I don’t play sport, much less watch it. As previously explained, going to sport events isn’t really my thing. The sporting lexicon really isn’t mine. I kinda thought that if I went along a few times I’d start to get it but I don’t. Which is to say, I get the way a crowd feels. I feel that swell of enthusiasm and excitement, but it’s the finer points I don’t get. That night I went to the rubgy, I heard my friend Dean when he explained the rules to me, and it kind of made sense but when I tried to translate that understanding to making sense of what was going on on the field I was all at sea.
The same thing happens with Roller Derby. Do you know what Roller Derby is? Popular opinion has it as a game where girls get violent on skates but that’s just a misconception. Actually it’s a game where a bunch of energetic women go around and around in circles and score points because of their skill and determination. There isn’t much in the way of violence. It’s just clever and sassy.
About a year or so ago we started going along to Roller Derby games in Canberra, largely because I’d been telling Sean that my friend Kylie of KGirlKnits was talking a lot about it and it caught his interest enough that when he saw tickets advertised, he thought what the hell, let’s go.
And it’s been fun. Really. We go every 6 weeks or so and for an evening I get to hang out with other enthusiasts and enjoy a Saturday night at a sporting venue. Honestly for me it feels a bit like a social experiment. I never really feel like I belong there but it doesn’t really matter. Going to the rugby wearing a borrowed jersey for the team helped me feel like I fitted in there. I didn’t expect that. Perhaps dressing up for derby would help?
I know that knitting at a sports event probably doesn’t help with that whole sense of feeling different, but it’s just what I do and really it’s a good thing because at the derby you get a sense that lots of people there are not quite mainstream. In the toilets at half time you get up close to some pretty awesome outfits and you get a sense that maybe it’s a place where you can just be yourself.
I buy a beer, some chips, knit something mindless and watch girls in funky outfits skate around in circles a lot. At some point it becomes clear there’s a real battle for points going on and I start to cheer along with everyone else, but mostly I’m just knitting and getting in the zone, watching the girls go around and around and wondering just how they gain points. I’ve read the rules, I just don’t get it. I know there’s a structure to how it happens but I can’t make my brain take it in.
This weekend, I decided that I just didn’t care anymore that I couldn’t follow the rules. It’s exciting to be in the middle of a cheering crowd, to be knitting, having a drink and feeling the swell of a supportive crowd.
It’s a great opportunity to get some easy knitting done. I’m up to the sleeves of my featherweight cardigan and I’ve decided to get them done in ten days. Wish me luck. There’s a lot of plain knitting to get done in a short space of time.