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DERP takes on the Questival!

What happens when you take a group of lifelong friends, add in some adventures and llamas? You get DERP!

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The lancer girl aka Blair Block and for this weekend: Sailor Pluto, reporting to you from the front lines!

Follow our adventures here: http://questivalteams.cotopaxi.com/teampage?id=5DYZlFB1dN

Looking forward to sharing more adventures with you, more fun soon 🙂

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Dear 2016…

Well, here we are.. the end of yet another year – another spin around the sun.

I suppose I can safely say that I walk out of 2016 with almost nothing that I walked into 2016 with.

New job, new place, new relationship, new car.

Well… there are a few things I leave 2016 with – the support of fantastic friends that have helped me through the hard times this year.

I could wax endlessly about how 2016 has been quite the year in my life – but I have to admit.. sometimes I get tired of thinking about EVERYTHING that happened this year. It’s been quite the year for everyone it seems – new relationships, relationships ending, new accomplishments, new life, life passing on, yeah.. it’s just another year.. but for some reason 2016 just felt like such a compressed amount of insanity in the world for just one year.

I want to leave the year with positivity – because I think at the end of the day, life is what we make of it, we can look upon 2016 as a negative thing, or a transformative year!

Awesome things that happened in 2016 in the world around me:

  • My Scion(blackhatchback) bro – did a fitness competition and did awesomely! Super proud of her, and I can’t wait to see her kick some butt in May.
  • Our new class of Fresh Meats in the OKRD did amazing this year – and so proud of my Derby Mom and her wife (Slam and Shady) for stepping up and becoming a great source of leadership in the league
  • Susan – became a published author! So excited for her future books and really happy to see someone’s passion brought to life
  • My parents got to go back to the Philippines for the first time in 20ish years, and it looks like they had a fantastic time!
  • 2 of my close friends got married this year! Happy Weddings to Annky and Emily! (and a shoutout to Matt from Mitsunation Winnipeg for his nuptials this year too!)
  • One of my friends got Engaged – Congratulations to E and Brian!
  • Meanbean got WFTDA certified for NSO’ing and NSO’ed a regional WFTDA tournament in Vancouver!
  • Derby wife got to meet her musical hero this year and it looked like she had an epic time!
  • Manic finished a few marathons and is a machine!!
  • Shady Lady is making herself a derby baby and I can’t wait to meet them 😀
  • Calgary Roller Derby Allstars kicked all the butts at the WFTDA D2 playoffs and brought home a bronze medal!
  • Tidbit – my doppelganger – made it to the second round of Team Canada Tryouts!
  • Babies! – Holly go Blightly (Melissa), Bane, Prim, and Homestar all produced some cute little kidlets this year!
  • Transfer skaters – The OKRD gets to welcome some fantastic transfer skaters this year – Betty Bomber, FN Classy, and Roc-A-Felon!
  • Lots of friends have found happiness and strength in finding new paths in their lives and I am so happy to be part of their journey.

All this awesome this year and I can’t wait to see what 2017 brings us!

What are your awesome moments from 2016?

-until then…

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My Way Out

There’s this song that has expressed my relationship with skating since I first put skates on my feet over 10 years ago.

My Way Out – David Usher

Roller derby was by far not the first obsession I had with skates.

First it was short-track, and this man:

I could block this, or be blocked by this all day long.

I could block this, or be blocked by this all day long.

 

I’ve written endlessly on how much Apolo Ohno has influenced my life and my training as a skater even to this day, and I can only hope to build even just a small percent of myself as focused and disciplined as he is as an athlete.

Knowing the reality of my life and understanding that skating short-track would never come to fruition, I strapped on a pair of rollerblades and skated anywhere and everywhere. I skated all over Calgary, used skates to commute to work, to the gym.. Skating was all the things to me. I even accumulated a small collection of road rash scars from my escapades on rollerblades..

… life sucks? skate.

… need to think? skate.

….. everything is AWESOME? skate.

I’ve lived my life on skates for as long as I can remember, and unfortunately every time I did put on a pair of skates.. it was always too late to make a competitive difference in my life. I never got to be that short-track skater, I never got to skate inline speed skating races or aggressive inline..

… and that’s where roller derby was the difference.

Roller derby afforded me the opportunity to finally bring out the athlete hiding in me, the person that I’ve wanted to become since I laid eyes on that one short track race in 2002. It got me to places that I had never heard of, met amazing and fantastic people and helped me cross off a big thing on my bucket list which was to try out for a national team.

I didn’t make the team, but hey… I now have another goal which I work towards every day.

Skating was no longer just the escape, it has become my life. A life that I need no escapes from, where I can skate as fast and as hard as I can with a shit-eating grin on my face, knowing that yes… I am free.

This is my way out, and it’s fantastic.

 

Back at it again

Yep, it’s definitely been a while since I’ve blogged.

You know those New Years resolutions that people tend to forget about weeks later, yeah.. that was one of them.

Life just took over, scheduling all the roller derby, training for a triathlon, work, personal life… it’s been quite the busy year!

I’ve been doing lots with roller derby, project life, training and cards and I hope that I can keep up with this blog better than I have before.

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4 Years Done

4 years is a pretty long time.

4 years ago, I had just celebrated my 1 year anniversary of playing roller derby.

4 years ago, I was decompressing from planning a wedding.

