It’s been a while since we last talked. In that time, I was drafted to my hometeam, the Heartless Heathers. Yey!
It’s been a big change from trying to show my stuff (usually meant going offense, etc) to trying to mesh with my teammates and work well together. A fun, new adventure.
Speaking of a fun new adventure. Guess who went to Maui? Moi.
Oregon put together a team of skaters from all around the state (and some from Washington state) to fly out for Maui Roller Girls’ 5th birthday. Happy birthday, Maui! The league had a few days of bootcamps with Mel Mangles (Rose) and Killer Kelly (Rat — and founder of Maui Roller Girls) before taking on the Oregon team.
It’s been seven months since I skated for my small league in Maine. Seven months is enough time to get nostalgic, but also to forget a little about how hard it is to be in a small, new league.
Maui isn’t all that new, but it is a touristy island. As I understand it, people come and people go. Skaters come and go. So, although MRG is five, a lot of their skaters aren’t. Lots of turnover.
It was sort of a plane flight back into time (Maui, Maine, totally similar, right?) watching these ladies hold their walls together, learn the intricacies of bridging, etc. And it was a lot of fun. MRG found a bout space in a hangar (more on that in a sec), so we were out of the rain. The game was close and ultimately Oregon won. But with an after-party in a thatched-roof Hawaiian canoe club open to the sandy beach along the bay, let’s be real, we all won.
After the bout was over, I stayed for another Maui practice. Maybe you’ve read elsewhere about Maui’s space. High rents mean no real home, so these ladies skate outside. This is nice when it’s sunny, but Maui is a bipolar island with a chunk of (beautiful) mountains — on one side of the island it’s usually sunny and gorgeous. On the other side, torrential rains fall sporadically. Guess which side the league is on.
Thankfully, the weather held on the night I skated outside with them. (And thankfully, they found a place to bout inside) All it took was them setting up a bunch of lights (in a very creative way — attached outdoor lights to poles, put poles through wood horses. See pic above. Easy. Cheap. One extension chord did the trick, I think) And man was it fun. It was fun to play with varying skill levels and intensities. I remembered my roots a little clearer and how fun and frustrating learning to play this sport is at that stage. And how much enthusiasm and love it takes.
So, thanks Maui! Thanks for playing with me, putting me up and letting me practice with you.