FMRD vs. Team Doge
Can you spot the goof with one gleaming mouthguard tooth?
Look at my awesome team. Look at those tired albeit smiling faces. On Sunday just gone, I played in my second ever Roller Derby game. I rushed back from family birthday celebrations in Leeds, threw on my team shirt, and made my way to the hall where the game took place. I played my first game in March this year, around the same time I was going through the motions of a major dip in my mental health. I left the game feeling disappointed and frustrated with my performance - or lack of it. Knowing I had a lot to work on, I made a vow to myself that I wouldn't play until I felt more prepared. At the time I figured this wouldn't be until next year at the very earliest and, if I'm honest, I could have seen that being true if I hadn't been rostered in for this game.
A couple of months back, our league bagged an incredible coach. She's been working us really hard; making us sweat until our sweat is sweating. As a result our team has grown stronger and closer, and as it seemed like the right time to review progress, a co-ed game was arranged. Saying I was surprised to read my name on the line up feels like an understatement. It hit me in the form of a wave of nerves which was soon followed up by a quiet, proud excitement. It was pretty special to feel as though I was worthy to play amongst my talented teammates - particularly as this was the first ever time our co-ed team would be formerly playing together as a team!
. What a contrast to the last game I played in. I had SO much fun. I loved every second of it to the point where I didn't want it to end. I left feeling like I made an impact. That I was a help rather than a hindrance; managing to stay on my feet and hold the Jammer a heck of a lot more. I must have only fallen three, four, five times tops, which was amazing as last time it only seemed to take someone looking in my direction for me to be on the floor. I kept up with the pack, got a couple of hits in (and a few penalties too, oops!) and left with zero injuries. What especially warmed my heart though, were the kind comments I received about my performance. A league-mate noted my straight hips, as I have a tendency to turn and give the Jammer more legal surface area to hit; my wonderful friends who came to watch told me they were surprised at how quickly I bounced back up after being knocked down; and a friend/old league-mate boosted my confidence with high praise about my blocking on the inside line. All things I have been working hard on to improve.
We lost the game, but from the looks on all of our faces you would have never guessed. The scores were fairly close until the final fifteen minutes or so, but spirits continuously soared. The zebras thanked us for our politeness and patience with the newbie refs, our bench coach told us we should be so proud of our performance and our line up manager kept us all calm and in check. I was on such a high afterwards that I was hugging, high-fiving and shaking hands with everyone - and anyone who knows me will appreciate how seemingly out of character that is. It also shows how much more in control of my mental illnesses I am in contrast to earlier this year. So yeah,
Besides everything I know I need to work on for next time, the biggest thing I've taken from this is that
there isn't ever a right time
. Sometimes it's a case of jumping in head first and seeing what happens. I had such a different experience to the first game I played in. I'm so glad I was unexpectedly thrown into the game as it made me see that I'm far more capable than I believed I was. Now I can't wait to get back to work in practice and for the next opportunity to play! Roll on the next one...