From the helmet of: Tesla
Here's the thing. Derby is really hard. It's, like, stupidly dangerous. It's not something people choose to do casually, like, "Oh, yeah... I thought I'd just strap wheels to my feet and ask other people to tackle me while skating around a track, sometimes at high speed, with moderate protective gear." Even football and rugby are played on turf for goodness sake. So, knowing all of this, why in the world would you attempt to play even recreational roller derby without being physically fit, or even trying to be fit?
Doesn't make sense, does it?
The number 1 question, complaint, and general grumble I hear from new derby girls like me goes something like this: "I've been fresh meat for so long." That's it. Whatever else is a part of it, the main thing is wanting to pass minimum skills tests and get to the game. It's the complaint I had a million times over. I'm not good enough. And when asked what they're doing outside of derby to improve, these noobs usually say either a) "Nothing, honestly (This was my answer when I complained!)," or b) "Well, I kinda walk, and I try to go to the gym, but I hate it." Let me tell you why I understand this frustration. I know I've said this in previous posts, but before derby, I was a POTATO. A fucking potato! I didn't do a damn bit of physical work, exercise, or even physical recreation. You can picture a potato, right? Right. Ok then.
So, I was sedentary. Then I found this sport that I absolutely loved, and I wanted to be good at it. I could skate! I could skate backwards, even! This was gonna be great.
But it wasn't. It was really freaking hard, and I couldn't keep up as well as I'd like. I huffed and puffed. I pulled muscle after muscle, sprained joint after joint. Then, about 4 months in, I fell and hit my head so hard that I lost my place in the world for several months. I have video of the fall, and as I watched myself later, I spotted my weakness. I saw how wobbly I looked, and how unskilled. Being unskilled was something I'd have to just work at every day on the track, but the wobbly part... now, that was something I would have to handle. I had a moment re-watching that video where time stopped, and I felt really foolish. "I'm so damn weak," I thought to myself. I felt my arms and legs. They weren't huge, but they were just squishy, pillowy, fleshy. A lightbulb lit up in my brain like in a cartoon, and Gravy immediately came to mind. Who do I know who's strong? Gravy. Who do I know who is skilled? Gravy. How did gravy get skilled? She skated for years. How did Gravy get strong?
Gravy lifts weights. She even wrote a blog post about it, which I read, but on which I did not act. I re-read her post. I read through the posts she linked in the first section (omg! why didn't I read them before?). I thought about all my other friends who are athletic. I began to ask around and see if anyone had advice for me. I joined fitness Facebook groups. I asked about other derby girls who looked rock solid on the track, and visited the websites of skaters I admire, like Steph Mainey. Stephanie's Facebook cover photo was of her at the top of a deadlift, or some similar lift. Ok, so I had no clue at that time what a deadlift was, but she was holding a barbell loaded with weights, and her muscles were bulging. A theme was building, folks. All of these skaters I loved had one thing in common. They all cross-trained, and most of them ate like athletes. Why wasn't I cross-training? Was training and eating right only for the super-serious olympic athletes?
NO. If you think that, get it the HELL out of your skull. If you're healthy enough to skate laps, then you're able to train off-skates. And you're an athlete. Own that, and respect derby as the sport it is. Training makes you stronger. Stronger people get injured less. Follow me?
Eventually I asked around enough, researched enough, and really invested myself in learning about lifting weights, and I was ready. I started going to my friend Joanna's house twice a week to learn about lifting and do other cross-training workouts with a group of girls. Joanna is the shit, and so are the other girls. They're new to lifting, just like me. I revamped my daily diet, focusing more on getting enough protein and eating mostly unprocessed stuff. It's only been 4 weeks, but the changes have been incredible. I'm more stable, and that's saying something considering the slam to the head I took. I'm more confident, too. I don't feel as much fear when someone is coming toward me to knock me down. I just know my body is strong. Stronger. And it will be even stronger before the summer. I mean, if this is how 4 weeks feels, how will 12 feel? Oh, and I have ABS, y'all. They are in there! I feel them and see them! MOTHER FREAKING ABS. Potatoes don't have abs, so you can imagine that this was a shock.
