This past weekend was a complete whirlwind of awesomeness.
After much debating and tossing and turning, I decided to go along with 5 of my teammates to try out for the PA All Stars in Schnecksville on Saturday. I drove up with Ratchet and Maulin and we discussed how awesome this opportunity was while Ratchet quizzed us on rules. It wasn’t until then that my head started whizzing about with nerves and the butterflies erupted in my stomach. What am I about to do? No one had any idea what to expect. We got there at like 12:45. 45 minutes before registration was even supposed to begin. It gave us time to shake our nerves a bit and get a feel for the track. Mostly, we just talked amongst ourselves as more of our She Devils trickled in. Kitty told s our team when we went up to fill out paperwork. Vienna and I were the only two PJRD skaters on team black. I was both terrified and relived to know I’d have a good chance of going up against my teammates—of similar skill level and rule knowledge. This made me feel a little better.
We didn’t really skate around much before they called for gear check and gave us a rundown of how things would go that day: 3 20 minutes periods with 5 minute breaks. Wow. Then we got to skate for another 5-10 minutes to warm up. The track was so slippery. I should’ve put on some poisons or something more grippy. Thankfully, I was able to find a safe balance between my 93s and the floor. I was feeling pretty good when they called for us to get with our teams. As I skated toward my bench, I noticed I was going to be working with TEFLON DONNA!! AND… HURRICANE HEATHER! And Hotrod Hussy, an alum of PJRD and now Philly Roller Girl. This was gonna be a fun and nerve wracking experience.
We broke up into jammer and blocker lines and I made sure to get in behind a ton of people and try out blocking first. I wish I could tell you who I was out with on that first jam, but it was a whirlwind. While passive defense doesn’t seem logical or productive to game play, things were moving just as quick as a MADE game and I need to keep my head on a swivel even more. I was doing okay in forming walls and I even got some hits in here and there. I figured I’d try jamming to make sure they knew I was versatile, but I had no idea the effort it’d take to keep moving around that track. My first time jamming was actually really good. I think I got 4 points. I wasn’t lead, I don’t think either of us were, but my blockers were awesome and I was super aggressive and didn’t give up. It was only after skating off to the bench I realized I was sweating and panting more than I ever have in one of my games. Oh, WFTDA, you have so much to teach me. After the first few jams, the surrealness of my experience didn’t fade. I still couldn’t believe it when I grabbed the pivot panty while Teff was getting ready to jam. I said, kind of ignorantly, “what does the pivot do??” Kitty, our bench coach said, “back up jammer” Teff gave me a smile and said “you never know!” Ah. I could have fainted, but I had to actually get through this jam with one of the most amazing skaters ever first. By the last period, we were really working on pack formation and being aware of our arms and bridging. I got one penalty when I was jamming, a back block I think. Which stunk, but I was okay with it. Kitty came to our team at a time out and told me, Hussy, and two others they wanted to see more of us cause they didn’t have enough of an assessment on our skills. So I was in basically every other jam for the last period and had a ton of fun. I was ready to go in and jam with Hurrican Heather blocking for me, she was seriously so sweet and supportive, but the refs actually meant the previous jam was the last one. We were bummed, but felt good about our work as a team.
Following the scrimmage Rose Beef told us they would be announcing the results at the end of the night!! Ahh. It was exciting but nerve wracking as well.
It was a super long day. Ali made it up in record time after her huge event for work, which also went really well. We watched the Hooligans skate two games and then heard the results for the try outs. No one from PJRD made it, but there were a few new player they picked up Saturday that were super excited, so that was nice to experience. Later, Maulin told me Rose Beef pulled her aside and said that we all shouldn’t be discouraged and should come out in June for their next try out. She also mentioned that 2 PJRD skaters were “on the cusp” of being selected. Talk about motivation to keep improving. We all did awesome and went out there and left it all on the track. Everyone said they learned a ton and look forward to more opportunities to learn and grow as skaters. I am really excited and looking forward to all 2014 has to offer. BRING IT!