Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Where Everybody Doesn't Know Your Name & May Not be Glad You Came

This Saturday is our (Charm City Roller Girl’s) season opener – Season 3, and we’ve landed a bigger and better venue than ever before: DuBurn’s Arena, home of the Baltimore Blast (the professional soccer team). It’s at a great location – within the city limits, on a main road, plenty of parking, and in a part of Baltimore that’s been experiencing a rapid explosion of upscale development: Canton.

Even better, our team approached the bar/restaurant in Canton (aka, the most popular one) and got them to sponsor us $1,000: Nacho Mammas. Rad, right?

The money’s rad, the location is rad, the Nacho Mamma’s bar owners and workers are rad, but sadly it seems every other patron in Canton is slightly less than rad – apparently this is where all the people moved when they graduated college and had to leave the fraternity or sorority houses.

In the course of one evening last week, when we had a viewing party for our Ace of Cakes episode at another bar in Canton, our lesbian ladies were being hit on by drunk men who would not take “I don’t like men” for an answer and proceeded to scream at our ladies, and our big derby girls were being made fun of to their faces by the ex-frat boys for being “fat” and “unattractive.”

“Oh, Christ,” I said last night. “I wonder if we’ll have to pay back the sponsorship money if we get into a bar fight.”

“Nah,” my teammate said, “It would probably actually get those people to come see us, and the bar owners would see it as a success.”

Derby doesn’t typically want to make me fight. I love the sport, I love my teammates, and I even love the ladies on the other teams, regardless of what game faces we have on come bout day. Perhaps I’ve given people in general the benefit of the doubt, in that everyone I seem to come into contact with is really supportive of derby and its diversity, and Baltimore has celebrated us as such a positive part of this city. I’ve never felt threatened, and I’ve certainly never been made fun of to my face. And now this.

Is derby really breaking down barriers and showing it’s fans great things about women of any shape or size, of any color or sexual preference, or does derby just naturally attract the people who already have and share the same ethics as we do?

I’m trying really hard to embrace the community that envelops our new bouting location. Part of me has pie in the sky hopes that our moving into their community will help break down some of the stereotypes many of these community members seem to have, but whether or not it actually will is another story.

I must qualify this entry in saying that we have had good experiences with the women in Canton – I think they’re ready for derby. The men? Well, at least a handful of them need to be schooled in equality and respect. Hopefully, if some of them show up on Saturday, we and our fans will set a good example of what respectful human beings look like – there is no “look,” it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

I suppose all we can do is what we already do and maybe bite our tongues a bit more and tout the positive aspects of derby. I am looking forward to having a team bar, a home base for the mighty Speed Regime! Come see us this Saturday, May 3 at 6pm at DuBurn’s Arena: $10 General Admission!!!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Allergen Guilt

I have a lot of guilt for a person who probably really shouldn’t. Take yesterday, for instance. Yesterday was day 6 of the worst allergy attack I’ve ever had in my life. Here in Baltimore the flowers, trees, and grass are all blooming at the same time and have culminated in record breaking pollen counts, according to the newscasters. I haven’t been able to breath out of my right nostril and have had one continual sinus headache for days, so I called out of work yesterday when my head hurt so bad I couldn’t get out of bed. And as soon as I could muster opening my eyes and getting out of bed (at 1pm) to get some allergy and pain meds, I was hit with the wall of guilt for not having gone to work.

I hate sick days. I hate staying at home. I feel guilty each and every time I have to call out of work. I even felt guilty about it when I had eColi and couldn’t stray more than 10 feet from the toilet for 5 days. Due to that bout of sickness, I’ve depleted my sick days and now I can’t miss any more work until September 27, which makes me feel even more guilty.

To my defense, I did e-mail my boss at 2pm yesterday, and I completed a chapter I had e-mailed myself last week, working till 5pm, so I did get some work in. Still, it doesn’t feel like work if I’m not there, sitting in my office, even though, truth be told, I likely get more work done when I’m at home than I do at an average day at the office.

Our first bout of the home team season is this coming Saturday. I’ve been a busy bee preparing for that, and last night was to be the last team scrimmage we were to have before the bout, so I felt I needed to be there – at least to scrimmage with my team. I loaded myself up on 4 different allergy medications and went to practice, only after having gotten a disapproving look from J, who is of the mind of “if you can’t go to work, then you shouldn't do anything else that day.” (Sigh)

I made it through skating last night, took Benadryl, went to bed, made myself get up early to come into work early to make myself feel better about having missed work yesterday. I’ve brought 3 allergy meds with me, and I’m currently so freaking jittery that I’m actually thinking twice about going to get my usual morning coffee for fear that my heart will explode.

Well, I suppose all I can do is play catch up. I’ll stay late today and likely come in early again tomorrow, as I pray for forgiveness from the unmerciful god of guilt that resides in my head.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Welcome to Week 10 of the Campaign for Real Booty!!! It’s hard to believe a fleeting thought I had slightly over 10 weeks ago actually got off the ground and has been so well received, both within the derby community and outside it. CFRB is on fire, people!

I’m excited to return to the derby derriere this week, as I present to you a woman who is looking to take over the world… And she’s starting with Florida (with their voting machines – who knew?) – Domme E. Nation!!!

The President and Founder of the Broward County Derby Grrls, Ms. Nation, a self-proclaimed “life long big girl,” loves that she could join a sport where her size would be celebrated and not considered a hindrance.

We all have our favorite parts of derby – the need for speed, the crowd of fans, the smell that comes from our pads that hits us in the face when we so much as unzip our skate bags (okay, perhaps not the last one). For Domme E. Nation, it’s the simpler things that make her happy: “[I] love to show off [my] body and its incredible ability to effortlessly knock smaller gals on their ass.”

Domme says, “Along with other bigger derby girls, [I am] out to show the world that athleticism comes in every shape and size.” That’s what this is all about!

Through her booty blocks and hip checks, Ms. Nation is breaking stereotypes one big hit at a time.

You can check out Domme E. Nation May 18th at the Spring Fling, as the Beach Bruisers take on the Divas de las Muertas. Let’s hope the opposing team has some junk in their trunks as well, because if they don’t, I have a feeling they may just get their clocks cleaned, because – you guessed it – it’s time for DOMME E. NATION!!!

Keep submitting those booties, folks – there may be a cache, but I promise you we’ll get to the bottom of it!

Me (Possibly) on Ace of Cakes TONIGHT!!!

I can't believe I keep forgetting to post this!