Last weekend I scrimmaged for the first time since my concussion. I was shaky still, but it wasn't my muscles. It was nerves. My muscles felt ready, almost excited. During our warm-up, Venom had us doing walking lunges and sprints. Sprints! On dry land! And I liked them. Imagine skating in a scrimmage and feeling physically stoked about pushing your muscles and doing hard work. When the game was over, I had all kinds of flashbacks to my first scrimmage. I remember, about 10 minutes until the end, asking Chile, "What time is it...? I am so tired, I.. is it almost over?" It was sweltering, and she very sweetly told me we couldn't have more than a few jams left, and I just had to hang in there. WHAT A SQUISHY BABY I WAS! In comparison to now, of course. But, still. It was a fantastic measure of my progression. Everyone wants proof that they're improving, and that was mine.
Not only did we win that scrimmage, but I skated without a single penalty. I didn't think that was possible. I still stopped dead on the track any time a whistle was blown, and must have looked super confused at times, but I was way more aware of the game, so... good news! Track confusion DOES get better! What a relief. And, lately there has been another odd development. I find myself wanting to run. I know. It's crazy. I want to run fast and far, and I want to time myself. Who am I?!
I didn't write this blog post to school anyone, because I'm not a coach. I'm a noob like everyone else. I'm sharing all of this so that maybe just one person can learn from my mistake and make a good decision. What I'm really trying to say is, If you're not improving, AND you're not training outside of derby, then you better re-think some things. Nothing comes from nothing, my friend. Skill comes with practice (and, yeah, you should be practicing skills outside of practice time), but where does strength come from? You're not gonna get by on derby squats alone. Get to it. If you feel lost on how to get there, go read Gravy's post, and try asking girls you skate with if anyone lifts. Reach out on Facebook. Maybe a casual friend lifts at an awesome gym and you'd never know it. We have several personal trainers within the Texas Rollergirls group, and many fitness folks besides. I'll bet you know someone, even if they don't skate, who does something related to fitness. Start asking around. And lifting isn't the only form of cross-training. Take your pick!
Why is lifting with free weights mentioned specifically? Why not machines? If you have a gym full of machines only, then maybe that's what you'll be forced to work with, but the case for free weights, like barbells, dumbbells, and kettlebells, is enormous. When you use a machine it stabilizes for you. You don't have to worry about the weight shifting backwards, forwards, or side-to-side. That means you aren't building stabilization muscles as well as you would with a free weight, and you're not lifting with proper form because the machine is forcing you in one direction only, which is usually not natural. You know when a blocker smashes into you, and you have to keep steady so you can stand your ground and not let her hit you out? In that smashing moment, a bunch of stabilization muscles are working to keep you upright and in place, the same muscles you neglect to train with a machine. The same muscles that keep you skating strong when you're leaning into a turn. Food for thought.
And, finally, a piece of advice from my own experience: if you find yourself wanting to complain to people that you're not progressing in derby, make sure you're actually trying. If you're not cross-training, then you're not doing all that you're actually capable of doing to improve. Someone is bound to call you out on it. Call yourself out first, and be real honest. Are you trying?
From the helmet of: Tesla
Excuses: I'm fabulous at them. If they were a minimum skill, I'd pass that portion with flying colors and extra credit. If you've ever skipped practice due to anxiety, not worked out because reasons, not gone to bed or woken up on time, or eaten a whole pizza without a second thought, then you're likely a whiz with excuses, too. Excuses go hand in hand with honesty and responsibility. When you make them, and tell yourself you believe them, you're not taking responsibility OR being honest (with yourself and others).
Excuses are sly. They comfort and coddle you. They slip soft fingers into your cold hands and fill you with that warm whiskey-drink called rationalization...
"It's too hot outside to exercise. You can't go out there, you'll pass out! Oh, it's kinda nice out? Well, you're out of Nuun."
"You'll do better tomorrow." What a wonderful promise of hope and renewal. Tomorrow is a new day! Tomorrow is also the day most people quit smoking, start their diet, and clean the house. Tomorrow is convenient. I mean, it's always there, as long as you live to see it. Some people don't know if they will live to see it, and it is from those people that I think we need to take a cue. We are not promised a tomorrow. We don't deserve it. We're not entitled to it. Live today like you might not get one.
