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Diary of a Roller Derby Freshie - Day 2

Saturday 13th September 2014

So last week, I had my Mum to hide behind. This week I didn’t. I managed to drive to the right place, at the right time, without getting lost! (I usually make a few unexpected detours and U turns when I’m not 100% sure where I’m going.)I was then brave enough to walk into the building all by myself!! (Yes, I was hiding under my hood and behind my hair and waited in the car until I saw some other nervous looking people go in, but I still managed it.) Therefore, I had achieved before even putting my skates on, as I knew that once I was inside the hall, I’d be fine.

Once again, I was shaking as I put my kit on and as soon as I had to take my hoodie off and move my hair away from my face to put my helmet on, my thumb returned to my mouth. I am such a baby/anxiety ridden, socially inapt wreck of a teenager!

We started with something slightly different today, as we only had half of the hall for the first 15 minutes or so. SKATEROBICS!! (Dear Insane Bolt, I apologise if I spelt that wrong! Love, Bambi xx)

Basically, Insane Bolt taught us these really cool dance moves and we all looked totally awesome as we made shapes to the music... NOT. We basically stepped from side to side, forwards and backwards, did a couple of turns, but mostly fell over!! It was super fun, but who knew stepping could be so hard!!!

After the embarrassment of ‘skaterobics’, we pushed back the curtains and took over the hall to go over the skills from last week again. (Sticky skating, plow stops and knee taps) Having spent lots of time in the last session on these, I found I wasn’t too worried about them and I seemed to have lost my fear of falling the week before.

Next we moved onto balancing on one foot. I struggled with this. My balance is rubbish without skates on and the addition of wheels certainly didn’t help the situation.

Following on from the one foot glides, we learned T stops which I had lots of trouble with. The advanced skaters warned us that if we found plow stopping relatively easy, we may struggle a little more with the T stops. I definitely found this to be the case, but it was nice to see some of the freshies who were really struggling with plow stops, able to stop with (what looked like) ease in comparison. I did find this a little disheartening, but I know I shouldn’t be comparing myself to others anyway. We all have different strengths and weaknesses and learn at different paces.

Once I’d almost managed to make myself stop a couple of times whilst learning the T stop, we moved onto weaving. I much preferred this! It was awesome fun and even though I wasn’t doing it particularly fast, I was still able to do it.

Next we moved onto playing sock derby which was once again SUPER FUN!!! At one point, I was blocking the opposing jammer with the advanced skater from our pack, whilst our other two freshie blockers were confused and blocking OUR jammer rather than the other one (this happens a lot in the first few weeks when learning rules etc. If you find yourself doing this, seriously don’t worry!!) Vampira and myself were blocking the opposing jammer for ages on our own and she told me I was doing really really well. When the jam finished we high fived and everything!!! I HIGH FIVED AN ADVANCED SKATER!!!

My happy bubble was then burst when Vampira was sorting out the next line up and asked if I’d been on yet... we’d literally just come off the track having spent the entire jam together and she couldn’t remember me!!! (She has since said that she did remember me straight after asking me that question, but I’m not sure I believe her... Haha! Vampy, I love you!!)

Once the session finished and we were taking our kit off, I couldn’t help but smile. I’d been congratulated by an advanced skater and was beginning to get somewhere with the skills we were being taught. This crazy, stressful, difficult sport was leaving me super excited for the next session and I drove home with a huge grin plastered across my face.


Ok, so I didn’t have to make many videos this week (phew!) as two out of three of the new skills already have videos made by Reckless Rowly and SWAT earlier on this year.

I did however have to make a video on one footed glides...

And here is Rowly and Vampira’s video on T stops...

Now, this video is more advanced. There’s lots of stuff on edges which is for slightly more advanced skaters, however, weaving is explained rather well by Reckless Rowly and Insane Bolt. If you feel you want to push yourself and try something more advanced, take a look at Dot Slash’s edge work at the beginning of this video. Flash Bo Dash’s parallel turns at the end are really cool, but really hard. Something to try when you’ve passed minimum skills and are no longer fresh meat. Also, enjoy the outtakes at the end (my favourite bit!!)...

That’s all for this week folks. Keep skating, stay positive and don’t compare yourself to others!


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