Friday, January 29, 2010

So, here's what's killing me about derby.

Which is not actually derby's fault, but it just happens to be the circumstance at the moment.

Full disclosure - I am ABSOLUTELY the sort of person who doesn't like to try things if I'm not positive that I'm going to succeed. I know everyone, to a certain measure, wants to be fairly reasonable about their success rate when embarking on a new venture (who wants to try something you're absolutely going to fail at? It's shooting yourself in the foot!), but I almost have a phobia of failure.

This unfortunate aspect of my personality usually means that I start a lot of things, and I quit a lot of things the minute my self-doubt comes creeping in. The second it looks like I'm not going to be awesome, I want out.

So, enter roller derby. Could I possibly have fathomed how hard it was going to be? No way. Am I absolutely sucking at bootcamp right now? Not nearly - I'm learning a lot, staying on my feet, but I still have a lot to work on. Do I think I will pass the WFTDA test? Suddenly, I'm not so sure.

I'm trying to square with the possibility that this might not be it for me, that at the end of bootcamp when we take our tests, I just might be leaving the rink with my head down, shoulders slumped in defeat. My doubts start overwhelming me - "Maybe I won't pass the tests this first time around" turns into "Maybe I won't pass these tests EVER" turns into "Maybe I'm just not cut out to play roller derby." Poisonous, toxic, and crippling. I have to confess, I have had moments where I've asked myself, "I'm totally not going to pass, so why am I even still going to bootcamp?"

The answer? I don't want to stop. This might be the first time ever where I'm almost fairly certain of my impending failure, and I still want to do it anyway. The thing is, I love it. Skating is the closest thing I've experienced to flying. And I love the girls I've met, on the team and in my bootcamp class. And I love roller derby itself - the sport is exciting and thrilling and empowering. And - honestly - I'm getting a lot out of this journey. I'm getting fit, I'm learning something new, and I'm meeting a lot of people. This is an instance where the process is just as important as the product.

And I have to square with myself in the other direction - "You're not that bad. You've got a lot to work on, and it's your own damn fault for not doing more outside of practice. You could pass if you tried harder." It's been hard for me to get out to a rink - hell, it's even been hard for me to get off my couch sometimes. Between Jolie and school and being sick a lot, sometimes I barely have enough energy to crawl into bed at night. (Literally - I've spent almost entire nights on the couch because I couldn't even make it to bed.) I'm trying really hard to find a balance between everything, and since I consider roller derby to be something that I'm doing for myself, it doesn't always come first.

In short, I hope I pass. And if I don't pass, I hope I get asked back to the next bootcamp and pass the second time. And if I never become a derby girl at all, I hope... no, I KNOW... that derby will always be a part of my life. It's changed me mentally and physically.

In the meantime, I'm not giving up yet. I'm only two weeks in, I'm making reasonable progress, and I'm fighting 'till the end.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Bootcamp Week 2

Tuesday felt like a victory. Wednesday felt like an ass-whoopin'.

But my epiphany for the week is that I AM stronger than I think, and that my body is not impossible and resistant to change. I realized this as I was trying to learn how to change direction (going forwards to backwards). The first few times, I was shaky, I fell, I was frustrated... but the more I did it, the easier it got. By the end, I still wasn't perfect, but my muscles were learning the motions and I realized... I CAN do anything I want to... I just have to WANT to. It's not my body holding me back, but my mind.

Of course, Wednesday was a true test of my convictions. We did a lot of pace line skating and hot laps, and speed is NOT my forte. Not to mention that my back was killing me - when you do a lot of laps, you're constantly in a squat, and it takes a toll on your body if you're not conditioned to begin with. I had trouble keeping up, I couldn't go fast... whereas I felt great during Tuesday's practice, Wednesday had me feeling like a total yutz. I'm proud to say that I didn't drop out and stop much (just for a couple seconds to stretch), and even though I couldn't keep up with the others, I kept skating anyway, as best I could at my own pace. It was the best I could do, and I really, really tried.

So.... onwards and upwards. Aim says that core strength will go a long way towards helping with speed - from what I understand (of skating and of my own body), maintaining good form will make you a more efficient skater, and to maintain good form, all the necessary parts of your body need to be strong to stabilize and push. And it's not just your legs - your core is where everything originates. My core? Stretched out from baby-having. So I've got a lot of work to do in this department. And it's something I can do all the time.

It's funny - I've heard derby described as "a sport for non-jocks" (and it definitely isn't your typical jock-y sport), but in NO way does it mean that you can get away with not working hard. You're still an athlete, and you still have to act like one. It's been a long time since I was really an athlete (swim team in college, and not a good swimmer at that), but I did love it, so I'm trying to get back into that. At this point, I'm still not sure what my fate will be as far as passing the WFTDA tests, but I'll be damned if I don't get SOMETHING out of this process, whether I do end up becoming an SVRG member, or whether I just become a fitter person in general.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Just like starting over

New Year's Resolutions.

