Month: July 2013

Lucky Little Miracle Mile

Music is such an amazing outlet. Whether it is playing, or just yelling along to the lyrics as we drive (check out the song “Open Road Song” by Eve 6 for an excellent musical tale about doing just that) – music is a release. Music can get the message out to others that we are too shy to express. (“Mix Tape” from Avenue Q anyone?) And while not every song lyrically reflects my feelings as of late, some of them are just fun to dance along to. Like track one.

I’ve decided to share with you my newest mix CD. Yes. I still make mix CDs. Stop laughing, please. I always name my disc with a mix of names from the album. So here is the disc I am now singing at FULL VOLUME. Want to know me better, check out the music. There are themes of confusion, betrayal, jealousy, triumph, love, confidence, understanding, sex, defiance, strength, aspirations, miscommunication, nostalgia; just to scratch the surface.

Lucky Little Miracle Mile Mix:

Harlem – New Politics
Pain –Jimmy Eat World
Kill Your Heroes – AWOLNATION
Little Talks – Of Monsters and Men
Cough Syrup – Young the Giant
Safe and Sound – Capital Cities
Miracle Mile – Cold War Kids
HarderBetterFasterStronger – Daft Punk
Tiptoe – Imagine Dragons
Fresh Blood – Eels
Get Lucky – Daft Punk (feat. Pharrell Williams)
Royals – Lorde
Wake Up – AWOLNATION
Changing – Airbourne Toxic Event
Mr. Brightside – The Killers
Feeling This – Blink 182
Bleeding Out – Imagine Dragons
Uninvited – Alanis Morissette

Photo by Rick Odell. The songs on this CD will help me focus into even MORE of a beast.
Photo by Rick Odell. The songs on this CD will help me focus into even MORE of a beast.

Atlantic Coast Derbalife Domination: Week 2!

Well, I’m on day #14. Officially 2 weeks of travel, training, coaching, vending and derby. There have been ups and downs, it’s absolutely true. It looks like my time in New England is going to come to an end quicker than anticipated, so Friday or Saturday I will be heading back to the New Jersey/Philadelphia area. (So if your team practices Friday and you’re looking for a guest coach let me know!)

This last 7 days have been pretty intense. What has really helped is having a home base since Saturday. MikeOpathic and Wife-Opathic have been amazing hosts for me. They have the comfiest couch I’ve ever slept on and have been gracious enough to let me put my Herbalife on their counter and a few of my beers in their fridge.  Their cat, Socks, looks like my Wesley and has the temper of Abbey, but it’s ok.

I’ve gotten to do 2 outdoor skates (one with the Opathics and a 30 mile adventure with another Viking, Jack Hammer’d), I’ve coached three leagues (Mass Attack, Worcester and Bay State) and tonight I’m going to a co-ed scrimmage hosted by Mass Maelstrom.

A recap of 30 miles in Rhode Island!
A recap of 30 miles in Rhode Island!

The struggle this week has been to balance my eating with not being at home, my work with an unusual schedule and my knee after it popped during a demo at Mass Attack.

I will say this however: when my injury first started occurring and my knee would ‘pop’. I would be down and out for 2 weeks. Now, it pops and I’m back up in 10 minutes. Seriously. I ungeared at Mass Attack and by the time I was done taking my stuff off, I could put full weight on it. The next day I could straighten it completely. The day after that I had full range of motion again. Is it tender? Yea. But no more than it was before it popped.

Worcester Roller Derby are doing good stuff
Mass Attack Roller Derby are doing good stuff

Hell yes, good nutrition. While my first week on the road was not stellar for my protein count and vitamin intake, I have been really strict with myself this week. Vitamins and Herbalifeline, a shake a day minimum, at least 100g of protein and plenty of water. Boom. Injuries cannot stand in my way!!!

On the Derbalife front, I am trying to get the men of derby to pay attention, but getting them on my side is difficult. I believe it may simply be because they think I cannot possibly know what they need – since I’m a lady. So, I’m taking a new approach at Men’s Derby …

Hey men on wheels! Let me replace products you use already with the Herbalife equivalent for one month. See if you’re into what we have to offer. Whether it’s a pre-workout, post-workout, your Monster, your Gatorade, your Clif Bars or your vitamins: I have something for you. What have you got to lose?

Getting amped up for Rollercon too. A lot of details are still up in the air, but I am optimistic as always! Also, I will be heading to the Mohawk Valley Cup in a few weeks as a vendor for a men’s derby tournament.

