Roller derby came to me as a fleeting idea from a coworker last summer (let’s call her Distemperment). She had gotten back from the Smokin Jazz festival where she picked up a flyer about a local roller derby team and wanted someone crazy enough to do it with her. DUH, OF COURSE I’d do it!
I have played sports my entire life, but it had been awhile since I played a team sport continuously in my adult years and I definitely missed it. Roller Derby and my roller derby sisters are far different than any other sports or teammates I’ve had before. I had no idea how much went into the sport by just watching the movie Whip It (the only prior knowledge I had of roller derby), or how much stronger of a person I’d become (on the inside AND out). I have found roller derby to be even more physically demanding than Tae Kwon Do. Gotta love being pushed past what you thought were your physical limits and feeling that burn (and those bruises) the next day.
I have also struggled with self-confidence for as long as I can remember, and am terrified of letting my teammates and friends/family down by messing up or losing a game. I can’t begin to tell you how amazing it felt when my teammates found strength in me to be a good jammer, a position that by definition (the only point-makers, the ones people are staring at) I was destined to be terrified of, and encouraged me to keep doing it even though I’d tremble at the start line. They forced me to confront my fears, time after time. I’d come out of a jam feeling like a failure sometimes, but the only words they ever had for me were those of encouragement. I was even shocked when my teammates voted me “Rookie of the Year” at our 1 year anniversary party this last June. It’s such a huge honor, and I thank them so much for that. It feels great to have someone believe in you, in the abilities you aren’t confident enough to know you have. Don’t get me wrong, I still love being a blocker (and most of the time prefer it due to my lack of endurance, lol), but part of me wants to jam. Part of me loves the challenge of getting through that pack, using my footwork and moving fast, feeling that sense of accomplishment when I score those points for my teammates. I’m slowly getting over the fear of NOT getting through, of disappointing everyone. Being out on the floor, in any position, is definitely a rush. Our first public scrimmage is tomorrow night and our first bout for the season is on the 24th. It’s all a little nerve-wracking, but exciting at the same time. I am also insanely happy/geeked that we will have our team jerseys in hand in a couple weeks! We’re official now!!! This team has come so far in the last year, it’s sometimes hard to believe. I am so proud of everyone in it, to be a part of BRD’s history