By: Emily Shelton
When I strapped on a pair of roller skates for the first time in about 10 years, I resembled something like Bambi on a frozen lake.
Unlike the animated Disney fawn, I experienced both pain and embarrassment when my feet shot out in front of me and rocketed me onto my ass on the hard concrete floor of the roller rink. Roller skating is the kind of thing I would just naturally assume I’d have on lockdown (well…more or less) since, you know, I was probably able to do it as a kid. Turns out that was a fucking fantasy. And actually, I don’t really recall roller skating as a kid at all.
Why did I ever think that strapping eight wheels to my feet would be a good idea anyway?
My start in derby was the result of a Facebook message from a friend of a friend who was spreading the gospel and inviting interested girls to let derby into their lives. She was starting a new roller derby league in Toronto called the Rollergettes and was (and still is) looking for new skaters. Considering the number of facebook messages we all get these days, it was a miracle I read the message to begin with. Maybe it was fate; maybe I have been ordained to become a death-dealin’ derby dame.
That said, I never planned to join a roller derby team; I just kind of fell into it and am already starting to get hooked. I’ve always been kind of athletic; as in I enjoy sports but not in the “get-up-at-6AM-to-run-5K-then-practise” hardcore kind of way. As a kind ofathletic petite chick, I have gone through all types of fringe sports and alternative teams, from badminton, to floorball, to snowboarding. My desire has always been to play recreational sports on an all-girls team, with the option of taking it to a higher level if I was awesome enough.
Athletic and skating abilities aside, one of the first things any self respecting derby hopeful does is pick a derby name. Your derby name is your alternate ego; the name your teammates and new friends come to know you by, the name on your jersey, the name shouted by fans in the stands at a bout. As fresh meat, you have a whole world of clever possibilities, double entendres and downright hilarious names to choose from. A good derby name is something cute and sexy, or violent and badass, or a bit of both. What makes the cherry on top is if it somehow incorporates something about you. I had a ton of ideas: but finally arrived on Roadside BombShel.
And now that I have a derby name chosen and registered…I must learn where the brakes are on these damned skates!