Derby Practice/Reunion

Ah man, for the first time in quite some time, I am SO excited for roller derby practice. I currently belong to a little league with a whole lot of drama and not a lot of support. I’m not 100% sure why we can’t pull our shit together for 12 consecutive months, but we can’t. That’s that. I could point a finger and blame this person or this leader, but what good would it do? It’s a team. And you are only as strong as your weakest link…. or something like that.

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My girls Patch, Syn and Rosco, with me, #104

I think the heart of it, the heart of any successful derby league, is good ol’ derby love. There is debate within the derby community on whether this should be more team-like or more familial and, honestly, both sides have fair points. The real point is just love. A posse of women of all ages and sizes, supporting and encouraging each other through something that is physically taxing. Somehow that support then reaches into corners of the women’s off track lives, even if unintentionally. Derby girls are fierce. They are powerful. They are also flawed and human. Sometimes that power and competitive nature comes out against one’s own teammates. Sometimes it manifests only in healthy, on-track ways. The greats, are tough beasts on the track that will knock anyone in their way on their ass. They train hard, scrimmage hard, and challenge themselves and their teammates without tearing either down. Once the bout is over, they hug skaters from both teams, pose for photos, expand their ever-growing derby family and get ready for the after party. God damn, derby can be such a beautiful thing.

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Post Bout Photo with the Opposing Team and All Officals

Alas, my own team seems to barely be limping along. It has been one of the biggest aspects of my life for two years. Whether practicing, bouting, volunteering, training, socializing, or supporting, these were my people. I did things i had no idea my body could do. My teammates did too. We all celebrated together. I sweat more than a person would like to admit. They just took pictures and gave me high fives. They were there there for my 30th birthday and took me to a drag show.

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Dressed up for a drag show. Rosco, Action Jackson, me, and Power Bottom

They were there when I just barely came out as a big ol’ gay girl this summer. We went to what is possibly the world’s smallest Pride in a small Idaho town just 30 miles away. We had a blast. One of my teammates and friends also came out this summer. She went too. We were a team. Friends. Family. Support. Hell, a few of the teammates were even lovers. 😉

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Little Tiny Baby Pride with Jilly, me, Kitty, Shots, Rosco and Dirty Dani

Those times seem to be over. Or at least on hold. With moves, injuries, new lives, marriages, babies, derby rosters have a lot of turnover. Or at least ours does. We are down to a feeble few. Tonight though, one of my dearest friends and my derby wife is coming to skate. Quite a few of the OG’s are making an appearance. It’s gonna be glorious. If nothign else, I will feel like I have a team. There will be women there who just love each other and who love to skate. I. Am. So. Excited.

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Roller Derby is Rad. That’s me in the gold helmet. 
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Roller Derby Love

Man, every now and then, absence really does make the heart grow fonder. I mean, at least in the case of roller derby.

roller derby team pic

I have been skating for a local league since June 2014 and fell in love with the sport almost immediately. With the pending divorce, separation, moving, figuring out the best kids’ schedules, and nurturing a surprise romance with my now girlfriend, I decided to take a bit of a leave for September and October. November started the regularly scheduled season break so in total, I’m taking almost FIVE FREAKING MONTHS off of roller derby. It seemed like a glorious idea at the time. Actually. I do think it was the best choice, but hot damn I miss skating. I miss bruises. I miss that god-awful smell. I miss too many squats followed by too many nachos. I miss seeing my extra family way too much. I miss fangirling because some super cool veteran skater hit me and *this* time I didn’t immediately fall. I just miss derby. WFTDA championships only reignited that love. (PS Congrats Rose City. Way to be total badasses and rep for the entire Pacific Northwest.)

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I am not really sure how to balance everything else in my life: career, family, relationship, and life, with derby right now. But I do know I am not ready to let my derby self just slip away into nothing. I need to make a plan and stick with it. And I should probably consider getting off my ass a few times this fall/winter so I can skate without dying come January. 😀

L. OnWheels Roller Derby 2015