How does this apply to derby? Well, it may not apply to you. Maybe you're a rockstar that eats whole, healthy foods, commits 100% on the track, works out 5 days a week, sleeps 8 hours a night, and stays away from alcohol and tobacco. More than likely, though, you're a little on the excuse-y side, at least once in a while. You've read this far, so you must have a reason for sticking around. I'd like to admit something: I am terribly unfair to myself. I don't give myself a fair shot. Every single day, EVERY SINGLE FLIPPING DAY, I have the chance to make good choices and make progress. I have the chance to go for a walk, do 20 push-ups, jump rope in the driveway, pull out the yoga mat. I have the chance to drive to the grocery store and buy fresh greens and proteins instead of heading to grab to-go food. I have the chance to sit down and draw up meal plans, workout agendas, and goals. No one is holding me back. I choose not to do all of these things. I even get a great discount at the gym right down the road, and I don't choose to utilize it. I mean, that gym has a HOT TUB! But there are people at the gym. People! Does any of that sound familiar?
Lately I've been pulled aside by a few fellow skaters and told I have tons of potential, but I'm holding myself back. They are always so encouraging and nice, and it makes me feel really great, but also a little sad. They see me not applying myself. They hear me laughing and saying I'm only in derby for the fun, and it frustrates them a little because they think that if I only wanted it more and pushed myself, I could be really great. That is a stellar vote of confidence from some strong ladies I admire, right? So, why does it feel so awful? I am only doing derby casually, for fun, right?
Doubt creeps in. When I watch the Texas Rollergirls skate, do I feel only admiration, or do I feel aspiration? ::looks around innocently:: Me? Do I want to be a Texas Rollergirl? Do I want to be on a world class team like the Texies and skate at that level? I can't bring myself to speak the words "Yes, of course I do," because I don't think I'm capable of making it that far. I watch girls try out and and fail, and their failure is so much more skillful and spectacular than my greatest tries. I would never compare my beginning to their middle, that's just ridiculous, but I do compare my drive, focus, and determination to theirs, and I wonder if I'll ever get there. I see determination as something that comes on later, way after you've struggled. I don't seem to understand that I could be determined now if I wanted. I see how long they've been skating and how hard they've worked for their sport. Do I have what it takes to do that? Do you?
If you are just in derby for the fun, I want you to ask yourself the same questions. You might have to admit to yourself that you DO want it. You want it so bad you could just make yourself sick, but you give up before you've begun because you know you don't have a chance. You're just being realistic (that's an excuse). You are defeated before you've even tried. We all deserve a fair shake, right? A chance at a dream. If your secret, innermost dream is to be a pro-level skater, listen up: You have all the power to try. You have this one life and this one body. Don't watch everyone else skate by and not give yourself a fair chance. Those rockstar skaters didn't get where they are by whining about their life from the sofa. You know what you have to do, and so do I. If you don't want it, that's fine. But if you do... what are you waiting for? You think we have to skate for years in order to find our reason to strive for greatness? We could start right now.
So, here I am. I have a decision to make. I can continue to have a fun, flirty relationship with roller derby, or I can be a fucking committed derby skater in the greatest derby town in the world (yeah, I said it). I can eat potato chips, or I can do core exercises. I just have to decide what I want out of life and where I want to go, and then I have to take action. You don't have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great. I don't know who said that, but I like it. Let's do this. Greatness starts here.
From the helmet of: Tesla
You know how other peoples' cars and other peoples' houses smell really funny to you? That's the smell of being uncomfortable. It's the smell of the feeling you get when you're around people you don't know. It's the confusion of not knowing what to do with your hands in a photo. And I bet it's the way it feels to start in a new league because your husband wanted to move to Colorado (I'll explain that in a minute). It's got to feel really funny, like putting on a shoe that's the wrong size, and then running a marathon in it. Or, more accurately, skating a bout in a boot that's four sizes too big. Just... a struggle. I've read posts from girls on Freshie boards that make me ache inside. They talk about fear and doubt after changing leagues, about that feeling of not being accepted and everything being so off, and I always thank my lucky stars I'm not going anywhere. I've only been with these girls for 4 months, but it's taken me this long to even settle in a bit and stop panicking. Changing leagues has got to be rough, but for some of us just starting derby was an enormous hurdle. I'm here to tell you that jumping that hurdle is worth it.
I have some pretty ridiculous social anxiety issues. I avoid crowds like the plague, and stay home as much as humanly possible. I won't even go to the grocery store. My husband does all the grocery shopping, and I just deal with it when he buys weird stuff and can't figure out what kale is. Anyone with social anxiety will tell you that THE HARDEST part is getting out the door. Getting to the place. Getting in the door. I struggle with it every day I go to practice, still, but after some trial and error I've found a few things that have really helped me stick with derby and even branch out a little. Since I started derby I've become so much bolder. I mean, I went to a SHOW. A concert type thing! Then I drove home in the dark! These may sound stupid to you, but those were colossal hurdles for me, and I leapt them because of derby.
