|From a photo shoot at the Hot Skates rink with the cast of Whip It.|
Just a few months before my eighteenth birthday, my friends and I went to see the movie WhipIt. At the theater, we met a few girls from the South Jersey Derby Girlsleague and I discovered that I could start skating with them as soon as I turned 18. I was ecstatic! I was frenzied! I was overjoyed! And then my mom said “no.”
Something about the fast paced, full contact world of roller derby drew me in right away. For me, being a derby girl was a dream I thought I would never accomplish; there was no way I could be as badass as the women portrayed by Ellen Page, Drew Barrymore and the like. It was just too cool to be true.
Fast forward to this summer. I have been training with the South Jersey Derby Girls Training Wheels program for a little over a month now and I couldn’t be happier with it. If you’re looking for a way to stay in shape, meet amazing people, and have a damn good time, roller derby may be right for you.
There are, of course, some things you should consider before starting roller derby. Skating, especially for derby, is a SERIOUS work out. I have never been more exhausted (or more sweaty) than I am at the end of a hard practice. You’ll also spend a lot of time in training before you can actually compete. Learning the basics is vital before you can get on the track, and any league you join will make sure you’re competent before putting you in a game situation. Most importantly, derby is a dangerous sport. You will get hit, you will fall down, and you may very well get hurt.