May 30, 2016

Swedish Mens Roller Derby

Photo by Sarah Ekstrand

Photo by Sarah Ekstrand
Wow, it really has been a long time since I wrote here. I just have been so busy, that I have't really had time to write about rollerderby.
School, work and rollerderby has taken up my time, and the usual, having feelings and all that... I guess I am human, whatever that means. Oh, well... back to rollerderby...
This weekend we had the third practice with Team Sweden, the mens version... and they really are coming together nicely. Oh, maybe I forgot to mention that, I am one of the coaches of Team Sweden, the mens team. It is really nice to be just coaching a team, and not be playing at all, even if I sometimes just wanna jump in and play, because I always love to play.

But Friday night I took the train down to Gothenburg and Saturday morning started with a photosession, we all know how importatnt it is with taking the headshots... Oh well, I guess it is a little faster with the guys. I don't tink it is because they care less about their apperance, it is rather htat they do't have to fix their makeup... I offered to braid beards and hair... no one took me up on that...

After that we just practices, talked, practices and talked... It was a really good day, te guys take feedback really well, and they also keep on trying new things. But htey did look really exhausted in the end of the day. No wonder, they were inside the venue from 9 am til 5pm... except from when we let them out for the group photo. I am really excited to go to Calgary with them this summer to see what we can do! And I also get to see a bunch of my friends from allover the world again.... I am still thinking about a good outfit... for the bench... I might be a little wilder than the other coach... she did not seem psyked about wearing Bikinis and representing the Swedish bikini team... actuelly I never brought that up, I thought it might just be too much... actually too cold... I didnt even like the idea myself...

And on Sunday htey went up to play a mixed team called the Nutcrackers... and they WON big time! I am really proud of them. I couldn't be there because I had to go back to Stockholm on Saturday night and run leauge practice for Stockholm. But In a few weeks I will be going with them to Finaland when they are playing Team Finland in Helsinki. There are promises (or threats) about saunas... I am excited about it.. .as I always am! Well, coaching more than the sauna... and yes, if we happen not win the game,we have to win the sauna... so that is the motivation to win... trying to win sauna against Finns, are like trying to tell a five year old to give their little sister ALL their candy... yikes!

Oh, and the mens team has a pretty epic new logo this year, its a hipster viking. I like it, more than the previous polarbear, since Sweden don't have polarbears... Norway does... we just got hella lot of moose... 

Mar 14, 2016

And the season has began...

Stockholm Allstars is a different team from last season, we had a big turnover of skaters and were facing the problem many teams has, a rebuilding year.
So we started our rebuilding already in January, and ideal would have been if we did not have to play any risky teams until May, when our team should have been settled a little more. But you cannot always get what you ask for, that be too much to ask for. So in the end of February we had two SFC games scheduled and then the next week we were heading to Malmö for the European Smackdown. As a co-captain of a team ranked 17th but with a completely new charter, I felt like we had quite a challenge in front of us.

One of the important things to get the team used to, was intensity, if you play in Div 1, you just HAVE to move it, move it, move it, and also play smart, and REALLY know where you are at all times. So we also revisited a lot of basics, basic blocking is actually just what it sounds like, basic, but OH so important. If you dont have your basics down then you have nothing...
COMMUNICATION on and off track, working on a more transparent team, it is hard, because sometimes you think you have told skaters things, but you actually did not. Life is full of challenges and giving people bad news, such as in that they are not rostered is never fun. It is not only on the management I suppose, being a bubble skater at times in Gotham, taught me one thing, TO GET BETTER. At one point you should just become so good that everyone WANTS to skate with you. If you always secondguess yourself or if you always just do your own things, you will probably never get off the bubble. Keep clean, keep positive and see observe what they skaters on track need more off, and be that person that fills that void. 

Feb 24, 2016

ICELAND, coaching in the land of snow

I went to Iceland in February with one of my close friends Frozen Chosen. He is sort of a cool guy, plays roller derby and work as a stuntman, no big deal. But that's not why we are friends, it's something about just being comfortable in each others company. And we spent lots of time together last year, when I hijacked his garden and made everything grow there.  I had not seen him since I hung out in Alaska in August, so I was more than excited to see him, I even cried a little. Yeah, I am an emotional person!