I want to share the things that really helped me get through the anxiety, but first I'll explain that Colorado thing: My husband wants to move. We've been in Austin for three years, and he's missing snow. I'm from San Antonio, Tejas, baby, and I just don't know about this snow business. I didn't see snow until Christmas Day the year I turned 24. Yeah, it doesn't snow in San Antonio, and only rich folks take vacations. Anyway, I'd kinda been dreaming of seeing snow my whole life, and when I finally got to see it... it gave me a massive panic attack. I'm talking crying, hyperventilating, screaming. I had a meltdown. Snow TERRIFIED ME. Great. Add that to the list of irrational fears. She'll pick up a spider in her bare hands, but show her a cricket and she loses her effing mind. If fears were rational we wouldn't have them at all. For now I've pacified my husband with the promise of a snow trip this winter, but goodness. What would I do if I had to start this derby thing all over? I'm amazed I've made it this far without a therapist. Let's talk about how I managed that. I hope some of these can help you, too.
So, maybe those things helped. Maybe they didn't. Maybe everyone else is a total badass that never needs help. Maybe I'm the only rollergirl with anxiety issues...?
Nah. I'm not. If you EVER need a pep talk, email me, or find me on Instagram (I'm @Libbybot). Friend me on Facebook and we'll chat it up. I'm not kidding even a little bit, and I won't judge your neurosis. When I was 14 my grandmother forced me to go to a youth event at her church "because she needs to socialize!" I was so completely overwhelmed that I threw up on the linoleum of the fellowship hall and then passed out. I woke up in some weird back room with people staring at me, vomit crusting on my face. Now you know stuff.
From the helmet of: Tesla
Did tears roll down your cheeks? My eyes got misty and I had to wipe away a few salty drops. Now, this may be because lately I've been told more than once, by more than a few people, to "be realistic," "be sensible," and "be responsible." I was told it wasn't a solid idea to start a roller derby blog or print roller derby shirts "because no one really plays roller derby" and my target audience would be too small to matter. Sometimes I played the part of the naysayer: I'm too new to derby. I don't belong yet. No one knows who I am, or cares what I have to say. What if they don't like my writing? What if I get made fun of or ridiculed for something I say? What if no one buys what I design? What if I fall out of love with derby and give up?
I'm not saying that watching an inspirational video will cure you of all laziness and lack of will, but I do think that sometimes we need to hear someone tell us to GO for it. So, GO FOR IT. That thing you've been wanting to do? Go try it. Maybe you're reading this blog because you're standing on the outside of the derby circle wondering if you could possibly do it, too. You can. You are roller derby. Maybe you're fresh meat like me, or a seasoned skater like Gravy, and you're wondering if you could ever possibly play on a travel team someday, or be an international derby dreamboat like Fifi or Stef Mainey. We all know that line in Whip It, right? "Put some skates on- be your own hero." I think that translates into "Just do it. Why not you?" Why not? Why not start a derby blog? (Because so many already exist! It's been done!) Why not finish that damn painting? (I'm not even a great painter. There are way better illustrators out there.) Why not finish editing those photos? (It's not like I'll win a contest or the hearts of america with these photos, they're just head shots.)
Allow me to be my own Shoulder Angel a la Emperor's New Groove's Kronk: That derby blog you start could save your sanity, and people might just LIKE IT. Who cares if they don't? Write it anyway! That painting could lead to other paintings. It could lead to a worthwhile venture into illustration if you'd let it. It might make someone's day. Those photos stuck on your laptop might contain a gem, someone's very favorite photo of themselves. Maybe a few of those pictures will end up in frames on a mantle, and someone will smile every time they look at them. Maybe you'll never be famous or rich, or anyone's hero, but you'll never be ANYTHING if you don't get off this damn sofa. Be your own hero. And if you haven't watched The Emperor's New Groove, remedy that situation immediately. Just saying.
After watching the video, I stood up and went upstairs. I had a small fire in my heart, and I didn't want it to go out, so I began to write. I guess that's the key, isn't it? Find something to kindle that little fire in you and then don't let it go out. Fan it, care for it. Don't let anyone stomp it out, and if they do? Find a match. I hope, if you were sitting still like I was, that you're not sitting now.
