The 2014 FRESH MEAT Experince
In October 2013, the Five 40 Roller Girls opened the doors at the Fredericksburg Armory and invited in all interested women. About 35 to 38 new and interested skaters sat on the floor full of anticipation and excitement while the Veteran skaters went over the basics of Roller Derby and the league at the Five 40 Fresh Meat Open House.
Since, the girls once sitting on the floor in excitement, have gotten up and learned the basic skills of roller derby. Each practice, the Veteran skaters have worked with the new Fresh Meat to help them learn what they need to know to pass the WFTDA assessments and bout with the Five 40 team.
As assessment day approached, the number of Fresh Meat committed to give Five 40 everything they could had fallen to 13.
This is the story of the Five 40 Roller Girls graduated Fresh Meat - Class of 2014.
FRESH MEAT STORY, class of 2014
It wasn’t long after the 35 to 38 ladies had sat on the floor taking in mountains of information that the Veteran Skaters invited them to lace up some skates and take to the floor.
This season, faced with the impacts of the Government Shut Down, Five 40 started the Fresh Meat off with an open skate night at Golden Skate World followed by a night filled with footwork.
“I was so intimidated by all the veterans. I felt like a deer in the headlights and thought there is no way I will ever be able to do any of that,” explained LoneStar Darlin’. “I fell so hard the first night. It hurt and I hurt for days, even weeks later. I thought that there was no way I can do this to my body, I am too damn old. I remember learning about crossovers and thinking there is no way I am going to get my feet to do that. Heck, I haven’t been on skates in 15 years and now you want me to do what with my feet. I barely remember how to skate.”
While many of the Fresh Meat came in figuring “Fresh Meat would be a lot of bitches looking to get out aggression legally,” like Cassaroll first did, the group soon learned that being a member of the Five 40 Roller Girls was more than just pushing each other over.
With the difficulties, falls and fear of injuries, the Fresh Meat class began to shrink and this season's rookie skaters began to emerge.
“The camaraderie, sportsmanship and teamwork are the best parts over all,” said Princess PottyMouth
“I’ve enjoyed the camaraderie between skaters of all ages and walks of life,” explained Gypsy Slamwhich. “It’s refreshing to have a mosaic, diverse group of ladies bound and support each other over a common love for the sport.”
Fresh Meat hasn’t been easy, as these ladies learned to two-step, swallom, tack hits and give hits, along came the frustration, bruises and even injuries.
By January, the Fresh Meat had suffered one broken ankle, one sprained ankle and one concussion...
“I was coming off the track from a contact hitting drill and my wheel got caught on the track.I just remember the sound of my helmet hitting the floor and kind of coming to in the ER,” explained LoneStar Darlin’. “I can remember bits and pieces of getting to the ER, but it was like an out of body experience. My head felt like a bowl of unset jello. Wibbly and wobbly.”
In December LoneStar Darlin’s fall landed her in the ER with a concussion.
“Once I came to, my concern was for my kids and if they were taken care of. The whole time I was out of it, my derby sisters took care of me,” LoneStar Darlin’ continued. “They [my derby sisters] called my sitter and checked on my kids. They made arrangements for her [the sitter] to stay and for someone to relieve her in the morning, if need be. The took my car home for me, and all the while, I had someone by my side to sit and wait with me.”
“I was so scared when I started derby because I am a military spouse, my husband was deployed and I didn’t have an emergency contact that lived close by. But,” continued LoneStart Darlin’, “my awesome derby sisters took charge and took care of me. I am so thankful each and everyday for the wonderful friendships that I have made through this sport.”
“My husband, kept me motivated through the time off [skates],” said LoneStar Darlin’. “Even though he is so far away, he has been extremely supportive.”
Then, 12 long days and two doctors visits later, LoneStar Darlin’ had her skates laced back up and a new helemet.
“The first day back on skates was a bit scarey for me,” explained LoneStar Darlin’. “I took it slow and kind of eased my way back in. I have fallen several more times, thats how I got the ‘Crash Test Dummy Award,' but, each time I have gotten back up a little bit stronger.”
From head to toe, the Fresh Meat Class of 2014 began to feel just how physical roller derby really could be.
“At the end of Fresh Meat training, I partially tore a ligament while jamming during a practice,” explained Rosie D. Ribhitter. “When it happened, I wasn’t surprised. With roller derby there’s not and ‘if I get injured,’ it is just a matter of when. Bruises and scrapes are a common thing, its the thought of an injury that will keep you off skates - that is the biggest fear.”
“I was off skates for three weeks. The first week was agonizing. Not knowing how bad the sprain was (until I finally saw an orthopedist), laid up on the couch for a couple days and hopping along on crutches was heartbreaking,” Rosie D. RIbhitter continued. “At 38 I’ve finally found the sport that I love - only to be taken out before even making it to an actual bout was beyond disappointing. But, after being off skates for three weeks, I was able to start slowly skating again. At four weeks, I’m now back to contact, but still have to be careful.”
“This has definitely been a learning moment in patience,” Rosie D. Ribhitter said. “I appreciate being on skates even more than ever and hoped to be rostered for a bout soon. A derby sister recently reminded me, we have a long bout season ahead of us - we’re just getting started.”
In February, the Fresh Meat graduated and became the newest rostered skaters in the Five 40 line up. They began really getting into full contact scrimmaging and learning how to put together everything they had learned so far.
“There have been frustrating moments,” explained Gal Capone “but it just makes me want to push harder next time.”
“[Sometimes] I question what on earth I am doing,” said The Bandit, “then I settle down and remember what I’d be missing.”
“If you mess up or fall off-track; it’s okay to get upset or be disappointed, but don’t stay there - don’t give up! Let that serve as a motivator to push harder next time!” explained Old Skool.