We hear a lot about people returning to skating for various reasons; Life took over and they had to take a derby break, they’ve been injured and are (very bravely!) returning, and one of the best reasons to have to take a break – having a baby! We got a lot of little birdies that hatched this year; here is the story of our very own Mint Collision’s return to skating after pregnancy. – Cali
I took my first, very faltering steps into the world of Roller Derby in 2010 and ever since then, I’ve been hooked. I love the feeling of freedom that comes from having wheels under my feet and LRB have become like a second family to me.
Early in 2013, I had to temporarily hang up my skates as I was suffering from what is known in the trade as the ‘9 Month Injury’. I was pregnant. With twins! Mini Mint (girl baby Tabitha – Derby name Stabitha) and Mini Collision (boy baby Eames – Derby name Screames) arrived into the world in September and 6 long weeks later, I was finally given the all clear to start skating again. I couldn’t wait! I was excited and terrified in equal measure.
I joined our Hatchling (pre-minimums) group in order to re-pass my minimum skills assessment so that I would be able to scrimmage and attend post-minimum training sessions. As I excitedly and nervously laced up my skates for the first time in over 9 months, I wondered whether I would remember how to stand up, let alone skate! Thankfully, a few wobbly laps of the track later and the joy of having wheels under my feet came flooding back.
This time around, there were new minimums to pass – bigger, better, faster minimums. Gone were the days of 25 in 5, now it was 27 in 5 with the addition of new skills like 360 transitions and backwards skating. Every Saturday, somewhat bedraggled and dazed from lack of sleep, I strapped on my skates and practiced the new skills with my fellow Hatchies under the guidance of our supportive and encouraging coaches. Thankfully I still had the muscle memory that enabled me to remember how to skate, it was mostly a case of learning the new skills and building up my fitness and confidence on the track again. An extra two laps may not seem like a lot, but I was so happy when I finally got the magical 27 after being stuck on 26 for what felt like forever.
The big day arrived at last and on Saturday 1st February 2014, the rules test had been passed (thankfully NSO’ing whilst pregnant had helped a lot with learning the new rule set), the skills were all ticked off, the papers were signed and I was officially a Bird, again! I felt just as happy and proud as I did the first time around.
I can’t wait to get back on track with all my fellow Birdies and I’m pretty sure it won’t be long until the twins are lacing up skates of their own and we can set up a Junior LRB team!