So two weekends ago marked the start of my home team season with the LA Derby Dolls, and tomorrow, Sept 6th, is my teams first bout of the season. My last home team game was November last year, so needless to say, I’m itching for our turn to play again.This year is special because I finally hit my 5 year anniversary, making me a “Legend” in my league. I find it hard to believe that 5 whole years have passed since I first wandered into the Doll Factory.
I only knew about derby because of a box set of DVD’s my sister somehow came across. It was a show called Roller Girls, about TXRD, Texas Roller Derby. I loved it, but I had no idea it was “a thing”. After I moved from New Jersey to Los Angeles, I was trying to explore my new city. On a whim, I threw “Roller Derby Los Angeles” into the Google bar, and the LA Derby Dolls popped up. Little did I know, I found my new home.
I dragged two of my friends out to watch my very first game, Sirens vs Tough Cookies, who just so happened to play each other this past weekend. I fell in love that night! It was violent, and sexy, and full of life! There were even a few injuries even on the track that night, but none of it deterred me. I knew I had to find out how to join. I started leaving work as early as I could to strap on a shitty pair of Chicago Roller Skates. I’d just skate up and down the bike path by my house until the sun went down, assuming that’s how I’d get in shape for tryouts. Oh silly, young me! I didn’t know anything!
August 9th came, the day of tryouts! I showed up alone to the track and made polite conversation with strangers, who today are great friends of mine. I didn’t have any of my own gear other than those shitty old skates, which broke during tryouts. Strangers (again, today good friends of mine) strapped me into stinky, old, used gear and pushed me into the flat track area for the tryout. Most of the girls there with me that day were of equal skill level to me. We were all wobbly, but eager! The most exciting part of the whole tryout was when they moved us into the banked track room. I thought, even if I don’t pass these tryouts, I’ll get to tell all my friends that I skated on that track! At the time, that was more than enough of an accomplishment to me.
Here I am, 5 years later! I made it through the tryouts. I made it through fresh meat. I made it through subpool and onto my home team. I even made it through a year as captain, and am happily back to just a team skater this year. There have been high highs, and low lows. I have found best friends, and temporary worst enemies (you know how girls can be)!I wouldn’t trade these past 5 years for anything the world.
If you’ve never been to a live roller derby event, I highly suggest you go. Who knows, maybe 5 years from now, you’ll be looking back at that one bout that started it all! GO TEAM!