I did it. The culmination of decades… ok months… ok fine weeks of training and getting all excited and training some more and falling on my ass and testing out derby names happened today. The tryouts.
We’re in the middle of a severe weather warning here in CO – if you’re not here, it’s not the kind of thing that you’ll see on the news. It is, however, the kind of thing that a prospective-derby-girl with a car that is essentially a toaster on bald tires can get a little freaked out about. I didn’t want to be late, so I was roughly an hour early. Yep, that’s right. Me, Ashley, and Jeannie (my two new prospective-derby-girl friends) were the first ones there out of the 50-ish women who showed up. It was quite literally colder in the warehouse than it was outside, and despite the emailed warnings of EXACTLY that phenomenon I went with a shorts/tights combo that provided roughly as much warmth as if I’d shown up in my underwear. Score one for frostbite, zero for reading comprehension.
When we finally got going we did a free skate for 5 minutes, just like 12 year olds at a roller rink – except with more piercings and less giggling (although I admit I giggled a lot. They asked me for three words that described me and one of them was sweet, and then I giggled while skating. I’m such a dork.) I did ok, I think. Dangey, who commented on one of my earlier derby posts, was skating next to me the first time I experienced my pinwheel arms, and she told me not to trust my heels – to keep my weight towards my toes. Once I got over my star struckness, that advice helped. I did not, at that point, fall on my ass.
Then we split up into groups. My group was totally fantastic – every girl in it grabbed me whenever I came at them and then found myself unable to stop, and they all had really cute hair. Seriously. Long hair, short spiky hair, sexy shaggy hair, they had it all.
We proceeded through stopping drills in which I made up for my inability to stop with my total willingness to get out in front of everyone else and try first. I did not, at that point, fall on my ass.
We skated in a tight group, like the blockers do, and looked over our shoulders while doing it. I went too fast a couple of times, too slow a couple of times, and may have inadvertently grabbed Maya’s boob once. I got the hang of it and did not, at that point, fall on my ass.
We sprinted. I managed a half assed crossover skate that I’m pretty proud of, considering it was my first attempt. I even passed some girls. Ok three girls. Ok fine two girls – god, do you have to be so literal? I saw the women who have been skating for years do this little crouch turn up crossover thing that I was doing by the end. I did not, at that point, fall on my ass.
We were then told to round-up for closing remarks. I skated over to the edge of the padded area where I’d left my jacket and crouched down to get it. At that point, I fell on my ass. That’s right. I made it through all of the tryout with some close calls, some pinwheel arms, but no actual falling – and then I fell all by myself for no apparent reason when I wasn’t even moving. And now the left side of my butt hurts.
In summary: it was fantastic. I don’t know if I made it and won’t for a couple of days – I honestly don’t have a good sense of which way it’s going to happen. On the one hand, I’m new to it and can definitely get better and am super fucking enthusiastic. On the other, there were lots of women there with more skills. We shall see. If I didn’t get in, you can expect another tryout post in four to six months. If I did….. WHOOHOOOO.
To my new darlings Ashley, Jeannie, Alana, Sarah, Maya, Heather, Rock (Jeannie’s boyfriend, who told me afterwards that he thought that girls who couldn’t do the crossover probably wouldn’t get in and clearly hadn’t seen my tentative crossover moves), and all the other fantastic women I met whose names I lost somewhere in my derby addled brain:
It was so exciting to go out for something that thrills me and to meet other women who feel the same. You were, without exception, passionate, gorgeous, and fun. I love you all and will keep my fingers crossed for you to get into the league. Unless, that is, that one of you getting on would mean me not getting on. Just sayin.
I’m going to go drink some wine and ice my butt. Have a lovely sunday evening, dears.