Posts Tagged ‘freshmeat’

(In which Omega waxes poetic and might even shed a single tear over that whole derby = family thing)

I kind of attract car issues. It’s my only flaw (ladies). Usually though, the saving grace is that these car issues only happen to my cars and therefore everyone else is only mildly inconvenienced by being the passenger in a broken car.

Our recent trip to Long Island to bout Strong Island Derby Revolution did not fare the same way and the end result had me hanging out, alone, in New Jersey for three days waiting for Judy Attitudy’s car to be fixed so I could drive it back to Massachusetts for her (without a GPS, but with a dead phone) [This plan makes sense because I have no job and Judy does, so there]. While I hung out in the Super 8 watching cable and eating convenience store Pringles, Derby people texted once every other hour making sure I was okay.

As you can see, I cut my hair while in the hotel

And that, my friends, brings us to the crux of this post: derby people are just nice

When I first joined roller derby I was terrified. Everyone was more fit than me, they had more friends than me, they had more tattoos than me, and they all had their friends and groups and jokes that I just didn’t have. Never mind all that– they could skate. So when I fell on my butt six trillion times just during warm ups I was certain I would never return just because there was no way I could fit in with these people and their hardcore roller skating ways. But then I fell again, and someone helped me up. They gave me pointers and got me on my feet. Of course, I fell again– but then someone else helped me up. And it kept happening all through practice. I would fall; someone would help me. The more I skated the more I fell. And after months and months of training I had someone help me up every time. Maybe not physically, but they certainly gave me pointers and encouragement and moral support. (This is totally starting to sound like one of those cheesy life metaphors. Whatever.) Suddenly I had new friends, and jokes with people, and I could skate better (and I got more tattoos).

Sure, I don’t skate anymore, but I keep falling. And now whenever I fall I know there is going to be someone (or a league full of someones) to help me get back up. They will provide pointers and encouragement and moral support, and we’ll talk about tattoos, and I will get better.

Leagues do that for other leagues, too. Recently, WoRD made plans to do some expo stuff for a local event, and we invited Pair O’Dice City Rollers to come and help out. Things got chaotic and we found ourselves the scrimmage demos– and the other league was already en route. When everyone arrived prepared to get their scrimmage on, we had to deliver the bad news. But instead of being upset or disappointed, the Pair O’Dice girls shrugged their shoulders and said,  “Well what do you want to do now?” So we had our first ever inter-league scrimmage in the warehouse– with its support beam in the ref lane and mattress-lined walls– and it was fine. It was more than that. It was awesome.

And that’s the thing about this sport. In the end everything will be awesome. In spite of the plans of the committees it will be last minute and thrown together and chaotic, but the derby world will still go on. People get injured, they get burned out, they get angry. But every single last one of us gives thanks to derby for existing. Most of my best friends spend three nights a week or more with skates on their feet. If I need a hug for whatever reason I’ll have a line of women with open arms (and probably baked goods too). No matter what league you are on, what level of competition you’re at, how expensive your skates are, there is an entire world of people out there that are there to help you.

That’s kind of, like, really special.

Happy Warriors (amazing pic by the equally amazing Rainbow Crash)

If you are interested in becoming a part of WoRD’s derby family, come join us on June 6th for our next FreshMeat class. Email us at for more details.  Can’t wait to meet you!