I do believe tonight marks the halfway point of bootcamp. I do feel that I am immensely better than I was when we first started. We are learning more every day of practice, and pushing our bodies harder.
Tonight we started off with pushcarts, where we had to push four other people in a line from the back. That was totally fun - we were like a bunch of out-of-control train cars.
Then we did back-to-back pace lines: the first one was a fall-back weaving drill, where the person in the front has to weave to the back (facing the right direction, of course), and I have to admit, until I actually tried it, I was scared to do it. And then it ended up being easier than the forward weaving pace line, because all you have to do is let the line move by, person by person, and duck behind everyone. You don't have to scramble to maintain your place. So, I felt like I did really well on that one. Then we went straight into one where the person in the front (which happened to be ME first) does a hot lap around the track to the back of the line and weaves forward. I felt like it took me a million years just to get around to the back of the line, let alone weave forward, but I made it. And once I made it, just staying IN the line for so long was wearing me out. In the "normal" weaving pace line, you have to keep skating for as long as it takes for people to go from the back of the line to the front, which is already grueling. But in this one, you have to do that, AFTER skating for as long as it takes for people to do their hot lap. And sometimes that took a while (I know MINE took about five years!), so you're just skating skating skating and waiting for the next person to even START weaving, let alone finish. I really felt like I was starting to die.
After some hot laps and a short break, we learned how to skate in 3-person formations, learning how to "form a wall" (exactly how it sounds) and to "waterfall" - if a person in your formation falls behind or loses her position, you have to rotate your threesome to fill in that spot. This was easy enough, but we did it for aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaages. I had to drop out twice towards the end because my back was just killing me - like the pace lines, you have to control your pace, so it's not like I could've just slowed down to ease up the tension in my back. I swear we did this for, like, over half an hour.
And then in the last 15 minutes, some girls left the group to help out with the scrimmage, so we talked a little about the tests coming up (which is much harder than even WFTDA requires), and then we all did timed skating - trial runs for the tests coming up. We have to be able to skate 5 laps in 1 minute, and 25 laps in 5 minutes. Not impossible at all, but definitely hard.
I came in HALF A SECOND late on my one-minute test. And I can tell you why:
- I was tired and my back hurt
- I was totally psyched out and overanxious as I was skating
- I didn't push myself to the max because I was worried about wiping out and losing time by falling
- I coasted into or out of a couple turns because I still suck at crossovers.
All of those are things I can do something about. So I KNOW I can pass this one-minute test. If I keep improving at the rate that I'm going, I should be able to rock it in four weeks. The five-minute one, though, I didn't attempt (because I was so worn out, I knew I wouldn't have made it if I couldn't do five in under a minute), but I know I will have to work on that. I felt like I had to skate pretty hard for the short test, and if I want to come in under five minutes, I will have to learn how to skate hard for a full five minutes - no holding back, no coasting, no psyching myself out.
So, at the halfway point, I am still unsure of my fate. I still cannot say if I will definitely pass or definitely fail. But I CAN say that whichever way the needle points, my decisions right now WILL affect the outcome.
That said, I'm going to make the decision to get some sleep right now. I need some R&R.