Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Meet the Team: The Battleground Betties!

As Greensboro Roller Derby's inaugural season draws to a close, it's time for the final installment of Meet The Team! Earlier in the season, we introduced you to The Mad Dollies and The Elm Street Nightmares. As the season's championship bout approaches, we're proud to present the team that completes the Triad's favorite triad: The Battleground Betties!

The Battleground Betties are calm, cool, and collected in the face of chaos. Their minds are sharp and their bodies are strong. The Betties join a proud tradition of firebrand women throughout history. The qualities that made these women strong live on in the Betties: the irreverence and skill of Annie Oakley, the craftiness and allegiance of Betsy Ross, the bravery and sense of adventure of Sacajawea, the moral compass of Sojourner Truth and Susan B Anthony. The Betties are best described by their manifesto:
Heads high. Shoulders back. No retreat, no surrender. Raise our shields and face the storm. Rise above the noise and skate with honor. Bring to the track only valor, courage, commitment and strength. Leave behind anger, grief, and self-doubt. Stand in solidarity with our soldier sisters. Every day, in every way, the Battleground Betties are keeping the peace.
Some facts about the individual Betties:
  • Schoolya Child: Team captain of the Betties, Schoolya is a skilled derby strategist. Her ability to identify the patterns of play lends itself to successful battle planning. On the track, Schoolya jams and blocks fiercely and with finesse.
  • General Sew: Schoolya's co-captain and a quick-witted derby tactician, General Sew is both a crafty jammer and spicy blocker. As if all that weren't enough, her brutal hits have been known to make opponents wet their DerbySkinz.
  • Smackson Pollock: This top-notch jammer splatters her opponents in the process artfully dodging them. Smackson's eye for detail and nimble footwork propel her through the pack to victory.
  • Pinky la Pain: A tiny terror on the track, Pinky la Pain's nimbleness keeps the opposition guessing. Pinky may be small, but she brings a queen-sized dose of pain.
  • Foxy News: With hard-hitting blocks and decisive cuts, Foxy News performs with journalistic integrity. This just in: Foxy News makes other teams' jammers say "no comment."
  • Lita Revolution: With the voice of the people cheering her on, Lita's shoulder of justice rises up to depose the opposing jammer. Viva la revolucion!
  • Electric Cher: Do you believe in life after a hit from Electric Cher? Elegant and elusive, this statuesque all-around player  makes opponents wish they could turn back time. 
  • Ka$h Honey: Think you've got the lead jammer market cornered? If you're going up against Ka$h Honey, think again. Ka$h rules everything around the track.
  • Awesome Sauce: You won't want to marinate in the pain Awesome will give you. She spends her time on the track knocking jammers out of bounds like it ain't no thang. This sauce is the boss.
  • Lotta Moxie: This spunky siren will put you on the floor with her hellacious hip checks. Lotta's ample supply of moxie fuels her tenacious jamming, too.
  • Minimum Bruise: When Mini blocks, the bruises you'll end up with are anything but minimum, and her jamming is a study in stealth. Like a charged particle, she delivers a nasty shock as she zaps through the pack.
  • St. Knives: This born blocker is "the patron saint of your mom." She's watching over you, and she will not hesitate to cut you.
  • Glitt-R-Done: If her sparkling smile doesn't knock you out first, one hit from Glitt-R-Done is all it will take. When you wake up in traction, take a look at what's left of your body. Is that a bruise in the shape of a Lisa Frank-style dolphin riding a unicorn? I think it is.
The Betties' coach, Colonel Heavage, is a man of few words, all of them meaningful. Heavage crafts winning strategies and inspires his players to skate to the top of their potential. Physical fitness is of particular importance to Heavage. His bootcamp-style practices may leave rollergirls wincing, but those winces turn to prideful smiles when the muscles he helps build do their job in a bout.

The Betties have said goodbye to several players this season. These Betties are gone but not forgotten:

  • Goodie Two Bruise: This blocker's goodness was little consolation to jammers who ended up on the floor after a hit from her. Goodie's rational approach to the game was an invaluable asset to the team.
  • Atta Girl: A fiery jammer and formidable blocker, Atta Girl's chutzpah is sorely missed.
  • Moloko Violet: One of Greensboro Roller Derby's original top jammers, Moloko is a real kick and good for all sorts of lashings. Her ferocity will not be easily replaced.
  • Elle McFearsome: As a blocker and jammer, Elle's strengths included speed and stealth. Though fearsome to opponents, her absence makes our hearts grow fonder.
  • Mama D: As they say, if Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. Mama D's spankings were not enjoyed by opponents, but her teammates miss her warmth and generosity.
  • Erica Slapton: This all-around player was the cream of the crop. Darling, you looked wonderful all the nights you spent on the track.

The Battleground Betties will be competing against the Mad Dollies in the league championship bout this Saturday. Don't miss it! After the championship bout, we can't wait for you all to see what Greensboro Roller Derby's home teams will bring to the track in 2012. Keep an eye on our website or Facebook page (don't forget to click "like"!) for more details.

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Fishnets

So I am writing, yet again, about the depths into which roller derby has strengthened my soul. I usually focus on the athletic aspect, because that is what roller derby is: a sport. But, for now, I want to focus on the other aspect of roller derby that I currently completely depend on for survival: the sisterhood.
Full disclosure, I am going through a break up. It sucks. Super hard.

Break ups are the absolute worst. They crush your spirit. Drain your resources. Make you question things about yourself you never would have before…maybe even things you previously liked about yourself (example: my former ability to take pride in knowing all of the Teen Moms' names).

I am eating like crap and drinking like a fish. On the occasion, I cry at Hallmark commercials (but, to be honest, I did that before). I completely rely on my dog for daily emotional support and I have a regular seat at my favorite local bar (Westerwood, what what!). I don’t sleep much. Though that may be in part because I am really intrigued by the Real Housewives marathon Bravo keeps pumping out (are there different casts, or do they all just have the same plastic surgeon? Good lord ladies!).

Side note: I am in no condition to feel your “damn! She watches a lot of reality TV” judgment. Capiche?

When you feel alone and confused you need a friend. But I've got a league, a tribe, a die-hard to-the-end sisterhood watching my back. Not a day has gone by since my break up where someone from Greensboro Roller Derby hasn’t done something to make this pain more tolerable. Most of the time, they didn’t even know they were giving me that push to just get though the day. A phone call here, a beer shared there; the little things that make you know YOU WILL SURVIVE THIS HEARTACHE. You will get out of bed. You will brush your teeth. You will not stalk his Facebook.

