Fresh Meat Fears : The Beginning
Fresh Meat: it’s a term that if you have never heard before, you’ll quickly learn when you decide to join the exhilarating world of roller derby. For me, it all started with an event on Facebook. You know, one of those events that pops up out of nowhere. You have no idea why it showed up on your Facebook feed: maybe it was a mutual friend or that cousin twice removed that posted it. However it got there, you were led to the Two Rivers Roller Derby’s meet and greet event page. I mulled around the idea for a few weeks, interested in the event of course. I promised myself I would go: do something out of the ordinary, something unfamiliar, step outside of the box. I don’t know about everybody else, but I have social anxiety and I tend to runaway from things that are unknown; similar to a child running away from that creepy birthday party clown. So it took a whole lot for me to actually show up.
Meet and Greet Night
I was overwhelmed by so many different emotions. If nausea was considered an emotion, it was the winner. There was a large group of people, faces I had never seen before. To me, it seemed like everyone was holding it together but me. After scanning the room, I realized that I wasn’t the only one that was an awkward shade of green, so I settled into a chair and listened to what these strangers were talking about. Some of it is a blur to be quite honest but I think most of us got the gist. Although, (in my head) it eventually sounded like some sort of chant:
JOIN DERBY!!! YOU WILL LOVE IT!!! WE WILL TEACH YOU ALL THE THINGS!!!
This is so weird: why are they so nice? Is this some sort of cult? Where do I sign up?!
It wasn’t a cult, not in the traditional sense. There was no chicken sacrifice or contract to sign in blood, not even chanting; but what did happen, really made the soon-to-be Fresh Meat not only feel welcome, but very excited.
You see, it was the feeling of home, family, friendship, encouragement, and unity that really drew us in. It was very clear during the short time we spent at the meet and greet that these people weren’t full of crap. They really did mean what they were saying, and they were encouraging each and every one of us that sat there (some of us staring hopelessly at them) to join and become even better and stronger versions of ourselves, with their help.
Some vets said joining derby was the greatest decision of their lives; that it would be ours, too, if we gave it a chance. Some talked about their journeys, others spoke about what the requirements were with jobs, practices, and other derby-amazing things. It was a lot to take in, but despite the abundance of information, many people signed up.
It’s been a little over four months since the journey began and the group of amazing humans that joined that day are now rookies. If you ask any one of them, if they are glad that they joined and you will get similar answers: it was one of the best decisions they’ve ever made and each of them will have several reasons why. We intentionally joined a derby team and unexpectedly gained an amazing extended family.
Supporting the team at the first bout of the 2017 season
I know for me, even though I am still a rookie that is working towards passing my skills assessments, derby has been one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself. If you read my teammate Carnage’s post, you can read further why so many of my teammates feel the same way.
Follow Eff Bomb’s Fresh Meat Adventure on her blog, and don’t miss our Open Mixer Recruitment event on Friday, June 23 at the Colony Meadery at the Book Shop.