I may have mentioned how awesome roller derby is once or twice, but just in case there is any confusion on the matter... it is AWESOME. Last weekend was the awesomest of awesome, with the first German Roller Derby Championships here in Berlin. Five teams, seven bouts and it was... wait for it.... awesome.
As I'm still not on skates due to the pain in my ankle which, three months later, still doesn't allow me to bend it comfortably in certain directions and therefore is not particularly suited to wobble about on the top of four wheels, I wasn't skating. Well even if I had been on wheels I wouldn't have skated as a) I suck and b) the Berlin Bombshells don't suck and therefore I wouldn't have made it onto the team anyway.
Maybe next year. Or the year after. Or once they perfect body transplants and I can swap out my broken specimen for some young, fit thing.
So over the last couple of months I've been doing Non-Skating Official (NSO) jobs, mainly sitting in the penalty box and trying not to be hit by derby girls flying in on their knees.
For the Championship, three full NSO/Referee teams were put together from all over Europe and, as a full team is eighteen people to run a single bout, there was a lot of us. TestosteRon Jeremy, a ref from Helsinki crashed out our place for the weekend and Leon Dog Wonder fell in love with him.
Personally, I think it was the moustache.
Photo by Michael Wittig
There was something about being part of that group. I think it harks back to my theatre years, where as a lighting tech you were part of a team that runs in the background. Tight-knit, functional, doing your job while others are in the spotlight. I still get a frisson of excitement when I walk into a dark, empty theatre and look up into the Gods, and this was pretty similar.
I'm sure most people who know me find it unusual that I enjoy the jobs in the background so much, as I think we can all agree that I do have an ego the size of a small planet. Of course, I do now have a hoodie with my derby name printed across the back in big-arse letters, so it's not like I'm trying to be particularly shy and unassuming.
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