This year I turned 30. While it wasn’t the tragedy I expected in my teens and early twenties, it was a milestone. Two years ago my husband and I relocated to Maine from the South because he was basically offered his dream job at UMaine Orono. Honestly, I’ve had a hard time finding my niche. Until now.
New decade, new chapter, new name.
A few months ago my friend Amy Blackstone, aka Wined Up, introduced us to Central Maine Derby. My husband, aka Oso Loco, fell in immediately and, as a former hockey player, threw on his roller skates and dove in to reffing for the team. I took a little more convincing, but eventually I became enthralled by these women from all different backgrounds and different age groups that have come together to form a team of amazing, powerful athletes. I’d been bitten by the derby bug and wanted some Derby Love of my own.
Friday nights now belong to 11 women, the official Fresh Meat class of Central Maine Derby, coached by the great Miss Anthrope and Nurse Heartless. For our first practice, they kicked our collective asses. Thirty minutes of calisthenics and we were already begging for mercy. Then it was time to gear up. This was it. The moment of truth. Granted, we had been on skates before and were all at least fairly competent, but, at that moment, we became derby girls.
The next two and a half hours were filled with sweat and grit. We got beyond just skating in circles hoping not to fall on our faces or fannies. We learned how to stop, which turns out to be an important aspect of skating that doesn’t necessarily occur to one until it needs to happen. The sound of wheels grinding echoed through the gym following the shouts of “STOP!” from Heartless and Miss A. This would inevitably be followed by the occasional sound of knee pads hitting the floor. But, we did it. We did it well.
Then they taught us how to fall. You would think this would come naturally as falling entails simply letting gravity take hold and colliding with the earth. Turns out, there’s a proper way to do this. Safety first! Back on the track. Skate, skate, skate “FALL!” Boom! Plastic hit the floor. Back up in three seconds. At least, that’s the eventual goal. We ended practice with a game that combined our stopping and falling skills that had everyone laughing and having a thoroughly good time. I realize not all practices will be hunky dory, but it was great for a first.
This weekend the newbs also got the chance to help out with CMD’s intraleague bout to kick off Husson University’s Buddy Week, a week of learning acceptance and how to lift up others instead of putting them down. (For more information on CMD’s Skate Don’t Hate program visit http://centralmainederby.com/
All in all, a truly successful first week. I’m looking forward to working hard toward being a full-fledged derby girl. I want the blood, sweat, and tears. I want to embrace my new superhero identity.