Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I'm a Derby Girl!

When I started learning roller derby a few months ago, there is NO WAY I would have thought I'd have improved enough to become a "real" Derby Girl by now.  I was like Bambi on skates that first night.  I could barely move without falling and spent a LOT of time falling on my ass.  If I was not the worst person in class, I was very close to it.  It just goes to show you what a few good instructors can do!

These were my skates after my first practice in them.  They look WAY more beat-up now!
To play roller derby, every player in the league has to pass a test that involves skating, stopping, falling, jumping, hitting (checking), whips (using your arm or body to help propel another player) and more. If you are really interested in seeing what needs to be done, you can check out the test. Last night was our big test and much to my surprise and delight, I made it!  The worst part of the test was skating 25 laps in 5 minutes.  It felt like forever and by 2 minutes my lungs were burning.  I coughed all night they were so raw by the end of the laps.  But I made it.  Just.  As in no seconds to spare.  :)  

Jumping over a 3 inch bar is always a little scary for me too but I had the most graceful feeling jump ever!  I did manage to blow one of my stops.  It was rather embarrassing.  It was literally the first or second part of the test and I just could not do it. I thought I had blown it right then and I'm sure it did not make a good first impression.  But it worked out in the end.

I've decided to just referee at the moment.  I've heard about girls getting injured during games and even just practices, and that worries me.  Apparently it isn't a matter of if, it is a matter of when, you get injured.  Bruises and stuff don't scare me, but I need to be able to be fairly nimble and stable at work and with so few co-workers, it would really put a strain on them if I was off work for a few days or weeks.  I realize injuries can happen no matter what I do, but there is no need for me to go out looking for some!  But we'll see.  I can always change my mind.  :)

The whole derby environment is like nothing I've ever experienced.  Everyone is encouraging, welcoming and has helpful advice. They were all cheering us on during our laps and most of them had never even met us before.  It was awesome. It is so weird for a large group of women to be so nice! LOL.  I've joined a few other sports teams as an adult and it has always felt awkward, forced and uncomfortable for weeks and some times even the entire season.  I didn't once feel that way about derby (well I felt awkward, but not in a social sense).  It is hard to explain, but trust me, it is a good thing. A very good thing.

I am a little worried about skating with the "Big Kids".  I made the mistake of watching some of the things they were practicing last night - it was scary and tough looking.  I can't make the Thursday night practices for a few months though so I'll keep skating with the "Fresh Meat" twice a week and the Big Kids once a week.  I'm hoping that will be enough that I don't fall too far behind.

Overall I'm hoping Derby will help make me a healthier, fitter and happier person.  So far, so good!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing. I agree with everything you have written - especially the supportive teammates and the burning lungs :-). I feel scared too but I am so glad to share it with you.


Stephanie V said...

Good for you! I can't imagine jumping on skates - not even back when my butt was a lot closer to the ground.