Ace of Cakes, the Food Network reality show based around masterbaker, Duff, who owns Charm City Cakes here in Baltimore filmed an episode around my league, CCRG, this winter, and it's airing tonight!

Charm City Cakes is a CCRG Platinum Level Sponsor, and we love them muchly, not only for having made us two different awesome rollerskate cakes or having filmed an episode around their having sponsored us, but also because they are just a great sponsor in general, and everyone who works there is very geeked over roller derby (Mary Alice [aka, Francis Skate Key] is fresh meat!).

So, I may or may not be visible in the episode. If I am, I'll be announcing and not skating, because as I've mentioned, I deceided not to try out for the All Stars this past season.

So, hook it up! 10:30PM Eastern, Food Network, ACE OF CAKES!!!

UPDATE: I am in the episode - in the very last shot, after the cake is jumped, I'm standing next to Duff, who's clapping, as I look semi confused - go TV!!!


Well, today’s D-Day – IUD-Day to be exact. I’m having the bugger removed at 3pm, and I’d be lying if I said I was looking forward to it. I remember reading somewhere that the only thing more painful than having it inserted is having it removed. I was hoping not to have to face this day for at least another 6 years (they last a full 10), but alas, something is wrong with my female reproductive system (endometriosis, they think), and I must be put back on the pill to take away the insane pain and weird bleeding.

I’d like to think I toughed it out for as long as I could. I really liked having the IUD – I liked that it’s non-hormonal, I like that it cost $10 and could have lasted 10 years, and I like that my sex drive came back. I think I’m the most depressed about the latter. I really don’t want my sex drive to go away again, but I’m up against a wall here (which may or may not do anything for me in about a month).

In addition to everything else, I worry that my going back on the Pill will contribute to estrogen in the water supply – fish having both sets of sex organs, and other general repercussions.

I suppose I can’t think too hard on it or beat myself up over it, because if it is endometriosis and I let it go, I’ll be bleeding internally and building up scar tissue, which could cause even more severe health problems later on.

It will be nice to be generally pain-free and to be able to manipulate my fake period so I won’t be bleeding all week on my one vacation of the year (like I have for the last two years).

I’m prepared. I have a print out of all the Tier 1 generic birth control pills that my health insurance provider covers, and I have a stash of 4 (pretty lame) pain pills I saved from another incident to pop as soon as I’m back in the car and on my way home.

I’d really rather skate at the Lake tonight or show my old motorcycle I’m trying to sell on Craigslist, but what can you do? We just got the 5-disk Collector's Edition Blade Runner set in Blu-ray, which has the version that is truly the director’s cut, and not just the “Director’s Cut” that someone at the studio released, having nothing to do with the director’s intentions – money grubbing bastards. I’m excited to watch that as I writhe in pain.

Regardless of how this afternoon goes, the Campaign for Real Booty will be posted first thing tomorrow morning – I could never let the booty suffer, even for my own womb. So, get ready to view some Grade A, high-quality ass tomorrow, folks. Coming off last week’s Civilian Booty, I have a special roller-booty in store for you, my friends. See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Kicking Mediocrity's Ass

It takes an inordinate amount of work for me to just be mediocre at roller derby. Don't get me wrong, I'm a respectable 3rd year derby player, but I'm not "super-fantastic great." I was running at the Lake last night after work with my dog, Calvin, when I spotted two roller girls up ahead: my wife, Flo Shizzle (who finally figured out how to log onto her computer to read the entry where I called her out, but still hasn't responded because she can't figure out how), and the All Stars captain and my home team's arch rival for two seasons, Joy Collision, formerly of the Night Terrors. I'm more than three-quarters around the 1.3-mile Lake, waving, but the pair looked fairly surprised to see me there… running.

It's somewhat frustrating. I was telling my new captain last week that even when I was a kid and playing sports non-stop, I never was a super star. The closest I came to superstardom was when I played tennis, but let's face it, tennis is no contact sport. Instead, I was always the one who was made an example of by my coach: "…she may not be the best player on the team, but she hustles every single time she's out there, and that's what I want to see all of you do!" So, that's me. The person who works a lot but who has never been the superstar.

I suppose there's something to be said for hustling. I mean, it's not like I don't try – quite to the contrary. On days I don't skate at formal practice, I run 1.5 miles on the treadmill during my lunch, or I skate at least 6 miles at the Lake after work. Sometimes I actually do both. Today I ran at the Lake, and sometimes that's an option too. I've become an exercise fanatic, and for good reason. It makes derby easier for me. Still, I can't imagine I could possibly do any more than I'm already doing on a daily basis, and it seems to me that I'd have to in order to be a superstar.

So, as you may be able to tell, my not having reached roller derby superstar status really bothers me. I'm such a fucking overachiever. I do suppose that there are worse things I could strive to be: a hipster, a romance writer, or middle management (I actually have been planning attempting to write a romance novel for shits and giggles – I'll let you know how it goes).

So now the question is: what do I need to do to burst through my mediocrity plateau? I'm really unsure. I don't know if it's mental or (sigh) physical. I certainly hope it's not the latter, but it probably is, at least somewhat.

Perhaps I've lost sight of the real prize here – that being the journey and not the destination. Am I having fun trying to become a better derby player? Yes. And I feel great, personally. But, I'm still not prepared to concede to the superstardom. You can bet that's one reason why I play derby – for the competition. Sometimes it's competition with other players, other teams; sometimes it's competition with myself. Either way, I'm a sucker for it.

Yeah, I'll continue to enjoy the journey, even if I get startled looks if I'm caught out running. What's gonna make it so sweet in the end is the amount of ass I kick and the looks I get when that happens.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Fat-Girl Nascar

There’s a new bartender in Baltimore who, according to his coworker and my friend, use to work at a big derby bar in Texas – it was one of the teams’ “home bars.” I’ve always found this phenomenon intriguing, because none of our teams in Baltimore have really ever laid claim to any one bar, and I think it would be rather fun to have a home-team stomping ground – a place where members of other teams aren’t welcome, a place 16 girls own.

In any event, this Texas-transplant bartender tells a friend of mine a “funny” story about how one night the bar was hosting an event for the derby team, and some of the men who were regulars at the bar hung a large sign from the ceiling that they had made. It took hours for people to notice what it said: “FAT-GIRL NASCAR.”

Immediately upon hearing this story, I tensed up. I didn’t know if I should (or wanted to) scream or even dignify that anecdote with a reply. I felt like I was back in grade school – just having been publicly rejected or made fun of by the popular kids. I was back in 1985 being called “fat” by someone who I thought was my friend. It stung.

