I started with The Outfit at the end of 2015, so I’m about to start my third season with The Family. As busy and stressful and confusing starting roller derby can be, I’m so glad that I had the presence of mind to document it so that I can look back on the roller coaster ride!
I started with a bound, paperback blank book (approximately ½ page size), and began gluing all the papers and derby programs I acquired into it. I then added hand written little notes, journal-like entries, and goals/reflections for the season. Sometimes I was really good about documenting games; other times I just glued a handbill into the book. In any case, it’s fun to look back at all the events and experiences that I’ve had!
I started with my “new skater handbook,” which was filled with benchmarks for fresh meat skaters. I even made a note that it was Sneer and Loathing who first cleared me for contact (thank you Sneer!). I’d probably never remember these tiny details had I not recorded it in my book!
I did a pretty nice job documenting my very first roller derby bout (which I also blogged about here) and even glued tiny photos from the bout into my book! Not all bouts got the star treatment, but you know, your first bout is pretty darn special.
I saved bout programs from games that I played. I cut them up and put them into my derby memory book, too. I swear, seeing your picture on a roster page never gets old and is always a tiny rush of excitement! I had a really good first season; I even won Rookie of the Year!
Then season two began... In early March, I fell “just right” during scrimmage, and broke my metacarpal in my left hand. I ended up a part of #TeamInjured for most of the 2017 season. When I finally was cleared to go back to play in June, I got hit in the sternum, which resulted in a nasty bone bruise that completely took me out for the rest of season two. What a stark difference from the excitement of my first season! I still recorded everything, and faithfully put it into my roller derby memory book.
It will be interesting to see how season three unfolds. I hope that I can land myself somewhere in between the extreme highs and lows that my first two seasons brought. I’ve still got a few pages left in my current derby memory book to fill before I can start another brand new one!
When I’m feeling down or not-so-confident, I can always look back on my derby memory book and reflect upon the journey that has brought me to this current place, and how I’ve persevered and celebrated along the way. One of my very favorite things in my entire memory book are my derby “love notes” from fellow teammates. At the beginning of each season, we wrote positive comments to each other anonymously on tiny scraps of paper. At the end of the night, we all got notes about us to read later on. I’ve saved each and every one of those darn notes and pasted them into my book.
I’ve given you just a tiny taste in the photos here of what my book looks like. Hopefully you’ll feel inspired to gather your own memories and document your personal journey along with me!
#9 Ronnie Maims Dio
Photo credit: Ronnie Maims Dio