There's something about the end of practice that has me looking back at how much fun I had. I can be a tad cynical sounding in practice, because I voice my opinion, even if it's not popular. But, roller derby is exhilarating, as much for the personal interaction as the sport itself. Imagine, the kind of women that are drawn to derby are not the kind you would think of as shy, or quiet. We all think a little outside the box, and we find out super-fast that we need to have a thick skin. If I'm a blocker during a bout, my job is to push you off the track and stop you from getting in the way of my jammer. That means that I really can't be worried about your feelings. I will do that off-track. I'm not even allowed to argue with the referee. Just skate hard, get points for the team, and take a whip so that it's both helpful to me, but exciting to watch!
Nobody who knows me well will be surprised that my co-captain tonight said to me "eyes on the track and shut it" while gesturing a nice lock and key motion in front of her mouth. In any other context I probably would have felt badly; but I'm not going to be a better player if someone has to worry about my feelings. Shut it I did, and focused on what I should have been focusing on in the first place. She did say sorry, and I thought that she had nothing to be sorry for at all. I will not learn anything if I don't listen to all the players, giving both good and bad feedback.
A lot of us come into this sport for a variety of reasons: it's cool, it's fun, you get to wear awesome gear, it is a fantastic physical workout, and as Willy Wonka said, "if God had meant us to walk, he wouldn't have invented roller skates". I'll tell you though, when you take an elbow to the face, or your own blocker knocks you down when you're jamming, the first words out of your mouth are not "thank you very much". I am inspired by women who can come off the track and share their feelings with one another to the betterment of the team, and be met with understanding and a positive outcome. We are building amazing teams in this league.
Muddy River Rollers is a strong group of women. They are going to be worth watching at the first bout at the Red Ball Centre on May 14th
. It's a double header with The Daughters of Anarchy, and The Lumbersmacks competing, and everyone is working super hard to make sure that not only will it be a huge success, it will be super entertaining for the audience. Every league member is excited, so we'd like to share that. In case you want tickets, they can be purchased at both Spin It, and Cut Throat Pizza locations in Moncton. You can also purchase them online