Diary of an Angel: Our Champs Experience… So Far

Our first installment of the Angel Diaries 2017 comes from #212 Block Ness Monster.   Ness is our Angel with core strength of pure granite, we’ve seen her plank for what feels like weeks at a time and has the BEST game face in the business.  So over to BNM and her take on Game One…

Thanks to Steven Lilley for the BEST pictures.  You can see more of our photos from the game here!! 

So it’s finally the morning of our first champs game and I am waking up as if I’m a child on Christmas morning, full of beans with a hint of nervous giddiness.

I have my 2 course breakfast of fried eggs and a big bowl of porridge to power me through the day and hit the road.  Kit bags were packed and boutfits chosen what feels like weeks ago!  The first stop is to collect Nuke Leah Fallouts and then the long slog on A1.  

As we are travelling down, the nerves suddenly kick in and the weird realisation of what are are about to do gets me, but my lovely companion puts me right chatting about all the weird things us girls talk about… mainly putting the world to rights. After an hour or twelve on the road we need to go to the services for a wee stop and strangely in my altered state of mind I buy a Burger King ( I haven’t eaten meat for 2 years!!) I scoff it and hit the road.

Finally we arrive a Dewsbury, a lovely place; carefully following the sat nav to make sure we don’t get lost.  As it turns out the venue is really easy to get to and parking was straightforward (always a bonus when bout day nerves are clanging and making simple tasks seem impossible!)   I can feel my insides slowly turning to jelly and adrenaline running through me.

We get inside to find our gorgeous team mates have already arrived. Thank God they are all here!  And it was a relief to see at least some of them were showing as many signs of nerves as I was feeling.   We watched the first game Grimsby Vs Mansfield, and I start to relax a little, thinking I can’t wait to get on that track.

Finally it’s time to get kitted up and the war paint on. As soon as I get my skates on I feel the jellyness coming back and my heart is in my mouth. Luckily I’ve been practicing mindfulness and deep breathing exercises that I quickly adopt and feel much better and stronger.

On track, Wakefield Wildcats complete their warm up and I observe their skills and agility that I admit slightly intimidated me.  All the girls look strong and powerful and well connected but I don’t let it get to me. Finally it’s our turn to warm up and get a feel for the track and it feels amazing my set up of 80’a and 93a wheels feel fantastic, all the grip and speed in the right places. The game starts and I’m on the first line up blocking.  Surges of excitement explode inside me, WE ARE ACTUALLY DOING THIS!!!!  and in front of the biggest crowd I’ve played in front of. The whistle blows and within a blink of an eye their jammer is through  – just like that!   We reform, determined to stop her but again she whips through I can’t believe it.  The first jam just disappeared and seemed to last seconds.

This set the tone for the game we tried so hard to get it back together but they were such a strong team, completely hammering us. Towards the end we lost a fair few players due to foul outs and were eventually left with just 5 players in total for the last 15 minutes of the second half but I loved every second of it.  The crowd we really behind us and the opposing team were amazingly skillful and a bunch of determined, fair and lovely girls. I was gutted looking at the score board and it was a massive hit to the team but it did not kill our determination to get through to the end.  Quitting or forfeiting the game was never even an option.  Losing gave us all the hunger to train harder and brought us closer together, that is for certain!

My goals and reflection from the game is to work on my footwork and edges.  I need to move around the track more fluidly. I love my team mates and trust them with my life and am looking forward to more beasting training sessions. Now pass me that ice pack and lets get ready for Game 2 !!!  

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