Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Story From The Road

Right now I'm coaching in Australia, on a 2 month tour.

On the way to Australia, my flight had an emergency landing. Someone on-board had a medical issue and all 400 passengers had to spend a day in a hotel in Honolulu, HI so the flight crew could rest up after all the hub bub.

Would you believe there was complaining from the other passengers???

Most of them, actually, were complaining. I guess they just enjoy complaining, because I've been all over the world and STILL think Hawaii is the best real-life paradise the entire world has to offer!

I put my headphones in (positive speakers or happy music, typically) and grabbed my breakfast voucher. All 400 of us got them, but for some reason, only 5 of us saw the Starbucks off the beaten path to luggage claim...

The young man in front of me in line was doing the same thing I was. We were adding up totals and seeing just how many things we get from this Starbucks with the $15 voucher. We started comparing strategies, and continued talking as we made our way to the shuttle area.

He was Australian. A tall, blond and handsome, athletic dude, in his mid 20's. He had that star quality that people sometimes do. I asked him what he was doing in America.

He told me he was a semi-professional Australian Football player, trying out for the NFL and my whole body got goosebumps. I tried to keep my cool, (I tend to bounce around when I get excited) and after listening quietly to his story said, " Dude, I'm pretty intuitive, and have a feeling you're totally gonna make it!"

He beamed, didn't even blink at the "intuitive" part, and told me more about the try outs process.

As we were chatting and waiting for the shuttle, I noticed a guy in a business suit looking around. He had that lost look going on, so I smiled at him and nodded to the coffee in his hand, "Got your breakfast?"

He smiled back and chatted with me and The Athlete a bit. Then he led the two of us away from the shuttle line, explaining that he was getting a taxi and we could share it with him. His work would cover it, and then we could beat the crowd checking in to our hotel.

The "taxi" was actually a limo.

So I'm in a limo, with a future NFL player, and an Executive, in Hawaii and I think for just a second... WOAH, THIS IS KINDA CRAZY!   

But is it, really? Is it crazy that good things happen when you're always open to them? Is it SO CRAZY that when I choose to be positive, actively deny negative thinking, and be friendly with people, the results are also positive?

Turns out me and The Athlete (who I am quite sure is gonna be a big star in NFL in the next few years) both have birthdays in December, and both listen to positive speakers when the headphones are in.

This is one I hadn't heard of, The Athlete told me about him. I thought, What an awesome gift this has been! So I share it with you:

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

3 Ways To Prevent Injuries

You know how people say "It's not if you get injured but when in roller derby."

What a fucking awful mantra to carry around! Please, if you've been known to say this, just stop. And start working on things that plant positive suggestions in your mind. Like:

1) Be More Agile
Agility is not as elusive as people make it out to be. It's just a matter of testing the boundaries of what feels safe and reasonable to do on skates, and then going just a little bit farther than that. Practiced in manageable amounts of scary, this can be an incremental and gradual process. 

Try this: Test the limits of what feels safe and normal for just a few minutes, every time your skates are on, and then get right back to what you'd normally be practicing. That way increasing your agility becomes a more integrated part of practice. Water breaks are a great time. Or while waiting for your turn at a drill. Practicing lots of transitions, stumbling and one footed feats especially.  There's also a DVD out now:

2) Get Strong and Flexible
Roller derby drills, practice, and games will build up certain muscles like your quads and lower back. But it does very little to work out other muscles that are needed to support your derby muscles. Like the muscle groups around your knees, hamstrings, inner thighs, glutes, and core. 

You need that stuff to be balanced and hold up all the derby muscles. Otherwise, it's like asking stilts to hold up a mansion. Put under pressure, they'd prefer not.

You know how you skip stretching and go right home after practice sometimes? (Or is it all the time?) That's doing your body a serious injustice. 5 minutes of stretching is better than no minutes. Just do it.

3) Enjoy Yourself and Pay Attention
There is danger in crashing into other people on wheels. If you can respect that, without letting that become a ruling fear, you'll be able to prevent all kinds of injuries.

ENJOY your time on skates, but don't have so much fun that you forget you're doing something that requires your complete and full attention.  

3 Resources:
1) Agility for Roller Derby DVD: by Bonnie D.
2) Roller Derby Workout

There's a difference between getting hurt and being injured. Bumps, bruises, scrapes... who cares. That stuff all makes you stronger. 

There are fluke accidents, for sure. But the staggering number of injuries happening now in roller derby are not because of how inevitable injuries are. It's because many of us didn't know there was a way to prevent a lot of that stuff.

But now... YOU KNOW! xoxo

Friday, April 6, 2012

I've Got a Very Big Stick

People have different ways in which they measure success in life.

Some are interested in spirituality, or popularity, others money, we all have our different drivers. For a very long time, my main driver has been, "What does it feel like to hang around me? Make sure that I feel good to be with."

But the truth is, I want it all. I have a VERY large stick by which I measure success. I want to be spiritually enlightened and physically beastly. I want to feel good to be around and I want to laugh my ass off every day. I want the body of a goddesss and the mind of genius. I understand it will take time reach both ends of this very large stick... but I still carry it around with me every day.

Someone asked me a couple blogs ago what my inspiration is. Here's the answer:

I'm inspired by the idea of being the best version of me that's possible. So... I'm just gonna do everything I can to see how awesome I can get in one lifetime.

You know how they say we only use 10% of our brains? I say fuck that. I've spent the last 10 years actively sculpting my mind, spirit and values. Now I'm sculpting my body and physical abilities.

I love that roller derby can be such a holistic catalyst/vehicle for all of that.

You just gotta grab those opportunities when you see them. You gotta grab those opportunities when you see them.Through the community you get to hone your social/human skills. (Nothing like learning a little conflict resolution to hone your emotional endurance!) Through the sport, your physicality is tested.

Will I ever be perfect? Nope! But... I will be inspired to get a little closer every day! xoxo

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Just Breathe?

In training for the big comeback to derby, I've been researching/trying out a lot of new (to me)  fitness/training techniques pretty extensively. I always want to do things the best way possible.

There's one thing that keeps coming up, though, that's been super frustrating for a long time: that whole "breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth" thing was really starting to piss me off!

You see, friend, I've been blessed with a combination of some lovely Hungarian genetics (thank you, Grandpa) and a couple lucky punches (you know who you are, haha!) to the nose.

Basically, my nose leans very much to one side. Making breathing in through it very much not possible in cardiovascular, gasping-for-air situations.

I'm inexplicably aware of the term "deviated septum." But, unlike many of my Californian friends, I have a fear of doctors that outweighs my vanity by, like, a million percent! So a nose job is out of the question.

I was trying to regulate my breathing on the treadmill yesterday, and went for the in-nose, out-mouth thing, and finally realized: THAT IS NEVER GOING TO WORK FOR ME!!!

So... I just told my body, "it's ok, just breathe how you need to," and you know what? My whole body relaxed. Even as I increased the speed on the treadmill. Hm... I was tempted to do a bunch of research on the subject, but have decided to just call it a lesson on listening to my body and be done with it.

If there's any other left-side-leaning-nosed-mouth-breathers out there... I won't say I know what's best for your body, but I will say that this was SUCH a huge relief and revelation for me, that I just had to share it!

Which is just as weird to say as it is refreshing, since breathing is... last time I checked... supposed to be the most natural thing is the world, right?! xoxo