Roller what?

Roller what? Roller what?

Status: Finished

Genre: Memoir

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Memoir

Summary

Kick-ass skating

Summary

Kick-ass skating

Content

Submitted: November 02, 2015

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Content

Submitted: November 02, 2015

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Roller Derby

"George Miller must have been here", I thought as I looked around me, half expecting Mel Gibson to come rolling down the ramp into the arena. Arena... yes, this was an honest to God arena in the belly of a long closed down cinema in the 'Northern Civic Pride' style of architecture on the fringe of Oldham city centre. Vintage Rock music rattled everything loose and brilliant stage lights flooded the place where the action would be. The ovals of rope and gaffa tape looked innocent and welcoming... until my eyes settled on the scrapes and gouges from bodies hitting the ground fast and hard. The early Halloween party from the weekend before still clung to the walls and in the shadows the same goth costumes that I had assumed on Saturday were fancy dress, still lurked.

We changed like puppies in a basket; a communal confusion of leggings and leotards, sports bras and knee pads. We looked kick-ass rockin'... And I was terrified!

It always looks so easy from the side-lines. Blockers block and Jammers skate. But OMG, nothing prepared me for the body contact; the sheer physicality of it all. I run; I in-line skate... prissy stuff compared to this, but oh, the adreniline rush after ten minutes is incredible. I spend more time on the floor or being barged off the track than I spend doing anything useful, but the girls seem to think I'm doing OK... that's why they keep knocking me down!

Two hours go by so quickly and we're back in what passes for a changing room. It's like a girls' school dorm and the talk is of tactics and techniques, victories and defeats. I smile as I realise i'm not the only girl pulling jeans over her bare bottom and I relish the hugs and friendly squeezes. Then it's round the corner to the pub before home time. Shall I come back? Everyone seems to want me to. I don't know yet, but I'm so pleased I found the courage tonight! Go, Rainy City Roller Girls!


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