This is a brief history of me, myself and roller skating.
I was an active child, possibly too active, dancing around, riding my bike, pogoing all the usual things kids did before games consoles were a household staple.One thing I never managed to master was roller skating. Yes I had a pair of those 1-2-3 Fisher Price roller skates that everyone had, you know the ones, yellow orange and blue, expandable to fit your child for a number of years, 3 settings, walk, half skate, full skate?!?! I think it's fair to point out now that I have that Taurean trait of 'If I can't be the best, or one of at something, I don't do it'. I wasn't the best at roller skating, I don't think it was through lack of trying, it's because I got the fear instilled in me. Karen Peart lived across the road, she had an Alsatian dog and a downstairs bathroom, I'm pretty sure when I was young she told me if you fall over on roller skates you become down Syndrome (I shit you not( she also once broke this clay jewelry dish I made for my sister, my sister went ape shit!)). This may sound utter ridiculous and I'm not 100% sure that's what she told me, I just know after she said something to me, I was so scared of falling over I never moved on from setting 1. That's the setting where you push your feet across the floor as the wheels don't rotate. I don't even think I let go of the windowsill.
It's safe to say I hung up my skates for a while.
I picked them up again when I became a Teen-C loving teen, being all cool and retro and wacky I bought a second hand pair. This never amounted to more than posing in them and skating up and down the back yard. Early twenties I tried them in the park a few tines and tired myself at at a Ladyfest Roller Disco in Leeds.Some people I know who are in London Roller derby team are there. I know I'll never join as my roller skills are NOT THE BEST!
Skip to 2009 where We go skating in Oaks Park Portland. I'm still pretty shitty at it, but I love it and the more I can round the better I get. then a super cute awesome 8 year old girl tells us we are great at skating (Nickie is by the way, a born natural!). We have a quick chat to Portland's Roller Derby team outside, we tell Nickie she has to join a team when we get home.
It's then 2010, and I can't believe I didn't document this on here before. Kandy and Nickie organise me the most super birthday ever, RENT OUT A ROLLER RINK!!! we all turn up shorts clad and skate around to my favourite tunes, I bloody love skating. the skates at the rink are far too heavy for me and I tire after two laps, but I'm getting there and I feel nuff tuff.
It's a good few months before I skate again, just the other week, after deciding maybe we should try out roller derby, we go to the nearest rink, where roller derby practise is held. We go for the free skate, my brother got me some roller skates that look like Reebok Classic (those ones everyone bought in the 90s to do aerobics in!) I'm totally styling and Nickie says my skating has improved loads.We hang around to chat to Manchester Roller Derby, they all seem super nice, we just missed the first lot of beginners training sessions.
A week later I go to help Kandy set up a stall at a roller bout in Sheffield. the atmosphere is super exciting, I don't get to stay as I have a train to catch.
A week on from that Kandy, her sister Rosie and Nickie and I attend another bout, in Manchester, Wonderbrawl IT WAS SO GOOD!
I got sucked into the whole spectator, the only sports events having witnessed before (aside form school related ones, sports day, volleyball) were baton Twirling competitions (yes it's a sport!!)I loved it. The ohh's the ahhhs, the cheering and shouting.
The first bout of Birmingham Blitz Dames vs Tiger Bay Brawlers was on the edge of your seat viewing.Nuff tuff girls, no one taking the lead by a lot of points, in the end The Tiger Bay Brawlers nailed it, only just!
The second bout of Manchester Roller Derby vs Hot Wheel Roller Derby (Leeds) was also great, but mainly because MRD whipped Leeds' ass!
I haven't been skating since, but hopefully go this week. I will hopefully have a shot at roller derby.
I will definitely form a roller gang. You mark my words!