Big thanks to those of you that posted calming things on my last post about preparing for my first Roller Derby Bout. Naturally none of it made any difference at all, and I spent much of last week alternating between extreme calmness and total panic. A Tuesday night practice scrim went really well and was great fun. Thursday night which was supposed to be relaxed fun and games left me hugely stressed and with a really sore ankle again.
However, as Saturday morning dawned I felt mostly excited, rather than anxious as I headed off to the venue for 10am. I was also in charge of the Merch stalls, a job I passed onto someone else as I needed to be kitting up and warming up, and taking very deep breaths.
Having made the important preparations (stripy shorts with silver anchors on them and red lipstick) we were soon warming up. KaPOWski and Penny Slain from my home league were our Line Up Manager and Bench Coach, so overall I actually felt pretty relaxed, even though I wasn’t on a line up with people I’d skated with a lot.
I was lucky, really, in that this Cherry Popper was at my home venue, so I was familiar with the layout, the floor and the whole set up as I’d been to bouts there plenty of times before.
You’ll be pleased to know that not a single thing I’d worried about in my first post happened, apart from losing, but only by 26 points, so it wasn’t a very huge amount!
I don’t really remember much in the way of specifics about the game. I blocked, hit people and occasionally I fell over and got back up again, and it actually felt far less stressful than our regular Thursday scrim practice. Hurrah!
I jammed once. I’m not a natural Jammer, but with only 2 opposing blockers on track at the start I managed to get lead and pick up 4 points, so I was pretty happy with that! And it means I get a cool photo of me in a Jammer pantie, thanks to Pete Florey of MDP images, which is really all I wanted in the end!
I also have the loveliest friends and family in the world who were in the audience in matching T-Shirts with my face on them and a glittery sign, I don’t think I’ll get that every time I play!
I had a fabulous day, and felt quite emotional. 16 months of hard work since I went to my first Fresh Meat class and this was what I’d been working towards. From the very first time I put on those rental skates I wanted to play Roller Derby. Over the last year I’ve passed on work and social events because I have practice, I’ve watched skills videos, watched games and marvelled at the ability of high level teams, I’ve read the rules instead of a novel at bedtime and despite frustrations with my body not keeping up with what my mind knows it can do, injuries and little niggles, I’ve never once considered giving up because all I wanted to do was play. The only thing I regretted is that I didn’t find it earlier!
My Roller Derby journey is far from over. I have lots I need to work on still and I can’t wait to see where it will take me!
Thanks to Sugar Shark for this team photo!