Monday, June 29, 2009

Just Don't Have it in Me

It's the same old, same old. I'm behind in getting articles written and blog posts. *sigh* Not sure why. I have no social life other than derby but for some reason haven't had the desire to write. Have I lost the blogging and writing passion?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Yankee Tripper Rocked it Out!

It's after 1 a.m. and I'm unwinding from an awesome night following my roller derby debut. I'm in pain but the adrenaline is hiding it. Ice packets are reducing the swelling on my ankle, knee and hand and just took two Aleve to reduce the pain.

Skating in the bout was soooo worth the pain I'm in now. When I learned Thursday I'd be skating in the intra-league bout, I was filled with excitement and nervousness. I was a true wreck today up until the whistle's first blow. I thought of ways on how to get out of skating. My stomach fluttered with butterflies and thought I was going to be sick before it all started.

I was afraid I'd trip and fall during my introduction. And I was worried...well, I'm not sure why I was so worried for the rest of the night. Once I got skating and going, it was all alright. Okay, it was more than alright, tonight totally rocked!

I felt a bit like a rock star and as the bout progressed, the more comfortable I felt. The match was divided into three, 15-minute period with 2 minute jam sessions. Since there were 11 of us on each team, we skated every other jam and I didn't feel fatigue until the third period when others got tired and sloppy, which is where I sustained most of my injuries.

Did I fall? Oh, yes indeed. Not sure if I'll have any respectable derby bruises in the morning. Thank goodness for protective equipment!

It was also an incredible feeling having friends in the crowd supporting me. Val from Tampa Bay came down, folks from Northport came up and Matt and his posse came out from Sarasota. Thank you, thank you, thank you for everyone's support!

As the night progressed, I became more comfortable in what I needed to do as a blocker and towards the end, gave some respectable hits earning accolades from the more senior roller girls. Our team won which meant we got to take a victory lap and "high five" the other team as well as spectators. What an incredible rush!

A trip to The Distillery bar in Bradenton followed (they're a sponsor) which included mixing with teammates and fans, eating some delish pizza and the traditional derby bar walk (see photo here and yes, I danced on the bar, too, just like I did in Nashville at Coyote Ugly oh so many years ago).

Sadly, I think that's my only roller derby bout of the season. Think I'm attending a conference during the next home bout but will need to check. Even if tonight (last night) was my sole bout of the season, I'll still continue to train and work on my skills.

Time to run, err, hobble to the freezer to pull out a fresh ice pack or two.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Yankee Tripper Debuting this Sunday!

I'm still finding my skating legs but it's time for me to take this roller derby gig to the next level - my first bout is Sunday. *gulp*

This is more of a scrimmage than an actual bout but it will be treated as the real deal for the spectators (yes, people will be PAYING to see me and other Bombshells skate). This is an inter-league bout, Red vs. Black - I'm red - and I'm skating against my teammates which I think is better.

Am I scared? Not necessarily scared but anxious. I've rationalized although I still don't understand 100 percent what's happening on the track, most spectators won't know the difference, just as long as it's a good show. If you're coming out to the bout, be forewarned I'll probably be falling...a lot.

I realize there's a concern of getting hurt but I'm a sturdy gal, do wear protective gear (helmet, mouth guard, wrist guard, elbow pads and knee pads) and don't think I can be in pain any more than I already do (my foot and ankle gets an ice-down each day and night; stupid ankle I broke in high school!). Also, this isn't the cheesy roller derby of the 70s and 80s. It's not the WWE on wheels. It's not *that* violent.

I'm also excited, extremely excited. This is what I've been practicing for (although I know I can use a bit more) and just need to do it. This may be the only bout I skate in for the rest of the season.

I realize this is more of a sport for the younger set but at this point, carpe diem!

Monday, June 15, 2009

It's a Bird, It's a Plane,..No, It's Definitely a Bird!

Tonight was one of those, "Let's grab dinner at Spazzi's" nights with @linbarfield. Spazzi Italian Grill is a tasty little restaurant in Punta Gorda worth visiting over and over again. Take a gander at my eggplant parmigiana, yum!

Getting out of the car and walking towards the restaurant, I was dive-bombed by a mocking bird but didn't notice it until @linbarfield pointed him out and warned me when the bird swooped around and back at me then dive-bombed her.

We giggled a bit into the restaurant and told the servers who also had similar experiences. Fast forward to leaving...

I was armed with my Flip video camera, locked my lens on the angry bird and made our way to our cars. Not sure what happened except I was screaming with laughter as the darn bird swooped down towards my head as I got into my car.

@linbarfield then pointed out there was a bird's nest with baby birds in the bush next to where our cars were parked. (Notice the photo.) I got into her car but when I did, I felt my hair being tussled around and realized it wasn't someone tall, dark and handsome (or tall, fair and handsome) but it was the angry bird!!!

Screaming with more laughter, I took a bit of video of the babies but was afraid the bird was going to attack while sitting in the back of the car. It didn't. But when I was ready to get back into my car, the angry bird was squawking on top of it keeping an eye on me. @linbarfield suggested having a sealed plastic tunnel to get me from her car to my car.

When the angry bird flew to a palm tree, I quickly ran out and hopped into my car without incident but loads of uncontrollable laughter.