From the helmet of: Tesla
So, this last friday I had a group lesson with Smarty Pants, and I was all excited (who wouldn't be peeing themselves in glee, right?!). I was going straight there after work, so in the morning I gathered all my gear, packed it on my back, and headed out the door. Halfway through that door I realized I'd forgotten a whole bag of iamrollerderby shirts upstairs. Damn. It's ok, though, I thought, I'll just run up and grab them, my gear isn't THAT heavy. On about the 6th step someone placed a hot knife in the top of my right thigh. That doesn't feel awesome, I thought, but I kept running up those damn stairs. On the way down the stairs my thigh continued to feel not awesome. What did I doooo??! The morning of a Smarty lesson day?! WHY DID I DO THAT?
I rested it all day at work, kept it tightly wrapped, and then skated on it that night. I did fine, and my leg felt so-so. Most importantly, the Smarty lesson was awesome. Two days later at practice I was feeling glimmers of that hot knife again, but I was determined to ignore it. I made it an hour and forty five minutes through practice. Like a freaking PROFESSIONAL. Then, mid-jam, I knew something was going to explode, and sure enough my leg was again searing with white-hot stabby pain. I coasted on one leg to the ground and quickly began to de-pad, lest that damn jammer panty get passed anywhere near me (nope nope nope). My brain was having a fit watching my girls skate. I wanted to skate, too! But.. the knife in my leg..
Why is it so hard to accept that we shouldn't skate when we're hurt? Because we just WANT to skate that bad? Because we paid too much money to miss a practice? Because we're just macho mamas? Maybe it's because we don't want to look like pansies sitting out of drills and jams. I don't know what it is, but it's super dumb. Two days of contact drilling and scrimmaging on that leg, that was super idiotic. And going to practice tonight, two days later, was maybe not the brightest thing I've ever done either. One stupid knee-tap and I'm now in more pain than I was that first day, and I'm probably looking at an even longer recovery time, but I just don't care. And I should. I need this body, man.
Derby is a sickness, yo. And the only cure is more derby.
Speaking of stuff that is sucky, my Arius plates tried to MURDER me this week. I'll explain. We were (thank goodness) skating slowly in a pack, about to go into a drill, when my left skate felt kinda floppy and weird. I looked down to see the side of my front wheel. Like, the side of it.. THE SIDE THAT SHOULD NOT BE FACING UP STARING AT ME. What the deuce? I plopped down on my luscious derby butt and grabbed my skate. I was missing a pin! Arius plates don't have kingpins and normal truck/axel set ups, they have butterfly cushions as a pivot point for each set of axels. There is a bolt that holds that assembly together, and one of mine was gone. For a moment I was panicky and upset, but then Memphis skated over with my pin in her hand and a slightly confused look on her face. THANK YOU, DERBY GODS! Memphis rocks.
As I was hastily fixing my skate, Donna 'Pologize ran over and told me her Arius plates had lost a pin, too! At the skating rink! IN THE DARK! Holy hell. Why, Arius? You trying to kill someone? I'll be checking my stupid pins before I skate each time now, and if you have Arius plates I suggest you start doing the same. Damn sneaky ninja pin.
The moral of tonight's story is this: Rest if you're hurt, and check your Arius pins to make sure they're not loose. My motto of "rest is for the weak/I'LL REST WHEN I'M DEAD" is just egotistical and moronic. I'm not gonna say I didn't have a blast at practice tonight, because I did, but I shouldn't have done that knee-tap of death. I shouldn't have offered to be the jammer in drills. I shouldn't have blah blah blah. Derby.
From the helmet of: Tesla
Summer. That's how it began for me. A new coworker at my job turned into a derby godmother, and within a month I'd bought skates. Adult women roller skated? Recreationally? I had no idea what derby really was (there was a movie, right?), but I knew I had stumbled upon something pretty great/terrifying. I had skated as a kid. A ton. When my mom talks about it now she says, "Oh, she lived in skates. Refused to take them off," at which point my husband says, "Yeah, some things don't change. Lately I think she'd sleep in them if I let her."
I feel pretty open and relaxed about my status as a rollergirl now (four months in), but it didn't start that way. I bought skates in May 2014, and the summer session of the Texas Rollergirls Rec League didn't start until June 1st. My coworker told me I should go to speed skate practice at the local roller rink to get my bearings. It had been 20 years since I'd worn roller skates, and time isn't always kind. I also have a bit (ok, maybe more than a bit) of a social anxiety issue. I may play things off okay sometimes when I'm feeling nervous, but on the inside I'm usually on the verge of a meltdown. I made up my mind to go to speed practice. I borrowed gear. I obsessed over the driving directions and traffic. I drove there after work. I sat in my car. I continued to sit in my car.
