There's something, let's say, annoying, frustrating, no, angering about getting an injury half way through Fresh Meat. As well as having derby dormant glutes, I now do not have the required level of fitness to even attempt passing minimal skills or building a shapely butt. I still haven't got to the bottom of what has happened to my left ankle, but doctors have supplied words such as 'overworked,' 'torn', 'stretched' and 'damaged' when considering my symptoms. Visiting a physiotherapist is on the cards and with another Brighton Rockers Fresh Meat course starting in May 2014, I can only pray that I am fixed come the start of what will be another challenging, addictive course.
But, fear not. Regardless of my fitness come May, my skating days are merely paused. I will pass minimum skills, just not in the timely manner I had previously hoped. My body may not be allowing me to increase my fitness and further develop my skating ability at this time, but that doesn't mean I have to take a break from derby. In fact, it means I can explore it further, and that's one of the great things about this sport. From creatives to track maintenance saviours to A-team skaters, derby is a thriving, dedicated community that works hard and plays hard. Everyone's input is a staple in making bouts happen, which in turn enables like-minded people to meet, share their love for derby and further spread the D-word.
Before donning skates for the first time, my initial step into derby was an NSO step. Being an NSO ('non-skate official' for any newbies out there) is a challenge given the vast rules of derby and the fast pace of bouts. It's a challenge that's giving me an increasingly better understanding of the sport as well as allowing me to stay involved with my league and associate with other leagues. My first experience of being an NSO came from the penalty box when Brighton Rockers took on the mighty Central City Rollergirls back in November 2013. Timing the penalties of blockers at the second bout I had ever been to was nerve wracking at the outset, but, a few penalties in, and the feeling of being a part of something awesome crushed any nerves.
Since losing my NSO virginity, I have gained further experience in the penalty box, have been penalty tracker and have been given the title of (co) Head NSO for The Brighton Rockers. This role was previously held by the awesome Snow Mercy, who has since emigrated, leaving behind some rather large shoes to be filled! I currently have my big toes in said shoes, and with the help of NSOing at more bouts, practicing at scrimmages and attending NSO clinics, they'll one day be a perfect fit! At this point, massive Shaz thanks go out to the Bedfordshire Rollergirls for their NSO clinic on Saturday 29th March 2014. Many thanks for answering my endless questions about jam timing, star passes and the penalty box manager role, and for making 'Team No Fun' fun! LA Claw and MacGeek - thank you for inspiring my roller derby inspiration!