It’s been a while since I’ve shared any behind the scenes
of Houston Roller Derby
. In the past it was easier because I wasn’t actually playing yet, but now that I have the honor of skating
teams, things get a little hectic between meetings, tasks, and preparations. I felt the need to make an effort this time around and am glad I did because Bayou Music Center really fixed up the dressing rooms…which made for a sweet back drop.
Walking down to the dressing rooms at Bayou Music Center.
This past weekend we played our first bout of the 2014 season. Bout Day is always intense…especially for game one
. Nerves are going crazy, minds are going crazy,
bowels are going crazy
– no, seriously, it’s an incredibly anxiety-ridden day!
Part of the bout day process includes arriving at our venue about 3-4 hours before the actual game. The Derby Brothers [an incredibly dedicated group of volunteers] have already set up the track, and there are designated teams and skaters assigned certain tasks [set up, break down, etc]. Teams also have warm-ups and meetings within certain time slots and must gear up and down throughout. During any “down time” we’ll typically be doing make-up, taping up feet/joints, or eating some kind of dinner/snack/energy gummies.
Brawlers and the Sirens take the track.
Because my team played in the second bout, we had time to watch part of the first. During this time we try to interact with fans between catching glimpses of who we’ll be playing next month.
At halftime we gather for our last meeting and gear up. Everyone agrees that playing in the second game sucks due to extended butterflies and delayed drinking.
Our coaches wrote us personalized letters before we hit the track. The note did wonders for my mental game. Sweet words of wisdom and encouragement are just what you need before attempting some fierce skating.
I love our fans [and that they use hashtags]! I snagged these off Instagram!
Kinda sweet to compare this on-level photograph to the Instagram photo above.
The bout was nerve-racking! We kept our lead throughout the game, but it was never an exceptionally large lead. I could tell that feelings of anxiety were effecting me and it took a few jams to shake it off. The Valkyrie walls were tough, I was ping-ponged around, and one of our jammers was injured. Like I said, the first game is always a doozy. I am incredibly thankful for my team, coach, and captains. Without them I couldn’t have grown as much as I have in my 3+ years skating for HRD. It was a sweet, sweet victory.
Top Left: derby track, broken down and stacked up // Top Right: the fab four – freshmeat 2011
After the game, skaters will typically visit with friends, family, and fans for a bit, do their “team awards,” and then it’s time to break down. The Derby Brothers take apart the track while we pick up trash, fold chairs, along with a slew of other tasks. Once we’ve cleaned up, we can check out the after party, depending on how battered and bruised you are feeling. We are off on the Sunday after bout-day [thank goodness!], but come Monday it’s back to the grind! Gotta get ready to do it all again next month!
Interested in some professional action shots? See this post and this post.
Dying to read my derby story? See the post I shared recently over at The Clueless Girl’s Guide.
Find your own league here.
My coach, Kiki, recently posted about the importance of staying healthy as a derby girl. Read up!
[[Houston Roller Derby is a non-profit organization. Skaters pay dues that pay rent on our practice space as well as game space. We set up and we clean up. We’ve got different kinds of fundraisers [from luaus to skate-a-thons], committees, and volunteers….we do it all ourselves, nobody is paid. That’s why we need fan support, which should be easy because it’s so much fun to watch!]]
Let’s be pals!! All over!