Finally…. It’s happening folks. Team Rogue will ride again!! We are going to be playing the Penn Jersey Hooligans on September 29th on the bank track. It’s a double header that night, and guess what else is amazing? I get to play both bouts. I will be making my debut on the PA All-Star team that night as we take on the Penn Jersey She Devils. It’s going to be wicked. If you are anywhere near Philly, you have got to come to this!

Go Rogue or GO HOME
Go Rogue or GO HOME

Finally … if you are a Derbalife athlete with a health result or a before/after picture, we at Derbalife want you to be a part of our revamped website! Have you stopped using your inhaler? Cut down your lap time? Lost weight? Gained weight? Become the top jammer? Become the strongest blocker? Send Derbalife@gmail.com your story, derby name, league and who your coach is. Also include a photo of you (or a before/after if you have it!). We need testimonials from Derbalife Coaches as well!

If you are a Derbalife athlete going to a Divisional tournament, mention that in your message – we have swag for our tournament skaters. E-mail Derbalife@gmail.com with your name, league, which divisional and who your Derbalife coach is to reserve your swag.

Phew. That was a much longer update than intended. I hope you all are enjoying my updates. I may do another entry later on tonight or tomorrow. For now… Happy skating!!

At CrossFit Collective doin' work
At CrossFit Collective doin’ work

If you are interested in getting hooked up with Derbalife, or if your league is looking for a Derbalife Boot Camp opportunity, drop me a line at DerbyAmerica@yahoo.com!

Atlantic Coast Derbalife Domination: WEEK 1 Recap

I’m a week into my adventure. There has been so much that has happened in the last week. There has been a lot of driving, a lot of Herbalife shakes, a lot of crashing at people’s houses.

So let me say that the first half of my adventure was a little bit more loosely planned than the second half. So I knew that there was going to be a little more, “Wait, what am I doing today??” at first. I’ve gotten a chance to meet a LOT of roller girls (and boys) in the last seven days. I need paparazzi so I can remember all the awesome things we’ve done!

Day #1: Atlantic Coast Roller Girls – Coaching

Day #2: Harm City Homicide (vs. PVRD’s Dirty Dozen) – Bench-coaching

Day #3: Harm City Homicide (vs. Mass Maelstrom) – Bench-coaching/Party at JBeast’s!

Day #4: Penn Jersey Bank Track – Practice

Day #5: Strong Island Derby Revolution – Coaching

Day #6: Red Bank Roller Vixens – Coaching

Day #7: Day off – evening at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Skate Park!

Notes on Coaching Days:

Ok, so let me say that every single league has been amazing. Some leagues have gotten to see more of my “Snap to Attention” style of coaching than others (sorry, Strong Island!) but I am super proud of EVERY skater that took part in practices.

I work with smaller leagues. That’s my passion. I love helping skaters gain confidence when they are still rookie to intermediate level skaters. I love helping people improve their fundamentals and learn how to incorporate those fundamentals into game play. I love hearing skaters say, “I never thought of that!” or “I’ve never heard it broken down like that!” or “That makes so much sense!”

I love seeing skaters accomplish new skills and build the confidence to try old skills at a more advanced rate. Every single skater, by the end of practice, was stronger at SOME skill or had a better idea of how to deal with an on-track scenario. I also thinking the coaches and captains had a greater perspective of how to incorporate skills and ideas into practice. At least – that’s what I am telling myself!

I also have to say that I love hearing, “That was the hardest practice ever.”

Throughout my days coaching, I got to hang out with some awesome folks. The AC girls had a great perspective on their league since they came from a MADE rule set previously. For those of you in the southern PA area … I met a skater who, I swear, is the love child of Verbal Assault (independent ref) and Scruff (skater from Mason-Dixon). Yea. Think about that one, Friends!

Scruff + Verbal = Awesome.
Scruff + Verbal = Awesome.
Strong Island Derby Revolution!
Strong Island Derby Revolution!
Myself and Trinity of Strong Island
Myself and Trinity of Strong Island

 

A note about Bench Coaching:

This was my first time bench coaching boys! I was so happy when Hittsburgh and Sin Diesel asked me to help the men of Harm City Homicide during their New England bouts. HCH knew they would be skating short for the weekend, and at the last minute, there was a family emergency for one of our skaters, so we competed with 9 guys.

We went into both games with a positive attitude and a strong sense of team. We were going to fight, regardless of the score. My job was to keep the guys calm and happy on the sidelines as I rotated in skaters who were less tired than the others.

The Dirty Dozen were a great team to skate against (I like that I also got to bench coach against my friends MikeOpathic and JBeast from Maelstrom!), and even though it was extremely hot and the floor was like ice after a while (Yay puddles of sweat) everyone seems to have had a really good time during the bout.

