On Saturday, I skated in my first tournament. It was a mix-up tournament, so I did not know who I’d be skating with until I showed up that morning. Luckily, I ended up on a team with three people from my team and two or three more that I have skated with in other mix-up bouts.

There were six teams total, with a double elimination bracket setup. So teams 1&2 and 3&4 played the first two games, with teams 5&6 playing the winners of those games (I was team six, and spent the first three hours of the tournament just watching other people play). The winners of the third and fourth games went onto the championship game, with the losers headed into a consolation bracket for third/fourth.

Although it was a close game, my team won our game, and headed to the championship, which gave me another three games to sort of sit down and get my head on straight. We then played for the championship and won. So for my overall derby career, I now have a 3 L - 2 W record. I’ll take it.

It was an amazing day - one of the gals from another team had an amazing apex jump in her first game. My team had a strong showing for its players overall, and we ended up with 5 gals on the winning team as one of our original players had to leave, and another rebel subbed in for her. The last game was probably the most perfect game of derby I have ever played - I somehow managed to get out of my head and just skate. I did spend a lot of the second half working hard not to be the ‘goat’ (the person held back by the other team for an easy point for their jammer), but that’s a skill I needed to practice anyhow. Things I’ve practiced and never quite understood just seemed to work - there was an awesome point in the first game where the gal I was partnered with told me “the jammer is coming. you and I are going to line up parallel to the track, and you are going to shove my rear into her and she’s going out” and it happened just as she said. The look on my face was apparently quite amusing.

I also managed to skate 100 (bout 1 was 2 20 minute halves, bout 2 was 30 minute halves) clean minutes without being called for any penalties - no forearms, no elbows, no failure to reform (not getting back to the pack quickly enough) - which was pretty cool. More importantly, I showed that I can do this well, and that I’m getting better/stronger. My teammates were very pleased with me, which made me happy.

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I think I am just starting to come down off the high I had over the weekend. Had a good practice last night working on blocking skills. Took another whack at 27 laps in 5 minutes - we’re not required to pass it, but it’s a good thing to work on. Considering that I was off skates a full month for a concussion, I’m not too displeased with my performance, even as I acknowledge that I am a long way off from completing it. We’re getting close to the end of this season, and I think my goal for the next season starting in January is to finally master crossovers - if I can do that, I’ll be on the way to 27/5.