From Kitten to Cat

Today we’re featuring the first of many guest blogs by our very own kitten Lock N Load Lois as she works her way to becoming a Cat – passing minimum skills – she fills us in on her journey so far…

Where to start…. I’m Donna Howard, married to Nathan, mum of two awesome skater dudes, I work as a practice nurse and I’m in my very very late 20’s. Derby rocks what more can I say?

I saw my first bout in August 2010, WWC v Hot Wheels, and that was it – hooked.

I’d seen Whip It of course – who hasn’t? Then when I saw an advert for the Wakey Wheeled Cats bout in Huddersfield a few weeks later I thought I’d make one in. Cliché but true it changed my life.

That day I saw a gang of girls working together to make things happen, supporting and encouraging each other to play faster and harder, a team greater than the sum of its parts. I told my husband there and then I’m gonna join them.

“Nice”, came the reply, “but you’re going to have to toughen up”.

So I sent an e-mail to recruitment and waited. In the meantime I bought e-bay skates pads n helmet n got in the back garden. After what seemed an eternity (but wasn’t really!) I got an e-mail about a recruitment day off I went. I’m not what you might call a natural but I don’t care. Natural ability can take you so far but it’s the achievement from the hard work that makes it worthwhile. That was Nov 2010 and I’ve never looked back.

Sure it’s not all roses – I’ve ached and moaned and thought I’d never get anywhere near as good as the Cats, but despite all this I never really wanted to give up – skating’s ace!

I’ve been having a think about a skate name, it feels like one of the biggest decisions I’ve ever made, ask any derby girl, the musings of the name take over your mind! I’ve googled the subject, asked friends, watched the credits of films trying to find a name I could warp a little to create some enigmatic awesome alter ego, my other half thinks I’m a bit of a Lois Griffin (cartoon hottie or neurotic housewife I’m not sure?) anyway I like a bit of alliteration so decided on Lock N Load Lois.

My skate number is 93 it refers to the year me n my chap met – I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am now without him.

I’ve seen kittens come and go, kittens turn into Cats and now my turns coming. It’s the nature of derby to make you feel completely free and totally empowered whilst at the same time creating a sense of panic second to none. I keep practicing all the basics and most of them seem to have sunk in, there’s still the elusive plough stop though. Simple enough for some but I really struggle.

The best thing about coming up to minimum skills testing is the doors it opens – scrims, cherry poppers things which six months ago seemed unattainable are now almost in reach, we all know that its not an over night thing that there is still tonnes of hard work and practice once the test is done but its there, waving at me, inviting me into the world of roller derby.

So that’s me, I’m hoping to write a few lines after each practice to give a feel for how things are progressing and share my roller ramblings xxx

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