Hi there, allow me to introduce myself. I call myself Refresh, and I’m going to start learning how to become a referee for Flat Track Roller Derby.
So, I’m a guy. I’m 35 years old, and I’ve never skated before in my life. So why now, at this point in my life, am I going to do something totally out of the ordinary for me?
The answer lies in the question - it’s something totally out of the ordinary.
My wife joined the local league as fresh meat in March of this year. She joined as a way to make friends, get fit, and have fun. She could already skate inlines, so that was an advantage! She’s doing well in her fresh meat journey, and improving so much every week.
We go to a lot of bouts together, often talk about it, and watch clips on YouTube when we get time. The sport fascinates me, I love every aspect about it - the strength needed, the speed, the camaraderie in the league, and all the rules and processes around the sport.
It’s perhaps the latter that appeals to me most. I like order, structure, and a clear set of rules and guides. Perhaps that’s why I’ve read the official WFTDA rule book about four times already!
I often thought about joining fresh meat, but I was nervous. I don’t want to injure myself, and I don’t think I have what it takes to actually play. Some of the hits look really hard. I also don’t want to be the only guy joining up, when it’s very dominated by women.
My wife ordered a full set of second hand pads online from a group on Facebook. They arrived in almost brand new condition, but they didn’t fit. I tried them on just out of curiosity, and they fit perfectly.
It’s a sign. I should overcome my fears and give it a go. I know that in a years time, I’d really enjoy being able to skate, so present me needs to do this for future me.
I decided I should aim to be a referee. My love for the rules of things and a desire to always be helpful should make me a good fit. I think I have a good grasp on the basics already, just from reading the rulebook and watching various videos.
So we got a helmet. And skates. I’m fully kitted up!
Fresh meat at my local league doesn’t start up again until September, but I’m going to get some practise time whenever I can. They have free-skate once a week, and a roller rink isn’t too far away. I’d like to be at least stable on skates by the time fresh meat starts. If I’m going to be the only guy there, I certainly want to be at least okay-ish for a beginner.
So, this is my story. You’re in on day one.
I’ll be posting things related to my journey on skates, and how I’m improving my overall fitness levels.
Oh, one little thing - about three years ago I had two slipped discs. The sciatic pain was so bad I could barely walk. I’m glad to say I’ve made a complete recovery, and I feel stronger and fitter than I ever have.
To think of how far I’ve come and how much I’ve improved since then really inspires me to see how much further I can take it.
If you have a question or want to know something, feel free to ask me.
Wish me luck! I think I might need it.