In the hour following my hearing this story, thoughts and come-backs swirled around in my head, but no matter what came to me, I still didn’t feel I had the best (or even a good) reply to why this story was just so wrong.

For one, roller derby is nothing like Nascar, except for the going fast and turning left bit. Derby is a team sport where only one person on each team is racing; Nascar is an individual sport (as much as I disagree with calling it a sport at all) where each individual is racing. This is all accurate, but it wasn’t doing much to satisfy my idea of what a good retort should be.

Secondly, no where near all roller girls are fat. We fat ones are certainly in the minority here. Maybe they were just saying it to be assholes, or maybe everything is bigger in Texas.

My third thought involved going on the defensive for being compared to a group of rednecks. “We’re not fucking rednecks,” I thought. Then I realized I was just as bad as the men at the bar for using the term “redneck” – I certainly wasn’t thinking anything good by it when arguing to myself that we were nothing like them. Shame on me. I was doing the same thing to rednecks and Nascar lovers that the men at the bar were doing to derby girls.

See, the gentlemen at the bar who hung the sign didn’t seem to be questioning the “sport” aspect of derby – they were attacking each individual woman who plays derby, and the attacks were a low blow. “You’re fat.”

I remember about 8 years ago I was sitting at a bar with a few friends, when this guy was talking to my female friend and I. I attempted to add something to the conversation, not even interested in the guy, and he stifled me by saying, “You’re fat.” I went on the deliver what I thought was the best come-back at that time: “Thank you, Captain Obvious! I may be fat, but you’re ugly. I can do something about my problem, but you’ll never be able to fix yours.” Really, it was the bitterness coming out and likely nowhere close to the “best” reply.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t think there is a perfect reply to being told roller derby is fat-girl Nascar. On one hand, there are always going to be haters – people who are jealous of the attention other people get, so they pick apart the other people’s flaws and act like children. Really, if “fat” is the worst you can come up with, then I think that speaks a lot for roller girls everywhere.

Some of us may be fat, but we’re not assholes, elitists, bigots, racists, or idiots. True, some of us are big girls. That’s actually pretty cool, especially if everything is bigger in Texas, where the roller derby resurgence that has swept THE WORLD began less than 8 years ago. Seriously, fat girls creating an empire, fat girls resurrecting and honing a sport, fat girls enabling each woman they come into contact with to become a stronger and better person? Yeah, that’s pretty fucking cool.

Roller derby: making the world a better place for fat girls since 1922.

Fat girls: making the world a better place through roller derby since 2000.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Time Out: Shit Storm

It’s a funny thing about Mondays – how they seem to cause or coincide with so many shit storms. I really did intend on writing today’s entry about something I will save for tomorrow, because I’m just entirely too flustered to be able to do any subject justice right now.

I got shit hitting the fan here at work. The only good thing is that none of it’s my fault. I also got multiple shit hitting the fan within the business of derby (deadlines being blown, preparation for our season opener, etc). Then there’s the “something’s wrong with my dog” shit that we noticed last night when he was having problems going up the stairs and the “I have no time to do anything” shit that I’ve just been feeling in general lately. Add that to the ongoing shit that is my aunt and grandmother both being in the hospital, and, BAM! Instant anxiety.

Really, all aforementioned shits are “usual” types of shit, but today they have accumulated into a shit storm (I never understood that phrase fully until now). My neck is stiff, my shoulders sore, and I’ve peed, like, four times already in the two-and-a-half hours I’ve been at work.

I suppose I just have to tackle one piece of shit at a time, rely on other people to help me pick up the pieces (ew), and relax as best I can.

I’ll be back tomorrow with some more insightful shit, I promise.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Friday is here, and that means it’s time for our special edition of the Campaign for Real Booty – this week we’re celebrating Civilian Booty!!!

What is Civilian Booty, you ask? Why, it’s non roller girl booty (okay, we did sneak some in there) that celebrates the strong bottoms of our off-skates sisters.

I must say that I’m very impressed by the booty presented today, and even more so by the women behind all that ass. So, let’s give a big bootylicious welcome to the ladies of Week 9!!!

I’d like to begin with some booty straight from San Diego, California – Zakiya!!!

Much like the wonderful weather in San Diego, Zakiya has an ass to match: it’s enjoyed year-round, and it’s hardly ever wet! Kidding aside (you know, because it NEVER rains in San Diego… Okay, bad joke), this is an ass that I love! And I love the person attached to the ass too. Thanks for submitting, Z!

I now present you with a woman who was prepared to jump into the Campaign at Week 3 when I was having a hard time soliciting the east-coast ass, even though she’s not a roller girl: Chrissy!!!

ChrissyChrissy BangBang, 29, of Charm City, is an optician on a mission to prove that you don't have to be supermodel skinny to have a bodacious behind. She loves good times with good friends and family, and of course her two dogs. As she says, "[I'm] proud to be a real woman with real flaws and a real body, [I am] self confident and damn fine!" Yes, you are! Thanks, Chrissy!

Next, I have submissions from two women who are participating in quickly-approaching fundraising events, and I think that’s awesome.

The first entrant will be putting her booty to work this May to ride her bike 140 miles over 2 days for Moveable Feast in the Ride for the Feast - Lisa!

Moveable Feast is a nutritional support program that prepares and delivers meals and groceries at no charge to people and their families throughout greater Baltimore and Maryland’s Eastern Shore who are in need and living with HIV/AIDS and other life-challenging conditions. The ride will take place May 17th-18th, and you can make a donation on behalf of Lisa and her hard-working booty by clicking here. Thanks, Lisa! Here’s to you doubling your donation goal!

Our second entry under Volunteer Booty will be participating in the annual SPCA March for the Animals this Sunday with her beautiful dog, Ginger – I give you, Tami!

Tami says, “This is not roller derby booty - this is what I like to call mater and tater booty. I was not raised on a farm by any means, but my grandmother and great grandmother were farm girls. I know this is where this booty and my farm girl legs came from.”

Tami goes on to say, “Don't get me wrong I do know my way around a roller rink. In 1980 I skated in a marathon for 12 hours straight just to win a $150.00 pair of Chicago skates… When I wasn't at Skate land you could find me racing dirt bikes… I now have a husband that is my best friend, and we have been married for 9 years. His pet name for my booty is Sweetcheeks.” Thanks, Tami!

Our next entrant is a woman after my own heart – she shatters the notion that skinny = fit. This woman is a yoga instructor at Charm City Yoga, and let’s face it, some of those (okay, most of those) yoga positions are HARD. Let’s hear it for Tanya!

