I was thrown into this whole new world of knee taps, ploughs, T stops, transitions, derby stops, laterals, oh so very terrifying jumping and the horror of 27 in 5 (skating 27 laps of the track in 5 minutes.) My first attempt at a plough (stop) I fell so hard on my backside my teeth rattled. My first T stop my wheels met the floor and sent me flying to my knees. My first attempt at 27 in 5 I barely managed 12 and had to sit down on several occasions to drink all the water and try to remember what it felt like to breathe. I honestly believed that bouts, jamming, scrims and pack work was just a world I was never destined to be a part of and it sucked.
Above all that being a pre-min is scary stuff, there’s so much to take in, you’re falling all the time and all the while in your head you’re thinking about the terrifying and so far away but never far enough minimum skills testing.
Anybody else relating to this?
- Plough stops became my stop of choice.
- T stopping in a pack became second nature.
- After many attempts I achieved a derby stop without falling over. (I got so excited I fell over)
- I hit 24 in 5 and have remained over 20 on every other attempt. (I’m getting there!)
- I watched another awesome pre-min who started at the same time as me smash 27 in 5.
- I jumped higher and higher and higher.
- I actually achieved a lateral and it wasn’t terrible. (It wasn’t great but baby steps people!)
- I met the greatest, most awesome, accepting, loving, passionate and toughest people in the world and made my very own little ‘derby family’ something everyone everywhere should definitely get to do!
I’m not naïve enough to think I don’t have an insanely long way to go, I’m not even close to being a post-min and that’s okay because I’m not ready either skatey wise or mentally. Something I’ve come to understand is the necessity of being a pre-min. For those who don’t know and thus far have read this post wondering what on earth I’m babbling on about, minimum skills testing is a set amount of skills you must be able to competently and consistently achieve before you are allowed to compete or play in very scary, awesome and hardcore bouts (matches). Roller derby can be a dangerous sport, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing, it is full contact, full throttle extreme sportiness of super fun times. But you need to be ready. Being a wee little pre-min is your time to learn everything you need to be hella badass in the future when you leave some serious derby kisses (big ol’ purple bruises) on your opponents (and probably on your team mates too.) It’s also your time to make some of the most amazing friends, feel unconceivable joy when you master a skill you’ve been working at for the past few weeks, support the amazing post mins on your team when they compete and basically just have an obscene amount of fun. We will all get there eventually, but in our own time, safely and when we’re ready.
Don’t be afraid and don’t feel pressured, just having the courage to lace those skates and pads up for the first time and throw yourself into a whole new world makes you the toughest little cookie there is!
Keep on rolling and being excellent to each other.