Oh, well... before I went to Iceland I got in touch with the Icelandic rollerderby team, and checked if maybe we could come and practice with them. And we were told that we were more than welcome, and in the end they asked if we maybe could run one of the practices. ANd since I really love coaching and I am excited about ALL the Scandinavian rollerderby there can be. I have never coached with Frozen before, and I have nver realized what a great coach he is. We ended up coaching and then we got to scrimmage some too.

After the first practice we went to, we were taken for some beers, and they have some good local beers on  Iceland, and after the second practice we went to, we were taken to go swimming at one of their many public baths. All the pools are hot and heated from the ground, they are after all living on an island that's on fire... forged out of ice and fire... Iceland is breathtaking, I want to go back, and I will go back... 

Feb 18, 2016

EROC 2016

Me and Only talking about Team Structure at EROC 2016

I have been to EROC more than once, more than twice, more than trice... I've been to EROC a total of FOUR times, and there has been SIX EROC. I really love EROC, and this year I came to represent Track Advantage and to run two seminars, one by myself and one with Only.

It is so interesting to see how rollerderby in Europe is developing and growing, how we face new challanges and leave old ones behind us. I truly love to observe that we truly grow and are becoming a force to reckon. Everyone has worked so hard on making their leauges stronger and trying to figure things out. EROC is such a wonderful place where we all can meet and talk, get together and see that problems are easier to go trough and solve when you don't have to do it by yourself.

I am always happy to see so many of my friends and acctually realize what a positive influence rollerderby have had on my life. We all work towards the same goal, together to become something amazing and more organised, to take ownership of the sport we like.

The WFTDA discussions are always interesting, and we work towards a great goal, to be able to steer the sport towards the goals of what we want. And who are we, WE are every skater that stepped into a pair of derbyskates and fell in love. Driven by passion to create an inclusive and revolutionary sport, rollerderby is athletic and fun, it's friendship and togetherness, and all of this is something I fins at EROC, every year... and yeah, we are getting older... the parties are not as wild and we are happy to have it hat way. Well, at least I am, but yeah... of course I will drink some wineschorle... because its so tasty...

Jan 25, 2016

Coaching in Haag

I had a really fun and inspiring time coaching the Parliament of Pain in  Haag, Holland. It was really a great experience. I haven't been to Holland in quite a while.
Four hours of coaching went really well and everyone seemed really happy about the bootcamp. It is the best thing as a coach, when everyone seem like they learned something. I am always a little nervous in the beginning of practice, that my drills aren't going to be what they expected.
After practice they took me out for specialty beers... YIKES... those things are STRONG!! I even got locked in among all the beers... but without an opener, but that was probably for the best...

Sunday I spent in Rotterdam with Roos, who is one of the skaters but also my friend Fridges girlfriend, just biking and walking around, getting some really good bread and juice. Rotterdam is very modern, there is lots of very modern architecture.

Before breakfast he tried to kill me... 
So now I'm in Brussels visiting a really awesome friend, NON DERBY, and going for walks and trying to get some school done. I like Brussels, it is very different from Rotterdam, buildings are older and my friend Charles is being a supergreat tourguide. He is also sitting around playing guitar when I am just chillaxing on the couch. I love that I have people like this in my life, people I can just be me around.  I am also preparing for the seminars I'm holding at EROC. I'm starting it off with a seminar on tournament play, and the next day me and Only are holding a seminar together, on training structure. I am really excited about it, even if I am also really nervous. Always nervous when I have to be in front of a bunch of people to talk.

Taking the train from Brussels to Berlin, I love trains, watching the world just fly by outside. It is time for contemplation.

Dec 27, 2015

This year comes to an end

This year have been a year I've learned much about myself, I've spent over a year to deal with old memories that have been haunting me. I've slowly have started to unfold things from my past, things that I have buried under layers of memories because I never wanted to think about it.
I have started to allow myself to be myself.
It have been a quest and things keep on popping up, things that I thought had no significance, and when I think about it, maybe it did.
This year started in Brazil pretty much and that is also where it will end... 

