Mary Lee's Fresh Meat Journey, Pt. 2: Raw Meat

This is part of a series by Fresh Meat skater Mary Lee, who is documenting her evolution from derby dreamer to derby athlete, continuing here in the A2D2 blog.

February 25, 2015 -- We just had our Raw Meat session. This session is designed to teach you the very basics before fresh meat Boot Camp begins. I came into the session excited, because I really enjoy a physical challenge even if I don’t excel at the task, and nervous because it was nearly a lifetime ago that I was on quad skates (middle school). My recent experience has been a few forays on ice skates or roller blades where I was totally shown up by kids at the rink, like small kids that come up to my knees. Roller derby is something I’ve wanted to do for years, so really, how bad could it be?

The day before the session I wore my skates around my apartment to get used to them, and boy, was I wobbly and my skating skills were SUPER rusty. We are talking Tin Man rusty, like when Dorothy first finds him in the woods. To carry on the Wizard of Oz metaphor, after the raw meat session it was like I got a bit of oil and transitioned into being the stiff legged Tin Man. I dream of the day I can dance and sing with Dorothy and Toto on the yellow brick road, without falling and taking either of them out.

I learned a lot at the Raw Meat session, and here are a few of the takeaways:

  1. This is not Whip It, and you will not be instantly amazing on roller skates like Ellen Page.
  2. There are a lot of skills to learn to even get close to being able to play roller derby.
  3. Don’t expect this to be like other sports that you can pick up really quickly because you are on roller skates.
  4. Bend your knees sooooooo much while you skate! It’ll help you stay upright.

After completely wiping out and being stiff Tin Man, my pride was totally wrecked at the end of Raw Meat. I’m a marathoner and yogi, why is this so hard? I talked with some of the vet skaters, and they told me they were in the SAME exact position when they started. (For some of them it wasn’t that long ago!) That helped, and now I know I need to work hard and put the ego/pride aside because roller derby is the great athletic equalizer.

Official practices start this week! Bring it!

I'm Mary Lee. I'm an aspiring Derby girl (currently a fresh meat skater), a scientist, a runner, a reader, and a dog snuggler. I like Harry Potter, A Song of Ice and Fire, a good BBC mystery show, and Oxford commas.

Posted on March 23, 2015 .