A New Challenge

I’m a Roller Derby widower.  Like a golf or football widow, just a different sport and I’m a bloke.

Vicky [wife] aka Brace Kelly 53 has been skating and bouting for 2 years now, even being featured in Woman magazine (UK).


So if you can’t beat them, join them right?

Except I’ve now got to strap 4 wheels to each foot, don pads, helmet and mouth guard and somehow stay upright!

Am I going to replace my ultrarunning?  No, not at all.  But I needed something different, challenging and that would test me physically in ways I haven’t been tested before.

The other massive side benefit is that to be a competent skater I’m realising very quickly that I need to be a lot more flexible than I currently am.  Therefore I’m having to stretch more in order to progress.

Now I don’t know anyone who says they enjoy stretching.  There probably are people, but I’m not one and don’t know any.  But that inner perfectionist in me knows I have to do more if I want to be better.

As a result, I’m expecting my running form to get a whole load better too.  Not only am I working complimentary muscle groups (glutes, abductors, core) as well as cardiovascular system, I’m also increasing my flexibility ….. well that’s the theory anyway!

As I write this post I’ve spent approximately 6 hours on ‘quads’ (skater language for skates with 2×2 wheels rather than inlines) in 4 sessions.  2 were roller disco (i.e. Just skating) and the other 2 were Derby training sessions.


It’s hard work.  Balance, composite, confidence and technique all need to come together to enable it to look effortless.

So the next step is for me to pass my ‘mins’, kind of like a certificate of competence and from there I’ll be able to then compete in full contact bouts!

I’ll leave you with a few photos of Vicky in action for now.  But go onto YouTube and search Roller Derby if you want to see what it looks like in a bout.


Photo’s courtesy of Laura MacDonald (insta: @leapylees)

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