So I wanted to write this as soon as I got home on Saturday, but I was so exhausted, so incredibly happy and so incapable of moving my limbs. Best. Weekend. Ever.
Obviously I was far too excited to sleep on Friday night, but the arrival of the rollergirls in Sainsburys car park made everything okay. (That, and an embarrassing amount of “energy food”.) After Foxy kindly drove us all the way to Devon, we kitted up in our new yellowest shirts (OMG!) and I ate even more food 🙂 (Bit of fairly obvious advice by the way: don’t scoff squishy food before endurance drills. I very nearly made an omelette on the track.)
I love love love meeting new skaters, and Devon couldn’t’ve been friendlier. Hell, they even made us cakes with their logo on! Their coach was great too; we did agility circuits, blind skating(!), and the most unexpectedly adorable beach-themed work-out.
And then The Scrimmage. With a lack of full-time refs, Jenna-ral Yum Yum and Smasha Cakes Zeb’d up, which actually looked like the hardest job of all, but they were ace, and we had lots of Bath NSOs (and photographers!)
Needless to say, I was, uh, heightened at this point. It took Tinker Hell to give me some much-needed fairy power and a pep talk, but as soon as I was on the track my nerves just…went away. (I should point out here that this NEVER happens to me. As some kind of magnet for social peril and traumatic awkwardness I’ve learnt never to trust my nerve in pressured situations.) But yeah, I dunno if it was the new name, my awesome team mates, or just sheer bloodlust, but suddenly my nerves vanished and all I could think was OMG BATH ROLLER DERBY GIRLS ARE PLAYING A MATCH AND I’M A BATH ROLLER DERBY GIRL! I’M PLAYING ROLLER DERBY!
And then I got an elbow in the face – but honestly I was probably daydreaming anyway, so I stopped thinking about unicorns or someshit and got back in the game.
I blocked a bit, and fell a lot, and after the initial shock of “oh crap, we’re allowed to hit”, sorta got the hang of things. It was all pretty fast, but it really helped watching every other jam from the bench – both teams looked like they knew exactly what they were doing, which is more than I could say for myself. But after one more jam I knew I’d kick myself if I didn’t have a go at jamming… and I’m so so glad that I did. I seemed to lose track of my feet a bit at first but I didn’t like, die or anything, and the feeling of busting through the pack was just so so good!
Later on, after watching Petra Bomb and Foxy Hard Knox deliver some epic blows, and Conway the Barbarian jamming really well our bench manager Daphne Du’Warrior thrust the star panty back into my hands. A false start in our favour, and HOLY CRAP IT’S A POWER JAM. Butterflies threatening to burst through my stomach, I did a tiny internal squeal and went for the pack. My team mates were ace – my initial pass became a violent reproduction of the Red Sea parting, only with more glitter and some swearing. And then I realised how I probably shouldn’t’ve just eaten half a packet of chocolate fingers, because 5 or so sprint laps on a full stomach are bad, but I WAS TOTALLY DOING IT! It felt amazing going fast and passing blockers. In reality I probably looked like some form of clumsy bewheeled banana, but by this point I was so happy to be skating that I could’ve faceplanted the floor and still been smiling 🙂
Ah I’ve never had so much fun or felt such a buzz doing sport. I’ve never hated sport or anything, I just really REALLY love whatever it is about wheels and going fast and hitting and dodging. I think I need to get my head around the game quite a lot more, but I’m looking forward to when I can piece together all the things you need to play derby, all at once and really fast. Aaah, what a great weekend. The Bath team are all so amazing, and fun and happy and dedicated, and it feels like everyone’s improving exponentially every time we do something new. Thank you also Devon Clotted Screamers for having us, for not entirely destroying our fragile newbie bodies with your hits, for epic cake and all the hugs. ❤
Update two: Scarlett O’Harma totally sent me a load of photos from the bout! See: