First, a little bit of history...
For two years I trained with Perth Roller Derby as Fresh Meat. My roller skating skills were pretty much zero when I started out. The last time I had worn a pair of roller skates was when I was about 11 years old (hmmm about 25 years ago).
But it looked like a fun sport to try out, I'm not overly competitive but I do have aggressive tendencies that are helped by physical exercise. A combination of skating AND bashing people about? I would learn to skate to be allowed to do that!
The first year my skating improved immensely but I still dropped out of Fresh Meat as the training sessions ramped up. I don't know why but I would find excuses not to go - work was an easy one because I was a shift worker at the time and trying to fit a scheduled training routine around shift work was harder than I thought.
But other women managed it so I knew it was no excuse really. Then the second year I put my all into the training and it paid off when my skating skills went through the roof, but as the number of training sessions you needed to attend increased, the same thing happened. I dropped out because I couldn't manage the shift work/training regime balance.
When I tried to enroll for Fresh Meat a third time, perhaps unsurprisingly, I found my emails were no longer replied to. I had failed. After a bit of a grieving (my method of grieving usually involves getting angry, then getting depressed, then drinking red wine to excess - bad girl) I realised that the Perth Roller Derby team needed people with a LOT more grit and determination than I was bringing to the table.
They are trying to grow a sport of dedicated team players who are going to give their utmost to play and improve the sport. I was just not that into it all. I loved the skating, loved the dressing up, loved the other crazy people there but I wasn't willing to hand over hours of my own time to improve the sporting league.
So what did I get out of it all? HEAPS! I realised that to be a roller derby girl you have to be hard-core committed. Kudos to all of you who made it! And personally, I discovered that I put a lot more value on my time with Mike and the dogs than I'd previously known.
Mike is my other half, we've been together over 11 years (and counting) and we have two amazing dogs. One of the reasons I tried to join a roller derby league is because I was actively looking for new friends who don't have children. Mike and I are not planning to have children, and all our friends are in the 2 or 3 baby range (bar a handful), and it gets harder and harder to catch up with friends regularly, or even chat on the phone with your friends as they're juggling multiple children at the same time.
So although I didn't make it into the league, roller derby increased my confidence to talk to new people. Wow it can be hard making new friends as an adult! But I have made one really good friend since that experience and it was all worth it just for her. xx
And lastly, I discovered my alter ego Anna Kist!
Anna Kist was my roller derby name and I only came up with it during my second year of fresh meat after listening to The Sex Pistols... "I am an Anarchist!" and the light bulb went on over my head. I AM an anarchist. Anna Kist became my roller derby name then and there, and my alter ego in 'real' life too.
Tomorrow I'll continue on with some more anarchist ideas. Please drop in and leave your thoughts too! xx