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You got no wheels you don’t know how it feels 
12th-Jul-2012 02:48 pm

*dusts this thing off* I clearly needed some motivation to get writing again, so figured this meme that had been doing the rounds would serve nicely, just go get my juices flowing.

Comment to this post and I will pick five things I would like you to talk about. They might make sense or be totally random.

Then post that list, with your commentary, to your journal. Other people can get lists from you, and the meme merrily perpetuates itself, hopefully for the rest of eternity!

[personal profile] in_the_blue gave me:

1. Roller skating.
2. Women in comic books.
3. Living in America.
4. Social media.
5. What you miss most from home.

Whereas [personal profile] muji gave me:

1. Roller derby.
2. Jewelry.
3. Home.
4. Cats, dogs, other.
5. The state of televised media.

 What a coincidence! I get to talking about roller things in one post!

About a year ago, my friend Kat persuaded me to go along to a Gotham Girls double header vs the Boston Derby Dames, a first time for both of us. Needless to say, we had a whale of a time and both came out saying “I want to do that!” And when I got skates for Christmas, I went straight out and signed up for the GGRD Rec League.

So I’ve been skating twice a week, more or less, for six months now, and it’s awesome. I’m no where near League standards – Gotham Girls are a league on their own anyway – but that’s not going to stop me trying out and making a fool of myself anyway, because I love it so much. And here’s the thing – I hate spectator sports, but i still go to as many bouts as I can and scream and yell and get all excited just to see those ladies move. And I have abs! What is happening to me?

Things that are great about roller skating/roller derby:

Instant Feedback

There are WHEELS on my FEET, yo. If I’m trying to turn, I can feel myself turn. If I’m trying to do a plough stop, I can feel instantly that I’m stopping. When I’m working on my underpush and crossovers, I know immediately when I’ve got it. It’s not like hitting a ball and hoping it goes in the right direction, the results are right there in my own momentum.

The Community

This bears repeating over and over again: Derby girls (and boys) are awesome. There is a huge variety of body shapes and fitness level in rec league, and unlike so many of our experiences in school PE and childhood sports, there is positively zero one-upmanship or body shaming going on.  I can go to a free skate at a rink in the city, and ID derby skaters from nothing more than the way they skate, then plough right up to them and start a conversation – just as socially anxious me did last night. The sport is entirely run on volunteers, and the community is completely supportive, totally welcoming and one of the most queer friendly spaces I have ever been in.


Aw yeah, a sport in which my ability to plant my feet into the ground and knock people off balance with just the power of my arse and thighs is actually a bonus! There’s still a psychological barrier to get over with regards to hitting people in the boob with my shoulder, but heck yeah! Screw you, overly damning social conditioning! I’m going to get comfortable with my body!

Going really really fast!



I’m not going to make a team this year, because my local teams are WAY out of my league. This is a shame, because I already have two potential derby names picked out. But it’s also not a shame. No need to get competitive or stressed about it yet. For now, I just have a community of awesome women and men, a physical activity I love and a sport I really enjoy. And I couldn’t be happier.

This post can also be found at Thagomizer.net. Feel free to join in the conversation wherever you feel most comfortable.

13th-Jul-2012 02:53 am (UTC)
I feel the same way about all of this. Sometimes when I think about what derby means to me I just want to cry, because it's helping me deal with pretty much every issue I've struggled with since I was really little. I feel like once I know what I'm doing with derby, I'll be able to do anything.
15th-Jul-2012 02:36 am (UTC)
Derby derby derby derby!

And it doesn't matter if I'm never THE BEST EVER, cause the journey is so good!
15th-Jul-2012 02:38 am (UTC)
EXACTLY. It's totally different from when I went to the gym and my only goal was to lose weight. I ended up feeling so miserable and working out became such a chore. But just skating around and doing drills is fun!
14th-Jul-2012 11:31 pm (UTC)
I am so constantly in awe of all the fun you're having with derby. CAN WE WATCH YOU SKATE IN SEPTEMBER? I REALLY WANT TO WATCH YOU SKATE.

Are you still giving prompt-y things? I'll take them if you are.
15th-Jul-2012 02:38 am (UTC)
The practices are non-spectator. But you can come to the rink I practise at, or to the park, if you insist!

1. knitting
2. tea
3. your apartment
4. Leverage
5. food you wish you knew how to make.
14th-Jul-2012 11:45 pm (UTC)
...you know, after all this talk, it's only just now occurring to me that some of my friends may be at the things you're going to. Though both of them (married couple) are fairly inactive now; one having injured her knee pretty badly, and the other being pregnant. /random thought
15th-Jul-2012 02:40 am (UTC)
I know the couple you mean - or at least one half - and I've seen her at one bout about a year ago. Not since.

It'd still be weird to go up to her and say "hello I am [Rami]'s friend off of a different part of the internet."

But I did think of you when I saw her!
15th-Jul-2012 02:52 am (UTC)
Heee. Well, if it was Beyonslay, she wouldn't mind. If it was Ani, then she might be confused, as to her, I'm just one of her wife's weird internet friends. XD
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