I was a NERVOUS WRECK going into tonight's testing. SHAKING IN MY BOOTS.
Why? Because I knew that tonight was the night of the dreaded... 25 in 5!!!!
It is the five most grueling minutes of my life as a derby skater. 25 laps around the track in 5 minutes. It is hard, near-all-out sprinting, and is probably the most formidable part of the Min Skills test for a lot of new skaters. (I'm guessing that those who've already passed it don't really quiver at the mention of its name anymore.) You THINK that 5 minutes doesn't sound too bad, but you know, in addition to practically sprinting, your body still has to hold you up on your 8 wheels. And the whole going around in circles thing makes it kind of tedious too, so you have that mental hurdle as well.
It has been the one thing that I've never successfully done. EVERYTHING else on the Min Skills test, I've done many times at practices, but finishing the 25 in 5 has been my archnemesis ever since I started. The very first time I took the test, I did 5:09. When Terribelle made us do them at Mizfitz practices on the asphalt, I would finish 23 in five minutes. I didn't even make it all the way through the test at my second bootcamp, but I definitely didn't make it in 5. And I wasn't present a week or so ago when Carl (our coach) made everyone do them at practice. So I haven't attempted the 25 in 5 (or anything remotely equivalent in its difficulty) since OCTOBER.
How did I do tonight?
FIVE. MINUTES. FLAT.
How does that even happen?? What are the chances??
I don't know if that counts as a pass or a fail, but even if it IS a fail, I'm still pretty happy about it. Because I've proved to myself that it's not impossible. Despite the fact that I haven't attempted it since October. Despite the fact that other than Day 1 of testing on Monday, I haven't even worked out on skates for two weeks!!!
The best part is, I felt pretty good. When I've done it in the past, I've pretty much felt like dying right after. Once, I even tasted blood in my throat after coughing so hard. Today, I felt strong. My legs definitely were shaking by the end, but I wasn't dying. I was steady.
I managed to maintain a great pace for the first 20 laps. In order to complete it, you have to maintain a pace of 5 laps per minute or better, and for each of the first four sets of laps, I was completing them with time to spare - like, I'd finish the five and be over halfway around the track when Ethan (our ref) would call out the checkpoints. BUT... I was getting really tired. Like I said, my legs were starting to shake, and I definitely slowed down for those last five laps.
So even if the evaluators decide that it's a fail, I know that next time I could pass it for sure. I'll be in much better shape for the retest, all things considered. I don't have to be afraid anymore!!!
So, squee! A small victory!
We also did:
- Weaving around cones
- Outside whips
- Inside whips
- Hip whips
- Weaving in a paceline
I'm pretty confident about weaving, pushing, and pacelines, but the whips are another thing I haven't done since October, so we'll see. I'll know soon.
There are still some thing left that we haven't tested yet - skating in a pack, and all the different blocks and hits. So, there are more days of testing to come. And of course, the retests.
What the whaaaaaaaaaaat!