Thursday, 15 July 2010

the little derby girl that could...

Firstly, pictures of two of my favorite Derby ladies:

The AMAZING Beyonslay

Kitty Decapitate showing us all how it's done

I've been doing some thinking recently about my progress in the weird and wonderful world of derby. I've had some real bad attacks of what has been called 'the meh' (as coined by LRG's Vigour Mortis in a post on the LRG forum) recently, and there are times when I've felt so downhearted I've wondered why I'm putting myself through all this.

My problem is simple: my problem is,

I'm not (and have never been) a 'sporty' person: the only sport I liked at school was rugby, and after 12 the girls weren't allowed to play. Hockey was only ever played in the dead of winter, and who wants to try and grip a hockey stick with freezing cold hands?! No, sports lessons were not something I ever really enjoyed. This was not helped that by age of 14 I had discovered cigarettes, and sports lessons then became just another chance to smoke. I don't even have the advantage of previous skating experience to help me: I had a pair of skates but I was utterly terrified to use them outside of my kitchen. Everything I have learned since April I have learned from scratch, from moving forward and stopping to crossovers and transitions. There are some lucky people (and many of them in my team) who take skating naturally: one or two goes and they've got a skill down, and proceed to fly past me as I stumble my way ungracefully around the track. It's so, so frustrating because skating just doesn't come easily to me: I have to work, work and work at it all the time. And I'm slow. Don't get me wrong, I've never been the fastest or most agile...but I've always been able to hold my own and end up somewhere around the middle. On skates however, no doubt about it, I'm S-L-O-W, and it really gets me down (well, it adds to 'the meh' anyway!).

It also makes me think, where is my place? I'm not and never will be a super-lithe jammer like Kitty Decapitate, I'm far too heavy and not anywhere near agile enough. Nor am I a powerhouse of a super-blocker, like Beyonslay, I'm too small. I come somewhere about the middle, and this leaves me wondering where my skill (if any) lies.
But you know what? In spite of all this, and in spite of the little voice in my head that tells me I'm not good enough, I WILL do this. If there is just one thing I've worked out it is that I'm in love with roller derby, even if it doesn't love me back just yet. But it will, in time.


  1. I know exactly where your place is.

    It's simply enjoying yourself doing your roller derby thang. Being incredible at it is far less important than just having a good time with good friends.

  2. Jojo! No-one is like Beyonslay! And you don't need to be tenny like Kitty to be a jammer, BB is a jammer, and do you remember what she keeps telling us about the most important aspect of being a jammer? Mental strength. Who knows what position you'll end up playing yet- it's too early to tell. But the more on skate hours you rack up, the more your confidence (and speed, which is in the mid-range) will grow.

    If you don't acknowledge the meh, it won't get you. Just take falls on the chin (not literally) get straight back up and skate over the face of the meh.

  3. Together we will make derby love us back, and it will be happy to :)