1. The Excitement
Remember that joy you had when you first put on skates that fit and made it a whole training without falling over backwards? (still waiting? Never fear!)
Freshies have that joy and excitement the whole time they are Freshmeat! As well as into their graduation bout!
I have heard tales that this excitement can dwindle going into the second, third or tenth year of roller derby. That, my friends, is what Freshies are here for. All you need to do is head on down to one of our trainings and see how much fun we are having. Which leads me well into point 2.
2. The Laughter
The most common sound you will hear from a Freshies mouth (apart from OW!) is laughter. Well in my intake it certainly is. We are at the stage now that we can have a laugh about accidental gropings and amazing bails. We also celebrate the small (and large) achievements – first bruises, first controlled transitions, first time jamming and the best recoveries. With all of these things comes the laughter, the smiles, the tap-tap-tap of wristguards clapping and the all round positive-ness.
The best example I have of this was just last week at a training with both Freshies and Old Meat. We were running a contact drill that involved two of us as blockers and one as a jammer trying to get through. My group of Freshies went all in, putting our all into this drill when all of a sudden, two of us locked wheels, one fell, the other regained balance, but only by clinging to the third which pulled her off balance and then we were all on the floor in a tangled mess of limbs and wheels and we are all howling with laughter. We looked up and the Old meat were looking at us with expressions I could not read. But we had the time of our lives!
Feel free to laugh with us Old Meat!
3. The Questions
How well do you know your rules? Your gear? Do you have any wise words of advice for us newbies? We are full of questions and we are like sponges! We will suck up anything you tell us and apply it. This will make you a better skater and teacher! Don’t just say you don’t know the answer, go and research it and come back to us, or link us to some of the amazing resources! Researching will help you and remember – there is no such thing as a stupid question.
4. The ‘Sorry’ Press-ups.
In our league, we have a policy where we do not apologize on the track. It stops us from doing our best – not hitting our hardest in fear of hurting someone or taking shortcuts to stop cutting someone off. If we are caught saying sorry then we are dealt 5 or 10 press ups (depending on the Sorry Police for the night). The time when this starts happening the most is when the Freshmeat show up. We are forever doing silly things that get in the way of Old Meat. Sorry’s are everywhere. And you get to watch us suffer the consequences.
5. The Awe.
Didn’t think you were a very good skater? Think again. Every single Freshie is in awe of even the most basic skills that you do. Your derby name will no doubt end up in a conversation that makes you out to be a roller goddess. We will try and imitate you, and fail. Then we will try again, and again. Then one day we will succeed and it will be because you inspired us.
As well as the most obvious reasons, growing the league, spreading the derby love and so on, these 5 reasons should inspire you to take another look at the Freshies and become our friends and mentors.
It will not be a one sided partnership!
Plus – One day we will have your back on the track!
P.s – I finally have my derby alter ego!
Meet Akka Dakka Smakka #4CDC
Chosen because mine + my hubby’s initials are ACDC. Plus the band aint that shabby either.