Rookie Ramblings: Rio Grande

All is a bit quiet on the Western front in the land of Bones, but all is not lost.

I’m not gonna lie, I had a bit of a Derby Melt; when you’re not sure you’re cut out for roller derby and you never feel you’ll pass you’re mins and that generally you’re a bit pants. I was lucky in that it kinda fitted in with the fact that I had butt tonnes of uni work (not sure if I mentioned, doing a postgraduate certificate currently), moving house, planning a wedding and suffering with a stupid injury. This meant I could almost lie to myself, that I wasn’t not going because of my melt, but that I was just too tired/busy/stressed/insert other excuse. Looking back now it was really bad in all honesty and granted I’m not skating much more now but my head is in a better place.


I’ve been a Rookie for over a year, with an injury and some flakey episodes of refereeing. This melt was well routed in my psyche that I would never be good enough to skate with the big girls; never pass my minimum skills so never ever grow a foot and become part of the Dames unique Wall of Tall. Then I organised to meet with my Derby Momma for birthday pub lunch (which I cycled to and nearly died on the way back but that’s another story).

Now, my Derby Momma has been helping coach the Rookies whilst she has had a poorly knee and our usual Rookie coach moved away to much sunnier seaside pastures (we miss you Grumps <3). We chatted about training and she was SO ENTHUSIASTIC, like a puppy at Christmas, talking about all these new ways she had to explain things if people didn’t understand and that she had 3 ways to do everything just in case. I was amazed, I was in awe that this kickass skater wanted to help losers like me get better. And then we talked more about normal things like work and husbands and children and holidays, every time I put myself down over how rubbish I was at work or how badly the wedding planning was going she’d put me straight. She broke my funk. End of.

By the end of the meal we were organising all the things she was gonna teach on the Saturday that I needed help with. Typically Saturday morning came and I was ill, like dying ill, legitimately this time and I was heartbroken. We’ve yet to have our coaching session but thanks to my Derby Momma I had the confidence to go to a Gotham Bootcamp dissemination session ( they’re one of the American teams who are like in the top 3 in the world). There were 3 rookies there, all of us long time dedicated rookies and we did EVERYTHING the big girls did, yeah it was slower, a bit untidier and sometimes a bit eclectic but by jove we did it. I skated backwards through a line of skaters skating forwards (a paceline) if you’d asked me the day before I’d have never in a million years thought I could do something like that.

We’re lucky currently as the Olympics have just started and the talent, strength, courage and determination that all the athletes show is enough to get me in some Lycra pretending I’m Victoria Pendelton but this year has the highest % of female athletes at something like 45-49% . In every sport the Other Half and I have watched so far we’ve both said things along the lines of, “The women’s events in [insert sport] are so much more interesting”, “Wow they’re hench, I wish I was a strong/fierce as them” and so on. We are living in an age where we as women are kicking ass, reaching new heights and are generally wondrous to behold. So lets celebrate each other, my Derby Momma inspired me to be great by being excited about me.

Lets let that be a thing

Bones out rd

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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