Roller Derby Saved My Soul

Check out this lovely article written by our very own Paige on her experience of Roller Derby and DCRA.  You can see the original on her own blog Boxing With My Shadow.

“I need a hobby! I have no friends! I hate the gym!” Until April, this was a typical evening of conversation in my house. I’d come in from work, sit in front of the TV, and moan about how bored and unfit I was. I wanted to meet some new people, and I wanted to get a little more active, so I decided to look for some ways to combine the two. I’ve always enjoyed skating; I loved ice skating, and did a bit of blading, and thought I was halfway competent, so I got on the old Google and decided to see if there was any free-skating going on locally that I could rock up to. And then, my search threw DCRA at me. I’d barely even heard of roller derby, and I’d skated on quads only once in my whole life, but after having a gander at the Facebook page, and seeing that they were having a try-out day soon, I thought I would give it a go. What harm could it do? Then I saw flyers for it everywhere; in the gym, in the petrol station, so I decided it was definitely a sign.

April 2014 ReadyOn try-out day, I was really nervous. What if I was rubbish? What if they didn’t like me? What if everybody else was really good and I just looked stupid? What if a meteorite was hurtling towards the leisure centre and I couldn’t run away because I had skates on? Well, I definitely needn’t have worried! Before the session, we’d had plenty of contact from the team via email, and on social media, and when I arrived it was like walking into a roomful of people I’d known my whole life! Everybody was so friendly and welcoming, and so keen to help. The first session, I (and pretty much everyone around me) mostly just tried to stay upright and marveled at the fact there were wheels on our feet. And at the same time, I was left wondering if I’d ever enjoyed something so much in my whole entire life.

The fresh meat course literally starts from ‘this is how you go forwards’, and so it’s perfect for people who want to try it, but have no experience whatsoever. We’ve built up skills from there, adding bits on each week to what we’ve learnt and putting them together to make something useful. Everybody learns at their own pace, and within DCRA there is absolutely no pressure at all, nobody needs to be too hard on themselves. Everyone is patient and encouraging and just wants to help each other; it’s a great environment. Even as an absolute beginner, I’m amazed at how far everyone has come in just four weeks.

April 2014 SkateI’m not going to lie: after the first session, I was aching in parts of me that I didn’t even know existed. But in a good way! At the end of the day it’s a sport, and anybody who says otherwise is wrong ;) I love that I can feel my body strengthening and toning. Coming from someone that tries to avoid exercise at all costs, I love that I’ve found something that I can enjoy so much, that can be so good for me at the same time.

And the fun doesn’t stop in training sessions! Now that most of us have got our own kit, we’ve started getting together on evenings and practicing what we’ve learnt in the sessions. Not only does that mean we get some cheeky extra training in, it means that I get to hang out with some of the coolest people I’ve ever known. Considering that one of the reasons I joined was to meet some new friends, I really haven’t been disappointed. Everyone is just so genuine and down-to-earth and out for a good time. I mean, face it, who doesn’t want to spend their evenings and weekends with a bunch of bunch of beautiful, tattooed women in short shorts, who just want to skate about and laugh? And, to be honest, I don’t know what I did before I had these girls spamming my Facebook with all their roller derby funnies every day!

I’ve finally found the answer to my complaints; I have a hobby that I love, I’m getting that little bit more active, and I’ve found some great people to spend time with. DCRA has been awesome right from the start. I’d recommend roller derby whole-heartedly to anyone thinking of giving it a go; it seriously is the most fun you can have on eight wheels!

April 2014 group

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