Just in time for Greensboro Roller Derby's Lonely Hearts club bout... we're going to talk about DERBY CRUSHES!
When you skate derby, you hear it all the time...”I have such a crush on [insert awesome skater's name here]!" The awesome skater could be Bonnie Thunders, Suzy Hotrod, Kelley Young, Beyonslay, Smack Daddy... the list goes on and on. These girls ARE amazing, and I wouldn't kick any of 'em outta my... bench.
But lovin' the stars is a given. They set the bar, rock the house, blow our minds with their phenomenal talent. I get that. Sometimes, I watch YouTube clips of Bonnie Thunders for hours and take notes. Her moves make me have to wipe drool off my chin. I danced in my apartment for ten minutes when she requested my friendship on Facebook (stalkin' paid off!). To me, she is Michael Jordan, Michael Phelps, Venus AND Serena Williams. She is the best of the best of the best sport.
But when I thought about what a derby crush really is, I realized I have derby crushes on girls I skate with every single day, women I play against during inter-league bouts, girls I regularly whiskey slap. I am so lucky that I am surrounded by skaters who challenge me, frustrate me, and cause me internal injuries.
I posed this question to my league crushes and also asked my fellow league mates to spill their secret: who makes your heart leap on the flat track?
The answers made me fall in love with my league all over again. It was like that dream trip in Paris with your partner that you already love, that reminds you while you fell for them in the first place.
Although I am not going to reveal everything I learned about who crushes on who in our league (since some of it was told to me in confidence), I do recommend sharing with your crush your feelings. They will make her day and make her a better skater. She won't wanna let you down!
Here are a few of my own derby crushes:
To start, I have a confession. I love a truck drivin', foul mouthed shorty named Ka$h Honey. She busted into our league like a bat outta hell, and went from “Fresh Meat” to starting jammer in T minus ten seconds. My crush started when she first made the team, when I first heard her tell me what to do. I loved her confidence, her take-no-crap attitude, her hatred of slow derby. Ever since then, she has sealed my love for her by continuing to play by the same motto as I do: “GO BIG OR GO HOME”.
Like many girls on the league, I have a crush on General Sew for more than just her skating ability. But, it is her skating that makes my heart leap (and those red sequin shorts). I love watching her lap other skaters, seeing her go so fast the wind blows through the back of her jersey. I love how humble she is, how calm, how she can turn literally ANYTHING into derby shorts. General Sew is the glue that holds our league together, the voice that makes us know everything will be okay-unless, of course, she is coming for yah hips.
Sigh. AlaBAMison. Our very own home town version of Bonnie Thunders. BAM is one of those skaters that earned her stay, played for keeps, fought her way to the top, made people notice that SHE WAS HERE. BAM is a crush of mine because you think you got her- oh, you think you got her so hard, and then: BAM, she is already through the pack, smilin' that she just tricked you (again). BAM skates so effortlessly, so fearlessly, and still manages to stay classy and adorable at the same time. She is a rarity. She is GSORD.
One of the things that makes me LOVE local derby crushes is that you get to ask them questions like: What makes you so awesome? So, in an effort to “humanize” my derby heartthrobs, here are their actual answers, after much prying:
“Cus I got Skills, Thrills and Dolla Bills! Sike just playin – I’m awesome because I push myself - sometimes it can be my downfall because I push too far but I love motivating people and how can I help my team push to be better if I don’t better myself.” -Ka$H Honey (derby crush: Minimum Bruise)
“Well thanks for thinking so, but often times I am pretty hard on myself...The one awesome thing that derby has taught me though is that if someone tells you can't or shouldn't do something then prove them wrong. Who says you can't play roller derby? Who says you can't pass assessments after skating for only two months or that you can't be on the A-team? Who says you can't skate in a bout, and then compete in a sprint triathlon the next day after driving four hours and getting three hours of sleep? Which by the way is a really bad idea!! You can do anything you set your mind and heart to. You can amaze yourself with what you can accomplish if your really believe you can do it. If you want something bad enough you'll do what it takes to get to your goal.” -AlaBAMison (derby crush: Betty Rumble)
“I got to this level of skating from a combination of hard work, cross training, and genetics, and dumb luck. I was a skating rink rat in the late 70's and early 80's. My parents dated at the skating rink, and I spent a lot of time skating. Although I took speed skating lessons when I was 7 and artistic skating when I was 8, I was never really good at it, but it did give me a sense of comfort with having skates on my feet (and I'm pretty good at Galaga from all that time spent at the skating rink too!) I'm doing some running and I teach yoga, and I try to stay active, and make it to almost every single practice, but I'd better kick it up a couple of notches because there are some awesome and ambitious folks out there. My biggest piece of advice for other skaters out there is to come to practice (as often as possible), give it 100% all the time, and pair up with the biggest, hardest hitting girl out there. Watch how they move their feet, watch where their strength comes from when they hit, and watch how they absorb or counter a hit. Also, read those rules. To me, they're like poetry, and they make more sense, once I've got some personal application for them.” -General Sew (derby crushes: Molly Flogger, Schoolya Childs, Smackson Pollock, Pickle Joose, Ka$h Honey, AlaBAMison, Minimum Bruise, Snarl Young, and Miller Lightnin' [thanks General!])
So you see, derby crushes can be the very same women you see everyday. They are your resources for improvement. That extra push when you think you can't push anymore.
So go ahead ladies, tell your crush why you love her. You never know...she might just feel the same way.
In love and derby always,
PS: Because GSORD fans love to think we hate each other, I did not mention my favorite person to hit and be hit by: Smackson Pollock-you complete me.