After my first session learning to roller skate I had never been so sweaty and out of breath yet with such a big smile on my face… except maybe in the bedroom..!!!
I was sat at my desk four weeks ago at my 9-5 job thinking to myself ‘there must be more to life than this’ when, as though reading my mind, Neath Port Talbot Roller Derby sneaked up on my work’s Twitter feed advertising their ‘learn to skate 10 week course.’ I was instantly sold - convinced it was some sort of sign!
The girls in the team cover photo looked cool and friendly; tattooed and smiling. I knew I needed a drastic change to snap me out of my ground hog day daily routine and maybe this was exactly what I had been searching for!
It was only until I was sat in the roller skating hall with 10 other terrified newbies; strapped from head to toe in safety wear and skates attached to my feet raising me inches off the ground, that I realized what I was doing… ‘what have you gotten yourself into now?’
It was all well and good trying to look cool in front of my friends, telling them I’d joined a roller derby team, but now I’d actually have to stand up on these skates and move around on them which probably wouldn’t look so cool!!
I’m renowned for my awful balance; falling over on nights out, tipping coffee over customers in my waitressing days, not being able to turn left on a push bike without falling off and just generally tripping up over my own feet. What on earth was I doing?
As I was pondering all this, a lovely girl from the team took my hand and slowly but surely we made our way around the track. I couldn’t believe I was a natural; if I could skate when I fall over casually walking down a street then I’m sure this could be a sport for anyone!!
As the lessons went on I was skating on my own, learning how to fall and stop and different styles of skating! I think the best thing about learning to skate is how easily you pick it up. In only a few hours you can really see your progression.
It gives me a huge sense of fulfillment knowing that I can skate and now instead of just telling my friends I’ve joined a roller skating team I can actually show them or even teach them a thing or two myself - and it’s only week four! I highly recommend taking up roller skating to anyone looking for an exciting new change in their lives!
The team are enthusiastic with a genuine passion for the sport which is really inspiring for us learners. Usually after a day in work the last thing I’d be thinking about is participating in physical exercise but I can’t wait to get my skates on and break a sweat!
I’m so happy I’ve started roller skating it’s a huge positive change in my life that is hopefully a permanent one. For now it’s just a bit of fun for me but who knows, I’ve heard they might be making roller derby into an Olympic sport!!