Thursday, 20 March 2014

Something about roller derby.

My name's Lisa and I'm a roller derby girl.

I have been skating since I was 9 - though not particularly well as my brother Matt will attest - I spent lots of time running on my stoppers - a skill lots of derby girls wish they had. We spent most Sunday afternoons at the rink for the two-and-a-half hour skating sessions for a good part of five years. And then skating wasn't really cool and public liability skyrocketed so my rink was no more. In Year Seven we had gone skating as a class and one of my friends said to me "Everyone has a sport and yours is skating".I was never good at any sport - just ask anyone in my primary school class - and skating was one thing which was not about running, throwing, catching or hitting moving objects. What Sam said that day has always stuck with me because he was so sincere and honest about it.

The short story about roller derby is this: Spring and I went to see Whip It and I was so excited about it that I started looking into doing roller derby. I saved up for my skates and we went skating a few times. There was one derby league in Adelaide then, and I moved away and hadn't put my skates on since. But I had been watching with great interest about new leagues being developed in Adelaide... and then my my favourite country towns, and then accidentally stumbled across a little mention of Copper Coast Roller Derby on Facebook. I was so excited that I messages whoever ran this league and then made myself go to sleep so whoever she was could write back to me about it. I should have waited, I think I got a response straight away.

The longish story about my time with CCRD is this: I was invited to come along to skating at some netball courts on Sunday. I was so nervous/excited and I finally worked up the courage to make my appearance at the courts to meet Becca and Shauna. I think I was expecting Smashley Simpson and Maggie Mayhem rather than two rather (extra)ordinary ladies who didn't mind that some random person was joining in the skating fun. Since then we have moved to an indoor location, learnt so many more skills and I have invested more money in my skates and protection gear than I dare to think about.

What I find remarkable about roller derby is it found me at a time when I wasn't really ready to be found. I was unfit (okay, more unfit than what I am now), I was broke and incredibly unhappy. Derby videos may have been the reason I woke up and did stuff in the morning - and I'm not even exaggerating. I had been lonely for a long time and looking for something I could be part of but without having to make a huge effort to fit in. Derby lets me be myself (and/or my alter-ego Maliboom Stacy). I have so much to learn - and so much I want to learn. I've never been one for team sports of any kind and then roller derby found me and told me otherwise.