HRD’s Hart Break Her talks about her fears of signing up, experience of the fresh meat course and unexpected love for a sport she previously knew very little about.
I remember when I first saw a post about roller derby on Facebook. I had seen the film Whip It so knew a little bit about the sport and was intrigued to learn more.
I was looking for a new challenge and something that I could do just for me, without the worries and stresses of my everyday life. I wanted something where I could just switch off, meet some new people and have fun – and roller derby seemed to fit the bill.
I contacted the team to find out about joining the next fresh meat course. I was nervous as hell. I am not an outgoing person and am very shy meeting new people but thought I needed to push myself into this.
I was worried about my lack of skating skills and whether this would cause an issue, but I was reassured that the team would help me whenever I needed it. It seemed too good to be true, that I could take up this completely new sport and have these amazing people behind me helping me.
Then the day arrived and I had my first fresh meat session.
Nervous was an understatement. Would I be able to do this? Was I going to make a fool of myself? Would I get on with the other people? So many emotions were running through my mind but I got in my car and made the short journey to the sports centre.
I walked in nervously wondering what the hell I was doing. I was instantly met with smiling faces and everyone welcomed me in. Previous fresh meaters came to talk to me and helped put my mind at ease that everything would be fine.
Then it was time to stand up in front of everyone and introduce ourselves. I looked around at the other fresh meat recruits and could see they were just as nervous as I was. To be honest I could not remember one single name from that first introductions, I was concentrating so hard on not making a fool of myself that nothing else seemed to matter.
Before long we were all kitted up and ready to roll. Every new recruit was the same. All nervous, worried about their skating skills and how many times we were going to fall over.
Every single member of the team has been there to support and encourage us the whole time to help put our minds at rest. I have never in my life met a group of people like this, especially a group of women, if I am honest. But the team spirit is absolutely amazing and something the whole league should be proud of.
As each week passed I got a little bit more confident on my skates.
I felt that I could take this sport on and actually improve at it. With every session, I got to know my teammates more and more and each week my love for the sport grew. I found myself watching things on YouTube to try and improve my skills, and doing exercises at home. Many a time I had my husband laughing at me for standing like a penguin or squatting in ridiculous places around the house. I did not care though. I wanted to make myself better and stronger.
Initially I was just going to complete my fresh meat course as I just wanted to skate. Now I have found this love for a sport that I could not live without.
I don’t want to miss out on any training as I want to be the best I can be and I want to learn as much as I can. I am doing things on skates that I never thought I would be able to do, and in time I want to improve all these skills to become as good as the advanced players on our team.
I recently sprained my ankle at training, but as I am sitting here injured from the sport I love, the only thing on my mind is getting back on skates.
Roller derby has become my passion. If you want to be involved with a sport that is unique and awesome that helps you build strength and power – and involved with a team that is amazing and always there for you, I encourage you all to book your place. It is the best thing I have ever done in my life and I am so glad I got past my first fears of signing up.
Feeling inspired? Find out more about our next fresh meat course and sign up!