Nice [tail] downward dog. Of note, Tanya is also the Volunteer Coordinator the Ride for the Feast. Go, Tanya!

Last but not least (I promised you some snuck-in roller girl booty, didn’t I?!), this booty could be classified as retired-roller girl booty, bloody booty, or best-friend booty. I give you the booty of someone you’ve heard me talk a lot about on here, Ms. Betty Beatdown!

Betty left CCRG after last season to focus on grad school, which is an acceptable reason to retire, if you ask me. This “bloody booty” shot was taken last summer after our league skated at VirginFest… on sloped blacktop filled with gravel. Yikes, that hurt!

In case you were wondering, don’t ever injure yourself at an outdoor concert like that. Yes, there are several First Aid stations and even a larger Nurse’s Tent, but because of insurance reasons they cannot actually do anything for you. Betty came away from the Tent with one packet of antibiotic ointment, and she was told to “find the bathroom and scrub it out as best as you can with a paper towel” before putting the ointment on herself. Although she left part of her ass at the festival that year, the whole of her ass will always have a special place in my heart.

Well, there you have it. I’d again like to thank all the women who submitted photos for this week’s collage of Civilian Booty – you all rock! Thank you for rocking the ass out there in the real world - keep fighting the good fight, and rock those strong asses!

Next week the Campaign for Real Booty will return to its normal brand of booty with brand-spanking new roller girl ass!

Why The Pope Hates Roller Derby

I’m unsure how much media coverage the Pope’s visit to the US is getting outside of the Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia areas, but it’s been all-Pope all the time here in Baltimore since last Friday, probably because he’s coming here as part of his papal visit.

I must admit, this Pope creeps me out a bit. With a devious expression on his face all the time, he just looks evil to me – to the point where I wouldn’t be surprised if he reached under his robe, pulled out a sawed-off shotgun, and started shooting while making his way through the crowd in his PopeMobile (which, by the way, I just noticed is essentially 5 slabs of liquor-store grade bullet-proof glass placed together in a cube formation and mounted to the truck-bed part of a Subaru Baja).

So, although many, many people in the area are excited about the Pope’s visit, many others have been affected in a negative way, causing them to wonder what they ever did to the Pope to be treated this way. Last night during practice I got a really funny text message from Lady Quebeaum that read:

“I am stuck in Pope traffic!!! Why does the Pope hate roller derby?!?! Why?!!”

And, so, I will attempt to answer why the Pope hates roller derby by outlining the following “stances” the Pope/Vatican has taken against what we involved in derby may see as the cornerstones of our very existence (my apologies to the Catholic readers here – it’s all tongue-in-cheek good, clean fun, I assure you):

Divorce and Remarriage: If you’ve been in derby for any significant amount of time, you then know very well that roller derby contributes to divorce, as many ex-husbands of roller girls may tell you. As tongue-in-cheek as this is suppose to be, the first point is all too real. So many men can’t handle their wives being outside the house [gasp!] two nights a week [gasp!] for a hobby they enjoy. These men are control freaks who married independent women. It’s not derby that broke them up, but the men’s unreal expectations of what a woman’s job is suppose to be after she’s married. The Pope, however, would beg to differ. I’ve been told on good authority that he sides with the men here – it’s roller derby that causes divorce, not the men’s unrealistic expectations.

Then, there’s the “derby widow” phenomenon. It’s true, we spend so much time doing derby once we’re involved that our significant others become “derby widows,” and we consequently take “derby wives,” which leads me into derby’s violation of the second stance the Pope is against, homosexuality/gay marriage.

Homosexuality/Gay Marriage: I love my derby wife, Flo Shizzle, even if she doesn’t read my blog because she’s too old to know what a blog is and, quite frankly, has a difficult time just managing using a computer. She can’t be bothered by “technology.” I can embellish here and say that, because she’ll never read it. Regardless, I love her, and we even solidified our relationship at RollerCon last year by getting married. I have the certificate to prove it.

On a more serious note here, one of the reasons I think derby is the bees knees is because we’re accepting of everyone. We love queer girls, and we (my league, at least) strive to create an environment where no one will ever experience any sort of discrimination. Not only that, but we respect each other and create a safe place for the gay ladies to be girly if they want, butch if they want, or just basically express themselves as they please, as we encourage everyone involved in derby to do.

Contraception: Even women who were never too keen on family planning become keen on it once starting derby, and especially if the season is about the start up. Who wants to leave their team half way through the season to sit on the sidelines and bench coach? No one. It’s excruciatingly painful to be on the sidelines, watching, knowing there’s nothing you can do—you can’t jump in and help your teammates out. But, then again, there are those women (albeit very few and far between) who show total disregard for pregnancy, bringing me to our third stance, abortion.

Abortion: When my league first started 3 years ago, there was a flutter of activity on the national Rollergirls Yahoo group concerning a pregnant skater who refused to stop skating even though she was pregnant. Her league told her she wasn’t allowed to set foot out on the hardwood once they found out she was pregnant (and actually kind of far along), and she retaliated by threatening to sue her league. She went on to make a couple postings inquiring about a “belly cup” she could wear to protect the baby when she fell during scrimmaging. She essentially wanted to strap the plastic part of a gigantic kneepad to her abdomen, as if this was an acceptable solution… Or as if this EVEN EXISTED! To this day, this story blows my mind.

Poor Driving/Road Rage: Last, but not least, we have the Pope’s/Vatican’s very odd stance on poor driving and road rage. I remember thinking, “don’t they have better things to contemplate?” when I heard about this one. And even still, we roller girls break this one too! Whether it’s our aggressive driving and excessive speed we use when we’re late for practice or our innate ability to carry derby-play over onto the road after a long night of scrimmaging (I’ve been known to booty block some cars on the way home), we’re repeat offenders here (like the Pope isn’t in his pimped-out Subaru Baja!).

And, so, Lady Quebeaum, this is why the Pope hates roller derby. Take note, I think the Dali Lama is creating his “why I hate roller derby” list now. Something about not being compassionate on the rink…

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


In the car this morning on my drive into work, I was fiddling with my earring, which popped off and went in between the seat cushions. While at a red light, as I reached in to pull it out, a fortune-cookie fortune slip was pulled out with it as well, and it read: Your actions speak louder than most people’s words. It was then that I realized I had to write about the topic I wanted to write about today, but was feeling too dorky to actually write about: the first ever female winner won Biggest Loser last night.