This was the first bout I’ve ever won as a bench coach! This was also the first time I ever got a chance to challenge a penalty (and I won!).

Sunday morning was a really, really tough bout for HCH. The Mass Maelstrom have played MANY hard competitions in the last few months. Though they don’t have many official wins this season, a 12 point loss to Shock Exchange at ECDX is nothing to scoff about. Their team work has been ever improving, their backwards blocking is intimidating and their ability to bridge backwards really is soul crushing.

Did we do well against them? No. We lost by over 500 points. Am I proud of the 12 points we scored? Hell yes. They fought and earned each one. We had one skater throw up, two others who I thought had seriously injured themselves. Almost all 9 guys wore the star at one point or another. There were a few fires to put out on the bench, but when sat down and told to ‘play nice’ or ‘shut the f*** up’ they listened. When I told them to breathe, they did.

Some of the guys thought I was a little nuts when I started sending out packs of jammers as blockers, but when you’re down hundreds of points, you want any advantage you can get. The agility of our jammers really showed when they were given a chance to block, and some of our blockers got a chance to shine with the star. Well…as much as they could. (Ogden totally got lead jammer over Jurasskick Park!)

Harm warming up before the Dirty Dozen
Harm before the Dirty Dozen bout
I didn't get to eat much on my way up, so this was the "During the Bout" fuel for the Dirty Dozen
I didn’t get to eat much on my way up, so this was the “During the Bout” fuel for the Dirty Dozen
Against Mass Maelstrom the goal was to remain happy and animated on the bench. "Hey! I don't care what you do, just do it as a team!"
Against Mass Maelstrom the goal was to remain happy and animated on the bench. “Hey! I don’t care what you do, just do it as a team!”

A Note About Everything Else:

This has been awesome so far. Strong Island was a last minute booking that resulted in me crashing with my friend Mystery Violence Theatre in her Brooklyn digs. We skated together at Harrisburg, and it was awesome getting to catch up with her.

The chance to skate on the Bank Track with my Penn Jersey friends was fantastic. It was my first time taking part in one of their weekday practices, with their regular coaches (old school guys … the one dude’s roller skates may have been older than most of the skaters on the She Devils). It was a billion degrees in the warehouse, but the chance to bounce around the track and even get in some scrimmage time – was totally worth it.

I got a chance to visit FDR skate park a couple times as well and I am stoked to know that every time I go I am getting a little better and a little braver. My time yesterday involved a few bowls where I was actually able to get some height.

Yesterday I got to hang out with a group of skate boarders who were there – these guys have been riding for over 20 years. The one was from San Fran area, knows Cruz of Cruz Skate Shop, and was “glad there was derby girl to show off for.” (“Look at you, you’ve even got little shorts on and you’re not afraid to fall. Awesome.”)  **SWOON**

What? I’m not proud. I’ll admit it.

While I was up in Massachusetts, I got to hang out at Brohalla with Rottie and Jack Hammer’d and the fabulous JBeast had a small pool party post-Maestrom bout that I got to attend. I am a fan of small gatherings so we can actually talk to each other, but I am sad that more of my buddies from the team didn’t make it out. Regardless, we had a great day of food, talking about Goldie’s allergies, drinking, convincing JBeast’s non-derby friends to start skating, attempts at one handed handstands and daredevils jumping from the roof to the pool, and beer pong (Jack and I were the team to beat). Overall, an excellent party (despite the hangover the next morning), and I was glad to have attended!

So what’s next?

For the next week and a half: more derby, more Herbalife, more skating and more amazing experiences. Tonight I will be making my way up to the Jerzey Derby Brigade for an open scrimmage. From there, I will travel back up to New England where I will have a table at the Mass Attack LADIES FIRST double header.

I will be hanging out with MikeO and WifeOpathic for most of the week, so that way I can strike out from their house to work with: Mass Attack, Worcester Roller Derby and Bay State. I will also be doing the Mass Maelstrom Co-Ed Scrimmage, there is the Herbalife Leadership Conference in Boston and possibly other coaching gigs while I’m up north. Then … one day and I’m off to ROLLERCON!!

 

The Skate Park
The Skate Park
Skate park takeover
Skate park takeover
Post Skate Park
Post Skate Park

 

Brooklyn with Mystery Violence!
Brooklyn with Mystery Violence!

To get me there I am working with as many people on nutrition as possible in the next week – I’m taking Rollercon PRE-ORDERS and I want to help you get your nutrition straightened out to give you the edge you need in life or in athletics. Contact me at KGreyActiveNutrition@gmail.com to talk about your goals and get on your plan today.

