All of the following photos are courtesy Steve Yates, Kansas City Star.
Many of my friends, family and teammates are posted in the Kansas City Star's Dead Girl Derby album here: http://mingle.kansascity.com/photos/2012/dead-girl-derby-night-of-the-loving-dead/#slide-1
My first game was everything I could have ever hoped for. While I did not feel that my performance was the spectacular debut I wanted, I am incredibly proud of both myself and my team. Then to be able to look over and see what was virtual a Mel Breakdown Cheering Section—there are no words for the love I felt.
The night before the game, I couldn't sleep because I kept having dreams and nightmares about the game. Gameday itself was spent skating, eating and putting on makeup with teammates, partly for team bonding and largely to keep our minds occupied so we didn't freak out. When fans started showing up at the rink, I took a few laps every five minutes or so just to calm my nerves.
Ultimately, the Royal Pains fell to the Shotgun Sheilas in a hard-fought game. Things were a little sloppy and definitely looked like the first game of the season, but everyone left their hearts on the track and I have no regrets.
I know that I need to skate even faster, and work on hitting with my hips. My brain knows to hit with my hips, but my body wants to hit with my shoulders. It's not very effective. These are my top two personal goals for next game.
More photos to come tomorrow!