I am not a Minnesota girl. This will never be a thing for me. Never is this more apparent than when it gets cold. By gets cold, I mean cold by my South Texan standards, not Minnesota standards. The fact that these are two wildly different things is pretty much the crux of my problem with living here. We had our last outside practice on the hockey rink today. It’s getting colder. It’s getting darker earlier. Soon our hockey rink will actually have ice on it. Not exactly conducive to roller derby. But let’s talk about it getting colder. It was about 48 tonight, with the wind chill pulling things down another ten degrees. I knew it had gotten cold, but I hadn’t realized how cold. I really should have been wearing more than leggings, a tshirt, and a hoodie. Really really should have. (But not as bad as Spunky Nugget, who was out there in a skirt with no leggings or tights at all.) It was a little frustrating. Monday night was warmer. Not super warm, but warmER. And I skated, no problem. Tonight, I felt like I was too busy being huddled over for warmth to do anything. I couldn’t get my knees bent, and my fingers were doing that so cold they hurt thing. But I worked on snow plows as best as I could, because I’m still not good enough at them. And then Ida Funk made me skate as fast as I could back and forth. It didn’t feel anywhere near as smooth as it did Monday night. Then I ended practice with one practice double knee fall and didn’t kill myself. Not the worst farewell to the rink, but not exactly what I had in mind.

My knee pads have this super annoying habit of slipping. Usually it’s just the right, but tonight it was both. Very disconcerting, since every time they slipped it left a new line of cold on my leg. When I fell, they were pretty much where they needed to be. I’m goin to tinker with the velcro again. I had sewed on some extra, because there wasn’t enough to close. Now they close, but barely. I want to throw enough on to have a good grip on it and pull it as far over as I can. If I’m still skating come August, and I plan to be, I think I will be investing in some ProDesign custom pads. Possibly before then will be new plates for my skates (Sure Grip Rebels). They’ve got the stock nylon plate on them, and it was creaking ominously by the end of practice. I’m hoping it was just the cold, though. Ooh I just realized that my self-imposed “no using my Gumball stops on the rink” thing is now over! I know they’re meant to be used and a little abused, but I didn’t want to tear them up on our rough concrete.

Last bit of gear news, I need a new bag to haul these pretties around in. I’ve been rocking a duffel bag I got from Wal-Mart ages ago and probably didn’t pay more than twenty bucks for. While it fits my gear fairly well, it obviously wasn’t meant for derby life, as the strap is starting to rip out from the bag. So I need something that will hold size 8 Rebels, my helmet, and triple X 187 pro knee pads. (And then wristguards, elbow pads, and assorted stuff including a first aid kit.) And preferably work as a carry-on, because i’d really like to take my gear with me to Texas at the end of the month, and then to Hawaii when I visit my parents in May. And is cheap. And comes with a unicorn. And rainbows fly out and de-stink my pads before I put them in. Is that too much to ask for?


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