Since I started playing last year, I'm finding that things and experiences gleaned from derby often crop up in everyday life and this has prompted me to make a list of ways in which it has helped me. I hope I'm not the only one out there that has experienced this!
1) Getting through a crowded club to get to the toilets = lots easier when you put yourself in jammer mode and seek out those little gaps and nimbly hop between pint-wielding obstacles.
2) In a similar vein, ousting the six-foot person who has just stood in front of you right as your favourite band take the stage. Now, I am not advocating rudeness in anyway and this will only work in a tight crowd but get your foot and shoulder in front of theirs and you will pop back to your rightful position in time to see Eddie Vedder belt out 'Even Flow'. Win.
3) Walking into things doesn't phase you. I walk into things a lot, usually a mixture of daydreaming and clumsiness. I used to stand about looking all hurt and sorry for myself but these days, after many evenings when I first started playing of being hit by people I didn't see coming, I just carry on like nothing has happened.
4) Bruises are no longer a trauma. I don't bruise very much at all but the old me would have sat around worrying about bruises and how long they would last for - whereas now if I get a bruise, I just rue the fact that I wasn't playing derby when it happened.
5) Confidence is less of an issue. After you have walked round a town in sweaty kit and fishnets with helmet hair, walking into a meeting of people you don't know seems a lot less daunting. It's not that I don't care about my appearance, but I know WHEN to care about my appearance and when to just not. Case in point below.
6) Opening doors when my hands are full is no issue at all, so long as they open outwards. I've sadly moved offices so am no longer able to startle my work colleagues with my hip check entrances.
7) You will meet so many people when you start playing derby that as well as making lots of lovely new friends, you will no longer be lost for someone to advise you on practically everything. I've had advice on all sorts, from derby stuff to gigs to check out.
8) My stamina has improved lots making long walks, sprints to catch the bus and unplanned exercising much less of an issue these days.
9) I have muscles that I never used to have which have come in very useful when having a clear out and lugging stuff to the tip, shovelling snow, pushing cars to start them and all sorts of similarly unladylike activities.
10) I stress less. Honestly. I've had to work really hard at getting my head round the fact that once the jam is over, there's nothing you can do to change it. I find myself dealing with other stressful situations in the same way and am much happier for it.
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Feel free to add to this list in the comments - I'm sure there must be some I've missed out! How does roller derby help you in 'real' life?
And speaking of ten more good reasons to come and join us, our Zero2Hero intakes are now nice and regular so get your name down and give it a go - info on our Join us page. If you want to see how it's done, our guys' team (men's derby = merby) are playing in Manchester on 30th July 2011 at CARRY ON JAMMING, with an extra treat of seeing our ladies' team play Newcastle beforehand.