Barbie Skates, Brains and a Critikel Collision
I had just watched my first ever Roller Derby training session and it filled me with joy, hope and so much excitement and I felt I could almost explode!
The next day I visited my Mum who I’ve mentioned previously was battling with Cancer (at this time she was in the throws of first stages of Chemo) I gabbled on like an excited 5 year old about Gummy Worms in helmets, girls running in pink skates on their toe-stops and the overriding smell that wafted out of bags which made everyone fall about in fits of laughter! (an Uggggggggghhhhhh on the Smellometer! See my last blog!)
The fabulous thing was, not only did Derby have the ability to lighten my day, it was now filtering into my families lives too. The stories and activities I had experienced on that first night, not only gave me a sense of wellbeing and hope but through my joy and constant chatter it was being re-lived and enjoyed by others too! (Basically they had no choice, as I wouldn’t shut up!)
It did however put a smile on their faces. Everyone who has experienced a terrible illness such as Cancer knows this is the most invaluable medication to have, above all the chemical stuff that they put into you. You need hope to carry on and to deal with what’s being thrown at you in life. Whether that’s dealing with illness, a tough job or just the daily grind of boring chores. Derby, I have found, is a fabulous antidote to loss of hope and a Derby injection can do wonders! One session can completely restore strength and faith in life. Through the complete focus, perseverance, physical and mental endurance that’s needed when battling others on the track, it helps you battle daily life outside the track.
I was soon due to attend a recreational skate. This is a relaxed skate session where all are welcome to come and have a go. I thought I had better get some skating hours in before I met the S.W.A.T girls again!
My white leather Sovereign skates were at the time the love of my life! I also had a matching set of SFR pads, white with a hot pink and light grey inlay! I often rose early to kit up just as the sun was rising over the red rocks and golden sand. Sometimes there was an old man who used to skate using two walking sticks to help him along!…… I know!!! Cool right! We would often skate together for a bit chatting about how awesome skating was and how good it was for your health.
One thing I loved about skating outside is the smiles you get from all ages. People often break into a huge grin when they see you, obviously reminiscing about when they skated as a child! Either that of they’re laughing at my visor, matching outfit and hot pink legwarmers but I like to think it’s not the latter!
The days took ages to pass until finally it was time to pack my bag and go. Rec. skate day! I was eager to see what it was like skating again in a sports hall, as the last time I had done that was when I was 6 at the local Roller Disco.
I walked in, white skates slung over my shoulder and introduced myself again. This time Miss Hiplash and skater 300 (who had a nifty yellow helmet with blood and a brains bulging out of it) greeted me! I have since found out this was her own creation She works with some interesting materials by day and some of them had spewed a fantastic design on to the said helmet!
I cautiously got my pads out of my Billabong rucksack and started to put them on. I was soon to realise that for some reason mine were about half the size of everyone else’s! Wonder why that is I thought!?!?!
Putting my skates on was a bit scary as I wondered exactly how slippery this floor was going to be compared to concrete! I was dreading looking like a drunken spider on skates! One thing I am great at is imagining the worst possible scenario of what could go wrong! Drunken spider was my fear of the day!
To my great surprise after a few laps, it was like I had never left the Roller Disco and the floor felt so smooth! I was in my element and I got to chat to lots of the S.W.A.T girls in a casual and very fun environment! There were all kinds of people there, including some boys which surprised me! I was yet to learn about the world of Merby (now I train with them but that comes a little later in my Derby life!)
Suddenly someone shouted out Lets play Stick In The Mud If you’ve got mouth guards and a helmet may be advisable put them on now
As I didn’t have either of these things the option of sitting out of the fun was a no go for me so I just stayed ready for the action! We all sped round and if caught, you had to stand still until someone dived through your legs to un-stick you! The game got faster and faster until I reached out to tag a S.W.A.T girl! I was so concerned about tagging her I launched myself at her just clipping the side of her shirt (Lady Stoner as I now know her).
I was so pleased with myself that I had caught a real life Derby girl, I totally forgot to watch my feet and went FLYING literally through the air forwards like superman, taking in a deep breath as I went down. This in turn pushed my ribs up and I landed with a crash flat on my front! Not a drunken spider move but certainly not my best manoeuvre! Surely someone would have seen this happen and congratulate me on my magnificent landing, but no! They were all happily playing. One girl who was sitting out did however offer me her helmet after seeing my crash landing! Little did I know at the time her Derby name was Critikel Collision. Quite ironic really! I declined her helmet offer thinking I was hard and carried on grinning through the intense pain, eyes watering and unable to breathe as I was winded! I couldn’t possible tell anyone as they may think I was a woose I thought! They will never let me on the team if they think I am a weakling so I carried on regardless! After a while I had to sit out due to lack of breath and probably going purple (which is the team colours after all so not all bad!).
Finally it was time to go home. I could just about breathe again (handy!) and I started to pack up my kit. “Can I try your skates on?” piped up skater 300. ‘My skates?’ I said excitedly thinking I must have some ace kit or something!…(I found out later she just wanted to try them as they looked like Barbie’s skates with heels on!).
My skates I noticed were very different to the Derby skates. 1″ heel and a high top. She kindly let me try hers, to which I got as far as one foot realising that this style was very different and without proper assistance I would probably cause myself more mischief!Â No ankle support felt very weird and quite frankly wrong!
So, I had finally skated with Derby girls, got my first injury and tried on a Derby skate! Rock on!!!!!! I thought. What was to come next I wondered? Whatever it was, bring it on I thought!!!!!
Speak L8ters Skaters! (age 36 going on 6)
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