I recently rediscovered the fun of roller skating, thanks to a friend-of-a-friend’s fundraising birthday party. Before this month I hadn’t skated since intermediate or high school and I can’t say I was ever very good at skating, but I remembered it being a lot of fun. And it still is!
The event we went to was an 80s themed breast cancer fundraiser and birthday party. Perfectly appropriate since the 80s are always fun for dress up, the last time most of us skated was in the 80s, and (sadly) the neon fashions from those days are back in fashion. I probably wouldn’t have gone if it weren’t for the dress-up component. I got into the spirit hunting down stirrup pants at the thrift store the night before. St Vinnie’s had a nice selection of genuine 80s awfulness – it was hard to choose which direction to go.
Getting back on skates was a bit scary. It took a lot of practice and switching my skates for a smaller pair before I felt comfortable. I had forgotten that its harder to skate on the carpet – it felt safer, but the smooth wooden floor was much better. I kept close to the wall or the handrails at first but eventually I felt like I knew what I was doing. Luckily the scene was very familiar – Skateland here and now was just like Skateland back in the day halfway around the world. It’s like entering a time warp except that the video games were slightly updated.
The 80s music was so much fun and we all felt so silly dressed up, we had a great time. I wore a fanny pack/bum bag to hold my camera and took a bunch of funny pictures.
By the way, I used to take roller skating as a sports elective in intermediate school. It was a good option for a non-sporty 12 year old girl – skating around with boys and girls, listening to music, wearing cool clothes that glowed during the black light skate – being able to take off our ugly camel and brown uniforms and put on fashionable clothes was a big part of the draw.
I want to go skating again soon, but only if there’s 80s music!
A week or two later we had even more roller skating fun, watching the Slaughter County Roller Vixens roller derby bout at the county fairgrounds. It’s the second time we’ve gone (although last time was at a Skateland, which was a little different) and I’m hoping to go again. I need to look up the date for the next bout – it might be the last of the season.
Don’t you love the name Slaughter County Roller Vixens? That was the old name for our county before it became Kitsap. I don’t remember who Mr Slaughter was…
We only stayed for the first bout between the local girls (I think it was the Death Rattle Rollers) and a team called Tough Love from the Bellingham Roller Betties. It was a bit dull at first because they were skating very defensively, but later the jams got pretty wild and we saw some great skating.
Just after half time there was an accident. Two girls ran into each other and one girl came down hard and hit her head. As soon as the refs saw that there was an injury everyone took a knee. It looked like she was knocked out, and when the trainers went to move her it became obvious that she had a head injury. Someone called 911 and everybody waited quietly waiting for the paramedics to arrive and load the skater onto a back board and gurney. I really hope she was OK.
I missed the hit because I was taking photos, but when I reviewed my pictures I realized I had caught a picture of the skater hitting the ground. I hope it’s not offensive to show it here.
All of the skaters are incredible. They skate so well and they take a lot of hits and falls. The sport is not violent, but it is rough. Some of the girls are big and tough looking, others are small and speedy. They have great names and great uniforms. After watching roller derby for a few minutes I was ready to put on a pair of short shorts or torn tights – to hell with anyone who doesn’t think they look good.
We didn’t stay for the main event – the local team TerrorMedixxx vs Seattle’s Rat City Roller Girls Rain of Terror. The teams looked awesome warming up but we were hungry and tired. Next time we’ll go late and catch the second headliner bout.
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