Category Archives: Roller derby

I am a girl

I get why women say that roller derby changed their life. I tried out for the Inner West Roller Derby League last year because I couldn’t bear the gym being my only physical activity. My desk is just eight steps from my bed, so I’m not even getting the ‘walk to the station’ exercise that comes from commuting. I’ve always been uninterested in sport (watching and playing), so joining a team was completely out of character.

I was expecting to get really good at skating, get some impressive bruises, and to wear hotpants. What I wasn’t expecting was to be instantly welcomed into a family of fabulous people with excellent hair, gorgeous tattoos, and great names.

Before I started playing, life had become pretty blah. It wasn’t particularly bad, it just was. I’d been sick for a while, and there was a sameness to each day. But the energy and laughter from playing derby spread to the rest of my life. I started wearing more colours. I met a bunch of awesome women I admired on twitter. I started hosting a writers’ night (next one in April, by the way). Derby marked the point where I got my mojo back. So yeah, when women say that roller derby changed their life, I totally get that.

But – and this is the point of this post, I was just giving you that feel-good stuff to hook you in – we don’t just smash each other on the track and then go for beers afterwards. We’re also trying to do some good shit for other people. Which is why we’re holding a charity screening of I am a girl on Thursday 27th February:

The film follows six young women from Cambodia, PNG, Cameroon, Afghanistan, USA and Australia. It explores what it means to be born a girl in the 21st century.

There’ll be a Q&A session with the award-winning filmmaker Rebecca Barry, and because it’s a derby event, there’ll also be delicious cakes.

The money raised is going to Twenty10, an organisation that supports young people of diverse genders, sexes and sexualities.

Date: Thursday 27th February
Time: doors open 7pm, film starts at 7:30pm
Venue: Red Ratter, 6 Faversham St, Marrickville
Tickets: $12 (get ‘em here: http://bit.ly/1nFHbLp)
Here’s the Facebook page.

Come along, say hi, get to know your local derby team, and watch a great film. We’re doing freshmeat soon so perhaps you’ll join us on the track. It might just change your life.

My thighs! My thighs!

A few months ago I said I was going to try out for roller derby. I hadn’t skated since primary school – apart from a few times in the hall at boarding school in year 8 – so I made a plan. It was an awesome plan involving Rollerfit (a fitness class on skates) to get used to being on wheels again, and the gym to “get fit”, which is as nicely vague as “getting my shit together”. So not really a plan at all, but two basic things so I’m not completely shit.

I went to Rollerfit four or five times, and then I got sick. Proper sick. Sick for two months. I was meant to go to hospital at one point to be put on an antibiotic drip, but going to emergency at midnight on a Saturday? No thank you. Even had to have a CT scan on my head to see why I was a dizzy snot factory. It’s still a mystery, but I’m better now and have some funny stories about the oxycodone days.

Anyway, suddenly – suddenly! – it was tryouts. At the info session I discovered that everyone else has been doing the raw meat course to prepare them for it. Oh well. And I still had the wrong skates. Oh well. But at least I wasn’t grey anymore. Yay normal face colour.

And I fucking did it! I got in!

Hang on, let me say that properly.

I FUCKING DID IT!

I GOT IN!

Ron Swanson

The glorious Ron Swanson doing the “News with Nipples is on the team” dance. The young people will be doing it in the discotheques soon.

Yesterday was our first fresh meat training session and faaaark me, do I hurt today. Two hours of knee slides, double knee slides, 180 degree knee slides, baseball slides, and hanging out in derby stance. I LOVED it but today my thighs certainly don’t love it. Nor does the side I did most of my baseball slides on – although it’s more accurate to call them “half stacking it and once getting a wheel in a place it has no business being in” slides.

Here’s a demo of 180 degree and baseball slides:

Oh, I got a pair of derby skates. They have the Black Wheels of Death so of course I stacked it while standing still. New wheels will have to wait ’til pay day.

I haven’t played sport or been on a team in 23 years and now I am doing both. Voluntarily. I don’t even know who I am anymore.

I’m putting it in writing

I just went to the gym for the first time in ages.

It was so boring.

So just then I decided that this year I’m going to try out for roller derby.

Not like last year where in the late hours of NYE, @lozowl and I made a deal but then ignored it. (And in 2009, and in 2011 and for fuck’s sake lady just get on with it because this body ain’t gettin’ any younger.)

I need two things:

1. A pre-tryout training checklist so when I do go to the fresh meat tryouts (in September?) they’re all OH MY GOD YOU ARE THE BEST FRESHER WE’VE HAD IN AGES AND YOU SO TOTALLY CAN’T TELL THAT YOU’RE OLD ENOUGH TO COMPETE IN AUSSIE MASTERS EVENTS IF YOU WERE BEACHY AND SPORTY.

2. A really fucking awesome derby name. Go!