Sunday, October 10, 2010
Being a derby girl can be a very challenging task on a day to day basis. Most people see the big production on a Saturday night everyone dress to impress. Putting on their game faces to give a good show of sportswomanship to our fans. But it's much more than that.....
Each of us have day jobs, husbands, wives, children, significant others, pets or any combination of the mentioned. On a daily basis we have to make the choice (sometimes difficult) to go to a practice and leave the ones we love so that we can get better at the sport we equally love. We practice our hearts out! Sometimes you get praised while other times you get criticized. The praise we love, but the critical comments can make you wonder if you really want to continue doing this sport that you thought you were good at and enjoyed doing.
So after being sick for 3 weeks and being benched 3 bouts in a row all with good reasons :0) or so the captains explained, I decided it was time to get my head back into the game. I was feeling healthy, I decided that although I had been feeling angry and not really worthy of playing the game I've grown to love, it was time to put all that negative feeling aside and be a positive member of my team and put on my game face.
So June 9th I geared up for our scrimmage and got in the game. I had some amazing hits that landed people on their butts. And then it happened...... I got nailed, which for those who watch know that doesn't happen very often. But I went down and couldn't get back up. We had a Doc on site that day which doesn't happen very often. He came an assessed my knee and said I was fine put ice on it and learn to control my falls. HEHEHE easier said than done in derby. A week later still not able to skate or even walk without pain, I decided to go to my own Doc. Come to find out I had partially torn both my PCL and LCL ligaments in my right knee. This putting out of the game for 6-8 weeks at least.
When you get injured you get to see the life you leave behind every time you decide to go to that practice. And I must say it is easier to sit and do nothing than make yourself go to a practice that is going to make you tired and sore. So after 8 weeks I tried to get back into the swing of things that is derby but my knee still didn't feel quite right and I wasn't really feeling the love of the game that I had pre-injury/illness. Then we go into the off season so no real pressure to go to practice. But now it's October - Pre-Season to The year of the Fury and I've not really been active in derby for 4 months. I had gone to a couple of practices and felt OK.
Now is the time to get my head back in the game. When I started derby I wasn't afraid to get hurt and I always knew it was "when" not "if" I got hurt when it came to derby. Although now I'm not so much afraid as I am cautious about my previous injury. I'm making a new commitment to my team to give 100% of what I have. I believe now that my injury couldn't have come at a better time. I was negative and my head wasn't in the game. I was to wrapped up in my own feelings that I was a better player than what I was being given credit for.
So here I am to humble myself and offer up the knowledge that I have and listen to the knowledge and wisdom of others and make this the most FURIOUS YEAR EVER.
Love to all my Furies, to our fans and all of ECRG.
p.s. I'm not as bad at spelling as I thought, but thank goodness for spell check.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Might as well be.
Your first thought: My derby career is over!
Your second thought: Oh my god, I'm going to lose this fine derby booty!
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Identity, it’s the way we define ourselves. Who we are, what we do, our goals, passions, and vices all wrapped up into one tiny ball. After my college career ended, I was floundering – adrift in a sea of possibilities, convinced that the universe had lied to me. There was supposed to be a path you see. Get good grades, go to University, find that thing that drives you, meet up with your other half, and come out the other side a better, brighter, more perky you. Yet four years and forty thousand dollars later, I was no closer to figuring out who I was going to be in this world than when I started. Where was that spark that was supposed to change my life forever?
When you meet someone new there seems to be this standardized set of questions that goes with the getting to know you game. Where are you from, what do you do, who are you? Now you’re conveniently classified in five sentences or less. I used to make jokes to cover for the boring job and the complete lack of motivation. Nowadays I answer with pride and say “I am a derby girl”. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t the summation of everything I am, merely the realization of things I’ve always wanted to be.
