Today was the DC Rollergirls Season 8 Championship. Honestly, I can’t believe the season is over already. I feel like it was just yesterday that I was putting my skates on for our first bout up in Baltimore. But eight bouts later and my first season of roller derby is finished.
My team this year was full of newbies. Four of us DemonCats came into the league with little experience and have worked our butts off (although I think we grew butts) to learn what this derby thing is all about. Menace (on the left) and BB (on the right) were in boot camp with me and Biter (next to me) joined us during the draft process. We tried out together and were lucky enough to be drafted together onto our amazing team.
I think back to that first day of boot camp. I put my skates on and cautiously rolled over to get a gear check before starting the class. I couldn’t stop so I had to brace myself on whoever was checking my gear. I remember her saying, “Don’t worry we’ll teach you how to stop. That’s why you’re here.” And it’s true. Now I can (mostly) stop. And skate. And block and hit and jam.
Our captain, Pow put it best I think. She said, “Your home team drafts you before you’re fully developed. They see potential in you and have faith that you will develop into a great derby player.” That’s part of what I love about my team. They drafted me after three months on skates and basically no clue as to what roller derby was all about. And with their patience, encouragement, knowledge, and love, they have taught me so much this first season. When I skate, I skate as hard as I can, because I don’t want to let them down. I want to deserve that faith.
At the beginning of the season, we were each assigned a mentor. This is my mentor, Vandal. She’s the best. Somehow, Vandal figured out how to talk derby to me in a way that would make both my brain and my body understand. She’s watched out for me during league practice and taken me aside turn team time to give me extra tips. I can hear during scrimmages, cheering for me (even if she’s on the other team) and it’s been such an honor and pleasure getting to skate with her on a team together. Also, she’s a rockin’ derby player. She’s retiring this year which makes me immensely sad, but she promised to be around and teach me how to properly skate this summer, so I know I’ll be seeing her soon.
Batty may also be retiring this year. She’s my derby mother-in-law, and quite frankly one of the sweetest, most fun people. I remember during my first league practice, I was terrified and nervous and waiting in line to start a drill. I had never met her before, but Batty came up to me and gave me a big hug and welcomed me to the team and the league. It made me feel so much better. Also, seeing Oz photobomb us makes me feel better too.
My first season of roller derby was nothing like I expected (mostly because I don’t know that expected to have a first season of roller derby). It was a lot of time, energy, driving, and hard work. It was bumps and bruises. It was falling, getting back up, and immediately falling again. But it was also the satisfaction of getting a really good hit on someone, or the exhilaration of getting through the pack as lead. It was tears and hugs and laughter and fun. Derby is incredible.
Now, on to Season 9!
This is Mayhem and her awesome DCRG shirt.