Meet Her Royal Kpness! photo by Chris Switzer
All day before my first bout I had the worst case of butterflies. I had spent the afternoon making my shirt and putting together my outfit and all I could think about was everything I was scared of.
And I was so ridiculously scared.
I was scared to fail. I was scared to get hurt. I was scared to fall down. I was scared of making someone else fall down. I was scared to disappoint my team. I was scared of getting hit. I was just plain scared.
My nervousness only got worse once I arrived for the bout. Setting up helped but I was still getting more and more nervous. One of my teammates looked me in the eye and asked how I was feeling and whether I was excited. I replied with “I’m terrified!” She smiled at me warmly as she always did and told “Don’t worry, you will do fine! Everyone is a little nervous but you will do great. ”
And that little bit was what I needed. She just had a way of setting my fears at ease. More and more girls started to show up, both from EDG and other teams. EDG girls continued to be supportive and comforting, understanding my feelings and setting me at ease.
It wasn’t just the EDG girls that impressed me; it was the visiting players too. I was in the locker room, suiting up, making sure that the other girls knew it was first bout and they easily made me more comfortable.
But that was all before the first whistle. The first time I lined up and waited for the whistle I kept chanting in my head “Don’t fall down. Derby position!” After that it was all a blur of adrenaline and fun!
My teammates guided me through each round, pushing and pulling me into position. Even the visiting girls cheered me when I did well and gave me pointers when I messed up. No one was mean, no one yelled at me, and it was so much fun!
This is what Derby is about. Every girl I have met has been amazingly warm, kind and unfailingly supportive. Everyone is a Freshie at some point so everyone understands how it feels. This is a community that is designed to build you up, not tear you down.