Becoming head ref
Today I found out my colleagues in the Dublin Roller Girls had voted for me to take the role of head ref. This was a goal I realistically had not expected to fill for quite some time. I am now skating only 8 months and personally I feel I have achieved a lot, but nothing could mean more to be than the growing respect among my peers. They have taught me so much and their support is ever growing. One sad point of achieving this status is that my good friend Ray had to lose out.
This is a guy who has thought me how to be a better skater, have greater confidence in myself and is always there for me when I am unsure or otherwise. I would really like to point out, that no matter how my term as head ref goes, if I do right be him, then I know I am earning my role. My thanks really goes out to him and I know he will have my back every step of the way. (Unless I am diabolically shit, but l digress :P).
I know I am not the most advanced skater, I know I am short on bout experience, but I know I can, if I put my mind to it, do this role justice. I will learn to be a better skater, I will learn to be decisive without ruling out opinion and I will do all I can to make my team happy that they have given me this opportunity.
I will admit, I am terrified, but I feel if I wasn’t I wouldn’t fully respect the responsibility I have been given. My terror isn’t one that will inhibit my abilities, it in fact will just drive me to do better and in time over come it. I have the support of my friends, already helping me prepare for this journey I am about to part take in. I have been told I face “an uphill battle” a steep one at that, but I was also told I can do it and to hear that statement calmed me into the sense of, I have to and I will.
It was never going to be easy, it will be work, it will be challenging but it will be fun. Some would call it a roller coasters ride, this is roller derby and that’s much better!
Over the weekend I was lucky enough to be rostered to ref two bouts for the Dublin Roller Girls against a mix of Belfast and Limerick roller girls. My day started at 8 o’clock, a time foreign to my body anyway, on top of which I had only 4 hours sleep due to my housemates birthday! (worth it). The trek to get to the arena in tallaght was underestimated as I was on foot, I just chalked it up as a warm up walk, my body chalked it up as abuse! I arrived at the national basketball arena just before 11, I was instantly out on skates warming up and testing the floor. Bar the odd occupational hazard of holes and raised metal boxes underfoot, the floor felt like derby home (inchicore). This pleased me enough to feel confident in my skills to pull off the skating aspect of the day fine! (what little of it there is :) ). A combined effort of stupidity, time constraints and just generally being useless guys, most of the zeebs were flying on empty food wise with nothing more than a scone to offer, begin the endurance training. Our head ref “Shref” warned us of how grueling back to back derbying can be and he was not lying! I was shattered after game one, which had been a surprisingly faster pack than expected, this kept us all on our toes and very rarely would our outside pack ref relays give us more than a breather. With promise of a food order, the wild and tired zebras circled their benched companion, within moments of the bouts end. Ravenous, desperate and hungry, the loose zebra was attacked, but sadly he fended hungry hoard off with words of heartbreak “Dominos don’t deliver here”. Everyone knows zebras don’t hunt, they pay cash or lazer…sadly with 15 minutes left to the next bout we were resigned to our fate as hungry, hungry zebras. The next bout was a decent pace as expected, with lots of tactical pacing which kept us all on our toes! The extra inches outside of the track at this stage was starting to count and the burst of speed were draining. Delirious and determined to refrain from cooling down between stoppages, I needed to keep moving…so what better way to wind down than to boogie! :D In the end it was all a blur being honest and if there was another bout I think I could have handled it, but that said, it wasn’t easy. I was thrown a karmatic bone when my friend fee informed me that one of my other friends kat had been gifted fresh baps to share from her mum. That was possibly the best bap I have EVER had in my life, my smile was ear to ear after the very first bite! :D (If either of you pair read this, although you weren’t the sandwich maker, you’re combined effort of being 3rd party an informant/provider, help make my day!) :) Later, my fello ref Cian, derby debutaunt Ornat, my mates eoghan and andy (enthused supporters :p) and I retired to Liffey Valley for some epic pizza hut. I however ordered garlic balls and ended up sleeping on the table! :) Well, that was pretty much a vague ramble on my day in the stripes of a ref! What about the after party you say?…well that’s a whole other story isn’t it! ;) *Forever proud to be a derby ref and part of DRG*