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#1 treetree

Posted 03 February 2013 - 09:20 PM

I'm thinking I'd like to try out roller derby. I'm eager to try out a sport now that I'm feeling human again, but I suck at ball sports and don't want to be outdoors. Roller derby sounds good. It's fast, requires flexibility (which I have) looks fun, and is not in the sun and there is no ball! I really think I could do it. There's also one really close by.

Am I crazy thinking I could do this after having five kids and being so old? (34) I'd hate to embarrass myself. The local place has beginner classes, with the first one free (equipment and skates included) so I'd lose nothing trying, apart from possibly my pride!

Only real drawback is adding more to my way too busy week.

Does anyone do it, or has tried it? I'd hate to get there and be the only old person! Maybe I could ask the average age of the group before I go.

#2 indigogirl

Posted 03 February 2013 - 09:27 PM

You are reading my mind! I'm thinking roller derby might be for me too....but I am 38 (soon to be 39 gasp!) so way older than you OP! I'll be stalking this thread for peoples experiences but in your case I say give it a go! It sounds like a wonderful sport to me!

#3 amabanana

Posted 03 February 2013 - 09:28 PM

I have 2 friends who are your age and do roller derby.  They love it!  I'm tempted to do it myself but I'd need to get fitter first. Oh, and there's the slight problem of me being a giant wuss bag.

#4 dynamitee

Posted 03 February 2013 - 09:36 PM

I've seen a friend of a friend compete and she is 48.  It looks like a lot of fun but after having a chat with some of the girls, I realised it probably wasn't the sport for me.

Apparently in their league, they had to train for six months before they could compete.  Training was about three times a week which immediately eliminated me.  The real problem though was the amount of injuries these girls were sustaining.  Broken bones were not uncommon (from the sounds of it, either you had a broken bone, had had a broken bone, or were soon to get a broken bone).

So for me, a working mum with two kids, it just wasn't going to work.  But it sure did look like fun.

#5 daturah

Posted 03 February 2013 - 09:59 PM

A few years ago I joined the local roller derby group, and found it really, really fun. There was a woman there about your age who had 5 kids, she loved it and was a die-hard roller derby addict.

I stopped when it became time to get serious and start being competitive.  The last night I went to the training, a girl broke her ankle just from doing basic skating in the warm-down at the end.  Some of the other injuries I heard about were horrific.

You have a six month grace period with the training to decide whether you can fit it into your life, and more importantly, whether you love it enough to risk serious incapacitating injury.  i didn't love it enough; but, to provide a comparison, I definitely love snow skiing enough to risk injury.  Clearly it's different for everyone!

Hope you have fun, whatever you do.

#6 treetree

Posted 03 February 2013 - 10:11 PM

Yes, I can skate! I wouldn't just jump right in. I'd do a bit of practice first! I'd be nervous enough as it is starting. I'd hate to get there and fall over just getting on the rink.

But I think the class I looked up is not competitive. It's for beginners, so I imagine you have plenty of time to decide if it's right for you before you're in an actual match. The group is just once a week? So I don't think tit's preparing you for a team.

#7 Ingrid the Swan

Posted 03 February 2013 - 10:15 PM

As an ex-Derby player, I can tell you that you're definitely not too old to play! I was 28 when I quit, and was probably sitting just below the average age - we had a couple of girls in their early 20s, quite a lot between 25-35, and quite a few above 35. Our oldest, a ref, was well into his 50s, and our oldest player was late 40s. We also had a lot of players with children.

The one thing I would say though is to tell you the reason I quit - pure and simply, I found it was taking too much of my time and energy. Our league had a rule that you had to attend six training sessions per month in order to be eligible to even practice bout at trainings, purely for safety reasons, and a training session was two hours and occurred twice a week on a weeknight and on occasional weekends. If you wanted to actually make the team to bout publicly, six training sessions weren't enough - it was competitive, and you needed as much time on the track so that you could really learn the game, you could be seen by your captains, and so others could learn your style and how to work with you. With both DP and I involved in the league, it got to the point that I was rushing home from work twice per week, I was barely seeing DD on those nights, was throwing food down, throwing my gear in the car and getting to training - and calling in a lot of favours from my in-laws to babysit so we could both attend.

As I said though, I know a lot of girls in our league had children, and with supportive partners who weren't also in the league they were able to participate and do really well. However, if you're already stretched for time, then it's not something you can do on a casual basis or that you undertake lightly.

Definitely give it a go - you'll love it, and you won't know whether you can arrange to fit it in until you try!

