The Tryout Diaries: Lilly the Kid

By Roller Rookie Diaries August 16, 2023

Lilly the Kid

“Blockstars” Roller Rookie & Hired Gun

I started playing flat track roller derby in 2018 with a local team in my small hometown after I watched a TV show that had a roller derby episode and decided to do a quick little google search to see if roller derby was actually real. While I was still learning to skate, I met someone from Texas Roller Derby that inspired me to go watch my first TXRD bout. I’m pretty sure my jaw was on the floor throughout the entire bout. I was instantly obsessed with the talent of the skaters and how fast-paced and fun banked track roller derby is. I wasn’t old enough to try out for TXRD so I channeled my energy into becoming a bit of a superfan. Right when I felt I was starting to become a capable flat track skater, my derby journey was interrupted by the pandemic, and I didn’t touch my skates (or the gym, or really anything other than my couch and my laptop) for about 2.5 years.

Then, I saw that TXRD was having tryouts in September 2022. I probably talked myself into it, and then out of it, and then back into it (etc) 20+ times. I put my skates on the night before tryouts and rolled around in my apartment and it felt like being on skates for the first time again after being off of them for so long. (If you’re thinking of trying out and reading this, do as I say and not as I did–I should’ve gone to the Tryout Workshops to be better prepared). I was extremely concerned about not being “in shape” enough to hang during Roller Rookies having been so sedentary during the pandemic. In addition, having been a fan of TXRD for so long, I was familiar with and really looked up to lots of TXRD skaters and really did not want to embarrass myself in front of them at tryouts. It turns out that I needed to be worried about none of these things. The league is welcoming, and the Roller Rookie trainers are there to meet you where you are and then bring you up to where you need to be to find success in TXRD.

Trying out for TXRD and being accepted into the Roller Rookies program changed my life. Rookies, and subsequently the Hired Guns program, are extremely challenging but also just as rewarding and fun. The people that I was in Rookies with became some of my best friends that I love and cherish, and league members have shown me so much kindness and become a great support system that I know will show up for me when I need it. Physically and mentally challenging myself through TXRD has given me the opportunity to learn so much about myself and become better in ways I never would have otherwise.

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