First off: Happy Halloween! This is my favorite time of year, mostly because of the fall weather and partly because I’m a big kid that still likes to dress up. Usually I party it up on Halloween night, but between my Muggle job (which is blowing up because of midterm elections), derby practice, derby business, working on my graphic novel and just life-in-general, I’m actually kinda exhausted. I think I’ll be taking it easy tonight. (Still dressing as Ramona Flowers, though.)
Our first bout is in a little less than a month, so I’ve been kicking up my solo practices a notch and skating like a crazy woman in my apartment’s parking garage. My neighbors are actually used to it by now. One of them, a really nice dude in a wheelchair, usually gives me layperson pointers while smoking cigarettes. You would think this annoying, but he actually has a great eye for precision (“I noticed you picked that back leg up when you turned around,” he’s said, taking a long drag. “You seemed more solid.”). You make all types of friends doing derby. Not weird at all.
Anyway, league practice is back in full swing. My derby wife and I were talking on the way to practice when we realized that it was our derbyversary (derby anniversary)! Time has really flown – we’ve been on the league a full year now. Guess we’re not newbies anymore…
I don’t really know what this means except maybe an extra layer of pressure to not suck. And it’s also time to take a trip down memory lane with the motherload of pics I’ve taken during my derby journey. Most of these come from my Instagram – if you’re on there, follow me @BBAggro.
So yeah, here goes… my derby story (so far).
Started as a volunteer, doing face painting for the kiddies (and a couple of adults). Thought the volunteering would be fun, never thought I’d be interested in actually playing roller derby. Boy was I wrong….
I went to the skating rink by myself one random night, rented some shitty skates, and promptly fell flat on my ass. Got shin splints after like 10 minutes. My thighs hurt. A lot. Realized I was kinda skinny-fat and generally unhealthy. Felt old. Went home, ate lots of ice cream, watched Whip It and felt a little sorry for myself. Boourns.
I knew that if I wanted to do this, I was gonna have to go all in and do it right. I saved some money and one random day I popped over to Department of Skate with a friend and bought a full set of gear. There was no turning back… partly because I love rollerskating and partly because holy shit I spent a lotta money. I went with Antik Spyders because I have wobbly skinny little ankles and I loved the support. (I switched out the plates though… Tritons are the woooorst.)
The investment paid off. Felt a lot safer on real roller derby skates with pads. Started skating more and more. And more. I still had a car back then, so I would drive out to different rinks as often as possible and just skate. I also started practicing transitions in my apartment, which turned out to be incredibly helpful in the long run. Became a rink rat, met other derby hopefuls and rink rats, and started to seriously fall in love with this sport. I also got my mouthguard stuck in my mouth for about 30 minutes… that was fun.
I learned how to clean my skates and felt like a fucking boss. Take care of your skates, y’all… I’ve been slipping lately but I used to do monthly cleanings (I do a lot of outside skating). One day soon I’ll post links to all the vids I used to help learn how to take skates apart and clean them from top to bottom.
I also started noticing crazy changes to my body – my butt was getting bigger, my thighs more defined… I started to fall in love with my ass. No shame here – this is the brick house that derby built.
Pretty soon, I found myself in boot camp and getting ready for tryouts. I ended up making the league, but even if I didn’t, I’m sure I would still be skating… derby has a way of becoming a part of who you are. I was drafted to the DemonCats. Actually played a bout. Made some friends with a few amazing women who will probably be my friends for life.
I got derby-hitched to one of those amazing women, a teammate named Simmie Simmie Coco Puff (lol I love her name, it’s hilarious). She is very different from me, but that’s why I love her. We’ve gotten really close this past year, and I still remember when she asked (rather nonchalantly) if I would be her derby wife. I responded (rather dramatically) with a resounding yes. The rest is derby history. She keeps me sane, puts me in check sometimes, is always there with advice (or a ride to practice), and inspires me with her athleticism. And she bakes. What more could a girl ask for?
And that pretty much leaves us here, at Season 9. Of course a lot has happened that I didn’t mention in this post, but it’s all here on this blog, in the archives.
I can’t wait to see where derby takes me next, what new friends I’ll make, what changes will happen to my body now that I’ve kicked everything up a notch. It’s all pretty exciting…