Roller Derby: It starts with Fresh Meat

And now for a post that is completely unrelated to art… I was accepted into Terminal City Roller Girls‘ Fresh Meat Team!!! Fresh Meat is TCRG’s bootcamp/training team that practices 2-3 times a week for 5 months.  If I’m lucky enough to make it to the end of the camp, there’s a draft into the league which means (if I’m super duper lucky) I could be playing on a TCRG team next season (starting March 2011)!  Of course I will have to work my ass off and dedicate most of my time to learning this amazing sport (my Friday + Saturday nights are already gone), but I’m really looking forward to devoting a large amount of time to roller derby.

[Bad Reputations vs Riot Girls in TCRG’s Championship Bout 2010. More pics here.]

How did I become interested in Roller Derby?  Well, my interest is quite recent. In February I moved to Vancouver to start a new job + a new life all by myself. On the plane I saw Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut: Whip It. I liked the movie + I was inspired by the strong female characters who were both very feminine but badasses too! The movie made the sport look like fun, and that it was attainable.  When I arrived I googled: ‘Vancouver Roller Derby’ and found that Vancouver has a flat-track league (Terminal City Roller Girls – TCRG) which has been around since 2006 and hosts 3 teams (the Bad Reputations, the Riot Girls, and the Faster Pussycats. I attended TCRG’s first double-header bout of the season in March with a bunch of friends. I instantly fell in love with the sport.  Watching those strong women skating around the track and competing in what looked like a fun sport made me want to play too!

[On the left: My collection of knee-high socks + helmet. On the right: My Riedell 125 rollerskates.]

At the time my job was very demanding and required me to be committed 6-7 days/60-90hrs a week. It wasn’t until my contract ended at the beginning of July that I could finally buy my rollerskating gear (after much encouragement from my brother — thanks bro!), suit up + join Raw Meat every Friday night.  Raw Meat is a group of derby-driven girls who are looking for other like-minded people to skate with.  So, I’ve been skating every friday night with that amazing group of girls since the beginning of July.  I was a little nervous about my first time on rollerskates because I had never been on them before, and I’m used to hockey skates.  But after a few laps around the rink I was doing okay, but I have A LOT of basic skills to work on… stopping, jumping, etc.  After skating for about a month I signed up for TCRG’s Fresh Meat tryouts (which were this past Saturday).  I tried out… and I made it!  *squeals* Having any kind of drive to play a physical sport is very new to me, but I am so drawn to roller derby that I can’t explain.  I’ve never wanted to be a part of something this badly… not since I was beginning to persue my career in animation!   I’ve also never tried out for anything.  I feel like I’ve gained a few personal accomplishments in only 2 months.  I feel very happy and very thankful that I have the opportunity to train further. 🙂 I’m so ready to soak up all the knowledge I can during Fresh Meat!

My first Fresh Meat skate is next week + I can’t wait……

[All my gear!  Go to Flickr to see all the tags.]

If you want to watch Roller Derby there’s probably a team in your area.  Check out the Worldwide Roller Derby Roster and go support your local team! If you want to buy skate equipment I recommend the derby-owned online shop Rollergirl.ca, they offer excellent service and sized me perfectly. If you’re in the Vancouver area and want to rollerskate with other girls, join Raw Meat’s Facebook Group for updates on skate times.

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3 thoughts on “Roller Derby: It starts with Fresh Meat

  1. Hey Emily,

    As I said on Flickr, thanks to your bout photos I’ve found the London Roller Girls and I’m going to be joining the rec league this Saturday. My skates are on the way so hopefully I’ll be able to get some practice in before my first session. I, too, don’t remember being so excited about physical activity!

    Congratulations for getting into Fresh Meat!

    Starla x

  2. WOOOOHOOOOO! Congrats on making the cut! That is fantastic news. 😀 Can’t wait to hear the stories- and see all the bruises. 😉 Have fun and kick some butt!

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