I have always been curious about roller derby, but I didn’t know where there was a league in or around Livingston County. One night I was at a bonfire at a neighbor’s house when my brother’s friend Ben and his girlfriend started talking to me about the Brighton Roller Dollz. I was instantly intrigued. Ben said to me, “As soon as my girlfriend (a former Doll) started roller derby I thought of you, Kate!” I asked him why. He said, “I know you can hang; you were one of the only girls we knew could hang with us guys. You’re a tough chick!”
That’s what I was afraid of. I have always hung with the boys, I never really was into the girl thing. The conversation ate at me for a few days. Finally I got online and messaged the BRD Facebook page and Flashy B. Jones emailed me back the next day with the “fresh meat” agenda. I was terrified! This was a huge step for me! A million things instantly went racing through my melon: I do not hang with a bunch of girls, I grew up with guys as my best friends, and this was a bunch of women. I never go out of my “box” and never ALONE! When was the last time you were on skates, Kate? Why do you think you can do this? You don’t know the first thing about roller derby unless you count the movie “Whip It.”
I walked into the first practice a nervous and skittish chick who didn’t know crap about roller derby. It took me forever to warm up to everyone, but I did it! All on my own, I stepped out of my comfort zone! I am so glad I took this step in my life. I know I am just starting out and I have a lot to learn about this sport, and yet I have already learned so much about myself as a person, and as a player. I have became a stronger person inside and out! I have more confidence in myself even when I am covered in bruises head to toe….. AND…..I have fallen in love with this sport! The endurance, the hitting, the blocking, the encouragement (“SKATE KATE SKATE”), the ‘feel good pain,’ the positive “what we need to work on” after losing, and the rush you get after winning.
Most importantly, I have gained a second family. I can count on all of them for anything derby-related or not and that is a smoking good feeling! I can not wait to see what the Brighton Roller Dollz become. We have had a few ‘learning experiences’ and I am certain we have more to come, but in our first year of bouting we are off to a great start! I am so proud of our whole league, skaters, refs, NSO’s, and all of our helpers. Without all of you we wouldn’t be an amazing league! We all have our own crazy story of how we ended up as a Brighton Roller Doll and we are all proud to be part of this league. Bring it on 2012, “WE GOT THIS!”