By Miss May-Hemm
It’s fair to say I am not a natural at Roller Derby [ed remark: disagree!], so when it was time for my first scrim I was quite nervous. The Hellfire Harlots are possibly some of the best motivators and supporters I have ever known, so when I voiced my anxiety they were quick to tell me that I had every right to be on the track just like everyone else.
I kitted up, put on my scrim top and warmed up. All the skills I had been taught over the last 18 months went round my head, thinking about positioning, defence and offence, plowing. I knew it…I definitely knew it.
We got to our team bench, chose a captain and had a pep talk from Finn. We were going to focus on communication, offence and trying to have fun…
I found myself offering to be one of the first people in the very first jam. It should be fine, I skated to the line, got in position and then realised I couldn’t remember a thing! I think adrenaline mixed with nerves had temporarily blocked any derby-related knowledge I had. Luckily my wonderful team mates said some encouraging words and offered excellent guidance, the whistle was blown and it was time to stop the white jammer.
The first jam was short but exhausting. I got to the bench for a much needed drink and before I knew it Finn was asking who was up next. My heart was pounding but there’s no going back, I’m feeling like a proper roller derby girl, I say I will go up and it all starts again.
Throughout the scrim I would say I probably made a handful of good moves, scored zero points as a jammer and got a penalty for a silly mistake. But those aren’t the things I focussed on, what I realised was I kept going. No matter how knackered I was, no matter how much my legs were aching and how negative my silly brain was being I kept going. I was enjoying myself, I was feeling proud of myself.
All this time I thought that I would never make it in the world of roller derby, that I would forever be the waterboy figure (a role that I would still love as I love my league and would be honoured to keep them hydrated) but during this scrim I feel like I made my mark, that finally this little timid kitten is turning into a tough roaring lion. And it just so happens I won the award for Lion Heart at the end of the scrim, for determination and roller derby fire….all I can say now is bring on the next one!