If you think what I’m doing is amazing, guess what? You could do it too. Becoming a health coach allows you to choose your own vision for your business to make it into whatever you can dream up. Contact me and let’s get you started on an amazing business where you feel awesome every day because of fantastic nutrition.

 

Ruckus. A giant bunny who lives with Peter Rottentail (also known as Hasselmann, of Maelstrom)
Ruckus. A giant bunny who lives with Peter Rottentail (also known as Hasselmann, of Maelstrom)

A.C. Derbalife Domination ENGAGED

I cannot even explain how excited I am about what is happening in my career as a Derbalife wellness & training coach.

All of us dream about making roller derby our full time job.  Today I take one step closer to doing exactly that. It’s been my vision for my Derbalife business has always been to build an online community of athletes who lean on each other as they meet their goals and challenge each other to achieve amazing heights. That online community would then be supported by in-person support, guest coaching and roller derby training and skating centers.

So while I am a long way from opening my own training facility, I’m stoked to be working with The Pivot Center on nutrition. There is also another facility that could be an awesome member of our Derba-family (more info about that when I’m able to talk about it).

The Pivot Center in Virginia is one of the training centers I'm so excited to be working with!
The Pivot Center in Virginia is one of the training centers I’m so excited to be working with!

Today, something big is starting. I’m stoked to say that I will be spending the next 18 days on the road coaching derby & nutrition, vending, bench coaching, scrimmaging and more. I am having trouble even wrapping my mind around all the awesome that is about to happen.

While I cannot announce ALL the leagues I’ll be working with [yet], I can say that I am definitely going to be visiting Worcester Roller Derby, the Bay State Brawlers, Red Bank Roller Vixens and tonight is Atlantic Coast. There are five other leagues I’m waiting to hear final confirmation from. I’m calling it the Atlantic Coast Derbalife Domination. It is coined for this tour, but it will be the theme of all the awesome things going on up and down the Atlantic Coast with the Derbalife team!

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Also, if you’re league is somewhere in the general Lower New England/East NY, East PA, or upper NJ I still have Sunday the 21st and Monday the 30th open in my schedule for sure. Or, if you want me to put you on the will call list in case I get a cancellation, still message me. E-mail me at DerbyAmerica@yahoo.com or text me at 717-602-7880. Whether for guest coaching or just nutrition classes!

So … I will be out and about. I will be updating as I go on this blog and on my Facebook and Twitter as well. I’m excited to bench coach for Harm City Homicide this weekend and I may be attending other bouts while I’m out and about as well. Thank you in advance to all the leagues I’ll be working with.

Oh yea, did I tell you that I leave for Rollercon as soon as I’m back? Rock on. If you want to join the Atlantic Coast Derbalife Domination (even if you’re not on the Atlantic Coast) and become a Derbalife coach and take a step towards making derby YOUR full-time job? Contact me at DerbyAmerica@yahoo.com

Red Carpet v Black Listed Rollercon 2012
Red Carpet v Black Listed Rollercon 2012 by Jason Sanetti

Weakness, doubt, fear, beauty, courage, power

Even the strongest of us have weak moments.

Even those of us who train hard and crave power and strength have times where we wonder why we work so hard. Is that extra rep worth it? Is that extra lifting session going to change anything?

Even we who struggle to change the discourse of beauty, and strive to shift the world’s gaze on women wonder if we’re beautiful. Does he not like me more because I’m not a skinny model? Am I too boyish to be seen with in public? Would he talk to me more if my cup size was bigger? Would he want to be my boyfriend if I was pretty like that other girl? Would he be less ashamed if I was more timid?

Even when confidence is at its peak and we know we can conquer the world, that voice in our head tries to belittle us. You can’t do it. You won’t do it. Look at you failing. You’re about to fail. No one wants you. No one trusts you. You’re defective. You won’t get it right. You’re making the wrong choices again. You’ll always be a failure. You’ll always lose. You’ll always be alone. You’re not girlfriend material. You’re too dumb. Too lazy. Too ugly. Too slow. Too clumsy. Too weak.

 

When every doubt comes at us with the speed and force of a bullet train, we must overcome.

We must trust ourselves to make the right decision when a new situation arises.

We must believe that we are greater than our fears.

We must persevere in the face of failure and doubt.

We must understand that we are desirable and beautiful. That the last rep is worth it. That our speed is greater than our mind can comprehend. That our passion is worthy.

And we must know that if the rest of the world doesn’t see that now, one day they will. That day, when we join the Giants we have been stretching for all of our lives? That will be the sweetest day we have ever known. At least, until we reach the next marker.

