Wednesday, June 21, 2006

I doubt anyone has NOT heard me bitch about my skates. If you don't know the story, you can read the footnote below.

Last Sunday at practice, Mange pointed out that the plate mounting on the heel of my left skate still looked too far to the left. I looked down and realized that she was right. I could see my whole freaking right back wheel but just a sliver of the left wheel. The right skate was only a little better. Why hadn't I noticed that before? Maybe because when I sent my skates back to Riedell, I thought they FIXED them because the plate looked centered when I looked down at my toes. I guess that I couldn't see my heel really because of my belly and my knee pads. :(

I have to be honest. I've been so discouraged lately that I've toyed with the idea of quitting. The only reason that I haven't is because I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I quit. I *know* that I should be able to skate well. I *know* that I should be able to play roller derby. I don't expect to be the best CRGer ever. Hardly. But I *know* that I can do better than I've been doing. It has been hard to watch all my fellow rookies excel and be assigned to teams. I've been thrilled for them. Really. I am just anxious to join them. There are very few of us Level Zeros left, and there are very few girls not scrimmaging. There used to be comfort in numbers. Now, at practices, I am one of the few over to the side working on skills that I should have passed months ago. Yeah, sure....fresh meat is coming soon, but---no offense---I don't want to be in another 'class' of rookies after almost 6 months of skating. I want to be on a team playing with my rookie friends and my grannie friends!

Last night, I showed my skates to Tomahawk, and he said my plates were definitely still off! He couldn't believe that I could skate on them like they were. He was alarmed by the way that I can keep all four wheels on the floor in my left skate while standing on the side of my foot in my boot. It looked to me like the plate was buckling! I'm lucky that I haven't had a blow out, I guess. No more speed skating for me. He told me, and I quote, "You need to send those back to Ivanna and tell her that Riedell needs to give you new ones."


I could have cried. I've had conversations with Tom previously about my skates, but that was before I sent them to be "fixed". He has been a tremendous help to me, and I trust his advice.

After practice, I took off my skates and Tom & I inspected them. They were frighteningly "wacked". Besides the off centered mounting of the plates, the boot and the plate were not level with the floor. There was a obvious tilt in the trucks on both skates. No wonder I've been losing my balance.

I talked to Ivanna about 2 hours ago, and she's going to talk to Riedell for me. I'm either sending my skates with a CRGer that's going to Rollercon, or I'm shipping them to Ivanna. Either way, I'm hoping that Riedell will agree to give me a credit so I can purchase a different model of skates. I'm done with R3s.

The funny thing is......I love these skates, and I hate to part with them. WTF?


My R3 journey:
I joined CRG on 2/5/06. In March, after I mastered nearly all of the basic derby skills in good old peanut butters (#8-21) at our rink, I bought my R3s from Ivanna @ Sin City Skates and was in heaven. Naturally, I figured there would be an adjustment period as I got used to the new skates.

First the problem seemed to be getting used to not having a heel on the boot like the rentals had so I kept falling backwards. Meanwhile, I realized that my left foot glide & tstop (since I drag my right foot) were shakey; I'd lose my balance and fall to the left. Plus, I noticed the skate was turning to the left like a bad shopping cart, and I wore a groove in my boot
bottom. I blamed my imbalance. I blamed my weight distribution.

Struggling & frustrated, I tightened my trucks as tight as they
would go at the suggestion of one of our coaches so I could get a
handle on my skating. THEN, a league sister told me about the
discussion on this list about several folks having problems with the
mismounting of their R3's plates. I spoke with Alice at Riedell,
shipped off my R3s, and, in 8 days, they were repaired and back on
my feet. I thought my problems would be gone, but it was then that
I began to notice that *both* of my skates were turning outward. I
couldn't do a left foot glide nor a right foot glide anymore, and I was still beating my tstop into submission. I loosened my damn trucks and the "bad shopping cart" effect stopped. However, it's three weeks later and I am still having problems.