My sisters in roller derby are my rocks, my sheroes, and my confidantes. You know that old saying, “your true friend will help you hide the body”? Try having an entire league of true friends. Not even CSI: Miami could solve that murder! (I told you-I watch a lot of bad TV. It helps!)

Another side note: I am in no way planning to murder anyone.

Roller derby practice helps redirect the pain of a break up in away no amount of Lifetime movies ever could. In roller derby, you are going to fall. A lot. If you don’t fall, you aren’t trying very hard. You are just coasting. This applies to real life. My motto, in life and in derby, is GET BACK UP. I can get back up because I have sisters. I have people to help me stand up when getting up is too hard to do alone. I will fall, because I don’t coast. But I will always, always GET BACK UP.

Yes, this is really my leg. The handwriting is Shrimp n' Grit's, the tattoo is by Paula Enscore.

I will get through this break up. But I could not do it without my derby sisters. I could not do it without my skates. I could not do it without our sisterhood. I need my league now like I never have before. And my league has not let me down.

To my sisters of Greensboro Roller Derby, and the derby community at large: this wears-her-heart-on-her-sleeve skater SALUTES YOU for getting her to the other side. You know what side I am talking about, ladies. We have all been there. And thanks to the bond that is roller derby, we don’t have to do this thing alone.

Humblest thanks,
Miller Lightnin’

PS: A special shout out to Pickle Joose, Schoolya Childs, and Shrimp n’ Grit. You ladies are my heart.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Where are my elbow pads?! And other derby stress-related dreams...

It's official, roller derby has entered my psyche.  I had my first roller derby stress dream.  What exactly is a derby stress dream, you may ask?  Why, they are not unlike those wonderful school stress dreams we've all had at some point.  You know the ones I'm talking about; you can't find your locker/can't remember its combination or my personal fav, I have one exam to pass so I can graduate and I haven't been to the class all semester.  I still to this day have those and I've even become frustrated in my dream because I'm not in high school or college anymore and I already graduated from both!

This particular dream, I was late for practice, trying to strap on my gear as fast as I could except I couldn't find my elbow pads.  I found every other player's and none of them matched or even fit me.  They were too big or too small.  I was in a panic trying to find my own, frantically looking up at the clock and watching as practice was going on and I was unable to find my stupid elbow pads.  Yes, I know it sounds silly but I tell you it did not make for a restful night's sleep.

I suppose there could be a deep meaning somewhere in there.  Stop comparing myself to other skaters, or to let go of the mental blockages, or maybe that I think about derby way too much.  It's probably all of that.  However stressful it was, I was surprisingly happy about having that dream.  I guess it cements the belief that derby enters your entire being, infecting your system.  It gets in your brain, your blood, your bones, and your subconscious. 

I just hope I don't have any dreams about showing up to a bout with only my pads on.

Derby <3,
Katie Overstreet

Friday, December 2, 2011

Lessons of Fresh Meat

I just started derby about three months ago.  I say “started” instead of joined because technically I’m not even on a team yet. Rather, I‘m a member of a group of derby novices that has been lovingly labeled “Fresh Meat.” (Sounds inviting, right?)  The last time I skated I was sporting a pair of pink and white Strawberry Shortcake quads sometime circa the mid 80’s.  Before tryouts, I bought a $40 pair of kids skates from a used goods sports store because I wasn’t entirely convinced that my body would remember what to do when I put them on.  That being said, it could only have been by some freak force of nature that I made it past tryouts.  Perhaps that same supernatural phenomenon deemed me derby worthy solely to reinforce some timeless lessons that were initially learned at about the same time that I first started to skate.
Currently, my fellow “freshies” and I are in the initiation stage to the sport of derby that I like to compare to what Catholics call limbo, or “the edge of hell.”  The variations in the utter and absolute pain experienced during this part of the process are endless.  Back spasms, muscle cramping of all kinds, random bruises found in the most obscure locations, skin abrasions, a plethora of knee injuries, the multitude of torment is boundless.  We are talking serious trials and tribulations; derby is not an easy sport.  Inevitably, at some point, you will get hurt and you will want to quit. A good number of freshies do. Which brings me to Lesson #1 :  PERSEVERANCE.
The first day of practice was probably pretty similar to what it felt like the very first time that I swung my leg over the cross bar of my first big kid bike, decorated in a Rainbow Brite theme with her caricature on the seat, rainbow colored streamers, and complete with training wheels.  While I can’t really remember the sensation of gripping the handle bars tight and hoping that I don’t eat sidewalk after my dad lets go of the seat, I can imagine what it must have felt like. Learning the sport of derby is just like that. Everything is new.  At every practice there’s a new method of falling or a different way to come to a stop.  Maybe you’ll learn how to catch air the next day and jump your first obstacle, or figure out how to skate backwards without falling on your tookus.  Last, but certainly not least, maybe you’ll experience the satisfaction and adrenaline surge that directly follows learning how to drop a shoulder and pound a fellow freshie. Lesson #2 :  CONTINUING EDUCATION.
I don’t really know many of the vets.  I know their names, both derby and by birth, but I haven’t actually had a conversation with the majority of them yet.  I have, however, had the privilege of witnessing most of them in action during vet practices and at local derby bouts.  Every freshie has their favorite vets for various reasons and I’m no different in that respect.  Betty Rumble constantly maintains a carefree demeanor with ease in the midst of air born bodies and derby violence.  General Sew’s fanciful footwork never ceases to fascinate freshies and fans alike.  East Pound-Her Down’s hits will keep even the oldest of vets looking over their shoulder.  But hands down, my all-time favorite vet to watch skate is Elizabeth Hauntgomery.  It’s something about the chick’s game.  She plays with grit, with passion, and she’s so well rounded.  She can block, she can pivot, and God help you if you’re on the opposing team and she’s on the jammer line.  As for me?  At this point in my derby career, I can safely say that I am really stinkin’ good at falling. In fact, I’m downright awesome. But I’ve got dreams and ambitions, man, and I’m going places because of the importance of Lesson #3:  GOALS.
OK.  That’s all I’ve got today, but more than likely you’ll be hearing from me again. Hopefully next time it’ll be accompanied by a badass derby name.  But for now, my name’s MB and I’m proud to be a freshie for Greensboro Roller Derby. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Love Letter to Greensboro Roller Derby

Dear Greensboro Roller Derby,

You have owned my heart for the past two years of my life. You have strengthened my spirit, challenged my patience, and broken my bones. You have made me a better woman, a prouder woman, and a fine athlete. You have awakened a part of me I didn't know existed, and you asked for so little in return. Greensboro Roller Derby, I love you. Let me count the ways.

