I had the awesome opportunity to attend a roller derby boot camp in Trondheim, Norway last weekend. Not only was it an excuse to play roller derby, but it was also a chance to visit a dear friend of mine as well! Gotta love the international social group 🙂
It took awhile to get there (derby practice, home, pack, bus to Dublin, flight to Amsterdam, finally made it to Norway) and I couldn’t wait to land. The view from the plane was snow, snow and more snow! I regretted my habit of never checking the weather report and hoped I had brought warm enough clothes.
Maria’s lovely face met me at the airport and we buzzed through the outskirts of Trondheim. The airport is actually located right by a city called Hell, so now I can say in all honesty that I’ve been to Hell and back.
We drove out to the farm where Maria lives with her husband Sebastian and some of his family. The farm reminded me a bit of the film ‘Seven Brides for Seven Brothers’ in that random male relatives (brothers, cousins, uncles) kept randomly appearing from various locations around the farm. So many people to meet!
Maria had to go to work and I took the longest and most needed nap of my life. I’ve never seen Norway with this much daylight (last time I visited it was winter) but I didn’t take advantage of it that day!
Saturday and Sunday were derby days, hosted by Nidaros Roller Derby. The days were tiring, but awesome to play with derby skaters from around the world! I also had the chance to play my first roller derby game with a random mix of skaters against the Nidaros Killer B’s, who had their original opponents cancel on them last minute.
We were coached by the awesome Quadzilla, a skater/coach and all around derby expert from the Pacific Northwest. He was awesome! We lost, but not by very much for a team that had literally met each other that day.
Playing with an international group of skaters is probably the best way I know to really get good at derby. Having a team of women who have skated together for years is great, and that level of teamwork is hard to beat. But, if you’re looking to be an all-around fantastic derby player, play with people you don’t know. You have to rely on your team that much more, and you’ll always learn new things from derby skaters from different leagues.
When I wasn’t getting all stinky at derby I was hanging out with Maria, Sebastian and a few of the other Norwegian posse I got to know. The farm was peaceful and quiet, and the weather mostly cooperated to give me a couple beautiful days in Norway! I missed getting to do the touristy things, but I’ll be back.