I started out as a fan of roller derby. Then finally opportunity presented itself for me to have the time to take on the sport and I ran with it. The most attractive quality right off the bat was the sense of togetherness and sisterhood that I had never experienced before. Growing up I was the tomboy and the guys’ girl that always hung out. I never had friends that were female that really stuck around or supported me. I saw an ad for the Booty Camp class on Facebook randomly and saw that it was free and that gave me zero excuses not to do it.

Usually my first excuse is that I don’t have money to do that and once I read the description on the Booty Camp Facebook page I knew I had every opportunity to succeed. They provided the skates to borrow for the class and assured us that if we fell down they would help us get back up, and that if we didn’t understand they would happily explain. The trainers are such a blessing in the derby world with the amount of patience they have for each “Freshie”. Even if they had to repeat the same thing 10 times (although they would rather take extra time on the side to work with you one-on-one), they want you to succeed, to progress to their level, but they also allow you time to get there. They recognize hard work, effort and value of each person on the league. Fresh Meat was a wake-up call since I did not exercise regularly. I’m not going to lie to you and say it’s a cakewalk; it was hard. Boy, did I have the time of my life doing it though!

Never in my life did I think an extra-curricular sport in my adult life would be what I needed to complete me. I am definitely one of the youngest in the league as I’m only 22, but I love that age really isn’t a factor nor does it even matter. What I find most rewarding is the things that I struggled with throughout fresh meat are some of the things that I’m exceeding at now. I can look back on some of the hardest things that I have experienced and know how I can improve them. I also know that I have significantly improved from when I first began. For example the most dreaded 27/5 (27 laps around the track in 5 minutes), I completed 20 laps in my first mock assessment, but I was able to complete 26.5 laps at my final assessment. You improve every day and it’s amazing what you find out about yourself. When you put fun and a drive for excellence together, and top it off with Giving Back to the community, you get NRD. Don’t over-think it, or over-analyze if you should or shouldn’t… if you want to do it, it’s very easy to sign up.


Historically, new recruits to roller derby were often referred to as “Fresh Meat.”  The Meat Locker series will include personal stories from our latest class of graduates from boot camp who just played in their first bout and drafted to home teams last weekend.  Please check back for the next edition, and if you’re interested in trying roller derby, we have a 3-hour skating session session coming up on 7/24 and will also have some gear to lend out, so that you can try it before full commitment.  This event allows you to strap on some skates and learn the basics of roller derby in a low-pressure and fun environment.  If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact us at recruitment@novarollerderby.com.

Left Photo:  Photo Credit: ©2017 Jack Tomlinson

Right Photo:  Photo Credit: ©2017 Rachelle Mitchell