Diary of a Cadet

So I passed my skating skills (just need my 27 in 5 now) and moved up into the heady world of the Cadets! Swiftly followed by managing to (probably) breaking my own rib with my elbow… I am that clumsy!
This has meant a lot of hanging around the side lines staring wistfully at the Bomb Squad training and trying to copy their drills surreptitiously in my trainers whilst plastering a smile on my face (as I am pleased to see everyone) and hoping it covers the raw look of envy that is trying to take over my features.
I think the worst training session was when the Bomb Squad were doing their 27 in 5 laps. I need to pass this before I become eligible for a lot of things, and to see them all achieve this whilst I stood, holding my side whenever I coughed, was so frustrating I could have cried. This wasn’t helped by the fact I had a chest infection (as well as the broken rib – go me!) and had learnt very swiftly that jumping jacks are not possible without severe pain.
However the worst passed after a month and whilst I was careful about contact and scrimming I did manage a full training session and Wow! Did I feel great afterwards!
After moving up from the Rookies to the Cadets it had dawned on me how much I didn’t know about drills, strategy, and everything else that makes a good Derby player. Skating skills are such a tiny part of being able to actually play Derby that by achieving these I have realised just how much I don’t actually know – and how little I can do.
Far from being demoralised by this I feel as though I have a long winding road ahead of me with extensive skills to learn and I’m really excited about it. I like learning new things, and I’m so far out of my comfort zone at the moment each session that I get through give me a huge sense of achievement. I may not have nailed the drills but I know what I need to work on, and each session gives me new determination and more self confidence that I can do this.
Having not done laps for four months (due to a combination of illness and injury) I am now back up to hitting 24 in 5 which means I only need to improve each lap time by 1.39 seconds to hit 27 in 5 (yes, I used a calculator) and this doesn’t seem that far away. The support from everyone is fantastic and their determination for me to do this mirrors my own.
Being out of my comfort zone is on one hand terrifying and on the other hand exhilarating and I can’t wait to see where the next few months take me.

Rogue Red


Welcome to the home of the Birmingham Blitz Dames! We're an all-female, full-contact, flat track roller derby team based in Birmingham in the UK. We skate fast and we hit hard! Our league is skater run and owned - and we're proud to work and play as a team, and compete at the highest level. We take women from all backgrounds and train athletes. Whether you've played roller sports all your life or never tried on a pair of skates - if you'd like to join a great team and play a fast-paced, hard-hitting, athletic sport, come and join us! See you on the track!

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