Changing leagues is probably one of the greatest derby challenges I've faced yet. I've also learned a lot about myself, and it's given my love of derby a new energy!
I moved to Dunedin from Wellington at the beginning of the year. I had done some secret-squirrel research on the Gallow Lasses at a tournament in Palmerston North the previous August and I liked their skating style and friendly attitudes, and was keen to get on the track with them. However, I was leaving behind the League I had skated with for four years, and it was a bit like leaving the parental nest for the first time. Rocking up to my first training with Dunedin Derby was, well, terrifying! And then I started my first session with my new League.. PRE-SEASON FITNESS TRAINING! It was the middle of summer, and the venue was sweltering. I'd just spent a few months off, and let's just say cheap beer was on the menu far too often during that time. The Dunedin Derby girls were running rings around me, and I thought I'd die from a fatigue/embarrassment combo and need to be stretchered out of the venue! But my new friends got me through, cheering me on to do one last set of burpees, just one more shuttle run..
|Rocket Queen as jammer leaving blocker Rick O'Shay in her wake of dust. Photo credit to "Poparazzi"Andrew MacKay||.|
Fast forward six or so months and I can look back on that first training and laugh! I'm a lot fitter now, and proud to be a Dunedin Derby girl with a whole League of new friends. I've had some awesome opportunities here such as helping DD raise money for the Otago Hospice playing in a charity bout, and I've been entrusted with helping train/regularly thrash our awesome Freshmeat.
I've also had the privilege of bench managing the Gallow Lasses – a position of mutual trust that I have learned a lot from, and that has really helped me get to know these awesome skaters on and off the track. Although at times it hasn't been easy watching from the sidelines, it's really let me step back and see how my new derby home works, and where I best fit in to that picture. And it gave me a really good goal to work towards.. which, the other week, I got some really good news about – I got the phone call asking if I'd like to strap on my skates and train with the Lasses! It's exciting stuff and I can't wait to earn the opportunity to don the green and purple tartan with my new team-mates!
Much derby love,
|Ana Phylaxis, Sister Strychnine, Rocket Queen and Wonder Wahine. Photo credit to "Poparazzi" Andrew MacKay|
Much derby love,