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Fri 10th Feb 2017 – A roller derby love story <3

by ‘Shady Supernova’ #4051 (if I pass)…

Tonight is the night of the final minimum skills test and I am feeling both nervous and excited. I so hope I pass, but if I don’t I will definitely have another go, and keep trying until I am scrim ready! Woo Hooo!

Well, my freshmeat journey has been a crazy and exciting roller coaster of emotions, but I have absolutely loved it! I am so so happy that I had the guts to give it a try and come along to the first Friday freshmeat session. I have loved learning all the skating skills and hanging out with my new derby friends so much that I have actually never missed a Friday since we started back in October 2016. I think I am the only one who has been to every session actually, I wonder if there is some kind of attendance award?

As well as learning how to do loads of cool stuff on skates, a definite highlight has been meeting my ‘Derby wife’ Anais aka Bruise BanHer. We met on the freshmeat Facebook page when I was trying to find someone to car share with from Southampton. Weirdly we have both done science PhDs, so we have lots of geeky stuff to talk about in the car on our way to Portsmouth, we also talk a lot about wheels and laces etc, which is standard when you start derby as there are so many options! Also, throughout freshmeat we have both progressed at the same pace, which has been convenient, we have pretty much done exactly the same number of laps on 27 in 5 each week…so that is kind of freaky really!?

Discovering roller derby and becoming part of the Portsmouth Roller Wenches family (it really does feel like a family!) has come at a good time for me personally. I have really needed the support of this extended family over these last few months. Just before Christmas my relationship with my boyfriend, who I had been with for nearly 3 years and lived with in Southampton broke down…he cheated on me while I was out being an awesome freshmeat wench and then within a month moved out of our house and in with the girl he cheated on me with 🙁

Coming to freshmeat practice every Friday (and also sometimes on Monday with the dogs, and NSO-ing on Sunday with Anais at the SCRIM) has not only helped fill up my time and take my mind off it, but the support and friendship of the wenches and dogs really lifted my spirits!

I really hope that I can channel some of my strength (and maybe some of that anger I still have, lol!) tonight into achieving 27 in 5! I am hoping to be able to give and receive hits too 😉 ! If anything I definitely have some fuel for giving powerful, aggressive hits haha. I am still rather sad and heartbroken right now, however, I honestly feel like I have a new love in my life, and that is roller derby…:D (I realise how cheesy that sounds but it is true! Roller derby is definitely healing my broken heart, and even if you don’t have a broken heart it will just generally make your life more awesome!)

I have fallen in love with it sooo much I am actually getting up at 5am tomorrow to fly to a bootcamp in Manchester with the Rainy City roller derby team, I hear they have an amazing purple track!

The final thing I will say is that I work in a male dominated environment, a Physics department at a local University, so I am usually surrounded by loads of men. I have absolutely loved being in a female dominated environment for a change. Meeting all these strong, ambitious women and seeing them compete in this very physical sport is really very inspiring, and even though some of these women can seem quite scary and loud when they play derby, I promise you, everyone is actually really welcoming, and lovely!

So, if you are reading this and thinking about coming to fresh meat (the next course starts on the 31st March 2017!), then my advice is that you should definitely do it!

You will love it! #YouGotThis