Okay, I’m embarrassed that I watch the show. J makes fun of my watching it, and some of my friends do too, but you know what? I really like to see people succeed, and that’s why I think I watch it. Before the “final weigh-in,” the soon-to-be winner, Ally, announced without a shadow of a doubt that she was going to be the first ever woman to win. In the clip that they showed prior to her “reveal,” they show her on top of a mountain in Australia and her crying, realizing that what she was doing was no longer about herself – it was about more than that. It was about her inspiring other people. A woman has never won the game before, and she acknowledged that her possibly winning the game would have such a big impact on women everywhere. A woman can do it.

Now, I actually think Ally, the winner, looked like a bobble head and could have easily weighed another 20-30lbs and looked great. I’m not excited about her winning because she was able to make herself look model-thin. Let’s face it, she lost her ass. I am excited about her winning because a) she’s a woman, and b) it goes to show that a person can do anything she puts her mind to, regardless of the goal.

This game has been dominated season after season, in multiple countries, by male winners. I’ll admit that I kind of bought into the fact that “men will always win, because it’s easier for them to lose weight,” but I was proved wrong, and I’m glad. I’m a woman who certainly already has a lot of faith in womankind, but even I had that bias. Can you imagine what sheltered women who aren’t as progressive as we are may think about women’s abilities? Well, hopefully they were watching last night’s episode and were able to leave the sofa with a bit more confidence in themselves and women in general than they had when they sat down and turned on the television.

The winner might as well have been Jane Doe before she went on the show; she was a completely average woman – she blended into the woodwork, she could have been any one of us. I think that’s another reason her winning was so great. She showed viewers that anyone can succeed at their goals if they want – even someone just like the viewers themselves.

So, although this entry sounds like a promo for Biggest Loser, it’s not meant to be. Let’s face it, Biggest Loser doesn’t need my help to be successful; in the days following their finales, their website is busier than the ladies restroom outside of a Weight Watchers meeting before weigh in (I’ve been there, so I can say it – everyone wants those last drops of pee out before they step on that scale!).

I just think it’s really great to see women be positive role models for each other. Shit, that’s what our Real Bootys do for us each Friday, right? But let’s face it, we don’t have to broadcast ourselves to be role models – we don’t need a TV show or to be MVP of a bout or a blog to be role models and to inspire other women. We can do that everyday, in the way we carry ourselves, the way we treat people, and the way we stand up for what we think is right.

So, although I have no clue where that fortune I found this morning came from, I think its message is true for all of us: Your actions speak louder than most people’s words.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Stunting My Growth

I’ve started smoking again. I’m not at a pack a day or anything, but I went from bumming a couple of smokes on a Saturday night while out drinking with my friends to nearly a pack on the weekends and maybe two singles each day during the week.

I always loved the smell of cigarette smoke. My uncle was smoker (still is), and I use to love the way it smelled – the way he smelled. I think I’m the only person in history that actually likes the smell of a burning cigarette, sad but true.

I’ll never forget my first cigarette. I was in the 6th or 7th grade, and my friend, Holly, would sell us looseys for ten cents each. I think they were Viceroy. For the love of god, can you imagine a pack of 11-year-old girls smoking Viceroys? Well, we were it. I would hide the already stale looseys under my bed, wrapped in a maxipad, and by the time I finished smoking them, well I should have been turning green from the staleness, but I didn’t care.

I got a fake ID at 15 that allowed me to buy cigarettes from the CVS in the mall where I worked. Back then I smoked Marlboro Mediums. I smoked those for a while.

I continued to smoke throughout college (Winston Lights, Camel Wide Lights, regular Camel Lights, Parliament Lights…) and for some time out of it, but I wound up quitting 5 or 6 years ago. There was a brief stint when my dad died that I picked it back up for several months, but I don’t count that, because well, it was a very stressful time and I just don’t want to count it, thank-you-very-much!

So, here I am. I’m actually at what I would consider my peak physical performance, and I’m smoking again. Why?

Well, I know work and derby work have been stressing me out lately (the sheer amount of both), but that’s no reason to start again. I think part of it is that the weather’s finally starting to get nice here in Baltimore, I’m spending more time outside, and I use to love smoking in the warmer months. Either reason, I need to kick this habit.

First, I need to drink less, because when I drink, I’ve been known to make poor choices, like smoking an entire pack of cigarettes or eating half a box of garlic-parmesan Cheez-Its (which are heaven on earth, people).

Second, I need to smoke less, because smoking makes me want to smoke more.

Third, I need to enlist my friends, and certainly my league mates, to slap me if I try and bum a cigarette or if they see me smoking one.

Luckily, I don’t think I’m that deep into the darkness that I can’t easily pull myself out (I’m certainly not at a pack a day). I can do this. I will do this. And I will not enlist the Cheez-Its to help me.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Thank You and Call for Civilian Booty

Today, I’d like to take the opportunity to thank all you readers out there – for inspiring each other and me. I get so many e-mails and myspace messages from readers who enjoy this as a place that’s not only safe for women, but also where we break down barriers and encourage each other as well.

The Campaign for Real Booty (CFRB) has really struck a chord with many women across this country (and across the globe), be they derby girls or not. I’ve received glowing reviews from such women who say CFRB has made them a better derby player, inspired them to set a good example for the other big girls they come in contact with, or allowed them to see themselves in a different light. That’s what it’s all about.

I think the important thing to take away from CFRB, or any other post that may be on this blog, is that we all have the power within us to set a good example for other ladies and excel at something (anything) we want to be good at. If you want it, take it. As those of us who do derby know, size isn’t an excuse for anything – if we can haul ass and be superstars at a sport, then we can do anything we put our minds to.

So, I’d like to thank everyone who has submitted pictures and bios for CFRB. Thank you for being a leader. Thank you for showing anyone who may even stumble on this blog that there’s nothing any of us can not do. Thank you for inspiring each other. Thank you for continually inspiring me.

As I mentioned on Friday, I’d like this coming week’s CFRB to feature our non-derby sisters who are rocking it out there as working professionals, stay-at-home moms, working moms, friends, sisters, and daughters. If you’re a reader and don’t play derby, I’d like to encourage you to send in a picture for this week. You can include your name and a short bio if you’d like to, or you can choose to remain anonymous. I hope to get a good response out of this solicitation, so please help me spread the word!

Long live real booty!

Friday, April 11, 2008


Today here at Big Derby Girls Don’t Cry, we’re celebrating the 100th blog entry and the 8th week of the Campaign for Real Booty, so it is my utmost pleasure to present someone from the East Coast, someone from my hometown, someone from my league – ladies and gentleman, I give you Pixie Rocket from the Charm City Roller Girls!!!

