Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Bootcamp soon... eek!

So, Roller Derby, eh? My friends are mostly in two camps about this adventure I’m embarking on. Some think I am a crazy masochist, and some think its kind of awesome. All I know is that Roller Derby is this awesome sport that until recently, I never really saw myself as being within the realms of possibility – in my life at least.

Since I returned from living overseas I'd been feeling a bit like a fish out of water. My life here in Melbourne was so different to the one I had here before I went away. My relationships with my friends had changed, and I'd broken up with the partner that I'd been living with before I left. I had changed as well. I was looking for something to fill the big montreal-shaped gap that was now in my life. I had thought that a team sport would be a great thing to get involved in - to get fit and to meet new people. I'd thought of Roller Derby, but only fleetingly. I didn’t think I was fit enough, or coordinated enough, and too much of a sook to be involved in a contact sport.

The first time I really thought of roller derby as a possibility for me was about 3 months ago when my buddy Ladykiller came down from Brisbane to play in a bout against the Victorian Roller Derby League. Now, Ladykiller historically has been one of the more uncoordinated people I know...Sorry, Lady!! But stick some skates on her feet and suddenly she is all fast and balanced and can knock people over! Seeing one of my mates be a fearless rollergirl kind of made me think that if she could do it, maybe I could do it too. I got to meet a bunch of the other rollergirls that weekend too and everyone I met couldn’t tell me enough how awesome it was to be involved in derby! After meeting some of the women involved, I saw that there seemed to be a place in derby for women of all different shape and sizes, and most of them hadn’t previously been athletes or played contact sports much. I started to think, why not give it a bash?
So, I asked Ladykiller to pick me up a pair of skates when she went to Las Vegas for Rollercon (huge saving on postage!!!) and I immediately loved them! Being on 8 wheels is so much fun, I feel like I am 10 again, chasing around my friends on skates back at the Rollerama. Although I have not much natural coordination, the sense of accomplishment when I finally learn how to do something I’ve been trying is awesome.

So I got in contact with the VRDL and registered for bootcamp, and I’ve been practising with some girls that I met at the info session in October for the last month or so down at the Melbourne Museum. We’ve been trying to learn all the skills that we need to pass the white-star test, which comes at the end of boot camp – one month’s time.
There’s a bunch of us that go pretty regularly – All the girls that I’ve met so far have been great. We’re all keen to learn, and keen to work on our skills together. Something I’ve loved is that all of a sudden there is a whole new group of women that I’ve been able to be a part of. That Montreal void is beginning to be filled, by endless chatter about where to get the best socks, pads, helmets, what our derby name is going to be (I’ve decided on Slicer Minnelli. Fingers crossed it gets approved!), what boot camp’s going to be like, and how to skate crossovers. Pretty much any day of the week, there is always someone keen to go for a skate.

This weekend is the start of bootcamp. I am a little nervous about it, to be honest. I think my biggest fear is that I will completely suck. Although my skating buddies have reassured me that I'm okay, my stomach is still all fluttery about it. What if I make a fool of myself? What if I get hurt? What if I don't make it through boot camp, and have to keep training till next year? What if I look like a complete idiot out there? What if, what if, what if!! I guess there's not much I can do about any of those what-ifs! Even if I fail miserably, and look like an idiot, I'll have had a lot of fun trying!

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