Really, if my husband hadn't pulled up next to me in HIS car and dragged me inside, I may never have gone in at all. When he inched his car into the space next to mine I had a death-grip on the steering wheel, my gaze fixed on a nowhere point ahead of my bumper. I was dug into my VW like a tick, and fear was coursing through my veins. "There are gonna be roller girls in there!" "Why does everyone walking in there have inlines? No quads?" "What if I can't skate? I'm gonna pass out." I didn't even realize he was there until he opened my car door like a ninja.
Yeah, I may over-analyze just a bit. What would have happened if he hadn't decided to come? But he did, and I DID go inside that roller rink... and I could skate. I could still cross over, turn around, and skate backwards. I even remembered how to crossover backwards! I didn't fall once. Jackpot. Now, stopping was a different story. Let's just say I rolled into a lot of walls and people that first day. I rolled into another rollergirl and made a friend. Turned out, rollergirls were pretty nice people. Jackpot numero dos.
I spent the next few weeks going to friday night speed practice, watching derby bouts on YouTube, and trying not to puke myself whenever I thought about signing up for Rec League. Hubby told me to sleep on it until I was sure, so I waited until the very last day and then pulled the trigger. No choice now. I had bought gear. I had invested. Time to walk the walk! The first level of our Rec League is called Primer, and it's a non-contact basic skills level, and it's where I met Gravy for the first time. She certainly didn't belong in Primer, but was going through the motions since she was new to Austin, and to the league. I took lots of notes. There are assessments about three times per session in which you can try to get to the next level. After three Primer practices, I decided to assess "to get the feedback," I said. Yeah, right. I wanted to skate with the big girls! Sorta! I had no idea. I passed that assessment, and headed into what the league calls a mixed-level scrimmage intensive. It's not a regular practice session. It's drilling followed by scrimmaging every single practice. Every. Single. Practice. Scrimmaging. Ever seen a bright-eyed freshie do a hitting drill? I'm pretty sure I looked hilarious. Ever seen one try to scrimmage without knowing a thing about the game? YouTube didn't prepare me for this. And the HEAT. Holy hell was it hot. Texas summers aren't exactly cool, mind you, and we skate in a big warehouse/oven with no AC. There are a few gym fans, though, and a trash can in which to puke when the heat doesn't agree with the breakfast taco you hastily shoved down your gullet. Basura.
And so it went. I was gung-ho... and then I was beat down. I was encouraged, and fussed at a little. I kept having to say, "I'm new! I'm sorry!" Some girls would help and give feedback, and that was the best part about skating with girls in a higher level. Some were more of the tough-loving variety and knocked me down every single chance they got. Sometimes that meant real, oh-shit-I'm-broken injuries. I must have had a sign on my back: "Hi, I'm Tesla. My fear response is to stand up, and I'm not short, so go ahead and slam me to the ground!! Teach me a lesson!" Despite my best efforts to stay cheery, I got pretty down on myself. I got hurt, tearing some muscles in my rotator cuff. I got sad and frustrated, and began taking every hit personally. Maybe derby wasn't for me? Moving into the Intermediate level may have been a bad choice.
I decided to make my self-doubt known to the league coordinators and some of the girls, and I got lots of positive feedback. I also got a few links to some blogs about mental toughness, and a pep talk about owning my athleticism. No more excuses about how I'd never played a sport before. I'm playing one now! Time to own that shit. I went back to practice the next week ready to take on the world and keep smiling. I just did it. I took that stupid jammer panty when it was handed to me, and I got back up every time I slammed. I smiled through some pain and pushed through some exhaustion. I could do this. And the girls noticed. I got butt-slaps and high fives! I got congratulated on getting lead jammer! Wait.. I got lead jammer?! I hadn't even realized.
By the last practice of the summer session I was a rollergirl through and through (and threw). I had started derby to have fun and get a good workout. Pfffft. Silly freshie! You don't do derby to get in shape, you get in shape to do derby. I had never worked out before, but I was now squatting while I brushed my teeth and doing push-ups while the oven pre-heated. It didn't take long for it to become one of the most important things in my life. Three months from terrified to hook-line-and-sinker in love. And that's how I got here. I just want to share this derby love. I hope you'll like what I have to say.
Tesla and Gravy
Just two rollergirls trying to share the rollerlove from Austin, TX to the world.