You have united the most rag tag, hooligan, eccentric, sensitive, loud mouthed, tattooed, caring, kind, intelligent bunch of women I have ever encountered.

I love you because you look good in black & red, teal & yellow, gold & green, and blue & red. Basically, you look good in everything.

You have made me look at my body in ways I never thought possible. I see muscle, grit, bruises, and scars instead of “problem areas”. I see my body for what it can do, not what it can do for someone else. I love my body, and I have you to thank for that. Thank you for taking that heavy burden of self hatred for never achieving unrealistic beauty standards off my back. I skate much lighter now. Thank you for pushing me to see my body as mine, as a temple, as something worthy to be respected. A thousand times thank you for this.

You have connected me with my best friends, my soul mates, my teammates, my sisters. I am never truly lonely because of the women you have bound me too.

You have made me realize that I am not who I am because of what I have failed at in my past. I am who I am because of what I succeed at now, what I work for, what I stand for. I am not a compilation of mistakes-I am a compilation of things I have learned.

My heart belongs to you because you have led me to learning how to validate myself and who I am, instead of waiting for a man to do it for me. You have freed me from the burden of societies expectations of single women.

I love you because of the fights we have had, the disagreements we have dragged out, the tears we have shed. I love you more for these things because they brought us closer, united us-made us see the truth in our own words. Each fight brought us together, instead of tearing us apart. For this, I love us and am so proud to call you mine.

Greensboro Roller Derby, there is never a dull moment with you. You like to make each bout a nail biter, each hit a stomach churner, each win a hard fought battle to the last second. The intensity and closeness of each of our bouts is a testament to you and all you have taught us.

My love for you, Greensboro Roller Derby, will stand the test of time. When I am old, and roller skating with a walker, I will always look back on our times together and smile with what teeth I have left.

You are my heart, and I will love you forever.


Your Biggest Fan, Miller Lightnin'  

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Hip Check Against the Machine

Nothing makes me prouder than playing my best. I love the feeling I get driving home from a bout, win or lose, when I know I just rocked it. When taking off my uniform, I survey my numerous bruises, smeared makeup, and the impressions of other skater's derby numbers marking my arms and get a big, grin on my face. I'm proud as hell I play roller derby, and I even prouder I do it well. What is the point of doing anything you love if you ain't gonna go all out? For me, derby is a sport...a non-traditional, stick-it-to-the-gender-roles sport. Everything else about it-the personal reward, social statement, community outreach-is icing on the cake. I love my sport with every ounce of my soul, but I am damn sure tired of justifying it.

Roller derby is perpetually being portrayed as a woman's form of therapy, or an extreme way for the fairer sex to take out their pent up aggression. Assumptions are made about derby names and outfits, and skaters themselves say they are a “different person” when they put on skates. Our roller derby names are viewed and described as alter egos and we jokingly refer to it being someone else when were on the track giving gut wrenching hits.

Roller derby is an all-female sport, run by us and for us. Not to mention, it is a sport, y'all, an incredibly challenging feat of athleticism. Why does derby have to be anything other than what it is? Why do we have to constantly justify our reasons for playing derby? Why am I asking so many rhetorical questions?!

Women are complicated. We are a broad spectrum of many parts, ranging from caring and gentle to die-hard killing machines. Our society has ranked us below men, not because there are fewer of us, but because we are seen as less than men. The women's rights movement is far from over, and frankly to me has really just begun. Every day, as women, we have to prove ourselves worthy. We are supposed to be like Kelly Rippa: working women with the ability to make an excellent home cooked meal, skinny, and always perfect looking. Go against the norm of the everywoman and you are forced to explain yourself.

Roller derby is a symbol of all that is incredible about women. I am not just referring to the athletic ability of skaters, I am also talking about the organization of leagues: bout production, pr, uniform design, recruiting, training, etc. We literally do it all, which really just mirrors our work and family lives as well. We do EVERYTHING.

So, why do we call roller derby our therapy? Why is Miller Lightnin' suppose to be my alter ego, instead of an extension of who I am? Is skating the one thing keeping me off the clock tower? Frankly, it's insulting when asked to justify why I play a sport just because it isn't traditional and it involves contact. You need to know why I do something I love? Easy answer, bro: because I LOVE IT.

Roller derby is one of the many parts of me that makes me the awesome person I am. I am not who I am because of derby, but I am a better person for being a part of Greensboro Roller Derby (my league, in particular, rules really hard). Miller Lightnin' isn't my “alter ego,” it is a part of me I didn't know was there. I am Susan, Susie, Miller Lightnin, loyal friend, sister, granddaughter, feminist, student, teacher, believer, writer, child, adult, daughter, and teammate. I am woman, hear me roar.

So, sisters, remember. When asked why you play derby, don't immediately feel like you have to justify your reasons. In life, as a woman, you have two options: feed the patriarchal machine or challenge it. Feel free to choose the latter.

XOXO Miller Lightnin'  

Monday, November 7, 2011

Why Derby?

For those of you who play derby, I'm sure you have heard this question in some form once you've told someone this is your sport of choice.  Everyone who answers this question has their own reasons and their own paths that lead them to this glorious sport.  Surprisingly enough, however, many of them are very similar.  For anyone reading this who doesn't play derby or for those that are curious, I offer you my reasons.

Currently, I am in my second round of fresh meat.  I guess that makes me not-so-fresh?  Anyway, I'm not surprised, really.  If you had told me three years ago that I would be trying to make it onto a roller derby team, I would've laughed in your face.  You see, I was not a skater, not in the slightest.  I didn't grow up skating on the weekends, in fact, I avoided it.  Having skates on my feet was the most unnatural feeling ever.  I'll take my nice, flat shoes without wheels, thank you.  I would go to the occasional birthday party at a rink and once I went with my girl scout troupe.  On that trip I actually started to feel a little more comfortable on the skates, then one of the girls came around and teased me about being slow.  Way to show some girl power, friend.  So roller derby was out of the question.  Until about two years ago when I received a random invite to an interest meeting for another team.  For some unknown reason, the universe said I should go.  My daughter was born 4 months before and it seemed like it might be a fun way to get out of the house and exercise....on skates.  What am I, crazy?!  Anyway, I gave it a shot and actually started to enjoy skating.  Fast forward to this year in February, when I went to the interest meeting for the first "official" fresh meat class for Greensboro Roller Derby.  I wasn't a skilled skater but I was better than when I started.  Next thing I knew, I was doing things I never thought I could do.  Jumps, stepping, weaving, crossing over and so much more.  I was amazed and still to this day I'm amazed at how I grow and learn more about skating.  Now, I can't imagine my life without it.

