did i just join the roller derby?
Last Tuesday I went to Fresh Meat Try Outs for the Rocktown Rollers, Harrisonburg’s roller derby team! If this sounds crazy to you and you never in a million years could see me joining the roller derby you need to catch up a little on my life and read this. It’s been almost a year of fascination with roller derby and the day had finally come to see if my roller derby dream would become a reality.
I had no idea what to expect going into Fresh Meat Try Outs. The main information I had gathered was to wear something comfortable and to bring water.
I walked in the door of Funky’s Skate rink and looked like a little lost puppy. I had no idea where to go and all the derby girls were putting their gear on. I was more than a little bit intimidated. I was introduced to Mama Meat who helped me gather up the gear I would need: knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards, a helmet, and skates. I had to sign a form and then after some figuring out the proper way to wear the pads I was ready to go.
Four Fresh Meat were there for the try outs including myself. To start everyone was sitting in a circle on the track doing some stretches, one of which they referred to as the stripper and I found that amusing. While we were warming up they had everyone go around the circle for introductions- Bam Bam Brawler, Betty Crasher, Knasty Knitter, Jess. That last one just doesn’t sound as badass.
After warm ups we skated around the track and were taught the official derby stance. I was struggling with all the effort in my tiny little body not to fall down and be the worst skater in the history of the roller derby. A girl in yellow and black striped tights skated up beside me and gave me some pointers. One of the girls even said I looked like a derby girl, but my skating gave away my secret that I was not.
I survived the skating with out breaking anything and then we moved onto some drills across the track. We had to step side to side, forward and backwards with out sliding on our wheels. We did lunges and then spider crawls back. We learned how to do proper single and double knee falls.
Following the drills the freshies all got to watch the vets scrimmage and learn a little more about how derby works. I knew the general gist going into this, but there is so much skill and strategy involved! It’s exciting to learn more about the world of derby. I was surprised by what I was able to do or at least attempted with out even thinking twice about. “Skate and then fall and get right back up and keep skating? OK.” I did it. Not well but I did it.
After the practice I joined some of the vets at the Dodger for drinks. I sat outside at a table with Brawlin Chain (the girl in the yellow and black tights), Snake Legs, and Blue Steele. I learned more about derby and it was nice to just meet people, which is hard to do while you’re trying to avoid falling on skates. I also chatted with Jana-cide and Troch who are the ones who started the Rocktown Rollers 3 years ago.
I’m really looking forward to seeing how my roller derby career progresses. If nothing else at least I can cross off #3 from this list. I’ll keep you updated on my progress and I’ll leave you with something Jana-cide told me – “there’s nothing better than looking over your shoulder and seeing a girl down on the ground because you put her there.” We’ll see if I ever make it to that point.