Let me put this out there, when I was in Primary school I loved nothing better than a good ol’ PE sesh, despite my inability to catch, throw or well anything. If running like a really fast penguin counts, then I guess I could be champion of that? But then something changed when I got to secondary school, I grew self-conscious and being ‘bad at sport’ was something that was pointed out to me on a regular occasion. Sure I could run quite fast, I was pretty flexible and could dance but none of those skills really mattered when you were up against elite champions who could whip your ass into shape. Plus I was constantly bullied throughout my secondary education and would cut classes, especially PE where you had to be partnered up with someone and quite frankly it would make me feel ashamed to always be left to last. So I guess I grew dissatisfied with fitness, because of the negative experiences I had in the past. Briefly I managed to get over my fear in uni, where I joined Zumba, dance and other fitness themed groups but after getting sick during third year, exercise was the furthest thought from my mind. During my time as a blogger I dabbled in Yoga and was given Pilate classes as part of my physio but I have got to a point where I feel, well bored.
I don’t particularly relish the thought of going to the gym and although I like to dance it really flares up my back injury but I needed to find a new way to get me motivated and back in the ‘fitness game’. Then I came across roller derby, recommended to me to my uni friend *Dee who told me her girlfriend was part of a roller derby team. My initial thoughts were ‘no way’ as she described it as ‘intense, aggressive and full of attitude’ , all words which I wouldn’t really use to describe myself. But then it got me thinking, what if ‘trying out roller derby could help me feel more confident and allow me to channel my depression and anxiety into a creative outlet other than ‘writing’? I am a creative by a long shot but it is the first time in a while that I have seen sports outside of dance and gymnastics as an art form. Look at it this way, you are part of a team which creates a ‘semblance’ of harmony and you work together to ‘create sport’. I always saw creativity as individualistic but researching roller derby has shown me that creating art can be initiated through teamwork too. More to the point, not only can roller derby boost confidence and increase creativity but it also improves balance. Back in my musical theatre days I was extremely flexible and could do handsprings, flips and splits. Now? I am worried I might break my legs but fortunately I don’t need to attempt to try out any tricks,apart from learning to stay upright, while my teammates try and push me off track.
I remember when I was 7 years old I attempted to go ice skating for a friends birthday, I was in a purple velvet dress and white tights and very quickly realized that my balance capabilities were limited to land only. I cut open my leg and there was blood splattered all over the ice, which put me off going ice skating again. So naturally your probably wondering why I would want to try out roller derby when I was so obviously traumatized the first time and the answer is ‘practice makes perfect’. As a kid I was so afraid of trying out new things because I always set myself up for failure whereas the ‘adulting’ me will try anything once, just to see what its like. At the end of the day you don’t have to be technically skilled, as long as you enjoy yourself and have fun the technicalities come later, after all the same rules apply to other sports too! We are always scared of trying something new, and it is our ‘fear’ that stops us from trying out new hobbies. meeting new friends and creating alternative memories. But if we turned down every opportunity we were given for the ‘sake of preserving face’ we might lose out on an experience that could alter our lives forever!
Now I am not claiming that roller derby is revolutionary or that I am signing myself up to a class as we speak but what I am saying is this. Its obvious that its health benefits such as endurance, strength and cardio is a major factor in wanting to try out a new sport but more to the point it is its mental benefits like confidence, positivity and creativity that appeals to me more. Because I am sure as hell not an athlete but if something can change the way I think and teach me to be more confident, then I think that trying out something new is a philosophy that we should all live by.
Have You Tried Out Roller Derby Before?
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