Saturday night was Roller Derby with my friend Lisa. To say I was excited was an understatement, evident in the vlog I made before the game. The Cleveland league is the Burning River Roller Girls and Lisa and I were able to see all four teams play. I went in having absolutely no idea what to expect, but the skaters were fabulous with even more fabulous names (Katniss Evermean was my favorite). And while it was a very physical sport that created a lot of hardwork — the jammers especially, as their positions require speed and agility — it looked like the kind of fun hardwork I get out of running.
I had a blast, hanging out with my friend, watching the games, munching on my soft pretzel, and the whole evening reignited my desire to learn how to skate.
You see, a few years ago Lisa had her birthday party at a skating rink. I do not skate. Never have been able to, not even as a kid. But, y’know what, I wasn’t going to let that stop me because I had rather strange ambitions of being a derby player despite not knowing how to skate and I had to start somewhere, right? So, I get out on the rink and I’m super slow — it takes me the entire length of a song to get once around the rink, but hey, better than not skating at all.
At one point I fall. Okay, no big deal, right? Well, no big deal unless you’re close to 300 lbs and uncoordinated and can’t get up on your own. Lisa and our other friend skated over to try and help me up, only in all my 300 lb uncoordinatedness, I make them fall, too. So then one of the employees skated over to try and help.
So there’s me, on the floor of the skating rink trying my hardest to find my balance while on freaking wheels and there is an employee trying to help me up. And what do I, the 300 lb uncoordinated girl, do?
I pull the employee down onto the rink with me.
Mortified, people. Morti-fucking-fied.
My friends kept telling me it wasn’t a big deal, but I wanted to crawl away and cry. It was right up there with the time I couldn’t ride a roller coaster because of my weight and I spent the rest of the evening watching from the sidelines (which, at a roller skating rink, is actually rather entertaining).
You would think that would have been enough to dash any derby dreams, but, instead, it only motivated me and I lucked into finding a pair of roller blades at the thrift store.
To make a long story short, I only had the rollerblades for about a week before I fell and broke my elbow. That was a little over two years ago and while those skates are still in my hall closet, I haven’t put them on in all that time. Hence the inclusion of #93 on my 101/1001 List.
At the game, Lisa actually asked me if I had skated since my accident and I said no. She then pointed out something I hadn’t considered, which is that six months of yoga may help with my balance. Plus, I reason, an almost 90 lb weight loss can only help with the whole staying-up-while-on-wheels thing. Of course, if I really do want to maybe, kinda, sorta, possibly, make my derby dreams a reality I should probably forgo the roller blades and purchase roller skates.
And, of course, elbow pads.
I will say this: if I ever learn how to skate and if I ever become a Roller Derby player (hey, a girl can dream), my name would totally be Hatelyn Snark.
Winter is coming. And so is your ass kicking.
Hopefully George R.R. Martin would approve.
Have you ever attended a roller derby game? Are you a weirdo like me and have a derby name picked out?
Love from the ashes,