I promised myself I wouldn't make any (and thus avoid the disappointment of failing to accomplish them), and I especially wouldn't resolve to lose weight, because that conjures up desperate women trying to fit into a bikini by summertime, and because it would mean that I would be buying in to all the weight loss ads (programs, pills, workouts, etc) that they run constantly starting two days before the new year.

However, it just has to be done. I'm NOT trying to fit into a bikini by summertime, but I do have to lose weight for other reasons - family history of high cholesterol and diabetes, for instance. Wanting to run a marathon, for instance. More energy and less weight to carry around, for instance. It's not about vanity, it's about staying alive, and more importantly, living well.

I'm also slowly coming to realize that as much as I hate diets and love food, I'm going to have to put myself on a lifer's diet, because that's the only way to keep myself under control. I hate the idea of having to say goodbye to all the really good fattening stuff that I love (well, most of the time), but there's no other way to do it. But I don't want to hate my life either - my doctor said that when she lost weight, she would have a piece of toast for breakfast and snack on dry, sugarless cereal throughout the day. I wanted to be like, "OH HONEY, you are so cute if you think I'm going to do that!!!!" No way - I'm determined to be "on a diet" without actually being on a diet - meaning, I want to be able to go out to eat with friends without worrying that I've ruined anything, but on normal days, I need to control what I eat. I read somewhere that if you stick to your diet 80% of the time, then that's pretty damn good, and that 20% leaves you wiggle room to be NORMAL and splurge and not always feel like you have to exclude yourself from activities because you're on a diet. Because admitting you're on a diet = admitting you are fat = admitting that you don't have your life under control. (I say that only half in jest, actually, because I do actually feel that way. Sometimes.)

Anyway, my doctor is putting me on phentermine. I've always thought weight loss pills were cheating, but if I'm going to be taking that crap from GNC, I might as well just go under medical supervision and take the real stuff. But as she warned me, it's not a magic pill, and my weight loss will be dependent on me changing my eating habits. Phentermine is an appetite suppressant, so what I'm hoping is that it will stop me from having cravings and from wanting to pig out in the afternoon, which I tend to think is my downfall. If I can stop feeling like I need to eat or even WANT to eat all the time, then I can have better control over what I do decide to eat instead of feeling like I NEED to eat everything I can get my hands on. We'll see how it goes. My order comes in tomorrow afternoon (we ordered it for cheap from the little Vietnamese pharmacy down the street from my doctor's office - SHADY!!!!), so that means I can start on Wednesday. And we're aiming for 5-8 pounds down for my next checkup, in the middle of February. You're only supposed to use phentermine for 3-6 months at a time (apparently it can be habit-forming - SHADY!!!!), so we'll see how much happens between now and then.

In the meantime, the one thing I've learned is that I have to plan. It's trite, but the saying "If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail" is very true. When I don't think ahead of time about what to eat, then I end up not eating anything or eating everything. When I have a game plan at the beginning of the day, I'm better about staying under control. So that's my first thing I'm trying to change is to plan - plan what I eat, and plan what I shop for (thus, saving money instead of throwing random stuff in my cart and then bulging my eyes out when I see the total).

I've have to say, even though I have my doubts, I am looking forward to taking this pill and feeling less hungry. Maybe it'll help me feel less dependent on food.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bootcamp Week 1

We just finished our first two practices (our first week, essentially) of roller derby bootcamp. OH MAN am I sore. I also bit it pretty hard last night, so I've got some really tender spots on my forearm and thigh where I fell. (No bruising though.)

So, after two nights in a row, it's starting to become more apparent what my areas of improvement need to be (other than practicing more =P) - I'm not very fast, because I haven't figured out my stride yet; I am back to being unable to do crossovers, which really slows you down; and I have to learn how to skate TIRED. Because I was REALLY tired, and my back was so sore and stiff that I was breaking form and getting really sloppy.(Some core training should help with that.)

I'm trying not to doubt myself, but I really am worried that I won't make the cut. Luckily, the semester has just started, which means that if I plan my lessons right, I give myself some more free time to practice.

I'm sooooo excited.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Sleep? Or catalog my entire makeup collection?

You guess.

Okay, I decided to compromise and just catalog my UD collection. It's pretty vast, if I do say so myself. You'll get to hear about my five other mascaras some other time :)

Eyeshadow vault (sold separately, and discontinued!), filled with:
- Foxy (matte)
- Naked (matte)
- Illegal (matte)
- Cult (matte)
- Oil Slick
- Gunmetal
- S&M
- Lounge
- Asphyxia
- Sellout
- Sin
- Stray Dog
- Flipside
- Twice Baked
- Crash
- Maui Wowie

Deluxe Eyeshadow singles:
- Ruthless
- Ransom

- Book of Shadows
- Book of Shadows 2
- Deluxe Palette
- Shadow Box (ooooold school!!!!!!)