The second part of the it's-crazy-to-think-I'd-play-roller-derby equation is it's an all girls sport.  Well, there are teams for men and even co-ed bouts but predominantly women play it.  You see, I was never a "have a lot of girlfriends" girl(See above story about fellow girl scout teasing me).  I never thought I would be, either.  I just figured I have my few close friends and that's cool.  Then I came into this group and met some of the nicest, diverse, crazy, funny, and supportive women(and men) ever.  It was then that I realized roller derby was magical.  How else could all these people be attracted to this one force?  It's like I grew an extended family and I love it!  These are women who want you to succeed, believe in you when you think you don't have anything left and whisky slap you at an after party(out of love, of course).  When a member of the team is injured they cook meals, bring movies, beer and a laugh.  They're a shoulder to cry on and a cheerleader when you make it over that hurdle you've been struggling with.  Simply put, a derby girl is awesomeness embodied.

For me, this is why I chose derby or maybe derby chose me.  I don't know for sure but I do know I'll never be the same because of it.

Derby <3,
The Worst Noel

Friday, October 14, 2011

Enter to win FREE tickets to BEWITCHED!

Greensboro Roller Derby's next bout takes place on Saturday, October 22. Actually, that should say "bouts" because BEWITCHED is our very first double header! And on top of that, it's a GO TRIAD night- which means you can enter to win free tickets! Just follow the directions below and we'll see you there!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Derby Cafeteria - not like your high school cafeteria! (I promise!)

Sometimes I feel like the girl who ate her lunch in the cafeteria bathroom...

Roller derby leagues are popping up all over the place, much like zits right before prom. The roller derby community is expanding at such a rapid rate the only thing that could stop it at this point is a zombie apocalypse. But even then, I still see derby chicks as the last girls standing.

So, you may be new to a league...or not so new. You may have been on the team since its inception. You might be a Fresh Meat...or you might be kind of, well, stale meat. Either way, when I say the phrase “Sometimes I feel like I am eating lunch in the cafeteria bathroom," you probably know what I mean.

I used to be shy. For those of you that know me, this is kind of hard to comprehend (Miller?! She would talk to a serial killer!), but for reals y'all, I use to eat lunch in the Walter Hines Page High School bathroom my freshmen year of high school. When I look back at that time in my life, all of me is glad that I had that experience. I am a better person for it.

Roller derby can make you feel like you want to run for the bathroom, lunch bag in hand. Hide until the popular girls go away.

But even though sometimes you have to fight back the 8th grade freak out, you have persevered and entered the terrifying realm of roller derby.

Here's the thing: everyone who plays roller derby is special and unique. Some girls are warm and fuzzy, others can drink your alcoholic Grandpa under the table. Some are natural to the sport and take to it like they were born with skates on, while others struggle to keep their ass off the floor. But all of us share one common goal: to be awesome at roller derby and to have a kick ass time.

But here's the other thing: if you play roller derby, you already are awesome at roller derby. You are attempting to play a full contact sport with skates on, surrounded by women you didn't know two years or even two days ago. You are an amazing and powerful woman, regardless of your skill level. Don't let yourself fall prey to unhealthy thinking. There are no “popular girls” on the derby team, no hierarchy. Sure, there may be an A-team...but those are just the girls who have achieved something to admire, not girls who think they are better than you.

High school, sweet Jesus, is OVER. How you felt then is how you felt then. You are an adult now who is so bad ass you strapped on skates and showed up for a party you weren't even invited to. In roller derby, the drama kids, math stars, football players, cheerleaders, and pot heads hang out. It is like the best John Hughes movie of all time (back off Jake Ryan though, he is mine!).

When you start getting that gut wrenching “holy shit, do I have a period stain on my pants?” feeling, check yourself. You are becoming the best version of yourself, surrounded by people doing the same. The roller derby community is the most loving and amazing world you will ever encounter, even when we are hitting the shit out of you.

Cue the closing line of “Breakfast Club” and the fist pump.


Former high school nerd, tramp, pot head, and D-student Miller Lightnin'

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Staying in Derby Shape

As the new class of fresh meat begins their journey this week, I reflect on my journey and all the ways it has changed me for the better.  I've met an amazing group of people and become more confident and comfortable with who I am. The most noticeable change, though, is the shape I'm in.  I'm in the best shape of my life, seriously.  My muscle tone has improved so much and my endurance is better than ever.  I'm by no means saying I look like a supermodel or an Olympic athlete but for me it's pretty darn exciting.  After the birth of my daughter in 2009, I was having a hard time losing the last 20 lbs. of the 50 I gained.  I exercised, watched what I ate but nothing seemed to make a difference.  In 2011, I began skating with Greensboro Roller Derby's fresh meat group.  What a workout!  Nothing compared to the exercise I got here, however, I quickly realized I need to do other things to help make my skating better.

To me, being in derby shape isn't about achieving a certain look or weight, it's about keeping yourself on top of your game and getting better.  I started running to help with my endurance and I HATED running. It sucked, I hated it.  Did I mention I hated it?  I even started doing 5ks to make myself run but I knew it would help me keep going out there on the track.  Now that I've been doing it for a little while, I've realized it isn't so bad, especially when I see the results.  Another great outside derby workout I incorporated into my life is yoga.  It may not sound exciting but it's a wonderful counter to the aggression of derby.  Also, stretching is great.  It helps prevent injury.  Not only that but yoga helps with balance and balance is really important in derby, if you didn't know already.

Lunges and squats should become your best friends.  At practice, you'll be doing them a lot.  On skates.  So the more you do outside of practice the easier it will be to hold a good derby stance and get low when needed.  Many university sports teams do preventive injury workouts that involve plyometrics.  A lot of jumping, squatting and lunging going on there but it's great to save you from having any serious knee injuries like a torn ACL, which women are more prone to having.  Boo genetics.  We also spend a lot of time bruising our knees with falls, making them the number one spot for wear and tear.  So give some extra love to them.  By the way, plyometrics are also great for increasing speed, agility and power.  Bonus!

