My First Bout
As I was getting ready to walk to the coach which was taking us down to Liverpool to bout against Liverpool Roller Birds, I felt very nervous and a bit panic-struck – thoughts like ‘have I got everything?’, ‘check your kit’, ‘remember your food and drinks’, ‘oh shit I need sunglasses, run back and get them’ spun around in my head.
It was a sunny morning which made me feel a bit better, and on the bus my team mates were very calming and told me I would be fine once I had finished my first jam.
Upon arrival at the venue we received a warm welcome from LRB, and then headed straight to get changed. A few girls went to check out the floor. When they turned they said it was quite slippy and panic set in, I had changed my wheels to harder ones the night before because I was told the floor was grippy. Bugger. It was such a faff on to get them changed, so I just went with my fairly new g-rods. They actually worked fine on the floor.
So we did our warm up, talked through tactics and put on our game faces. My face was pale. I wasn’t in the first jam, but I watched my awesome team mates doing quite well out there. When my turn came I was shaky and became a goat, I worked hard trying to get out but was unsuccessful. I felt a bit gutted. However, I don’t like dwelling on things that bring me down, so I closed my eyes for a few seconds (after the jam obviously, NEVER close your eyes on track, that would
be quite disastrous) and told myself to focus and that I could do much better. Which I did! After that I reacted faster, blocked more, and tried my best to be aware of what was going on at all times on track. I made myself proud!
We have been working on a few tactics and walls over the last couple of months, and did pretty well with these. It feels great to really trust your team mates and to have confidence that they will be in the right place, at the right time. Our team is filled with positivity, love and everyone is helpful, which makes things so much easier. No bitching about mistakes made or wrong calls. We encourage one another
and make each other do better on track.
As this was a closed bout and we can’t reveal the score, I can’t tell you who won! But that’s not the point anyway - I am just reflecting on my first bout, how I felt and how our team worked. And it felt great. After the bout we greeted and hugged the other team, wiped off our sweaty booties and went to the pub! I didn’t get to speak to many people from the other team, but the ones I met were awesome, it’s great to meet new people and talk derby. So the day started off with a lot of crazy stress, excessive stomach acids, and nervousness, but ended up as an absolutely amazing experience. Fun times!