1. Learning roller derby is more like a marathon than a race. Everyone learns at different speeds, depending on lots of different factors (cross-training, previous experience, how much you practice, etc.). If you can’t do everything right now, don’t give up – just keep skating and practicing and watching more and more derby.
2. Bitches are gonna try it. Whether it’s on the track or off, you are dealing with different types of people from all walks of life. Derby is full of characters, and some you will get along with better than others. If someone pisses you off, ignore it and then release every bit of energy you have on the track. You’ll feel better in the end, and you’ll probably avoid jail time.
3. It’s good to have derby role models and mentors. Pick someone and watch how they skate. Look at the little things – how they are positioning their feet, how they’re holding their weight – and try to copy what you see. I choose to watch rollergirls with similar height/weight/stature. I also pay attention to the derby girls that are awesome at communicating and respecting other rollergirls.
4. Derby wives are awesome. I got derby-hitched last month, and I seriously love my derby wife. We talk to each other about everything, and we always try to encourage and listen to one another. She’s also a really good rollergirl, and it’s awesome to see her grow as a skater. She’s my best derby fren.
5. Push yourself, but always have fun and never stop living your life. Sometimes derby can be stressful. You always want to make sure you’re being competitive and challenging yourself, but remember: derby is FUN. Derby is your release. Derby is therapeutic, in a Fight Club kinda way. But derby should not be your entire life (unless you want it to be). There are other things I like to do (I’m a burlesque-kitten-in-training, I write short stories, I hang with friends who don’t own skates, etc.) and I always find myself needing to take breaks for my “old” life. This is not a bad thing.
Until next time, with lots of derby love,