You'll find girls that incorporate weight training, cycling, or aerobics and I'm sure there are those who do nothing outside of practice.  It's understandable, with practices running between 3-4 or even 5 times a week depending on the team, you want a few days to relax.  To me, doing what I can on my days off from derby is only going to make my practices better and ultimately, me better.

Also, be sure to drink plenty of water, even on the days you don't have practice.  Staying hydrated is important in general.  So cut back on the soda or coffee or tea or whatever your vice and get some more H2O in there.  If you need extra help or if you're interested in learning more about what you can do to improve your game, you'll find many resources out on the web.  Check out the Derbalife blog, for example.  You'll get tips from derby skaters on how to achieve your goals no matter what they are and great advice on exercise and nutrition.

Love and Derby,
The Worst Noel

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Roller Derby Really Can Save You

This entry is dedicated to our new crop of Fresh Meat who showed up in droves at our interest meeting last week, and will be coming back for tryouts in October. I'm so happy you've all found us. Roller derby can and probably will change your life. Let me tell you what derby has done for me.

At my very first visit to watch a Greensboro Roller Derby practice, I saw a girl with a pair of shorts on over her tights. The shorts read "Roller Derby Saved My Soul" across the butt. I remember wondering what that meant to her, and wondering if I would ever feel the same way. I was in a pretty low place at the time; I was sedentary and deeply depressed, and joining GSORD was my way of shaking things up because I knew they weren't going to shake themselves up by magic. At 35, I was finally tired of being tired. I decided to do something for myself.

I also did it for my children. I realized that I was sending a mixed message to them about health. "Be active!" I told them, but at the same time, I couldn't get my own butt off the couch. I was taking them to soccer, basketball, aikido classes, and expecting them to want to play outside at home, but I was not modeling a healthy active lifestyle to them. I knew that nothing they learned in their activities and classes would stick if it was not modeled for them at home. I needed to prove to them that I was willing to do these things, too.

In theory, I had so much to motivate me: my own health, my children's health, the allure of happiness and confidence. Despite these things beckoning me, it still wasn't easy to choose derby. I was always an observer and a watcher, never a doer. I had never played any sport, and in fact I had gone out of my way to avoid sports all through school and settled firmly into inactivity as an adult. I've also spent a lot of my life being ruled by fear. So many fun or meaningful opportunities passed me by because I was afraid to try. I was tired of fear (and the subsequent regret of not having tried) being my defining feeling. So when my friend Lita Revolution (who has been a part of GSORD since it started) posted a link to the information session last January, I decided I needed to do it.

I went to the info session, where I saw the girl in the salvation booty shorts, and then the bootcamp, where I thought I was going to pass out and/or die. But I didn't allow myself to give up. I had help with that. Already the group of girls was busy supporting each other. Girls organized workouts and meetups at open skates together. I showed up because something was telling me that these were girls who, once we knew each other well, would go to bat for me. (They would, and I would for them.) So I returned to tryouts. Somehow, I wasn't laughed off the rink, but instead I was welcomed into the fold. Thus began my roller derby journey. The same one you're just beginning.

Nearly eight months later, I can say without a doubt that roller derby has saved me. I mean that literally. I have a heart arrhythmia (congenital, so not my fault) and high blood pressure (probably entirely my fault, though I have a family history of it). Being a fatty couch lump was even more deadly for me than it is for most people. Before roller derby, I got winded and heard my heart pounding in my ears just taking a single flight of stairs. Now I can hop up many flights before I start to fatigue, and it's my muscles that need a break, not my heart and lungs. I'm not in the "elite athlete" zone (yet!) but I'm a far sight fitter than I was before. Derby did that. I had tried to change my habits many times on my own before and always lost my momentum. There's something about strapping wheels to your feet that gives you a little extra oomph.

(I feel the need to make a disclaimer here: if you have a health issue, please see your doctor before you start anything as intense as roller derby. I did, and he told me that it was one of the best things I could do for myself--"We can fix broken bones, but we can't fix the damage done by years of inactivity"--but your situation might be different. Please be careful. We wear pads on our knees and elbows, but they don't make a pad for your heart.)

But roller derby hasn't just been good for my body. It has been healing for my mind and soul as well. Derby has a way of making you face your issues- mine are lack of confidence, feelings of inadequacy, and a tendency to give up to avoid failure. All of these things have reared up in my face many times over the course of my derby journey. Before, I would have run away to avoid the feelings. But I love roller derby and my leaguemates so much that I haven't allowed myself to do that. So I have no choice but to face the feelings those issues bring up, and by facing them, I deal with them. I believe derby does this for everyone, whether they realize it or not. It is, without a doubt, a form of therapy. I don't know anyone who isn't a better person now than they were when they joined the sport.

So please, stick with us and see how you can change. You will be amazed at what you can do that you never thought possible.

Derby <3,
St. Knives

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Deal On Wheels

Perhaps you are new to the world of roller derby.  You just bought your new skates to try out for your local team and they came as a package deal with wheels and all.  More than likely, these wheels will be great for a start but ultimately, you'll want some of those really cool wheels you saw on your favorite skater's boots.

Or maybe you have been skating for a while and if you're like me, you are in search of the perfect wheels.  Those that make you feel like you're rolling on air.  Those that give you optimum speed but a good grip, as well.  The problem is there are only about 400 kinds of wheels out there.  Well, I could be exaggerating, I haven't actually counted.  There are many questions to ask yourself, like; what brand do I want?  Do I want slim or wide?  Grippy or hard?  Hollow core nylon, solid core or hollow core alloy?  Do I want the same 8 wheels or do I want 4 of one type of hardness and 4 of another?  Does color matter?   See what I mean?!  Eventually you find yourself staring at your computer in a daze from information overload.   Do not fret; there are ways to get the answers you seek.

The easiest way to go about making a decision or at least narrowing it down is to find one of your fellow skaters close to the same body type and build as you and ask her what she prefers.  If she's really cool and wears the same size skate as you, she may let you try them out.  If she's even cooler and doesn't wear the same size skate as you, she may offer to let you put her wheels on your skate and try them.  Either way, it will give you a great idea of what you may be looking for.  Some wheel manufacturers, like Atom, offer a chart on their website that's based on your weight and the type of surface you're skating on.  That can point you in the right direction, too.