Pixie describes herself as “a proud zaftig* – a nice Jewish girl.” And as a blocker and sometimes jammer for the Charm City All Stars or her home team, the Night Terrors, Pixie started honing what would become her derby skills at a young age, “I grew up on roller and ice skates, and was always up for a race against anyone, especially boys.”

“I knew derby was for me when I learned the booty block... it was seriously a dream come true,” she says. “Since training for derby, I definitely have gotten more in shape, and I've lost a little bit of weight and gained a lot of muscle. I'm never gonna be a waif girl, nor do I want to be. I'm pretty happy with my curves, most of the time.”

Pixie goes on to say, “Not to sound totally egotistical, but I have always loved my ass. Derby has made me like my thighs a lot more; I did cover them up pre-derby 'cause I thought they were too big. In general, I'm more confident about my whole body, and I try not to pick it apart into little pieces or criticize the ‘imperfections’ too much. The fashion industry does that enough, and Pixie Rocket ain't buying it!” Damn, straight, girl! Woot!

“I love being surrounded by strong women at practice, and the guys who support us. It's empowering to feel comfortable enough to play around with my sexuality when I want to, rock out the booty shorts, or sk8 in my sports bra when it gets too hot at endurance practices,” she says. “The dirty old man in me also gets distracted by all the other hot booties at practice sometimes too.” (We all know who she’s talking about here, people…)

(Pixie 3rd from the left, with Female Trouble, CCRG's 2007 B-Team - also notice the sweet, sweet ass of Mibbs Breakin' Ribs, third from the right)

Pixie and the Night Terrors will be skating in the CCRG Home Season opener at DuBurn’s Arena on May 3 against the Junkyard Dolls. You can also catch me there playing with Speed Regime against the Mobtown Mods.

I've heard from quite a few non-derby readers how much they love the Campaign for Real Booty, so I'd like to open the Campaign up to non-derby playing gals as well. Send me your booty pix this coming week, and week 9 of the Campaign for Real Booty will be a collage of non-derby asses. Click on the link to the right to e-mail me your shots! XXOO, Cindy Lop-her

* Main Entry: zaf•tig
Pronunciation: \zäf-tig, zȯf-\
Variant(s): also zof•tig \zȯf-\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Yiddish zaftik juicy, succulent, from zaft juice, sap, from
Middle High German saf, saft, from Old High German saf — more at sap
Date: circa 1936
of a woman : having a full rounded figure : pleasingly plump

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Coming Together

It’s Thursday, and my car’s still broken down. When something like this happens, I’m usually a total freak about it, but for some reason I’ve remained incredibly calm these past few days.

As you may know, I can’t handle when things are beyond my control, because I want to be in control at all times (con-trol freak!). I make myself sick with worry. I become all consumed with the problem, speculating about what it could be and how much money (that I don’t have) it’s going to cost to fix it. I’m impatient. I’m obsessive. I’m neurotic.

But this week has been different. I thought I was only going to need a ride into work on Tuesday and Wednesday, and I had secured a ride for those two days, but as it turned out, I need rides for the rest of this week. I was totally prepared to brave Baltimore city public transportation and the 2 hours it would take me to get the 9 miles to my office (even if I may be beaten to death by a 14-year old while riding the bus). But, to my surprise, my friend at work (who reads this blog) sent me an e-mail yesterday as I was researching bus schedules and offered to give me a ride today. Now, I may be better about being calm in situations like these, but I’m still proud as ever, which means I wouldn’t have asked anyone else to help me out by giving me a ride. It’s for this reason that I’m so very thankful for Tami and her kind offer to drive me to and from work today.

Knowing I didn’t have to get up before the crack of dawn to walk the mile to the bus stop and make the bus, I was feeling slightly relieved last night. “Things seem to be working out,” I thought to myself. Then my phone rang. It was my friend John, who had called out of the blue to tell me he saw me driving down Rt. 40 earlier in the afternoon.

“It wasn’t me,” I said.

“Are you sure?” he asked.

“Yeah, my car is fucked, and has been sitting for 3 days, so it most certainly wasn’t me!”

John is a mechanic. And although John is my friend, I could never ask him to do me a favor, which is why I hadn’t talked to him since my car broke down (see “pride,” above). John, however, is the kind of guy who will do anything for a friend. He immediately offered to take me and my car to his shop on his day off, so we could get it running again.

What a bizarre coincidence. Why John thought he saw me, I’ll never know, but the universe has certainly found a way to take care of me and my poor broken-down car this week. Perhaps it’s divine intervention, perhaps it’s just having really great friends, I’m not sure, but even though I’ve had a really shitty week, I overwhelmingly feel like a very lucky woman.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Things Your Mother Would Say to You (But Not with This Mouth)

Not too long ago I got into a conversation where I was thinking out loud about what type of personality I had. It's an exercise in the Deepak Chopra Coincidence book I read this winter - you're asked to choose three archetypes that you most closely relate to. You use it in a meditation exercise that's suppose to bring you closer to being who you are, doing what you're meant to do, all that new age jazz.

I could only come up with one image, and I was embarrassed to tell my friends what that one was.

"It's the Rosie the Riveter poster, and I chose it because I feel I'm a strong woman who will do whatever it takes to get the job done."

But I had to choose two other archetypes I related to and was at a loss until my friends overwhelmingly all told me I was a nurturer, which surprised me at first, but the more I look around, the more I realize I am that too.

Just now, as I sat down to type this, I was carrying on a conversation with the snake (a real snake, Benny the boa constrictor - not a trouser snake, come on, people...). No matter how many times I'm reminded that snakes don't have ears, I still talk to Benny each time I enter the room.

"How are you doing," I will ask him. I'll pause to watch him sniff me by flickering his tongue.

I know Benny likes me - I think I'm a calming influence on him, because I'm the only one in the house that really takes the time to make sure he's happy - has enough water, his heat light isn't too hot, etc.

And that's what I find myself doing with other people I come into contact with too - making sure they're happy. Really, happiness is all you've got - to me, it's the only thing that matters in life. If you aren't happy, then life is pointless.

Just tonight my friend gave me a ride home from dinner, and we got into a conversation about her job dissatisfaction.

"Well, what do you want to do?" I asked her.

"I want a job that isn't 'this' and isn't 'that'," she said.

"No, not what do you not want to do, what DO you want to do?" I asked again.

Not many people know the answer to that question, but like I told my friend, I think it's worth some serious exploring if you want to be happy in life, really happy, and not just happy for the moment because you've avoided something you hate. In fact, by avoiding unhappiness, you may only find yourself in the same unhappy predicament 5 years later, because you just changed the problem instead of finding out a solution: what you want.

