We all know that playing roller derby isn't always JUST about skatin' and hittin'. There are a lot of little nuts and bolts that are required to make practices and bouts happen. That can be tiring - especially when you consider that the skaters do all the work themselves, in addition to training and their normal "Day Jobs" and family lives.
"Our season is 10 months long, and I've just finished my 7th season. This means that for 7 years I have spent an average of 3 days each week at practice, 44 weeks per year. During the season, I spend at minimum 25 hours a month on league work, 20 hours at practice, 16 hours commuting, and 15 hours cross-training." - Leigh Featherstone, Muñecas Muertas captain.
A lot of skaters look forward to off-season for this very reason - a chance to sit for a few weeks and not have to drive any further than the nearest grocery store. Whether it's families that miss us, illness, or just straight up fatigue, November is always greeted with a sort of sigh of relief.
"The first week or so I take a complete break from exercise. I'm always amazed at how much inflammation goes down during this time."
- Leigh Featherstone
Some skaters just don't stop: "I change things up by focusing on strength training, specifically during off season." - Harley Darlin'
A number of skaters also look to this time of the year to recuperate their bodies and prepare for the next season.
"I get to work on strength training because it's harder to build muscle during the season. I make it to an Olympic lifting gym 3 or 4 days per week and follow the program designed by my weightlifting coach. I also spend time to make sure my muscles are working correctly, especially with pre-hab exercises for my ankles and glutes." - Leigh Featherstone
Gwynn the Gremlin, a skater who joined DCRD mid-season, says, "I've been going to the gym consistently. Building some [strength to my arms and legs] and core. Also doing cardio. It should help me at least get contact cleared early in the new year if anything."
"I am doing off season strength training. Mondays I meet with a trainer and we do arms. Tuesday and Thursday nights I do an hour long boot camp that involves strength training as well as endurance. Wednesday I am back with my trainer doing leg work. He actually has me put my skates on the last 15 minutes and he has me do a variety of pushing & hitting drills. Finally there is a Saturday am boot camp." - Harley Darlin'
Some of us have things we're looking for specifically. SkelaLaur, who is entering her fourth season, has a workout with the goal of building overall strength and muscle mass. She achieves this by "...lifting heavy; doing squats, cleans, and bench, adding other weightlifting to complement these lifts, like back (upper and lower), triceps, biceps, and hamstring work. I lift like this 2-3 times per week."
There is an amazing group of newer skaters who spend every spare moment hitting Bosque trails with their skates, the local skating rink, and just generally chatting about how to retain everything they learned this year and carry it over into the next.
"I like lifting heavy but I tried to focus on doing less weight and more reps. I've also been working on balance by incorporating plyometric-like exercises between lifting reps." - Black Mamba
Black Mamba and Marie Furie also state that they've been doing plenty of wall sits during every day activities like brushing teeth, planks, and enjoying time at the local skate park.
Whatever you do - even if that's nothing at all - we at Duke City hope you are enjoying your off-season and have caught up on Gilmore Girls.
"The best part of the off-season? I binge watch movies and television I haven't had time for in months. " - Leigh Featherstone.