As far as having different wheels on each side of the skate, that's really a personal preference.  Some skaters prefer the grippier wheels on one side for getting a good push and the harder wheels on the other for speed.  I have found that I like the combination of grippy and harder wheels.  Again, this is something you have to figure out on your own.

Check out this link to Atom's chart and you should find it quite helpful.  Even if you don't purchase their wheels, you'll at least know what to look for in your quest for the best.

Happy Derbying!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

What Would a Roller Derby Girl Do? (Or, WWRDGD?)

I like to skate fast, and hit hard like the rest of ‘em, which is probably why I am sitting here with my foot in a cast protecting the ankle I broke two weeks ago during practice. So while my leg’s elevated and my mood’s at ease, I am sort of forced to “slow my roll” and spend more time thinking. Recently, I was considering this:  If anyone else (outside Roller Derby) were in my position, what would they do during their recovery time? Then, that thought led to this one: What would a Roller Derby Girl do with her time?  That question will have to be answered in a different blog at a different time, because that thought led to this one: What things have I seen MY Roller Derby sisters do from time to time that define who they truly are?

Not everything I have seen is appropriate to mention, (you’ll have to attend after parties at your own risk) but there are some actions that I have witnessed or am privy to that shed light on the true nature of a Roller Derby girl…

Here are just a few:

A Roller Derby girl is the girl who shows up before 8 am on a weekend to coach you through a difficult component of the minimum skills requirement, waits patiently for you to try and try again, then comes running over and tackles you to the floor with a mind blowing hug when you achieve your goal.

She’s the girl who looks over her shoulder and sees you falling behind in a pace line and reaches out her arm to give you a whip so you can catch up with the rest of the team.

She’s the first one to celebrate the fact you threw up at practice today and reminds you it isn’t a good practice til someone throws up!

She’s the one who has the ability to produce an ice bag out of “thin air” for those painful bumps and bruises acquired from time to time.

She’ll gladly pass you her last few strips of duct tape to hold your worn-out gear together.

She’ll be the one who loans you the last $20 bucks she has in her skate bag so you can make it to payday.

She’ll be more than willing to beat anyone senseless with her skates if they attempt to harm anyone of her team mates.

She’ll be the girl who texts you at 11:30 pm to let you know you’ve been drafted to her team and she’ll always have your back, but she won’t have a problem telling you when your gear stinks so bad it’s gonna make her puke.

She’ll be the first one by your side to hold your hand and crack dirty jokes when you’re on the floor injured, then cheer from the sidelines as your wheeled out in a stretcher, sit beside you in the Emergency Room without wincing as the doctor resets your bone, then show up at your house the next day to paint your toenails in your team colors cause you can’t.

She’ll be the one who walks through your door carrying a pair of custom crutches also painted in  home team colors so you can sport your badass cast in style.

She’ll show up at your doorstep with a bangin’ hot meal and a basketful of your favorite goodies and movies when your significant other is forced to take care of the household while you recover from injury.

She’ll be willing to get all artsy, design, create, and order hundreds of humorous t-shirts, sell them, and give you the proceeds to help you pay your hospital bills (even for non-derby related incidents).

She’ll keep reminding you through IMs, text messages and Facebook statuses that your injury is temporary and soon you’ll be back on the track kickin’ass.

And when you are back, you’ll know exactly what you need to do!
Derby love,
Thistle Killya

Monday, August 22, 2011

Meet the Team: The Mad Dollies

It's that time again: time for another installment of Meet the Team! In today's episode, we'll meet the league's most stylish, sophisticated, and funky-fresh team, the Mad Dollies. But first, an addendum to the previous installment: since the graduation of GSORD's first Fresh Meat class (plus one skater transfer), the Elm Street Nightmares have welcomed four new Nightmares to their menacing ranks! Coming soon to a flat track near you, these Night Terrors are sure to bring more of the Nightmares' signature fearlessness.

  • Hitter Miss: An unstoppable jamming juggernaut, Hitter Miss is undeniably fierce. When they try to take her out, the result for opponents is usually "miss."
  • Soul Sucker: Another super-fast jammer, whose speed and agility cause opponents to question their very existence.
  • Thistle Killya: During your last moments on the track before being taken out by Thistle Killya, you won't be able to ignore her beautiful face, adorned with the woad that ennerved her Scottish ancestors.
  • Butternut Squasher: With her quick and devastating hits, Butternut adds a savory dish of pain to the Nightmares' lineup.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming. The Mad Dollies are ladies worthy of being placed on the proverbial pedestal. They're also known by their signature ensemble in the hues of teal and yellow, colors that complement one another just as the Dollies provide balance and symmetry on the track. The Dollies are known for a calculated and coordinated style of play. Opponents rarely see the strategy being executed by the Dollies until it's too late.

Some facts about the individual Dollies:

  • Shrimp n' Grit: Team captain of the Dollies, her glamour is unmatched in the derby world. Shrimpy's outspoken pivoting keeps her teammates informed about the goings-on on the track. Fierce things come in small packages, and opponents are wise to be intimidated by Shrimpy's grit.
  • East Pound-her Down: Shrimpy's co-captain, East Pound-her Down (known as PD for short) goes after her opponents with a cool resolve. PD's gifts also include almost superhuman agility. Her moves on the track are elegant and unpredictable. One hit from PD and you're effing out.
  • Betty Rumble: This first-class jammer usually has a smile on her face as she effortlessly glides around the track, passing the pack again and again. Her lithe style makes jamming look easy. We know it ain't. But, as Betty knows, it sure is fun.
  • Jess the Ripper: What do you get when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? You get Jess the Ripper, who is both. One hit from Jess proves that you don't know Jack.
  • Ann What?!: This natural pivot is known for her laser-like hits and her decisive nature. Local legend suggests that her name comes from the soul-searching questions opponents ask after being floored by Ann What?! She is also the only player in the league with the chutzpah to sport an interrobang.
  • Elizabeth Hauntgomery: That chill you just felt on the back of your neck? That's Haunt's calling card. Jammers tell stories about Haunt's blocking around their campfires. The real fright, though, comes when Haunt haunts the track as a jammer herself. Who you gonna call?
  • Carnegie Brawl: The society papers are all abuzz about Carnegie Brawl. Jammers making their debut on the track with Brawl experience all manner of anxiety. As well they should; a hit from Brawl will have you taking a bow. Side note: Carnegie Brawl is no fan of any Nightmare, but is especially unfond of the Nightmares' Miller Lightnin'. No one knows for sure what heinous act precipitated the feud, but some sources indicate that it began when Miller and Brawl collided on the track with such force that both forgot significant portions of their childhood and damaged the areas of their brains responsible for self restraint and table manners.
  • AlaBAMison: This balanced player blocks and jams with ease. Stars fall when AlaBAMison makes her way around the track.
  • Snarl Jung: A formidable blocker, Snarl Jung dominates the dreams of opposing jammers. And when Snarl takes to the track, the opposition becomes collectively unconscious.
  • Scary Splice: She'll tell you what she wants, what she really really wants: to hit you really hard and take you out of bounds.
  • Heluva Hooker: This all-around player fishes for jammers and delivers a devastating hookshot that opponents don't even see coming. When she takes the jammer line herself, blockers practically bounce off her left and right.

