By: Emily Shelton
They call me “Road kill”.
I am holding an icepack to a massive bruised and rink rashed, welt on my hip bone as I write this; just soaked in an epsom salt bath and popped my fourth Advil of the afternoon. It was the Rollergettes’ inaugural bout this past Saturday, and I got my ass handed to me on a silver platter by the extremely badass skaters of Toronto Roller Derby (TORD).
We were all nervous for our first bout (with the exception of Punkii BruzHer). I called Kill Face the day of (D-Day) and we both had mini freakouts over the phone. We were nervous, stressed, running around last minute, doubting our “readiness”….we both had visions of tripping over our own skates and making an ass out of ourselves in front of all the fans when our introductory names were called, like a grade eight grad walking across the stage in shaky heels.
We got to the venue three hours before the game started, but with all the set up and craziness, writing our names with shirt paint on our team jerseys, etc, before you knew it we were in the Rollergettes change room, moments before the bout. It was a real novelty being in a classic athlete’s change room, like in the movies. It was strewn with gear all over: protective padding, towels, water bottles, glittery face paint, fishnets of every imaginable pattern, striped knee socks in our team colours purple and green.
The game started and, fighting butterflies, I was on the jammer line, waiting for the whistle, trying to take deep, calming breaths while surveying the situation at hand. From 10 feet away I had a good view and time to contemplate the fierce skaters whose main goal is to slam me to the ground.
Time slowed down as I skated up to the blockers from the Frenemies who were patiently waiting to throw a devastating hip check. I got thrown into the boards, slammed on my ass, whipped to the ground, caught air as I somersaulted into the suicide seating, and someone actually skated over my head (thank god for Triple Eight, seriously my helmet is amazing. And even more so my knee pads; we are kinda of dating now.) With the incredible adrenaline (or was it bloodlust?) coursing through my veins, my body barely felt the hits and I only vaguely heard the announcer crowing, “ANND RRROADSIDE BOMBSHELLL, DOWN AGAAAIN!!!” Despite this, I did manage to get through the pack several times thanks to excellent Rollergette blocking skills. Getting through the pack is an amazing euphoric experience; I would be furiously skating up to pass the last blocker and would get so surprised and excited that I was about to get by her that I couldn’t even feel my skates. When we got our first 4 points on the scoreboard it was like winning the lottery.
Playing the game was an amazing experience and I learned a lot. To the Frenemies: ladies…..you beat the shit out of me. And I loved it. Good game. But the best part was on the bench between shifts with fine skaters to the left and right of me, banging on the boards with our wrist guards, screaming and cheering for our fellow Rollergettes on the floor, and supporting each other in every way as a team.
Derby name brain storms of the week: Crime-noceros, Hit-Blokk-oppotamus
Inspiration: Flight of the Conchords
Follow Roadside BombShel on twitter: http://twitter.com/RoadsideBomShel