The Fifth Element of Derby with Korben Dallas

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15_KorbenDallasIt's coming up on my one year anniversary of meeting The Outfit. Life is so completely random, but sometimes you've just got to go with it! A year ago I found myself walking into Fleetwood to attend my first Chicago Outfit Roller Derby Bootcamp. I'd never seen derby except for that one movie that I like. I found the Outfit through a close friend and NSO, Tardis. At the time, I was pretty physically fit, and up for a little challenge.  My work schedule was and is crazy and I never thought I'd actually be able to commit to going, but with bribery, I was able to commit to the next 4 weeks of Outfit’s bootcamp. I walked into Fleetwood to Mimi Furst’s smiling face and Undead Miss Red being all about the business. I was nervous. Excitement didn't come until after that first night, then it was all fear, nerves, and a lot of mental encouragement like, 'fuck!', 'fuck it and do it!', 'Ok, Slow the fuck down bruh', and 'Uuuugh'. I came equipped with my fancy $67 Sport Authority skates, my borrowed from the Fleetwood closet elbow pads, Puck's helmet (THANKS PUCK!), and knee pads that were really probably only meant for speed skating (I didn't know). I thought I had everything until I realized I didn't have a mouthguard.  It was this moment that I knew I was here to stay, whether I made the team or not. While Mimi and a few others were trying to find this irresponsible puppy a mouthguard, I was watching these badass athlete's run drills. One of the veterans skated over and let me use her mouthguard; this was family. After I watched her play I didn't feel worthy, but that was the start of my first Outfit Roller Derby Bootcamp.

I didn't know how to skate and I made sure I let every Outfit coach know that just in case they told everyone to go west and I went south. Getting me to bootcamp was me, but me coming back was them. They were all so nice and patient. Not to say I didn't expect that, but I didn't. They could've easily skipped over the girls with hardly any skill (like me), but they didn't. Each one of the coaches took their time with all of us. Drills were split up nicely. I remember Shima working with me on my plow stops. We did them 3 times. The first one looked like a baby goat in mud but each one after that got better. I remember Crotchie trying to teach me checks then putting me and V.V. next to the Fleetwood wall to get shit right. L.D. having me jump over things and turns out that was one of the only things that came with ease for me.

Every Bootcamp I went to I felt myself getting better. In between Bootcamps I somehow found myself at Fleetwood almost everyday of the week during open skate. This experience  could've ended differently if I had met any other team first. I am really grateful it was the Outfit I fell into, literally. Since Bootcamp I've improved so much, and played in 4 different games during this past season.  No experience necessary really means just that, if you have the heart you can absolutely make it through.

~Korben

All Bootcamp details can be found here