What can I say? At first, I didn’t know it even existed, let alone what it entailed.
One Sunday evening, at my niece’s birthday party, my good friend Deb (Diddy Mint) was telling me all about it. It just so happened she had all of her kit in the car, so I asked her to bring it in. After a little persuasion, she encouraged me to put the kit on and give it a whirl.
Well that was it. I was off.
Skating up and down the hall, I must have remembered something from when I was a kid. A few of us (big kids) at the party had a go, but I was one of the few who could actually stand up!
The next day I watched Whip It! and I was hooked! Before I had the chance to change my mind I sent an email to Durham City Rolling Angels asking to join their next intake. A few days later I was offered a slot, so exciting! I couldn’t wait to start, even though it felt like ages away.
Now that I knew what roller derby was and how awesome it is it was all I could talk about. I even managed to convince my colleague and best friend of 15 years to sign up too. She was on the waiting list at first (the slots filled up super fast) but thankfully someone dropped out and she was offered a place.
Every single day we’d talk about the intake and roller derby. We were so eager, we even bought our own kit and started practicing our skating skills before the fresh meat course started. We’d skate at Adventure Valley and were even invited to the Angels’ free skating session on a Monday night at Sherburn.
I learned the hard way the importance of warming up properly while practicing my skills. The first time I put skates on after signing up I pulled my back and ended up needing physio. Now I’m all fixed, it’s a great feeling using muscles I haven’t used in years.
As the intake day drew closer I was counting down the days, it was getting closer! The Angels are so friendly, and invited us along to see their advanced training session the Thursday before we started. I got to NSO and track the scores on the doors. It was fab getting to know the game and learning about how you actually scored points!
The following Saturday (1 more sleep till intake day) I went along to watch Newcastle Roller Girls take on the Limerick Roller girls, followed by the men’s event, Tyne and Fear vs Barrow Infernos. It was a fantastic help going along to the Angels training, as it meant I could actually follow the game. Well, a little at least.
The night before, I could barely sleep. I must have woken ten times thinking I’d slept in and missed it. It was awful. But on 5th October at 10.30am I was ready and raring to go. I didn’t sleep in, in fact, I was early!
What an amazing time I had. EVERYONE was so welcoming and helpful. We covered the basics, to make sure everyone was in a similar position. I was grateful for all the instructions and hints and tips I received.
It was hard work, harder than I thought. Which just makes me more determined to be better next week (I WILL do a T-stop haha!)
All in all, after doing no exercise for quite some time, I am determined to succeed and become an Angel. Doing something that’s fun whilst getting a great work out is awesome. But we also need to remember safety is foremost as accidents do happen (get well soon fellow cherub Lyn).
Roll on week 2!