I was reading an interview the other day and the person said he felt a sense of urgency after someone close to him died. I can totally relate to that. As much as I'd love to have my dad back, his passing lit an inexplicable fire under my ass to do all I can do and create and experience all the happiness and beauty I can, every single day. So, in some ways, I'm kind of lucky to have experienced loss so young. I certainly have more time now than I would have if I hadn't had this experience until I was 50.

And I want for my friends and the people I meet to experience this same obsession with life that I have. I want to see the people I love take control and ride this crazy wave for as long as they possibly can. It's fun. It's fulfilling. It makes you happy.

So, I guess I am a nurturer after all. Fuckin' aye.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Stuck in the Weeds

The past few days have been problematic. They could have been worse, no one has died or been involved in a horrible accident, but it’s just been one thing after another at the Lop-her household.

It started out with a gathering at my house on Saturday night. It was a good time. I made girlie drinks, and we sat around drinking and laughing for hours. At about 1am I realize it’s taking a friend a while to get back from the bathroom, so I go to investigate. She winds up puking all over my guest bed (my dog sneaks in to eat most of it), my upstairs hall, and my bathroom. One part of the puke that was on the bathroom door very closely resembled congealed bacon grease... Worse yet, I keep finding puke – still. Just last night I saw some on the bottom of a wall. I really would like to be able to stop walking around my house with Lysol disinfecting wipes.

It’s spring, and I’m happy about that, but this year my allergies have been killing me. The Claritin I take doesn’t truly last 24 hours, so my doc tells me to take Benadryl before bed. It works, but it also makes me late to work, because I can’t get up. Then there’s the drug-induced haze I remain in until 1 or 2pm daily. I decide to stop taking it, which results in my missing work yesterday because of a migraine, which was certainly sinus related.

I finally get out of bed at 2pm yesterday, and I do some laundry. I decide to go to practice (even though I feel guilty about having missed work and feel like I “shouldn’t” allow myself the fun of practice). I drive out of my parking spot, up the street, and hear a loud snap, followed by a grinding noise. Fuck.

I drift backwards down the street to get my car back to my house. Now, let me mention that yesterday sucked for my boyfriend, and he was in no mood to do anything, let alone deal with my now broken car. I drag him out of the house to inspect it. I can’t drive it, he can’t fix it now, and I have to make arrangements for my coworker to give me rides for the rest of this week.

I suppose out of everything that could have gone wrong, mysterious reappearing puke, a migraine, and a broken car aren’t exactly that bad, but they still suck. Today I'm here, at work, in a Benadryl-induced drug haze, and I'm really just ready to put this all behind me.

Friday, April 4, 2008

The Thinker

There's something really depressing about seeing a man sitting on the toilet. No matter who he is, he just looks vulnerable and sad. Think about it. It could be anyone - any man out there - seeing him sitting on the toilet, regardless of who he is, is not something you would want to do.

Maybe it's because we see the men in our lives as masculine and strong. We don't want to see them in such a weak position; sitting, with their pants down,their junk tucked in the toilet bowl...

Then think about women. We sit all the time - there is no option of standing up (unless you buy this). We sit. That's what we do. And so we can make sitting on the toilet respectable.

There's the "talking to your friends" sit, where you're all crammed in a one-stall bathroom, all dressed up because you're out at some bar or at a party, and you're excited to be there. Your friend is checking her makeup in the mirror while your sitting, chatting with your other friend about where she got her purse.

There's the "talking through the stalls" sit, where you carry on a very important conversation with your friend that started in the other room and you couldn't just wait to finish. It's purposeful and informative.

Then there's the "drunk" sit. Sometimes you could be in a public restroom, hovering over a seat full of 2:00am puddled piss, and you're so drunk you slip and fall in it, or you could even be pissing outside if you're unfortunate enough. Even then, you can't stand up, you still have to sit - squatting behind a building or bush (or in a parking garage after The Pogues, Betty Beatdown), your desperately holding your panties and pants out, so you don't piss all over them, piss splashing on your shoes.

Okay, so they can't all be respectable. But, no matter what way a woman does it, she hardly ever looks vulnerable and sad.

I suppose the men did get the ability to pee standing up, but we got the ability to pee sitting down... with class.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


Lucky number 7 ushers in an ass from overseas – the Campaign's global, baby! Today I give you Hooligal!!! Originally from Canada (Hammer City Roller Girls/June 2006 to January 2007), Hooligal is currently a blocker/pivot with the London Rockin Rollers (UK), and has been doing derby ever since she first saw Rollergirls on A&E.

“My ass is my biggest weapon, and many a jammer has been stuck behind my booty block of doom,” Hooligal says. “I'm also a total tease and will wiggle my butt at you in taunt. I have considered getting 'Wide Load' on my pants but ‘Stay Down’ is sort of my thing.”

On the topic of her booty, Hooligal says, “It’s great, because being a big girl I never really fit in with normal sports with their fit athletes, etc. But in derby, my size is my asset!”

And a lovely ASSet it is! (P.S. Many fit athletes also happen to be big girls too!)

“I love the idea [of The Campaign for Real Booty] and think I'm perfect for it! I'm definetly an ass girl!”

Currently back in Canada to apply for a visa, Hooligirl is helping a new league form and working to spreading derby world wide via her blog, Inter Derby, where she reports on international roller derby happenings.

“My blog is a great place to stop to see just how much is going on outside America, where derby is a completely new sport (the old derby never really made it across the seas).”

I had no clue! Stop by and check out Hooligal's blog - I know I will.

Three cheers for real booty! Hip-hip HOORAY! Hip-hip HOORAY! Hip-hip HOORAY!


Wow, once I came home and read the labels attached to today’s original post, I realized I had to replace it: boobs, bored, Greg Dulli, size 14, South Beach. I mean, just from that list. Can you only imagine what the blog was about?

Greg Dulli was bored, so he decided to get some fake boobs, and became a size 14 tranny lounge singer in South Beach, or;

When I was in South Beach, I didn’t do much; I saw a lot of boobs, got bored on the beach, and listened to Greg Dulli all weekend in my new size 14 jeans, or my personal favorite:

“I’m over it,” said Greg Dulli, “South Beach sucks. Yeah, there’s a lot of fake boobs to look at, but they make me bored. Give me a girl with real booty in size 14 jeans any day.”

