First Bout 

Saturday August 20, I participated in my first official bout with my home team the Gateway Grim Reapers. It was the team’s debut, and gosh how excited we all were! I had been waiting for this game since I got cleared for scrimmage, back in February/March of this year.

Despite my excitement, an overuse injury struck me ten days before the game. My left foot was pretty much useless for a while, which caused me to miss practice, and pray to the derby gods to let me play my first game, even for one jam.

The derby gods compromised on letting me block, which seemed the least painful position for my foot. Anything on toestops made me cringe, therefore, no jamming.

*Insert really sad face here*

I’m not going to lie, the entire game all I wanted to do was get out there and hit walls of blockers. It’s ok because I’ll hit them next bout. I got to hit and get hit by jammers a lot though.

Look at all those hits! There’s even some toestop action here, tsk tsk.

Use your edges, use your edges!

This bout was special in so many ways. It was my first one, it was the team’s debut, and my loved ones were watching me. Surprisingly, I wasn’t as nervous as I usually get before scrimmages. We had crazy skull faces made up which smeared throughout the night. We wore reapers capes during our intro song, For Whom The Bell Tolls by Metallica. That stuff was epic. So amazing. I felt like a super hero.

The game also went by so fast. It’s like someone screwed up with the clock and set it in fast forward. I wish I had played more, I wish I had jammed (LOL), but overall, I’m super happy I could play at all. I’m happy I could be there for my team, and I had so much fun.

My league mates are truly top of the line classy players and human beings. I couldn’t imagine playing with and against anyone else for my first bout.

I ended the game with immense gratitude. I was proud too of course. Last year on the same day, I had failed my 27/5 yet again. I had no idea I’d be playing in a bout a year later. I had no idea I’d actually do something quasi-decent on the track, and not just stand there. Derby is hard, but I’m learning, one practice at a time. My teammates are patient with me, they sometimes yell in a murderous tone of voice when I do something stupid, but it’s all love, you guys.

This bout is the first of many. I’m honored to be part of such an amazing group of women, who are inspiring, and tough, and kind, and funny, and loving, and yeah… Garden State Rollergirls for life. ❤

Keeks

All photo credits go to Sean Hale and Quick Draw Photography.