Before leaving, I warned a woman who pulled up and was chatting on her cell phone. Not sure if she understood what I was saying but I tried.

So where's the video? Well, in the excitement of being dive-bombed, I must have hit the "off" button because the best part is missing, although the there is some pretty funny footage. I'll try to get something up later this week.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hitting with My Best Shot

"You haven't updated your Facebook status!"

"Why haven't you been blogging?"

"You haven't tweeted!"

"Are you okay?"

These are comments and questions I've been receiving over the past few days because yes, I've been neglectful of my social media outlets. Primarily, it's because I've been busy, busy, busy. Last week there was a conference in Tampa in which I was an attendee and spoke at one of the sessions (on social media, what else?), journalist visiting for a day-and-a-half, trip to Sarasota to spend time with Zelda Mae since her hubby was in the hospital, roller derby practice (more on that in a bit), a couple date-nights (yup - you haven't heard that in a while) and blogging commitments.

So yeah, I haven't had time to charge up the computer and reply to emails, messages and blog. The iPhone helps with some but my idle time has been behind the wheel and we know texting and driving don't mix. Seems as though my life is evolving to a less-digital one, will I survive? Probably, humans have survived for a lot longer without it.

As for roller derby, I'm still enjoying the ride although last Sunday I was a bit nervous since it was my scrimmage debut meaning I could hit and be hit. It wasn't the fear of being hit that had me nervous and anxious but the fear of not truly understanding the game and what I was suppose to do. Basically I just skated to keep up with the pack and try to hit a girl or two.

Tonight was much better. Although the heat index was about 150% (I'm kidding, it wasn't that bad but pretty darn hot for outdoor exercise) I enjoyed the hitting and blocking skills learned tonight and felt somewhat better when we scrimmaged. I still have a lot to learn but with each practice, I'm learning and getting more comfortable.

As for taking the hits tonight, I've finally accepted I'm 39 and there are some things that 29-year-old can do and take as compared to a 39-year-old. The body just doesn't work and rebound the same. I had some awesome falls tonight and although I was able to bounce back up and skate, I know I'll be feeling it in the morning. Derby-induced bruises are fermenting and can't wait to see what they'll look like. Will really be disappointed if they don't out to be anything.

I'm a new roller derby girl and still have lots to learn now that I'm officially on the team. I'll get there. But the process in reaching the first derby level inspired me to write, "Ingredients for Making a Roller Derby Girl."

What's on the horizon?

Immediately:

The weekend will be spent "catching up," I need to write my monthly column and a press release for work, as well as get some articles written and posted for my commitments. June 20 is the Hibiscus Festival which includes a bike ride - think I'll be participating in that. Domestic duties including cleaning up the lanai from a kitten invasion are on tap, too.

Down the road:

I was the high-bidder on a silent auction package to Citrus County, Florida, which includes two nights lodging and scalloping trip. For about a year I've waited to go scallop collecting and now I can a really groovy price. Need to use it between July and mid-September.

A business trip to Orlando is planned for later in the month, not sure if I'll have time to do anything "fun" but there is the Orlando ICEBAR I'd like to check out.

Denver is still a go for the 4th of July weekend and sometime I need to use a gift certificate for a Sanford hotel.

I appreciate everyone's concerns and inquiries but rest assured, I'm doing and feeling groovy.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Still Rocking and Rolling

I'm making a promise to myself to get SoloTravelGirl.com properly launched by the end of June. Not sure how that's going to happen but I'll make it happen.

I've uploaded a handful of articles I've written related to tourism marketing, they can be viewed here.

So what's new? Loads! Am I going to share what's shakin' in my world? Um, briefly, it's almost 1:00 a.m. and I'm attending a conference so the day's going to start early so it's time for shuteye. I will say:
  • I officially made the roller derby team - it wasn't pretty but Coach gave me the okay. Yankee Tripper is ready to roll and that scenario deserves its own post.
  • I'm one of the speakers on a social media panel tomorrow (today) afternoon during the Florida Association of Convention & Visitor Bureaus (follow the conversation via Twitter with #FACVB).
  • I'm heading to Denver for 4th of July weekend - whoo-hoo! Aunt Sandy & Phil Z, here I come! I'll also be able to catch up with LM, who was my mentor while working in sales with Amfac (now Xanterra). Looking forward to seeing mountains and breathing in cool, crisp mountain air. Hope there's time to visit Rocky Mountain National Park!
  • I'm sporting a new do. Don't think anything else like it has walked out of the Port Charlotte Town Center before (don't worry, it's not THAT dramatic) but dark with blond, chunky stripes in the front. I'm loving it now but have to do a double take in the mirror - is that REALLY me? Think the color complements my eyes and complexion better than the reddish color. When I get a decent photo of it, it'll be posted.
Overall, life is busy but good. I'm finally at a comfortable, complacent point where I've resolved issues which needed to be. I've decided it's time to move on and away from many things. I'm trying to stay more connected with my friends but a big step was putting away the Peter shrine. Yes, I had a mini-Peter shrine to remind myself daily of: how his death pulled me from near-bankruptcy, the importance of life, and better times. I'm not forgetting him or devaluating his life but embracing reality and remembering life is for the living.