Ah. I remember the first time I ever bought my own roller skates. I would look at them in the box, terrified of them, yet desperate to get them on my feet and see what I could do. I would wait all day until my mum got home from work and then she would drive me to car park and teach me how to skate. I remember how wobbly I was. How I clung to the railings for dear life. How the wheels on my feet seemed so unnatural and weird, yet so exciting... I would cry with the fear of it all yet I would keep putting them on... No, this is not a fond memory from my childhood. This was just a year ago.
I am always one of those people who try something, find they're rubbish at it, and stop. I have a fair few musical instruments to prove that point! But, for some reason, roller derby wouldn't let me do that. I literally could not move on skates. I had to be pulled up and down the rink. I came home, burst in to tears, and complained about how scary it was and how terrible I was. Yet, the next day I went out and bought a pair of roller skates. Admittedly, my mind was back and forth, and the moment I bought them, I wanted to take them back. But something tipped me over the edge. Something said "Go on. Why not jump?" And so I did. And I've been falling (in love) ever since.
In a whole year, I have skated about 350 hours, been to over 50 training sessions, over 70 social skates, bought 2 pairs of roller skates, one pair of plates, 16 wheels, 4 toe-stops, 6 pairs of laces, a ridiculous amount of socks, NSOd 27 bouts, proposed to all 4 of my derby wives, watched god knows how many clips or bouts online, mentioned the words "roller derby" about a gazillion times, won an award, bought personalised t-shirts, helmet stickers, hoodies, and toe guards, got a roller derby tattoo, written 51 blog posts, met so many lovely people, amazing people, people who inspire me, people who I've inspired, people who I now call friends. Roller derby has changed my life.