We arrived in Seattle and were excited to learn that Denver, Gotham, and Rat City were playing some scrimmage games that weekend at the Rat’s Nest (Rat City’s practice venue). We awaited the arrival of one of our past league members, Barbie Bombshell, who was also attending tryouts. The three of us reunited and headed straight to the Rat’s Nest hoping to catch part of the Rat City and Denver game. We were lucky enough to be able to watch the second half of the game, which also gave us the chance to check out the venue where tryouts would be held. It was difficult to keep my nerves in check! I was watching top players compete against one another, and was sitting in an audience with other top skaters from the team who had won the past two Hydra trophies — now three in a row!
When the game ended, we went out and feasted on some delicious pasta before heading to our room for a good night’s rest. First we did a little skate maintenance, but soon we nodded off with dreams of red, white, and blue dancing in our heads. In the morning we were ready to see what the day would hold. We arrived at the venue to wait in the line with approximately 100-150 other skaters to get registered. First they took our photos, then we put on our assigned colors, geared up, and jumped on the track for a little warm-up. It was a little difficult skating simply due to the sheer number of skaters on the track. The whistle blew promptly at 10am, and everyone stopped to wait for instructions. Over the next couple of hours we were led through drills to assess our endurance, agility, skill level, ability to work together, and leadership skills. It was an awesome experience to be paired in a blocking drill with Rivas or Mick Swagger, like Bex and I were able to do. Too soon it was time for a lunch break, and a cut to be made for what would be the final round of tryouts: a scrimmage of black versus white. Bex, Barbie, and I were proud of our performances, yet we were pretty sure we would not make the final cut with the likes of Bonnie Thunders, Suzy Hot Rod, Scald Eagle, Rivas, Serelson, Mick Swagger, OMG WTF, Mercy, Sexy Sladie, and Smarty Pants (just to name a few) in the running for a 28-32 skater scrimmage roster. An announcement was made that they were having a difficult time trimming down the number of skaters, so we were forced to wait even longer! In the end we did not make the final cut, but we stayed and watched one of the most amazing scrimmages with an unbelievable roster. Of the final 32 skaters on the 2014 Team USA roster, 19 of them attended the tryouts in Seattle with us, so I feel my goal of being able to evaluate myself in comparison to top level skaters was reached. I was able to make a list of skills that to work on for the 2014 season.
Tryouts were finished, and since we were in Seattle, we decided that we had earned some time as tourists. Our first stop was food! We walked down to Pike’s Peak Market and indulged in clam chowder, pasta, Italian cream sodas, and some local beer. We took in the sights down at the market, watched some fish tossing, and listened to some local musicians. We walked to the Space Needle, did some souvenir shopping for family and friends, and took a trip to the top of the Space Needle for lots of photos. We grabbed some more delicious food and drinks, then continued our Seattle tour. At the waterfront that evening, we enjoyed a ride on the Seattle Great Wheel that gave us an incredible view of the skyline and city lights. Between walking all over Seattle and our four hour Team USA tryout, we were exhausted and decided it was time to end our Seattle Adventure. It was definitely an experience I will not soon forget.
-Goldy Blocks, 3BRS