Eyeshadow primer potion

Pore perfecting primer potion

Lip primer potion

Eyelash primer potion

24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils + the Grindhouse sharpener!:
- Zero
- Bourbon
- Ransom
- Flipside
- Gunmetal
- Deviant
- Underground
- Rockstar
- Covet
- Stash
- Lust
- Mildew
- 1999
- Binge
- Graffiti
- Oil Slick
- Eldorado
- Corrupt
(I have the Hi-Fi, Stereophonic, and Super Stash sets, in addition to the ones I already owned.)

Liquid Liner in Perversion

Ink for Eyes:
- Empire
- Demolition
- Zero

Heavy Metal liquid liners:
- Midnight Cowboy
- Distortion
(from the 24/7 sets)

Skyscraper Multi-Benefit Mascara

Afterglow Blush:
- Score
- Quickie

24/7 Concealer pencil in Hallucination

De-Slick mattifying powder

Clean and Sober makeup remover (love that scent!)

Surreal Skin Cream-to-Powder foundation in Hallucination

Surreal Skin Mineral Makeup in Hallucination

- Gash
- Wicked
- Jailbait
- Apocalypse

Commando lip gloss duo

Sparkler pen in firecracker

Ultraglide lip gloss in Heat

24/7 Lip Pencils:
- Wallflower
- Gash
- Ozone

... plus their brush set that came with the cool zip-pouch.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

2010's accomplishments

Maybe I'll try keeping a log.

Books read this year:
Rollergirl: Totally True Tales from the Track by Melissa Joulwan
Bright Lights, Big Ass by Jen Lancaster

Projects finished this year:
Autumn (hat)

Friday, January 8, 2010

I feel like I'm going to pass out.

Or maybe vomit.

I don't know what's wrong with me - I don't remember feeling this queasy when I was pregnant!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Reminiscing about the year

If I thought 2008 was insane (which it was), then I suppose 2009 was the only year that could've topped it. I don't remember what I was doing exactly a year ago, or what I was expecting out of the coming year, but I'm fairly certain that this wasn't quite what I'd thought. Did I have a bit of baby fever? Definitely. Did I actually think that I would be sitting here, a new mom, with my pregnancy and childbirth ending up the way it actually did? Absolutely not. Sometimes, truth really IS stranger than fiction.

Anyway, a survey:

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?
I got pregnant and gave birth (without an epidural!!!) for the first time.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I can't recall that I officially made any. If I did, I'm sure it was weight-loss-related, and I'm fairly certain that my getting pregnant would have rendered it null and void.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
In addition to myself, a couple of the girls I went to high school with had babies too :) (I think we are all 2009 new mommies.)

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No, and I am grateful for that.

5. What countries did you visit?
None - I think I spent most of the year on the couch.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
Honestly? Money - in that, I hope I can be smarter with my money this year so that I can have more of it. Also, I am looking forward to watching Jolie grow.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
All dates pale in comparison to 8/2/09. This year was truly all about Jolie.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Becoming a mom :)

9. What was your biggest failure?
The way I handled certain relationships in my life... I need to learn how to see people for who they are and not for what I wish they would be.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Gestational diabetes? Does that count?

11. What was the best thing you bought?
I didn't BUY it, but I decided to rent a condo.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My parents and Jimmy's mom, for their love and support for us.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
_____'s reaction to my pregnancy. I forgave, but I don't think I can ever forget.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Food, baby, Sephora. Um, yeah.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
My baby girl :) Every step of the way.

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?
"Zero" by the YYYs, for no particular reason

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
b) thinner or fatter?
Same, actually
c) richer or poorer?
Poorer, but richer in spirit.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Exercising, taking care of myself

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Being angry/sad/depressed about things I had no control over

20. How did you spend Christmas?
With all of my families

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?
With my new baby :)

22. What was your favorite TV program?

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No, I've learned that there are more important things in my life to worry about.

24. What was the best book you read?
This is shameful, but I'm not sure I read any new books for most of the year. This past month alone, I read Persuasion. I guess that would be the best one.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
The Gossip!!!!!

26. What did you want and get?
A settled life, self-acceptance - and that's what I got, in varying degrees.

27. What did you want and not get?
Closure on certain avenues in my life

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
I don't even know what I saw this year. I might've seen a total of two movies in the theatre, and a bunch on tv/dvd.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 27, and did absolutely nothing. I might've been so depressed I cried (not because of my age, but BECAUSE absolutely nothing happened... I'd never felt so unremarkable.)

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
The happiness of my loved ones

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
Mostly comfortable, although I will add that my maternity clothes were way cuter than my normal clothes, and I miss them.

32. What kept you sane?
Napping. Jamba Juice. X-Files.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
David Duchovny :)

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Prop 8, for sure.

35. Who did you miss?
No one? Well, I missed Jolie a LOT when she was in the NICU.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
Jolie :)

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.
Don't worry about the things and people you can't control. It's a waste of your time and energy. Just worry about taking care of yourself, and your happiness will follow.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
"Look into your heart and you'll find the sky is yours." - Jason Mraz