As the cool winds of fall and winter blew in and the warm breeze of summer began to fade, I traded in my running shoes for a set of quad roller skates.
I first ventured to roller derby out of curiosity, I end up there because I wanted to stay active during the winter and both the team aspect and the cost were better then what I felt cross fit would be. Sitting in the Five 40 Roller Girls open house October 1, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but wasn’t planning on whatever “it” was to run into the spring…
In October I was stiff, my legs were boards and I was always worried about how I looked.
By December I was beginning to loosen up, but still struggled with where my own feet were.
In February I passed my assessments, rigorous testing to ensure skaters understand the rules and can perform the basic skills of roller derby. Oh, and I was voted Most Improved Fresh Meat on the team.
March 8, I took to the track for the very first time as a part of the Five 40 Roller Girls roster in Beckley, West Virginia. I felt – a lot, I crawled my way to the penalty box and in the end, the team lost to a group of developed ladies (physically and hitting ability).
On March 23 we headed out to Gastonia, North Carolina as we took on the GI Jane’s. This time, feeling more stable on skates and even more trusting of my teammates, I took to the track skated hard and hit harder. The team played well, and it showed off when we left the track with a win under our belts.
A little over six months later and I still pick my skates over my running shoes at least three times a week.
This weekend, Saturday, May 17, the Five 40 Roller Girls hosted their season home opener and I was honored to be a rostered skater for the bout.
With family and friends in the stands, it all became real. Something about playing roller derby became justified, supported, it became legitimate. This is what I do.
Playing roller derby has been more than just a physical activity; it has been a mental challenge, personal growth and newly established relationships. Roller derby has shown me that I can do the things I set my mind to; it has reminded me that the worst that can happen is that I fail and that I have the constant support of team at my side.
Roller derby has introduced me to some of the most interesting and inspiring people, whose paths I may have never crossed had it not been that we were both on eight wheels. It has been a constant reminder of prospective and that we are our own worst critics.
It allows me to do the things I love, as being a part of this team means being a part of a skater run league. Roller derby has allowed me to write press releases again, run social media and help plan evens. (Yeah, if you have wondered where I have been, that’s where.)
In the short time I have been playing roller derby, it has made me feel like I am a better person and I couldn’t imagine my life without it. Roller Derby may have been the best ‘just because’ decision I’ve made in a while and I am excited to see where it takes me.
Check out our Press Coverage! February: Stafford County Sun and Fredericksburg Patch May: Stafford County Sun and Fredericksburg Patch