I’ve been so overworked lately that I think my brain is leaking out of my ear. It all started with my boss’ going away that made me have to prove something to myself by completing every piece of work that was given to me before she left. And I’ve been doing a lot of WFTDA work in the evenings this week too (I have a call at 8pm EST tonight, which is why I’m on here now).

I can’t believe I posted a boob picture earlier today. Well, it’s not like they weren’t covered (or like you can’t see similar images on flickr or myspace). Just this weekend my friend showed me a camera-phone picture of these girls she knew who took a topless picture of themselves together and sent it to her (?!).

We were on our way to David’s Bridal to try on bridesmaid dresses when we passed the phone around to check out their tits – one of them had a full chest piece with only her nipples un-inked. I must admit it was kind of cool – I love good tattoos, and this appeared to be one (it was a camera-phone pic), a colorful one at least.

In any event – the pic posted earlier today was posted out of complete writers block. Yes, two nights ago I bought a pair of Jeans from Old Navy that were size 14, yes, I currently cannot stop listening to either The Gutter Twins or Twilight Singers and have had to put a self-imposed 1-week embargo on my listening to them before I O.D. and can never listen to them again, and yes, I ate a South Beach meal bar for breakfast this morning and had to shut the door of my office most of the morning, so I could blow it up with the chemically-induced gas I got from the sugar alcohols in the breakfast bar (and I ate one two days ago and it had the exact same effect on me, so why the fuck did I eat one again today?).

The picture? It’s on my MySpace page if you really want to see it. And I highly suggest that you do, because Steak Knife has some amazing tits.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Running Down a Dream

Until recently running has always baffled me. “You have no ball, you have no stick, you just run – that is not a sport,” I would say. In high school I wondered why people would opt to do track, especially cross-country running, when lacrosse, field hockey, softball, baseball, and tennis were all offered concurrently. Surely these runners had to be mental. Running is stupid.

I started my first organized sport, basketball, as a kindergartener. Sure, I had no clue what was going on, but it was fun. When I was 7 I wanted to play soccer, because the girl down the street from me played soccer and we were always in competition with each other. This was before there were community all-girl soccer leagues. She was the only girl who played in the local league of all boys – until I joined.

When we moved to Maryland when I was 11, I decided I’d go out for the county soccer travel team, but my dad told me I’d have to try out. No problem. I knew how to do all the moves, and I could play 2 positions fairly well – half back and full back. Tryout day came. The rest of the team had formed 3 weeks prior, so I tried out at their regular practice. The only thing I remember about that practice was having to do what I now know as a snake drill on skates off skates, running. The premise was this: run in a line, and when the whistle was blown, the person at the back of the line had to sprint to the front, become the 1st person in line, and keep the pace. I was gagging, wheezing, and turning purple. I couldn’t run. Somehow I still made the team.

In high school, I played basketball for my county (my dad was the coach and never made us run) and varsity high school tennis. I has previously scoped out the tennis requirements and found out the girls’ coach never made anyone run, because he was damn near 90 years old and had bad knees himself. Perfect. And so I played tennis. Three years later, in my senior year, we got a new coach. He was 26. And he made us run. I would bitch the whole time, arguing about why we had to run when all we needed to do was short sprints – perhaps suicide drills at the most. He would tell me running would be easier if I stopped bitching. I didn’t stop bitching, but eventually we stopped running! Ahhh, the power of persuasion.

Twelve years later, and I’ve been playing derby for 3 years. Just prior to derby I started to “try” to run on the treadmill at the gym, because I knew I needed to get fit, and I had heard running could assist one in that quest. I did this whole walking/running alternating program, but had flashbacks to that soccer tryout at each 2 minute running interval. I sucked, and I stopped.

For the past year or so my coworkers and I would do an aerobic workout DVD maybe 3 days a week during our lunch. That highlight of my workday dissolved this past holiday season when people were busy and out of the office a lot, so I decided to go to the gym on my lunch break instead. Luckily my gym is 2 blocks from my office, so getting there and back takes less than 5 minutes. I change before I leave the office, walk over, program 20-30 minutes on a machine, and I walk back. While I’m there I run. That’s right: run.

They say your peak physical performance is when you’re in high school, but I’ve always done things out of order. Work, college, work again, buy a house with a guy, and never get married. It’s all a matter of perception, I suppose. Yet, this running thing just doesn’t seem to make sense.

I guess I started running because I knew I only had 20-30 minutes a day, and I wanted to maximize my short workout time. That, and I’ve gotten sadistic as I’ve gotten older. I think I told myself something to the effect of, “If you can’t run for 20 minutes, then you’re a pussy. Just do it.” And so I did. I proved to myself that I am not a pussy, I can run.

Still baffles me, because I hate running, only now I kind of like it. Don’t tell anyone.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Kicked in the Head

While scrimmaging last night at practice, I executed what was sure to be a solid and powerful block on the opposing jammer, only the jammer tripped and I was already in mid-backward-swoop and unable to change course, which resulted in a semi-head on, face-to-face collision that sent us both reeling.

And while in a double-knee fall, rapidly sliding across the rink (while facing backwards), I got kicked in the head and had my left hand run over. The head ref yells, “I SAW THAT!” And not knowing which gregarious foul to which he was referring, skaters from both teams that were on the rink yelled back simultaneously, “IT WAS AN ACCIDENT!” And it was: both my full-body semi-face-to-face slam and my getting kicked in the head. Eh, it’s derby.

This is nowhere near my first brush with death on the rink. Okay, “brush with death” may be slightly dramatic. “Potential injury” is more like it. I’ve had several real injuries and many, many more potential ones that were averted. We all have.

Aside from the usual bumps, bruises, and hematomas, I had my first real injury about 1 year into my derby career. It was at our family and friends night, and I was taken down to my knees “wrestling style” by one of my own teammates, but a kneepad had slid down and my knee slammed into the hardwood completely unprotected. The result? A torn PCL in my right knee and 3-4 months of PT and no skating. I’ve also separated my AC joint (shoulder/clavicle), fractured ribs, and broken my tailbone.

It happens. And this may sound stupid, but it makes me feel alive. So what if I wandered around for 20 minutes last night trying to find out where I had sat down my wrist guards, and they were still on? I’m writing this today, aren’t I?

Anything that’s worth doing comes with risks, and it’s truthfully really uncommon to get kicked in the head in derby. And when you do, an ice pack is brought to you in no time flat by one of your teammates, people offer you ibuprofen left and right, and the people who were involved with the preceding collision always go up to each other ASAP, apologize, and make sure each other are alright.

Honestly, I wouldn’t take getting kicked in the head any other way.