Strength and courage. Maybe I'm not the prettiest, or the thinnest; I'm not the strongest or the fastest either. I am me. And this I am working on accepting fully.
Strength and courage. Maybe I’m not the prettiest, or the thinnest; I’m not the strongest or the fastest either. I am me. And this I am working on accepting fully. Thank you Quick Draw Photography for the photo

Mental limits and real joy

Photo by Fiona Eloisa Photography
Photo by Fiona Eloisa Photography

I’m not going to lie: ECDX was a challenge for me.

I have this habit of putting really high standards on myself, and putting too much pressure on myself to perform. Then, when the team needs me in a different capacity than expected or something happens to change the way the game goes (compared to what I envisioned), I become stressed. I beat myself up. I make it harder to compete at that high level I hold for myself.

The whole cycle can get utterly ridiculous.

We all play a mental game when we step onto our track. How we perform depends on a myriad of outside forces not limited to how much sleep we got the night before, if our trucks feel tighter than normal, if we’re unsure what wheels to use and even who may or may not be watching us in the crowd.

The ability to shut off the receptors to the outside world is the first step to mental game dominance. Figuring out a bout day routine that you can take anywhere will help you prepare for the challenges ahead. So many of us create routines that rely on the comfort of a home bout; you need to be able to perform your warm-up (mental and physical) in any arena, at any time of day.

You are not preparing for an opponent. You are preparing to overcome your own physical limitations and to play the best game of your life. Preparing mentally takes just as much practice as preparing physically. Many of us ask the question, “How do we play a better mental game?” But few of us consider the repetition involved with developing it.

Mastering your mind, creating preparation routines to set yourself in the right frame of the game and then stepping into each jam with clarity and confidence – that is what we aim to do. This game is supposed to be fun. The physical nature, the mental challenge and the constant motion of the game is what every derby skater craves. Doing it to your highest limit, and even surpassing what you thought was possible – that is what we strive to achieve. Overcoming our own internal limits to accomplish a physical feat is what we all train daily for.

So now back to the self-destruction.

Stepping on the track tired, dehydrated, irritated, without proper mental prep, worried about an injury, etc etc etc will cause you to spiral out of control. Create triggers in your head right now so that if those things are happening to you as the game approaches, you can stop, reset and re-invent your mindset.

At first, you may need a team mate to snap you out of it. When that moment of realization of game day-crankiness occurs, stop. Acknowledge. Think about how you feel. That way [if there is] the next time, your own internal alarm will trigger and you can get your mindset right before disrupting your own gameplay or (worse) the mood of your team mates.

This is my challenge: understanding that I am better than I believe, that I can do more than I think and that I am quicker than my opponents. My challenge is to not be concerned that a motion is going to hurt me, and that I am going to break the pack. My challenge is to always have a smile on my face, even if I don’t play as much as I want to; even if my team needs me in a different capacity than I want to play. This is why ECDX was tough for me. I did not have my mental game in order. I did not go through my routine and I did not understand that I wasn’t going up against an opponent.

My challenge is to go up against myself, play to my limits and savor the joy of that 25 point jam with the team that loves and supports me as much as I love and support them.

Photo by Click Dastardly
Photo by Click Dastardly

Project: Wheels & Words

I have begun a project of motivational quotes and messages attached to derby photos. I found that I was tired of motivating people with photos that weren’t related to the sport that so many of my friends and clients relate to. The second part of the project is going to be a blog inspired by each photo. I want to talk about the messages conveyed and how each individual can use those messages for motivation and support along their journey.

In roller derby, we have a huge family. It’s a network of athletes that spans the globe, and a community feeling that is rarely seen in other athletic endeavors. I believe the underground nature of the game sparks the feeling of camaraderie among us (much like skateboarders, BMXers or rock climbers).  However, being so spread out can make us all feel a bit like an island sometimes. Even though we have our league-mates for support, sometimes it’s nice to know that the new skater in California has the same feelings as the 3 year vet in Maine.

Hopefully, we can continue to come together, share and support each other through the online community that has really helped to fan this spark of revolution. Flat. Banked. WFTDA. MRDA. JRDA. OSDA. RDCL. MADE. USARS. Renegade. We are all derby family, and I am proud to be considered a motivational leader among us.

 

If you have a motivational message, or a photo you would like me to include in the project, please send it to me at DerbyAmerica@yahoo.com … Make sure that you have the permission of the photographer if you send me a photo. I also would love to include your favorite quote, or even your own thoughts on the game. Make sure you include your name (real or otherwise), if you’re associated with a league, and if you’re an official or a skater. That way I can give full credit!