ETA: And yeah, just to address injuries - I was lucky in that I got through my entire three year derby career with nothing serious. We probably had two or three broken legs per year, a few concussions etc but never anything horrific - but I have heard of some horrific injuries, and it can happen to anyone including the best player in the league (we had our best two both injured one season). As a girl in our league learned the hard way, make sure you have private health insurance or at the very least ambulance cover before you join - and that even a minor injury isn't going to significantly impact on your work or quality of life (eg one of our girls was a waitress as well as a student and lost her entire earning potential).

Edited by Dabri, 03 February 2013 - 10:19 PM.


#8 Mrs Optimus

Posted 19 March 2013 - 02:39 PM

Did you do it OP?

We just had out first bout of the season on the weekend and im still fired up! And I didnt even skate...! original.gif

#9 treetree

Posted 19 March 2013 - 03:12 PM

I bought skates, started skating every single night. I can go pretty fast, stop fairly quickly and go for a while. I also started exercising every night.

Then I got sick. The doctor believes I have arthritis, possibly rheumatoid, most likely psoriatic. I see a specialist next week for my official diagnosis.  sad.gif  I couldn't walk, let alone skate. I couldn't even get out of bed for a few days.

BUT, it has settled, and from what I can tell, it's okay to skate even with the condition (obviously not during a flare up though) and I have started skating at night again. I'm going to start when I feel more confident in my legs (it was my knees that were mostly affected), hopefully within the next three weeks.

The class I looked into seems good. It's for beginners, so you don't go right into it. And they say you don't even have to be a great skater as yet, so I feel confident I can do it once my legs are fully better (at least for now)

And I guess I'll just have to take time off if I have a flare up. First thing I thought of when the doctor said arthritis was 'Crap, I won't be able to skate'! But I think I still will.

So I am still really keen, and jealous of you! Do you have any recommendations for safety gear? I am just using really cheap ones at the moment, but want to get something better. Especially as I am skating on a road every night!

#10 Carabosse

Posted 19 March 2013 - 03:27 PM

QUOTE (Mrs Optimus @ 19/03/2013, 03:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Did you do it OP?

We just had out first bout of the season on the weekend and im still fired up! And I didnt even skate...! original.gif


oooo there was a bout at our local on the weekend too ph34r.gif

Treetree, our local rink offers classes 3 mornings a week that are not Derby classes but are a good taster and get you prepped for the next fresh meat intake wink.gif They are full on though.  34 by the way is SO not old for Derby cool.gif .

Edited by Carabosse, 04 May 2013 - 10:49 AM.


#11 Mrs Optimus

Posted 20 March 2013 - 12:15 PM

Hey OP!

Practise is definately the key! I had never skated until Jan last year... im not too bad now... im sure I looked completely ridiculous last year! original.gif

If you missed this intake, my suggestion would  be to take classes - derby classes if offered if not learn to skate classes, but bear in mind they are artistic classes and not derby classes and get fit! Work especially on your core... SO important with derby to have a strong core. original.gif

I started FM last year but a) couldnt skate well and b) was overweight and unfit.

I also just have the 'cheap' protective gear - the one that came with the FM pack and its fine - does the job... except that ive lost weight and they dont fit well anymore, ive actually just bought 187 knee pads... its all very personal, I would suggest to find your local derby shop, try some on, talk to the girls there get their opinions too and base it on that.

I had JRA as a child and sometimes I get a bit of arthritis too (nothing debillatating) but I do find it better when im fit and healthy... original.gif

Carabosse - where abouts are you?

#12 KatakaGeoGirl

Posted 20 March 2013 - 12:28 PM

Not too old! What is old anyway?? I'm 37 and I'm a roller derby chick. I've been skating in Derby for over a year now, and we're in the process (after some in-house 'stuff') of developing a new team. We will be stepping it up a notch in training soon and cannot wait! It is such a fun sport, and I'm slowly getting fitter. Notice my tummy is toner, and I can skate that bit further every week - I do walk a bit more and occasional sets of pushups/situps to increase my abdominal muscles. We'll probably start competing later on this year and to be honest, that is a bit of a scary thought! But for now I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Derby development classes. They have a learn to skate session at the same time where I skate, so people can come and try it out and learn the basic skills before they through themselves into derby.

My suggestion is to learn to do the skills well from the beginning - ie how to do falls, how to take a hit, how to turn. If you can gain good balance and learn the proper skills correctly I believe it will help you fall correctly and therefore lessen the injuries. From my experience, those who are injured are usually starting out and had still not learnt to fall correctly.

It is the best form of exercise and so much fun all at the same time!

