From the helmet of: sLow Loris. sLow Loris began her roller derby journey in May of 2012, as a Rose City Rollers Wrecker. sLoLo is a Wrecker for Life and bouts with them, as well as skating for Willamette Kidney Thieves, Bridgetown Brawlers, and the Geritol Mafia. Her favorite part of derby is just playing the game as much as possible. Her personal derby mission is to make sure that roller derby never makes anyone feel bad about themselves. She coaches newbies at all levels of derby, from 7-17 year old girls, women coming through 101, and even the new guys in the men's league, on occassion.
Dear nearly brand new skaters who can't believe how much they suck at everything after having skated a grand total of not much time at all,
Stop kicking your emotional, mental, and physical puppy.
Stop comparing yourself to the skater who has been at this for four years. That skater still can't turn around toe stop to their left consistently and are probably beating themselves up in a similar fashion.
Stop comparing yourself to the ridiculously athletic derby phenom who started the same day as you and looks (to your newbie eyes) like they could be skating for Team USA.
You should be focused on your derby journey the same way you are focused on the track.
Eyes forward, head on a swivel, communicating, applying your energy to the drill at hand.
You should be falling, FORWARD, all of the time. Sometimes it is on purpose, sometimes you really commit to sticking a skill...and eat shit.
Good. It means you were giving it your all.
If you aren't falling, you're holding back. Maybe even fooling yourself into thinking that you are being safe, when you are only being scared.
Stop caring about what you think other people are thinking about you.
Stop apologizing for not doing something well.
Listen to every single piece of feedback that you get, even if it comes from that one woman you can't stand, who skates at a lower level than you.
Process the feedback, incorporate what works and ignore what doesn't.
Don't be in a rush. Derby isn't going anywhere. A skater who patiently learns the basics is a skater who likely delays the amount of time until their first big injury.
Realize that injury is likely a when, not an if, and have a plan.
Cross train. Fuel, clothe, and train yourself like the athlete that you are now.
Hover over everything, instead of sitting.
Modify all of your skating drills and movements to be done off skates when possible.
Wear your kneepads and wrist guards, AT MINIMUM, anytime that you have wheels on your feet.
I could go on and on and on but, above all, please stop expecting to not suck for at least a year. Because you are supposed to. Because this is hard.
It is also one of the best things ever and totally worth it, even when it makes you cry and bleed and buy arnica and beef jerky in bulk.
Roller derby...fuck yeah.
Tesla and Gravy
Just two rollergirls trying to share the rollerlove from Austin, TX to the world.