Boo D. Blog: Derby Firsts & Freak Outs

“I’m joining roller derby!” The first time you tell someone you’re going to do it or are thinking if doing it, you get the look. The “what are you NUTS?!” But you persevere because you want it.

You work, you tryout for a team and you hope. You hope you impressed the people making decisions, your potential teammates and – most important, you’ve lived up to your own expectations. Because much like life, we can be, and usually are, our own worst critics.

Then after you think you’ve had all your firsts and your derby career is sailing along – you encounter more. First bout, first injury, first bruise, first loss, first win – and on and on.

But sometimes you end up with a new first you didn’t expect. For me, that was being a head ref. my derby career has not gone the way I dreamed it would. I have experienced lots of disappointments but they are far out weighted by the wonderful things. I didn’t plan to be a ref, but it’s where I ended up. And because of that, I’ve met some fantastic zebras both in my own league and from across the US and Canada.

Getting a chance to lead a crew at our home venue was amazing. I was a bundle of nerves which started about 3 days before the bout (nope, not kidding). Then the day of all I could think about doing was getting sick – my stomach was in knots. The nerves weren’t so much from being in charge but more from learning new rules and having my head ref coaching one of the teams playing. The stress of not wanting to let him, my crew and my leaguemates down almost got me. The sweet reward for me was surviving without any major catastrophes.

Did everything go like I had hoped? Nope.

Did I make mistakes? Yep.

Do I want to do it again? Absofreakinglutely!

Firsts can be so scary they make you want to hide and not try. But doing them by having faith that others are putting trust in you and pushing yourself to the next level is what derby and life are about. If we don’t strive to move past our comfort zone, we will never get to see that we are stronger than we ever thought.

So embrace your firsts. If you haven’t started derby and want do – challenge yourself and sign up. QCRG is registering skaters now for January intake. And we are always looking for officials – skating and non-skating – to join our team. Go to

Go for it! What have you got to lose except your fears?