It is my one year anniversary/birthday since I began playing
I have been hooked on the sport ever since I strapped
on some skates and did a few laps on the track- even after I fell so hard on my butt that a tiny bit of pee came out. It hasn't been a smooth year. There
is so much to learn when you first start that at times it can be frustrating.
A year on, my body has gone through a lot of changes.
My clothes fit a little looser, and I have a tiny scar on my pinky finger
(always tuck your fingers in when you fall!). I’m careful not to crawl on my
right knee (tendon damage). Every day I take care to go through ankle and knee strengthening
exercises (I've seen too many breaks). I've weighed less before, but I've never had the endurance or
stamina that I do now. I can run faster and for longer; an hour-long fitness
class doesn't make me cringe anymore.
The changes aren't just physical. Our League is small,
with a high member turnover. This is to be expected when you’re located on a
military base. That means that you’ll hold a variety of positions or
responsibilities, even over the course of a single year. People help out where
help is needed. Marketing, networking, merchandise, fundraising, training etc.
. . you can do a lot in a year. Strangely enough, my committee experience on
the team has left me feeling more capable to complete the duties of my day job
as an administrator.
Most weekends are spent watching bouts, playing in
scrimmages, or participating in boot camps. Roller Derby can be a
life-consuming hobby. The funny thing is I don’t mind at all. I look forward to
practice each week, and revel in the slow improvement of my skills. When I
visit my family for more than a week, I practice with their local League who
are happy to accept traveling skaters.
To skaters who just starting out and are feeling discouraged:
I know it can feel like a steep learning curve. There were weeks where I felt
like I didn't improve at all. It took me four months just to learn how to
transition (yes, four months). There were girls who started skating after I did,
and were soon miles ahead of me. However, our coach kept me positive by assuring
me that everyone learns at different speeds, and that everyone has different niche
The most important thing to do is just keep trying.
You only fail when you quit.