In addition to these seasoned players, the Mad Dollies would like to welcome their new Babydollies:

  • Hitstompapotamus: She's Hitstompapotamus and her energy is bottomless. Stomp's a promising jammer as well as a gifted positional blocker.
  • C*ntry Ham: She's salty, savvy, and she packs quite a punch. Take one hit from C*ntry Ham and say goodbye, because we'll see you next Tuesday!
  • Ellie Mae Crammit: If you're blocking against Crammit, you may as well sit a spell and take your skates off, because there's no way you'll stop her.  
  • Rusty Syringe: Have you had your tetanus shot? Make sure you're up to date on all of your immunizations before you share the track with Rusty. Her jabs give opposing players lockjaw.
  • Alexandroid: Don't try to outmaneuver the machine. A hit from Alexandroid will send you plummeting into the uncanny valley.

Of course, players and captains need the guidance of a coach. The Dollies' coach, El Gaucho, knows each player's strengths and challenges well. El Gaucho skillfully crafts player combinations and lineups so devastating that the Dollies become practically unstoppable.

The Mad Dollies will be bouting against the Elm Street Nightmares in October. But you can meet the Dollies at any of the league's upcoming events, such as Tate Street Fest. See our website or Facebook page (don't forget to click "like"!) for more details.

Watch this space for the next, and final, installment of Meet The Team: The Battleground Betties!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Fly Derby Fliers

Advertisement and marketing are important with any product.  Derby is really no different, especially if your league aims to be an active and competitive sports league.  Yet another rad thing about roller derby is the production aspect of the sport, which in turn allows for some serious creativity in the public relations department.  Give your bout a theme, and you give it life.  Flier art in roller derby is arguably some of the most interesting marketing in the sporting world.
Here are two vintage roller derby fliers:

Check out some of the artwork from these derby leagues:
1.  Atlanta Roller Girls:

This may be one of my favorite derby bout fliers I have seen to date.  Apart from the apparent awesomeness of a big booty (of which GSORD is especially appreciative as owners and lovers), this flier is eye catching and therefore serves its number one purpose:  advertisement.  You cannot miss this flier.  It's not just the butt of the skater, but the decision that the artist made to create a single image to fill the composition and extend beyond the frame created on the poster.  It isn't cluttered, and I like that.  Also, I like that this illustration goes against a very typical image of the tattooed, svelte, white and blonde derby skater. 

2.  Cape Fear Roller Girls:

I love this flier. The artist chose a visual theme to match their bout title "Derby is Victory", and came up with a kickass composition and allusion that works really well with the fierceness and camaraderie of derby.  I like that pretty much only 3 colors (and shades) were used, as it allows an active picture to be busy without being too confusing or heavy (of course, the colors are thematic as well).  The artist also does not neglect the details and effects that can be achieved through lettering.

3., 4., and 5.  The Naptown Roller Girls:
The next 3 fliers are from Naptown.   I have found that, as a league, I really appreciate their bout posters.  Their artist(s) work really well within a theme, and therefore create interesting and professional posters. The "War of the Wheels", "Scar Wars", and "Beat My Valentine" posters are some of my favorites. 

They follow a very similar format, which some people may dislike, but I'm ok with that because they are executed so well. 

 The "Beat My Valentine" is my favorite of the three.  I love the use of space and the juxtaposition of the "girly" colors with the proclivity for rough housing (to say the least). 

6. and 7.  Philly Roller Girls

I like the movement that is created in #6 (the orange/yellow) with the slope of the track and the slant of the wording.  I also really like the varying shades of one color as being the predominant tone of the composition.  Even though I dislike that the general aesthetic of a derby dame is often geared to one type of woman, what I do appreciate about this skater is the boldness of her face and hair.  This figure embodies a general badass attitude that derby women feel and exude, though it may not show in every woman through tattoos and "edgy" haircuts.  The great thing about derby is all types of skaters are valued. 

The flier with the soldier (#7) is awesome because it utilizes their city's heritage, but with a derby spin.

8.  River City Roller Girls

I think that most of the Gate City Roller Girls and other supporting league members would agree that so far in our league's history the River City Roller Girls have given us one of the best away matches and after party thus far.  That's just a shoutout for good league sportsmanship and hospitality.  It makes sense that those sassy and creative women would advertise with great posters.  One reason I like this flier is that the artist does not feel the need to incorporate a female figure.  I love the female body, but I think it's pretty cool that an interesting poster has been made without using a human form.  I also think this poster is pretty classy, while still holding onto the attraction to gore that is ingrained in the performance aspect of the sport.  There's a minimalist appeal in this poster. 

9.  Greensboro Roller Derby

I have to applaud one of Greensboro's own artists for creating one of my favorite GSORD fliers to date.  Jordan Grace Owens created a very simple, classy, and elegant flier.  Without knowing too much about the teams, she managed to capture the aesthetic of the Battleground Betties and the Mad Dollies in her artwork.  She worked with only two colors, and the result had a very vintage feel to me.  

10.  Charm City Roller Girls

In this flier Charm City (a lovely team we got to know while at the aforementioned River City bout) plays the Carolina Bootleggers, a team close to our hearts.  This flier is pretty awesome because it goes for a pretty standard comic book theme with the illustration, and it is executed really well.  It reminds me of the vintage derby posters (posted above). 

Please comment with links to some of your favorite fliers!

Derby love!
--Ann What?!  #36 Chambers

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Welcome Home GSORD!

