This morning I woke up with a feeling of excitement and apprehension, because today is the day that I make my debut as a Non-Skating Official for Perth Roller Derby.
It’s been a long time coming this love affair I have with Roller Derby, I’ve watched it from afar, I signed up to get email updates from Perth Roller Derby over a year ago, wanting to get into it but not knowing how, never having skated in my life I just assumed that I wouldn’t be able to join in. I watched as the calls for fresh meat came and went, not being brave enough to stick my hand up, then feeling stupid and regretful that I let my inner scaredy-cat control me. I watched films and youtube clips, I decided on my roller derby name, I bought knee high socks. I had the beginnings of a full blown obsession.
I decided one day when I was feeling brave that there must be someway that I could get involved, so I sent a tweet to the PRD twitter account and through the wonders of modern technology (Twitter) I was invited down to talk to someone named Connie about something called NSOing. How exciting! And terrifying. Actually mostly terrifying. Here’s a little know fact about me: I am terrified of people I don’t know. I pretend really hard that I’m brave and confident and brilliant with meeting new people, but I’m not, I hate it. So rocking up to the rollerdrome to meet someone I had never met before made me have sweaty palms. Looking back on it, it was really silly to be so nervous, yes there were a lot of strangers there (STRANGER DANGER!) and yes they all looked like they knew each other but I managed to find Connie easily and she introduced me to people and gave me a clipboard & a job. Looking at the paper I never thought I would get the hang of what I needed to do but with a little bit of instruction I managed to figure out most things.
That was a month ago, now I put my hand up to do as much as I possibly can, I go to training as much as I can, I have read the massive rule book until my brain aches, I’ve even explained line-up tracking to another person. But I’m still nervous about tonight, the first bout where I’m responsible for something important, I’m nervous because I’ve never done this before and I don’t know many people, I don’t know what has to happen to get things set up or what’s expected of me. I’m excited because I know that tomorrow I’ll look back on this and realise how silly I’m being, I’m excited because I’m finally involved in something that I love and that fills me full of pride and love and excitement because it’s just so freaking awesome. I’m excited because I know that this is slowly starting to take over my life, I have the PRD bout tonight, then next weekend I have three days that will be filled with Derby & Derby related coolness. I’m excited because of the fledging friendships that are starting to develop with people who I would never meet without Derby. I’m excited because the next time a newbie joins the NSO team, I’ll be the one chanting ‘one of us one of us one of us’ in that crazed cultish way, utterly delighted that someone else is building their own amazing affair with this crazy sport called Roller Derby.