Sunday 13th August, a day which will live in infamy… for me anyway! It was my first ever bout for Wiltshire Roller Derby (*spoiler alert* – we won!)
I was the only rookie player on the team that day, the rest of the team had skated together all season, and I was worried that I would feel like the new girl. But I didn’t feel like a new member of the team. We were all in it together and, nerves aside, skating onto the track with them felt natural.
Before skating out, we all made a pledge of what we hoped to accomplish during the bout; this being my first bout mine was simply to do something helpful on track and not make too many mistakes.
I didn’t expect to go on in the first jam, or the second, third, fourth or fifth, in fact, I had no idea when I would go on or how many times. I knew the more experienced skaters would go on ahead of me, but when I did go on I found myself quickly scrambling, trying to remember what I had been taught.
I know I made mistakes that made my teammates have to react quickly to fix. I know this won’t be the only time that I make mistakes on the track, but I know we are there as a team, and my team mates have got my back.
The next 60 minutes went by in a blur; I went on a few more times and I’m not sure I did anything more helpful than bridging the pack, but at least by doing that I stopped someone from WRD getting a penalty.
I learnt a lot from my first bout, mainly that if I could survive this one, I can survive another, and another, and another! I thought I would spend most of my time on the floor, not being able to withstand the hits, but I was surprised that when I did get hit, I didn’t lose my balance, I didn’t fall down. Bridgend Roller Derby certainly weren’t throwing weak hits, so this has helped me feel more confident in my ability.
There was so much running through my mind following the bout, things I was trying to understand from the gameplay, things I know I need to work on, things I was happy with, things I didn’t understand. This was just the beginning, I know I have a long way to go but I’ll keep training, keep learning and keep improving every day.
Now, once more with feeling… OOHARRREWEEE?!?!