Hi, I’m Alex. For those who don’t know me, I started skating about seven months ago. And I was crap….like, really crap! I was like a lot of girls who got into derby; I’d heard people talk about it, and I’d seen the cult classic film “Whip It”, and heard people say how fierce it was. So I thought hey, why not give it a go! I rocked up to my first derby session on a hot summers day, and dragged some friends along for moral support. Once I’d borrowed some skates and figured out my elbow pads from my knee pads, I was ready to kick some ass, derby style! Or so I thought….I looked a little like this:
Yeah, I was super cool! But it didn’t really matter, cos other people there were just like me: wanting to try something new and were willing to give it a go. Within the session most of us were able to skate a few laps, mostly not fall over,and even do some T-stops! I was really chuffed…and also slightly addicted.
I started going religiously to training, and even to public skating sessions for some extra practice. Over the next few weeks and months, I slowly started to improve. My balance got better and my coordination looked less like drunken chimp on wheels! I even took up roller hockey lessons, just so I could spend some more time on my skates and learn new skills.
I started picking things up slowly, like doing turns, skating backwards, even skating sideways…I also picked up a lot of crap off the floor from all the times I’ve fallen over (and still do fall!) but that’s part of the fun of learning. You’re never gonna get it perfect first time, and a lot of the time you fall on your bum (or face if you’re me), but once you get it right, it’s so worthwhile! It was also amazing skating as part of a team, and learning and working together. We started out as just a few girls getting together each week and trying to get better, and now we’ve grown in numbers and skills, and work with each other to grow and develop as a team.
For me, roller derby is about more than just being a good skater, or what kind of fishnets you wear, it’s about teamwork and friendship too. We’ve got our first derby scrimmage coming up this weekend, and it’s exciting to be going out there as part of a team and see what we can acheive. What started out as a crazy dream thought up from an Ellen Page movie is now becoming a reality. It’s like Maggie Mayhem says, “Be your own hero” x