Saturday was my first official bout as a member of my home team, the Knockouts, who is one of four teams with the Kansas City Roller Warriors. I have to say, as much as I loved it, the whole thing still feels a bit surreal.

I had to be at Municipal Auditorium early for an All Star scrimmage before our bouts, so when fellow KCRW newbie Ivanna Bereave and I showed up, the place was a ghost town. However, we were greeted with the kiosk at Municipal, and as we walked into the venue, we both were staring in complete awe as staff told us where to find our locker rooms.

I’m not even sure I have the words to describe how incredible it felt to walk into that place knowing it’s now my home.

Once the crowd starting rolling in, I helped a bit with merch — that felt pretty comfortable since that was my job with the Springfield Rollergirls. It was fun meeting long-standing KCRW fans, meeting the families of the girls I now call my sisters, and just sensing the excitement as a new season was about to kick off.

One of my favorite incidents of the evening happened as I was working the merch booth. A couple of little girls — I’d say 10 or 11 years old — were pointing out their favorite players, and one of them mentioned that fellow Knockout Cupcake Smasher was her very favorite Roller Warrior. So I asked Cupcake to go say hi to the girl. Cupcake said hi, gave her a hug, and the little girl screamed at the top of her lungs, nearly cried, said it was the best day ever, and ran away to likely tell her family. Absolutely loved it.

The Knockouts vs. Black Eye Susans bout was phenomenal. We played so well together, and from what I hear, it’s obvious that we’ve grown as a team. I love these girls so much, and despite losing by a mere 3 points in the final jam, it was a fantastic bout. And I’m hungry for more.

I guess it’s time to relieve the pains of my new bumps and bruises, the sore ribs, the aching muscles… Every scratch, every lumpy spot on my shin, and even the nights where I get home at midnight remind me just how in love with roller derby I happen to be.

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