Love at First Bout

Reflections on my first bout

When I told people I was going to be skating in my first ever roller derby bout I was almost always asked if I was scared. And the truth is, I was. Not because roller derby is “dangerous” like everyone assumes because I had to work my butt off to pass a set of minimum skills requirements to be out there. And not because it’s a “unique” sport to get into because it’s an awesome sport to get into. I was scared because I was terrified of letting my teammates down, of not being good enough and of being a hazard on the track. I also experienced typical game day jitters and anxiety.

Then I got out on the track. My nerves were gone instantly. Not because I had a new-found confidence or anything, but when you’re out there skating you don’t have time to be nervous. All you can think about is where the jammer is.

I remember questioning my positioning a lot. I was never sure if I was 100% where I was supposed to be and I fell more times than I would like to admit. Going into half time I remember feeling super excited because derby is awesome and a little bummed because I was wishing I was skating better.

Fortunately, the second half did not disappoint. I felt more sure of myself and as a team we improved considerably, gaining lead jammer status, building stronger walls and putting everything out on the line. Just writing about it makes me feel a new surge of pride for my team. We did not give up.

I think I personally played better as well. The first half of the game is all a blur for me, but I can remember instances in the second half where I contributed to the game and did good things. I also earned my first ever penalty…oops.

So many emotions go into a bout. Excitement when you do well, disappoint when a jammer gets by you, anger at yourself when you fall or earn a unnecessary penalty and pride when you get to watch your teammates kick some butt. When it ended I remember feeling super high on adrenaline and super satisfied.

I wasn’t ready for the game to end. I was ready for another bout right away. I don’t want to have to wait to play again. I learned a lot throughout the bout, but I also learned just how much I love derby. I am so glad I joined the Circus City Derby Dames. Just being part of the derby world is fantastic. The timing of this post is perfect since International Women’s Day was yesterday. And let me tell you, the women in this sport are strong, confident, kick ass role models. It was definitely love at first bout.

Photo by Arthur Horino

2 thoughts on “Love at First Bout

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