Tuesday, May 08, 2007


Last fall I joined a rollerderby team. In the past I've been a bit skeptical about the whole fitness thing. And, getting into it, I don't think I really considered it a fitness commitment so much as an ass-kicking good time. But the fitness part of this thing is punishing. My feet have been like chopped liver all winter from my skates, practicing in a cold arena is not a good thing with leather skates that get stiffer the colder they are. I spent the winter being obsessed with the temperature of my skates on practice days. When the team started doing endurance training the first one was so rough that one of our team captains threw up.
Since I started last fall my fitness has improved immensely. I can see improvements with every practice, but when the skills and safety testing for the season started looming I started to get scared. The skills and safety testing is for our insurance coverage for the season, if you don't pass the test you don't play. Among other things, we have to be able to skate backwards, jump and land on our skates, and the scary part, skate 5 laps of the track in 1 minute and skate 20 laps of the track in 5 minutes. I've been sweating about this for weeks. The last time I did a trial run on the '5 laps in a minute test', I managed 4 laps in a minute. This was pretty far from the goal.
So I started looking for things I could do between practices to get my speed up. I went running by myself for the first time ever. My maximum heart-rate for that first running expedition, according to my exercise heart-monitoring watch gizmo, was 218 beats per minute. After that, I didn't really feel like going out again, but one of the girls I work with is a big fitness person, so I asked her if she wanted to maybe do some running some time. But then after I asked her, I started feeling self-conscious about the running, so I suggested that we should invite some other people at work who might be interested which turned into a real life Running Club.
Anyway, I've been working my tail off because I'm so afraid of the speed and endurance part of this test. And today it all paid off! I did my test and I got my 20 laps in 4:14, a full 46 seconds to spare. I am over the moon with relief. And... now I'm part of a running club and suddenly very fitness minded when all I really wanted was to kick some ass!

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