On Saturday, July 30th, Greensboro Roller Derby rolled out the welcome mats and invited the community to check out their new practice space in (finally!) Greensboro.  After over a year of practicing in High Point, the league finally found a home to call their own.  The celebration featured live music, artwork displays from local artists, two roller derby expo bouts, food, face painting, water balloons to beat the heat, and dj’s spinning music late into the night.  For those curious about how they would look as a derby girl or ref, hand-painted cut-outs for pictures provided the perfect opportunity.  
Live music from Big Rob's yet-to-be-named band warmed up the crowd as the teams for the first bout of the night warmed up on the track.  GSORD’s first graduating class of new skaters or Fresh Meat as they’re fondly referred to, were up to show off their skills in a mini bout after 6 months of hard work and passing their assessments.  The theme of the night was the 1990’s and in keeping with that, the Ravers took on the Grungies.  This was their first time bouting in an event and these girls brought it!  It was a close and hard fought battle but in the end the Grungies took the win 79 to 75. You’ll want to watch for these girls in future bouts because they are soon to be big contenders.
Up next, the lovely sounds of Emily Stewart and The Baby Teeth entertained the crowd while the grill kept them fed.  Meanwhile, it was time for the veteran skaters to take to the track and warm-up for the next expo bout called Saved by the Hell.  In this epic battle, the A.C. SLAYters were up against the Kelly KaPOWskis.  The fast-paced action kept the crowd on their toes and the teams kept it close.  It was another hard fought one; however, the KaPOWskis put the kibosh on the SLAYters, 108 to 102.
The rockin’ Decoration Ghost played into the night while the crowd of derby girls and guests mingled.  The space was then opened up for a dance party, as D.Js Larry and Prez kept the crowd going late into the night, fueling the nostalgia with 90’s hip hop and dance music.
It was a great opportunity for Greensboro to check out what their roller derby league is all about and how hard they work.  If you haven’t been to a bout yet, keep up with the schedule on the website and Facebook.  Make it a priority to see how amazing this league is and what an awesome addition to Greensboro they make.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I may vomit on the rink, and other worries.

Full disclosure. I am partially crazy. But if you play on my roller derby team, you already know that and kind of love me for it. Especially if you are a Nightmare. I have a tendency to get super nuts when something awesome is about to happen to me. Hot guy leaning in for a kiss? Mini throw up in my mouth. Headed to Carowinds? How bout I get in a wreck halfway there out of sheer nervousness! First roller derby bout? Sorry guys, can't make it. I am full on freakin'.

Okay, so most of that stuff hasn't really happened. Okay...all of it has...but I did actually attend, play in, and not die at my first roller derby bout. The following is how I think I managed to survive.

  1. Have a scary person on your team slap you in the face (I prefer Flogger, Wifey (Schoolya), or Emma Ture). Steal my go to slap people and you are Dead To Me.
  2. Know the rules. This seems simple, right? But it isn't. There are so many GD rules in roller derby it can literally make your head spin. Don't worry about it too hard though. No matter how hard you study, you can never prepare for your first major...which leads me to my next point...
  3. Be nice to the refs. The NFL's refs are paid. Kind of a lot, when you think about it. But their job is f'in hard. They tell guys like Michael Vick they did Something Wrong. Uh, I don't want to do that. But our refs are volunteers. VOLUNTEERS. In theory, they are keeping us safe. So be nice to them from the start. Let the fans yell at them...and then buy each ref a beer afterward. Also, don't act superior to them because they are dressed like Zebras.
  4. The night before the bout try to get some damn sleep. You won't, but at least try. Maybe even work on those “visualizing” techniques people keep talking about. Scientists said they work!
  5. Eat food that doesn't come in a bag. Have a nice salad, maybe some grilled chicken even. Ask the vegans on your team what they are eating, cause God knows they eat better than your carnivore ass. But don't eat fast food. (Shush haters! Do as I say not as I do.)
  6. Find the other crazies on the team. I won't call anyone out (*cough*Ripper*cough*), but I am not the only one who gets bananas on derby day. It is just in our blood to FREAK. You know how misery loves company? So do freak outers. Find your fellow freak outers so you don't feel judged (and to clarify, no one is actually judging you...there are two kinds of people...people who can't contain they are nervous and people who hide it very, very well). Dammit people with low blood pressure! Quit showing off how relaxed you are!
  7. Have a super rad outfit. This helps, a lot. The hotter you look the less likely they are to institutionalize you, because it isn't 1952 anymore. Also, I feel more confident when I like what I am wearing. Take your time making sure everything fits and moves well with your body shape and that your number is clearly tacked on. There is no bigger buzz kill than getting a penalty for your number falling off. I am talking straight up Buzz Kill.
  8. Drink lots of water. Signed, Captain Obvious
  9. Pretend like you are really involved with the National Anthem, because that happens directly before Your First Roller Derby Bout Starts. I mean, listen and all (AMERICA RULES!), but take deep breaths and realize the person singing is just as nervous as you are. There is some kind of comfort in that. (Am I sick?!)
  10. Hug your friends on the other team. Make sure to do this at half time as well. As Ari says, Hug It Out. I hate Entourage, by the way, but love that advice.
  11. Say hi to your parents, family, friends, co-workers, and strangers you invited to the bout. They came because you asked them to. Make it worth it for them, especially because your mom is more nervous than you are. She birthed you and you are about to play a contact sport On Skates in front of her. Plus, where the hell did that unicorn tattoo come from?!
  12. your first jam. Don't worry about it. It is like being in a Pokemon cartoon your first jam...WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?! How did I get here?! Why is that zebra yelling at me?! But GOOD NEWS PEOPLE! New Jam! There is always a NEW JAM. This applies to everything in your life. There is always, always, always a new jam. And sometimes (nods to Moloko) you gotta call off the jam.
  13. Pretend your 12 year old self (eye patch and all...yes, jerk faces I work a damn eye patch!) is in the audience watching this bout. She thinks you are f*cking AWESOME! Smile at your invisible twelve year old self and pat yourself on your disgustingly sweaty back, 'cause face it dude-YOU ARE AWESOME.
  14. After about your third jam you are probably starting to realize how awesome roller derby is. How all that hard work has finally paid off. Did I mention you were a rock star? Not to brag or anything, but I got MVP my first bout. I accepted my award after I vomited outside the emergency exit.

So, here it is guys. My first bout advice. I am like Buddha right? Buddha who has no ability to write a proper paper.

Just a side note-the nervousness never goes away. But when the hot guy/girl leans in for a kiss...Kiss their sexy ass right back!


Miller Lightnin'