Dec 10, 2015

Things I think about in the morning

Maybe it sucks that I watch this, and I recognize myself in parts of this. And maybe even more worrysome is that I feel that the first thing I need to write is, NO I DON'T THINK ALL MEN ARE RAPISTS. I think humans are wonderful people capable of giving so much love and caring to each other, both men and women.

I really do NOT think that all guys are rapists.  I do think that our society allow for a pattern where guys are allowed to treat women in a degrading way, where we ourselves have a double standard for men and women promiscuity.
I know this because I grew up in it.

When guys pulled my hair as a child, I was told by adults to ignore them, because they did it because they liked me. And apparently it is OK for little boys to express their affection by causing little girls pain. What kind of signal does that send to children? That girls should tolerate to get hurt because someone likes them, and that boys are OK to show affection via violence?

Sexuality is a not an easy topic to approach. We are very bound by the culture we grew up in, and the patterns we were taught. It is such a complex issue and at times it is hard to figure out if it was the wrong thing, and sometimes no one did the wrong thing, sex under the influence can for sure be consensual and amazing. There is nothing wrong with one-night stands, they happen often for some people and never for other, doesn't make either of you a less worthy person. It be easy to say, "don't get drunk", but that would be like telling people not to have sex, it will still happen.

But where do tings go wrong? A long time ago I ran into a friend at the local grocery store. Me and a friend had just gotten down from a long day of riding. We are chatting about how great the riding was, taunting our friend about him having to work all day. What good was it to be sponsored if he still had to miss great days like this. And just causually he tells us about the party at his house the night before. People were getting drunk. This girl liked him, he knew that, she was drunk, he was drunk, they had sex. She passed out in his bed. He went downstairs. He didn't care much for her, so he told someone else at the party that she was willing and this guy went up to the room, and then another of his roomates. He told it as if it was a funny joke.
I remember just thinking that I was happy I wasn't that girl. And both of the guys laughed, I might have had too, it was how it was. I hated myself for it.
And I think the last thing that girl should have been told was that it was her own fault for being drunk and feeling up for something with that one dude. She is probably the one that will feel guilty about it, ashamed and maybe even disgusted by herself.
I have lots of stories like this from those years. You toughened up. Wore baggy jeans and fell into the pack mentality, I hid in the mountains.

We have to understand that by saying that women should not get drunk and dress in a certain way, we are actually saying that all men are rapists, that they can not contain themselves. If both women and men were more OK with their own sexuality, maybe this would not be such an issue. If slut shaming was not such a thing, maybe girls would not feel so bad after a drunkan night of sex, because sometimes things happen. Sometimes you do not want it rubbed in your face. Who you sleep with is your business. We all judge harshly and quick, instead of seeing the big picture. Care more, we all make mistakes, nobody is perfect.

Alcohol is damned, and for sure a reason for many regrets. But even in the most drunkan stage, each and everyone must understand that a passed out person cannot give consent, and sex is off the table. It just is! Sex can be something awesome and just pleasurable between two people, but if one of the people aren't awake, how can both enjoy it. I totally think that if you are into having multiple partners, you should, and if you like to have a few drinks and fuck your brains out, please do it. But a no, I am no longer into it, is a NO. And I know this is hard to understand when you have raging hormones and alcohol in your system. Still, that sense of doing something wrong should be so deep down rooted in us that we can stop. Just like when we are about to hit someone and stop ourselves.

We all have potential to do horrible things, we are all potential killers, otherwise there wouldn't be as many wars as there are. Humans want to fit in, we want to be a part of the group, and we follow the patterns we are taught, the patterns that our society created and allows us. I think almost all of us have laughed at a joke that made us uncomfortable at more than one time.
We all have free will, we have the power to NOT laugh at a joke, not to slutshame other women, to live our lives and be kind to others. That time so many years ago, I probably should have looked at my friend and said "you know that is rape, and you are a fucking idiot". I didn't, because I prefered to belong than be the outcast, because I didn't believe that anyone would stand up for me, because no one did when it happened to me.

We have the will and the power to change, and we are stronger as a group, we do things better together. We all do things wrong once in a while, but we are here to help each other, to make the world a better place to live, to create a pattern where respect each other.