Trying something new can be scary. Taking that first step into the unknown can be a daunting thing. If you’re considering coming to the New Skater Clinic on Sunday, you might be feeling anxious about it, and second guessing yourself. Just know that you’re not alone. This time last year a group of people were in your same position, and now they’re going to start Season 9 no longer the new kids on the block, but as seasoned skaters. Last year’s new skaters were recently asked some questions about their experiences at last year’s New Skater Clinic, the Bootcamp that follows, and being a member of the Cornfed Derby Dames. Here is what they had to say.
Q. What made you interested in going to the New Skater Clinic?
“I’ve always loved being on skates, and had an interest in roller derby but knew NOTHING about it! I thought the clinic would be a good way to learn a little more and get introduced to the sport and the team.” -Slayer Swift
“I wanted to find a tribe of people who were athletic and passionate.” -Sam U. Fine
“Been interested in derby since I first saw a bout in 2011. It was a goal of mine to learn to play derby.” -Maven O’Moxie
Q. How did you feel when you walked into Gibson’s for the Clinic?
“I felt so many emotions, I was scared, nervous, excited, intrigued, all of it! But I remember feeling welcomed over all of that! All of the Dames were genuinely excited for the new skaters to be there, and were super helpful and patient!” -Slayer Swift
“Terrified, nervous and excited! I felt like I was possibly getting in over my head. I hadn’t been on skates for about 20 years. I was so afraid I was going to hurt myself or DIE! LOL!” -Maven O’Moxie
“I was super nervous because I didn’t really know anyone but Marie [Fury] and I wasn’t sure what was going to happen.” -Grim Trigger
Q. How did the Clinic go last year? What was your experience or feelings during the Clinic?
“The clinic was AWESOME! The coaches were so encouraging and VERY patient with everyone. I loved getting to know the other clinic mates. We were ‘all in it together’ and that alone was motivating and, I believe, helped everyone feel less nervous.” -Maven O’Moxie
“Unfortunately, I was injured and unable to skate at the clinic, but I still had a lot of fun watching the other newbies learn and getting to learn about how skating and derby work. I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to fit in with the group or that I wouldn’t be accepted but I thought I’d still give it a shot.” -Grim Trigger
“It went well. Everyone was encouraging and supportive even though I was a terrible skater.” -Hug-o-War
Q. What was your first impression of the Cornfed Derby Dames during the New Skater Clinic and/or Bootcamp (three weeks of practices following the New Skater Clinic where the new skaters continue to learn basic derby skills before the entire league starts practices in October).
“Everyone was helpful and patient. If I didn’t understand something, they found a way to explain it so I would. Or, if I didn’t get it the first time, it was OK! Nobody ever made me feel stupid because I couldn’t do anything. They were also very encouraging, so when I couldn’t do it, they would continue cheering me on time after time!” -Slayer Swift
“They are badass women! They weren’t scary or intimating at all. Everyone was very willing to help with techniques and answer any questions.” -Maven O’Moxie
“A little intimidating at first, but super knowledgeable, and willing to help.” -Hug-o-War
Q. How was your experience during last year’s bootcamp?
“I was terrified of bootcamp. I have never been athletic in my life so I was sure I would die! It was not nearly as bad as I thought, it was a workout for sure, but it was fun! It was also a great way to start learning and practicing the basics (falling, getting up, stopping, etc). I would encourage anyone who has any slight interest in roller derby to attend the bootcamp!” -Slayer Swift
“I learned so much! I had a wonderful experience that enticed me to stick with derby and see what I can do if I don’t quit.” -Maven O’Moxie
“Really positive. I felt that the boot camp helped me enough that I wasn’t so nervous skating with more people on the track, and was able to work on skills to be a better skater.” -Hug-o-War
Q. What have you learned in the past year as a member of the Cornfed Derby Dames?
“I have learned that I am stronger than I think. Things I thought were impossible to do are actually possible, and I am doing them!” -Slayer Swift
“That derby is for all shapes and sizes and no matter your path, derby has a place for you.” -Sam U. Fine
“I’ve learned so much. I’ve learned to trust myself and my body more. I’ve learned to skate better than I imagined I could and have even started learning more strategy.” -Grim Trigger
Q. What is your favorite aspect of being a part of the Cornfed Derby Dames?
“This team is a family. Even as a super shy and quiet person who keeps to herself, it is easy to make friends and feel like a part of the team. I also love that when I am struggling with a particular skill or drill, there is no hesitation from other teammates to jump in and help!” -Slayer Swift
“I love the community. I’ve made so many great friends through derby and I’m so grateful for that. Additionally, we give back to the greater Muncie community through volunteering and donations, which makes our derby community feel even bigger.” -Grim Trigger
“How much every member of the team is valuable to the overall success of Cornfed.” -Maven O’Moxie
Q. Has your life changed or improved in the past year by being a part of the Cornfed Derby Dames? If so, how?
“As a mom and a wife with a full time job, I rarely take time to do anything for myself. Joining the Cornfed Derby Dames was a huge step out of my comfort zone. It was also one of the best decisions I made. I have been surrounded by so many amazing talented women from all different walks of life. It has also encouraged me to become a physically healthier person, as I eat better and exercise to be prepared for derby!” -Slayer Swift
“My life has improved a ton. I’m more active and motivated. My mental health is better when I’m skating regularly, which is a big deal for me. And I have more connections and friends around Muncie.” -Grim Trigger
“It has challenged me to step out of my comfort zone more; it’s a rewarding experience to see how far you can really go.” -Carpe Jugulum
Q. What would you say to someone who is considering coming to the New Skater Clinic this year but is uncertain?
“DO IT!! You never know what you’re capable of until you give it a shot. Everyone is kind, supportive and helpful… There’s nothing to be afraid of.” -Maven O’Moxie
“Do it!!!!!! Join us!!!!! Also I think a common misconception is that newbies start hitting each other right out of the gates. That’s definitely not how this works, so if you’re worried about that then know that your safety is our priority and we will only have you start hitting when we know you’re ready (probably at /least/ a month in). So now you have no excuse and you have to come!!” -Grim Trigger
“I would tell someone to go for it! You never know if you will find something that you love, and everyone on the team who is at the clinic is nice and supportive and won’t laugh at you even if you are a terrible skater.” -Hug-o-War
This year’s New Skater Clinic will be held at Gibson’s Skating Arena on Sunday, September 9, 2018, from 3-6pm. For more information, including how to register to participate, click here to visit the Facebook event page.