Monday, January 28, 2013

Visiting the Leopard Avengers

This weekend I was in Caen (14) to visit the local Leopard Avengers for a Sunday Workshop in an amazing roller hockey hall, with a perfect smooth ground and a glass roof, which was part of an impressive sports complex, two steps away from the city hall downtown!


I missed my 16:10 train so I took the next one.

For my defense, the counter clerk of the railway station told me that my internet reservation had never been completed. Then, there is a reasonnable doubt that it is the fault of my debit card, not mine.
I must confess that it was pretty convenient for me to take the next train, as I realized in stepping out of the metro station, that I had forgotten my youth card for train discount in the drawer of my desk.

I bought a ticket for the 17:45 train as well as for the train back of the morrow, both in the blue period, i.e. with a 50% discount for youth under 27, took the metro back to my appartment, put the youth card in my bag, waited for 30 minutes, took the metro again, found a free seat in the train, and opened my book. I happen to surprise myself when I realize how productive I am sometimes...

Fall Coche and Chantal d'Acier were waiting for me at the meeting point. We drove to Booty Fool's  place where I was staying for the night. On the way, I could admire the castle, several churches and the famous Memorial by night. We had a light meal made of raclette, cup cakes, apple'n nuts crumble and Réo -- the real camembert of Normandie. The seven of us talked as much as we ate, and people took leave at about 1am.


We woke up at 9-ish, did not eat much at breakfast (how weird), visited Caen by car and stopped at the hockey hall for 11am. We joined and helped half a dozen people who were already busy tracing a track with rope included. Ultimate luxury.
The participants trickled in so that by noon almost everyone was there, and we could start the buffet lunch which was occupying each square centimeter of a long table. Cakes, pies, cheese, bread, rice and lentil salads, cupcakes, cookies, sweets, etc. One thing is for sure: the Leopards know how to welcome your stomach. I was told it was a local legend already, I am spreading it further. Don't thank me, pleasure's mine.

However, I was invited for a special purpose and I had a precise mission to carry out.
To make it simple, the program was:
Browsing the Basics of Skating and Relating them to Derby.

  • 13:30. Jogging on the athletics track outside.
  • 14:00. Plyometrics. Two 6-min courses. Good for leg explositivy and power as well as cardio training and reflexion on balance and weightbearing.
  • 14:30. Joint check-up and pre-effort stretching.
  • 14:45. On-skates! After a quick warm-up and an estimation of the general level (although I already knew a few of them) we started the ambitious program:
    Skating stance and pushes, the various propulsion techniques and parameters and to which derby situation they refer; The difference between fish and lunge and the prevailence of lunges in derby, both in attack and defence, for blockers and jammers; The different types of stops and in which situations they are the most optimal, including how and when using plow stop or stutter to slow down and contain; When favoring toe stoppers or four-wheel duckwalk for pushing, propulsion and speed taking; And last but not least the basics of rotation whether in the air or not, as well as the basics of jumping and the different types of jumps that can be useful in derby.
  • 18:00: the hall closes!


We squatted outside just in front of the main doors, chatting and eating the rests of the lunch buffet, then we moved to the Chef Raide bar. I forgot to ask if the owner was called Fred.
I was thirsty and cold, so I decided to have some tea. The bartender, who had attended the workshop, advised me to choose a particular flavor. I let myself be tempted but they were out of stock. I opted for another one with cinnamon and ginger but they were out of stock. After a double disillusion, I finally set my mind: a classic mint tea will do.
We drank, ate crisps, took pictures like real Chinese and I left to take my train back an hour later.

I cried a lot in the train. My book. Very sad story.
I know I am very emotional.
And I got very bored the second half of the trip.
I know I am very impatient.


No comments:

Post a Comment