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