4 years ago, I was working for an entirely different company in an entirely different field.

4 years ago, I decided that working for newspapers wasn’t going to be the end of my career, I wanted to advance and I wanted to get better, so I started online courses through BCIT and trudged my way through course by course by course. Through the span of time, I managed to land a really great web development job that helps me learn new things every day, and continued to bust my ass at a full time job while finishing web development courses in my ‘spare’ time.

I’ve skipped roller derby practices (gasp!), parties, outings.. devoted weekends to coding… and now I can say it..

I’M DONE!

I handed my last assignment in, and I feel at least 10 lbs lighter! I’m so excited for the possibility that this extra time has (like say, being able to consistently write in my blog!), I’ll be able to not only care for my physical well-being, but my mental well-being.

Super duper exciting times! Can’t wait to start writing more!

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One Jam At a Time

On my way home from practice last night, I remembered saying something to my fellow team-mates before I left about our upcoming game with the Bad Apple Betties. We just have to work on winning the jam, and we work with one jam at a time, with the knowledge that the next one will be a clean slate and we can try it again and again.

Derby is a tough sport to learn and master, and for some people the strategy can be overwhelming. As a team we are quite anxious (and rather excited) coming up to a game where we face the top-ranked team in the league, but I believe if we take the game one jam at a time, and focus on being a better team than we were last season, we can come away from this game with a positive outcome, no matter what the score. We’ve been working hard as a team to gel and focus on playing the sport smarter, so I can’t wait to see how things work this season.

We get together as a team prior to the game, and we set out our goals for the game. Some people think it’s cheesy, but if we have something to focus on within ourselves, we can always work towards that and consider it a success when it does happen. As a captain, I want to foster the positive vibe within my team (and anyone who comes and joins us), I want my team to always be working towards a goal as a team and as a player.

I look forward to more practices and ultimately the game, come see us play – April 20th – Memorial Arena – Kelowna!

Facebook Event Page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/358624610916685/

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twenty-12

.. I’ve been mulling this post over, and over and over. My return to blogging my journey. 2012 has been an interesting year, my 2nd year of marriage, a year of many solo trips to Calgary, the year I got to travel for work.. my 3rd year of roller derby… there were so many moments in the year I can look back and be satisfied with what I put in, 

… but there was one moment that stuck out in my mind of 2012. It had absolutely NOTHING to do with Derby, nothing to do with training, or work, or being married… no, it had everything to do with the journey that I have been on… and the culmination of almost more than a decade of waiting..

This moment. That song. That concert.

I got pretty emotional when I heard the first few riffs of the song, knowing that the first time I heard the song was back in 2003, my last year of high school. It took 12 years for Linkin Park to come to Calgary.. and in those 12 years, no band has had such an influence on me, their music represents an era in my life, so much so that most of the music I train to is Linkin Park. “Somewhere I belong” resonated with me… knowing how hard it was to become someone I wanted to be, finding somewhere to belong.. knowing that every step that I had taken in the real world would get me there, that it was going to be tough, I would make and lose friends along the way.. but at that moment, when that song came on.. I knew, that the hard part was over.. I found somewhere to belong, and my little 17 year old self did not fight in vain.

I think about her every single time I do a burpee, every morning I wake up at 5 am while the rest of the city sleeps in their nice warm beds… I think about her every time I feel lost, she knew what she wanted and went out and got it. I think about the devotion to training to becoming a better skater, even at the age of 16, when the hope of even strapping on speed skates was so far away… 

… I hope I made her proud this year… and I hope that I keep making her proud, because I won’t stop. I can’t stop. I will make myself the best possible athlete I can make myself, you want commitment? you want devotion? You’ll see it. 

2012 was the year I reached my goal of 160, something that I had been working years for. I have my team (K City Rollers), my trainers (Carly and company at Vo2Max West Kelowna), my inspirations (Merry Maim, Smacksaw Jim Duggan and Bettie Bellringer) and my husband (Super Dave) to thank for that.. I have never been in better shape, and more committed than I am now. .. let’s see what 2013 will bring for me.  

There are no resolutions, there is nothing quantifiable that I want, I just want to be better. I want to skate faster, hit harder, and be agile. I want to play smart, play hard and play the best game I can. 

Just bring 2013. I’m ready.

On July 31st of last year, I said that I would go on this journey and never take a step back. Well, I’m going to continue this journey.. for realz this time yo.

thelancergirl | blair block

You read about it all the time, weight reduction. Make cars lighter, cars go faster.. make skates lighter, skates move easier.

When I used to race my car at Race City in Calgary, I would make the effort to take the entire back seat, subwoofer, amp and trunk out of my car.  Even if that squeaked an extra eighth of a second out of my time.. I was going to do it.

I figured that at some point, the same must be true for derby… the lighter you are, and the more power you have to invest.. your power to weight ratio would be great.

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New things on the horizon!

I’ve been hoping to have more time to blog about things lately, give reviews on new objects I’ve acquired (such as Avenger plates!), and it’s been quite a busy few months! This is a good busy though.. and I have been working on a new project with my friend Rin, and we’ll be debuting it in the next month or so!

Derby is awesome, 2012 is shaping up to be an exciting year for the OKRD and I look forward to leading the K City Rollers to awesomeness, more to come later!

Hype Machine: Backwoods Brawl – June 9th, 2011

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