Rookie on the Roster: Counting Down to the Home Opener

battlegearLast November and December, I attended the Chicago Outfit’s Boot Camp and Tryouts. Officially, I’ve been a member since January. I’m rostered for the Home Opener this Saturday – my first public roller derby bout. I could say it’s no big deal, and I’d be lying through my teeth.

So this is how things go down when a new skater makes the roster for the first time….

Four weeks Before Home Opener (BHO):

See my name on tentative roster for the Home Opener. First time on any roster. Immediately text Derby Wife (also tentatively rostered for the first time) and proceed to minorly freak out with excitement.

Three weeks BHO:

Genuinely try my hardest to mentally assemble everything I’ve learned in my few months with the Outfit. Scrimmage like the dickens. Realize I still have a lot to learn. New bruises will remind me of this.

Two weeks BHO:

See my name on final roster for the Home Opener. Immediately text Derby Wife (also rostered) and proceed to majorly freak out, but in a good way.

One week BHO:

Last regulation scrimmage practice before the home bout. I get tossed on a penalty in my last jam of the evening. Wanted one more. Ridiculous Blouses vs. Skinz theme (long story) keeps me from feeling too stressed. Can’t be stressed in a jam surrounded by sparkly butts and career-minded button-downs with the sleeves ripped off.

Five days BHO:

Some mini-scrimmaging at practice gives me a huge character-building bruise on my left hip. Get home and order athletic skirt, which may or may not cover it. Getting a little nervous. Family and friends as far away as St. Louis and as far back as fourth grade have bought tickets. And coworkers. And my in-laws. And my husband and two sons will be there.

Four days BHO:

Proceed to burst into flames at my husband for making plans after the bout without talking to me about it. Apparently, nobody told him that there is absolutely nothing going on in the city of Chicago on April 27th except for the Chicago Outfit Home Opener (and the subsequent after-party).

Three days BHO:

Last practice of the week. Work on fine-tuning hits and stops. Big strategy talk. (I’d tell you more, but then I’d have to kill you.) Receive my official Outfit jersey at the end of practice and barely try to pretend it isn’t a big deal.

redbraTwo Days BHO:

Shop for racer-back bra to wear under my jersey, which leads me to try it on for the first time in a Target dressing room. Spend five minutes feeling completely awesome in a Target dressing room. Stock up on makeup applicators for face paint. Get home to find athletic skirt has arrived. (I love you, Amazon.) Resist trying on entire ensemble. Might be too much awesome; still two days to go.

And I don’t have a bout-day ritual…yet.

Our Home Opener is tomorrow. Nothing to do at this point but get good sleep, eat good food and get my head ready. Six months ago, I had no idea I’d be doing this. But now, with a day to go, I can’t imagine things any other way.

See you Saturday….

- Undead Miss Red

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