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Sometimes I think swear words were invented specifically for nights like last night.

If Tuesday night had me feeling totally awesome, last night had me feeling the total opposite.

First of all, I was late to practice, for the first time ever. (And usually I get there WAY early to gear up.) It's just my luck that the one time I leave a little bit later than normal, BOTH major freeways to get to the rink are clogged up with traffic from accidents. My shoulders tensed up and I yelled more swear words than I'd used in the past week combined. I got there and got my gear on JUST in time to stretch, meaning, I didn't get to do any warm-up laps. I went from a cold stretch into a pace line drill without warming up, and I could feel my legs shaking underneath me after a few turns around the track.Really, it's a credit to the strength training I did this weekend that I survived the pace line (weaving again) and the hot laps afterward. It really was a tough one.

I'm so exhausted this morning, I don't even remember what else we did - I know we learned how to jump (and spent a long time watch other people jump over large objects, which was awesome), and I know that we eventually did another weaving pace line. Now, it's ONE thing to split up into two pace lines (fast and slow) and only have to weave up through half the bootcampers at the beginning of practice when you're all fresh from warming up... it is QUITE another to form one giant pace line with ALL the bootcampers (including the super fast ones) and have to weave through them after an hour/hour and a half of working out intensely already. I took a long time making my way up to the front, but eventually I got there, and I managed to stay in line for a relatively long time until I just couldn't take it anymore. I was literally just about to veer off to the sidelines to stretch my back when one of the other skaters went down, and we all had to stop skating and take a knee. (As sorry as I am that she got injured, I really, really was glad that we all stopped for a bit.) That gave me just enough of a break to be able to get back up and keep going, but I knew I was totally spent. My legs were shaking again under me, my back muscles were twitching, and I swear I was ready to collapse at any minute.

It was just my luck then, that instead of watching scrimmaging, we ended up skating an EXTRA half hour. We practiced giving and taking whips from other people at random, and I did manage to get in a few (from both positions), but most of the time, I skated around the outside edge of the track. I was running on empty by then. Practice ended with TEN hot laps, which just about did me in. I pushed as hard as I could, and pretty much collapsed on the floor when I was done.

We had two girls left who had a few laps left to finish, and Aim yelled to us, "Team spirit is everyone skating until the last person is done!" So then, of course, we ALL got back up to skate. I don't want to be accused of being a poor teammate or not having team spirit, but oh man, I did NOT want to get back up. I was just... SO TIRED... I could barely see straight. But I got up too, and did slow easy laps around the track and cheered along with everyone else when we all finished. I gulped my water down like a man who's just been rescued from a desert. (Well, I guess it doesn't have to be a man. It could be anyone.)

All in all, I have to feel good about last night's practice, even though right now, it's taking all of my focus to sit upright. (Seriously, how am I going to make it through work today?) I really got pushed to the limit, and though I kind of skirted it a little bit, I did really push past where I was before and reached a new limit.

We took a bootcamper team photo last night (before we became completely sodden and red-faced), so hopefully they'll get that to us soon and I can post it. There's a part of me that wishes bootcamp would never end - it's that in-between where we're working hard, but we still have some room to make mistakes that won't hurt the team.