#13 Mrs Optimus

Posted 20 March 2013 - 12:40 PM

Yeah I agree.. never too old! original.gif

I just got my Aunt into it and she just turned 40 original.gif



#14 treetree

Posted 20 March 2013 - 01:10 PM

Yep, it's a beginner class I am going to do. That way I can decide definitely before I commit to anything. I hope to start next week or the next. I'm going to see how my appointment goes and then either start the day after that or the week after that.

I've skated on and off over the years so didn't find it too hard getting back on them. I was practicing speed, and skating really low, stopping fairly quickly and turning. I only fell once and I blame that completely on a pebble! I also practised endurance!

I was feeling really confident in my skating abilities. I just need to learn the correct way to do things, as well as falls, etc. So I figured the beginners class would teach all that.

I can't get to the rink very often. I skate at night on the road because the little kids are asleep. The older kids come out with me sometimes and ride their bikes or scooters. I'm not too fussed about ruining my skates. They weren't very expensive and the wheels are fairly cheap ones. I figure I'll upgrade when I need to.

I really can't wait to go, just hanging out for my appointment and my knees to feel completely normal again. I am incredibly shy though so I hope everyone there doesn't think I'm weird!

#15 Carabosse

Posted 20 March 2013 - 01:19 PM

QUOTE
If you missed this intake, my suggestion would  be to take classes -  derby classes if offered if not learn to skate classes, but bear in mind  they are artistic classes and not derby classes and get fit!


The adult skate classes at our local are definitely not artistic. Some of the Derby girls use it as an extra training session. It's more like a gym workout on skates including pushups, squats etc. Full on but all levels welcome. You push yourself depending on your own ability.

Have fun OP!

Edited by Carabosse, 04 May 2013 - 10:49 AM.


#16 Oriental lily

Posted 20 March 2013 - 01:22 PM

It seems like such fun!
The best way to exercise for me is when it's fun.

The injuries scare me though. I have a dodgy knee and trying to look after three kids when thats playing up is hard enough.

Fractured and broken bones could really effect how the family functions.

It s a risk that you need to weigh up.

#17 AngryBird

Posted 20 March 2013 - 01:44 PM

I play derby - it of LOADS of fun!
187 Killer Pads are a good brand of safety gear - strong enough to take the hits and falls but not so big and bulky you can't move!

Nutcase helmets look great but are on the big side .... depends what look you prefer I guess! Great colours and patterns though!

Injury-wise - as with any contact sport and especially one that moves at a fast pace on roller skates on a hard floor - they happen. I broke my back a few years ago, when I was still fresh meat, from taking a big hit and falling backwards.

But you know, I'm currently nursing a pretty bad knee injury, and that came from taking my kids ice skating and falling over! So injuries happen anyway, derby or not!
There is a big focus in most leagues on safety, and plenty of training to ensure skaters are at the least possible risk of injury. I've seen skaters at a bout sent to the penalty box for entering the track with their mouthguards not correctly and fully in - instant major penalty from the refs, even though the whistle had not even started the jam yet!

You can usually join up at fresh meat intakes without knowing the skills etc. Even without being able to skate! I've been with 2 leagues, and both have accepted non-skaters who are willing to learn. Fresh Meat is all about basic skating skills, falls, technique and so on. There's usually a wide range of ability levels at the beginning and everyone evens out over time.

Most importantly though, what will your skating name be?!!!
I've just returned after spending almost a year off skates (lots of reasons!), and have taken on a new name - Mrs Poskaterhead! Loving being back....or I will be once my knee heals!!

Give it a go, it really is a lot of fun, and there's some great friendships to be made and enjoyment to be had!
(I'm 35, with 6 kids ..... and I'm not especially coordinated or anything!) What is your closest league?

#18 Mrs Optimus

Posted 20 March 2013 - 02:01 PM

Ahhh... I am in Perth and most of the learn to skate classes are artistic... there is 1 thats a derby class... but its on from 9-10 on a Wednesday and I just cant make that... totally past my bed time! wink.gif

Re: the pebble OP - what wheels are you using? The softer the better for outside... for example I skate on a 86A outside and inside a 93A - and im looking to go harder as my ploughs are BAD. (totally getting better though original.gif)

Oriental Lilly - yes you do get injuries.. its a contact sport. Comes with the territory... but one of the great things (I think) is that the leagues all band around and help out injured skaters.... if you get hurt you wont be alone...
On saying that if you arent 'willing' to risk it then dont join original.gif

And yes... Name?

Im Scrambled Megz original.gif





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