Derby came into my life at a time where I was looking to be inspired. I went to my first bout and got a peek into a world filled with strong, independent, stunningly badass women. Needless to say I was hooked. For the first time in a long while I wanted to do more than just skate (excuse the terrible pun) through life. Every fiber that made up the fuzzy sweater of my being wanted to be one of those fishnet clad ladies. So I strapped wheels to my feet, despite never having done so before, and got determined.
Pretend to be a stranger, come up and ask me how I like playing derby: I love it. Derby is the anticipation before the fall, the perfect clarity of focus, the highest spike of adrenaline, and the drive to be great. I’m sure you’ve heard similar sentiments from sports enthusiasts of other cults. I’d contend though that the difference between them lies not just in the people that play the game but the way the game changes people. Confidence, charm, kindness, intelligence, fearlessness, and a work ethic to die for; all traits I’ve found in those I’m lucky enough to call my comrades. All things I’ve consequently found within myself. The most miraculous thing about this game is its transformative power- It allows those weighted down by the shackles of life to break free and become legends (even if only in their own minds).
Roller Derby . . . it may not be for the faint of heart, but it helped me to find mine.
Friday, April 30, 2010
Then I heard about Roller Derby, I went to the first two Bouts and was a HUGE fan!! I thought I was to old, (I'm 49) But, by the second Bout I couldn't stand it, they announced tryouts and I wanted to play...I found some 80's skates on Craigs List for $40 and was at Skate World 4 nights a week practicing for two weeks before tryouts and made the League.
I was obsessed...that was all she wrote...I love Roller Derby.
Then I got Drafted to the Flat Track Furies. That's when the most amazing part came into play...I don't even know if I can find the words to describe it:
Highlight of my life?
I'll never forget it?
It's called Team Loyalty and Love and it is indescribable..Thank you ECRG and Thank you Furies I LOVE YOU!!
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Darrah-lict here! I am ready to start partially severing my derby ties to make room for the next amazing new experience, becoming a mom! But now that I come to it I realize how profoundly derby has affected my life and I am grieving this loss.
I joined the league in May 2007 having not skated since I was a preteen. Team Cizzle became the Flat Track Furies. I started out as a blocker and in my second season unexpectedly blossomed into jamming. I joined the travel team and became a team captain (blah, blah). Derby fosters growth; teaches leadership, confidence, and tolerance; creates amazing friendships, and women become athletes! I am most thankful for the constant companionship of top notch women and the friendships that have developed over the years.
Dear Furies and Skatesaphrenics,
Thanks for so much darn fun! I LOVE roller skating with you tough wenches. Thanks for helping me become a better person. Thanks for letting me be your captain. GRATITUDE AND LOVE to you!
Monday, April 12, 2010
Why would I do this to myself? Why do I schedule my days to the quarter-hour? Why is it that I try to bring so many things into balance?
That's exactly why- balance. Roller Derby brings balance to my life.
It offers an excuse to exercise (versus an excuse to NOT exercise). It gives me an outlet for aggression. These may seem minor, but are actually critical to my hapiness, stress-release, and ability to be a great mom.
I work and now study in the field of Special Education. In this area of my life, I am reminded of the importance of language, constantly aware of what I am saying and how I am saying it. It is a battle of censorship- not of ideas, but of appropriate expression of ideas to maximize their reception. Most folks in the professional world have experienced this at some point in time. Derby is where I can go and be myself and not censor my language (always maintaining respect, of course). Where I don't have to be articulate to be understood and respected.
Roller derby has also offered me an outlet for my leadership skills as well as my need to belong to something worthwhile. Here I can step up (or not) and know that I will always have a voice if I choose to participate.
Mostly, derby has brought balance to my definition of myself as a feminist. In the world of academia, it was easy to hold onto and practice the beliefs that fell under my definition of feminism. It is harder to do that in the "real world." The act of living life often diffuses these strongly-held beliefs. One day I realized that I was quietly subscribing to all the repressive institutions I had worked to expose and change. But what could be done? Where was a group that stood for something and did something about it?
