My life as a roller derby husband

It was lazy evening about three years ago when my wife and I decided to watch the film “Whip It”, particularly because my wife is a big fan of Drew Barrymore.  Throughout the movie, I could see that my wife was thoroughly entertained, but there was something else lurking behind her visage.  Little did I realize that watching that movie would change our lives forever.

In the days that followed we did a little research and I mentioned to her that Melbourne had its own roller derby league. She was surprised and excited, so we made plans to attend a bout. Being the newbies that we were, we decided to simply drive down to the venue to purchase tickets at the door. When we arrived, it was a line up of about 100 people and it was raining.  At the ticket counter, we learned that some bouts sell out several days in advance so we should get in early.

The event itself was memorable.  The game actually moved slower than I had expected.  Having grown up in the ‘80s, I was exposed to vintage roller derby with banked tracks and brawling babes.  This however was something much different.  It was more serious, and more strategic.  And while at first I was disappointed at the lack of spectacle, I began to appreciate it for what it was… a sport. After the bout, my bride talked incessantly about derby, and how she’d like to look into joining such a league.  The next several months involved looking up areas near us, training sessions, try-outs, rejection, skate purchases, bearing purchases, more try-outs, wheel purchases, eventually culminating in her attaining fresh meat status for the South Sea Roller Derby league.  It has been a whirlwind of emotions that had flung our lives around for now nearly a year before she finally reached the point she is now “Red Star”.

Kaylie has always been confident and straight-speaking; two traits of many which I admire most about her.  So this transformation into derby didn’t necessarily build confidence in her, but rather, it gave her purpose.  She had finally found an activity which she was deeply passionate about, (besides me of course). To be honest, I find it extremely fun to watch and we both also got some very nice friends out of it. Amidst the noise surrounding this new venture, her skating and derby skills are beginning to improve a lot.  I can still recall the day when she came home from practice to tell me that she finally (and suddenly) figured out how to do the turn around toe-stop.

We both still go to other bouts, either in a NSO (Non-skating Official) capacity or as a spectator, and we still get joy from the sport. So be it Blockbird 45rpm, Kaylie, or my darling wife, she has become the person that’s always been lurking beneath her surface, waiting to show the world what she can do. I’m so proud of her and and so begins our derby life.

Published by theirishduck

I love the ability where I can plan, prioritise, design, develop and deliver blended learning solutions for a variety of markets. I love to consult and advise about the best use of digital learning and improve design standards in line with evolving ways of working. I also enjoy to keep up to date with, understand and regularly recommend emerging technologies and practice to improve individuals, teams and organisational capabilities. With over 12 years digital learning experience and demonstrated experience in both instructional design and eLearning development, I have also a lot of experience conducting training needs analysis including how to leverage principles such as design thinking and root cause analysis to understand and address performance gaps. I also have led many facilitation workshops and even presented at iDesignX and Game Developers Conferences both here in Australia, Wales and in the United States. I bring loads of coding experience in Java, ASM, C++, HTML, JavaScript, SCORM and xAPI, as well as proven capability using Adobe Captivate, Trivantis Lectora and Articulate Storyline 360 Studio authoring programs. Of course, Adobe Creative Cloud is also part of my toolbox which I also use daily. Being taught traditional and advanced 3D animation techniques, I love hand drawing and polymer clay sculpture, but can also use the Blender, 3D Studio Max, Maya and Softimage applications. With strong multimedia, training and programming backgrounds, I understand modern learner behaviour including micro and social learning, I am very familiar with most LMSes and app-based (XCode and Android Studio), adult learning models and e-solutions. I also possess the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously, whilst being pro-active in delivering work independently with minimal supervision, but enjoy working in teams. I've been told I am a resilient, relationship focused guy which can manage and navigate conflicting views and stakeholders/subject matter experts.

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