing events.  It’s all about snow (preferably powder), and my family has learned to deal with it.

Cue the current spring weather we’re seeing at Lake Tahoe. High pressure, mild days and cold nights are not great for finding powder (or winter) snow conditions.  That said, in the spirit of making lemonade, it *is* ideal corn snow harvesting time, and I hear it’s been good.  I say ‘hear’, because I’ve missed out, thanks to a work event I put on last week, and this past weekend’s sacrifice to attend roller derby school.

Let’s be clear – I am still a derby noob, trying to stay upright while attempting to block and hit.  It requires more synapses than I think I have at this point, but I’m having fun.  With the news that a renowned derby coach was coming to Reno, I figured that I ought to make the effort and see what I could learn.

This is how I found myself in an abandoned grocery store off Moana Lane in Reno early last Saturday, with girls from a number of other local teams, and a guy who has played a big role in the resurgence of roller derby.  Coach Pauly knows his stuff, that’s for sure, having coached some of the best leagues out there.

Our group was an assortment of skaters, ranging from really kick-ass to very new.  Even with such a wide range of skills, Pauly’s drills were ones we could all do, admittedly at different speeds and with varying levels of success.  His frank style was refreshing, and he took the time after every drill to explain the importance and role of the drill, making sure we understood the larger strategy.  That was particularly useful for me, because typically when I’m thrown into a jam I feel like a deer in the headlights, and anything beyond that very moment is beyond my capability.

Since I had to leave the workshop early, I can’t confirm or deny that diplomas were awarded.  Even as a dropout, I can say that I did come away with a better understanding of how to best ‘knock bitches down’ (Kidding, Mom! Sort of….).

And how to best stay upright while doing it.

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