Then I discovered Emerald City Roller Girls. Here was a place where female was held in the highest regard! Where women are strong AND sexy (and I mean really f'ing strong). Where women came in all shapes and sizes and where there was a places for all these differences.
So tomorrow, when I eat dinner in class, rush to the sitter's, then over to my teammate's house to throw in a workout before making it home just in time to cuddle for one bedtime story (and I mean one story, mister), I will breathe deep and remind myself of BALANCE.
Monday, March 29, 2010
A few months ago I “turned” 50. I celebrated by throwing a big party, well supported in various ways by my derby sisters. This week, a belated birthday present arrived which celebrates both my birthday and my experiences as my derby alter ego, Blue Ruin. This puts me in a reflective mood. And I am supposed to write a blog for my Furies team… perfect timing.
It all started out as a joke. While dating a man from Kansas, he started calling me “Snot Rocket”, the name of a Kansas City derby girl. We kidded each other that I could be a derby girl but I really didn’t know what I was talking about; I had never skated much as a kid much less watched roller derby.
Then we tried to go the Fall Brawl, the first Emerald City Roller Girls bout. Sold out. Though I didn’t know it at the time, I caught a glimpse of my future as we left the venue, walking through a gauntlet of derby girls. A few weeks later I saw a flyer for tryouts and I thought I’d go, just to take the joke one step further. So I went to what the league called “open recruitment” where you could join the team if you could stand up on skates and pay $30 a month. I was 47 at the time.
Not quite 3 years later and I’m still crazy in love with roller derby. It is a physically and intellectually demanding sport that gets played in a socially and interpersonally complex, and woman-centric community. I have never been so consistently challenged… sometimes it is strictly physical – can I make it through this practice? Why does my knee hurt so bad? At some moments it is emotional – how do I cope with that girl trying to hit me and knock me down without taking it personally and wanting to hit her back because I’m mad and not because it will help my jammer? There are times when I get so frustrated and throw myself a pity party because I can’t grasp the next level of strategic elements of the game. And then of course, there is dealing with winning and loosing… at times gracefully and other times not so much.
What does this have to do with being 50? In so many ways, my age has absolutely nothing to do with the game; and that in and of itself is one of the greatest pleasures of roller derby for me – my age & general experience really doesn’t offer me any particular advantage or disadvantage on or near the track. I get to work and struggle to succeed at this crazy sport just like every other woman on the league, an amazing group of smart, talented, savvy, creative, tough, caring women.
I’m not sure roller derby has saved my soul but it has certainly made at least three years of my “mid life” very very interesting.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Founded by our very own Fury, Vexine, in 2008, the Junior Gems personify the best things that derby offers -- fierce competition, every-body-type inclusion and athleticism, skill development, sportswomanship, sisterhood, positive conflict resolution, grassroots organizing, adult-to-teen/tween and peer-to-peer mentorship, and FUN! Vexine worked tirelessly to create a league that could offer these young women the same opportunities their older counterparts enjoyed. With a strong and dedicated volunteer corps of adult derby girls, refs, NSOs, parents, and friends-of-derby, the Gems have successfully hosted summer camps, twice-weekly practices, fundraising events, promotional appearances, and raucous bouts throughout their two 7-month seasons. Additionally, many of the stronger and more skilled Gems continue to play on the full-contact travel team, competing against other junior derby leagues around the Pacific Northwest in the late spring and summer.
Big plans are in play for next season as the Gems work out their growing pains by creating two divisions within their league. One division will welcome any young skater, regardless of derby knowledge or ability to develop their skills and learn the game from the ground up. The other division will feature more experienced junior derby girls who are interested in playing full-contact, full-time. If the last two seasons are any indication, the Emerald City Junior Gems will continue to produce some of the smartest, fastest, and most savvy derby girls the world has ever seen!
15 March 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Friday, January 15, 2010