Men in roller derby

It’s fine.

No, really. Men in roller derby. Genderqueer people in roller derby. Trans people in roller derby. Women in roller derby. IT’S ALL FINE.

What’s not fine are people who do not check their privilege at the door, take up space/leadership/sponsor money that maybe should go to people who haven’t and don’t enjoy the same levels of privilege, and/or who just act like thoughtless jerkwads. That last thing includes writers of certain recent derby posts that have been circulating (and deleted, but archived forever).

What makes modern roller derby REVOLUTIONARY is that, at its best, it is RADICALLY INCLUSIVE. Much credit for that goes to the women (cis and trans) who founded and run it, absolutely, but it takes the community as a whole to make it what it is and can be–which is to say, way better than traditional, status quo sports/communities. Inclusive. Diverse. Rough around the edges but big hearted.

Hold people accountable for shitty actions. Educate yourself on what your own shit might be and work to overcome it. Be welcoming. Work hard. Do better. Rise above.

SWAT would like to wish the best of luck to everyone playing in the Men’s Roller Derby World Cup. Particularly our friends on Team Ireland- iPlay4keeps, Eddy Knievel and Abnorman!

Don’t forget to watch the live stream:

Which team are you rooting for?

The importance of taking things off

Leaving an impression

So I am totally guilty of wearing the ring my lady gave me when skating.  Its also deformed a little so I’ve stopped doing that as falling on silver requires me squishing it back into shape later.

One of our team mates has his wedding ring on a chain around his neck.  Today he started teaching us how to do chest to chest blocking and shoulder popping.

And that’s how I got a perfectly circular shaped bruise with the imprint of a chain coming off it on my shoulder :)  Which is easier that he got off, as on his end it ground up into his collar bone.  I feel like I should take a photo and turn this into a tattoo later with some faux tolkien, “One block to stop them all, one block to deny them, one block to drop them all, and to the flat track send them…”

Hooray, my first bleeding minor injury! On the plus side though it was a clean hit otherwise.  Also started working on proper ways of stepping through hitting someone with your hips, followed by getting turned around on the toe stops. The nice thing for me there is that once I got over trying to lead with my shoulder…it just does its own thing naturally.  So when my timing is good it works.

The hitting part went okay, I still need to get better at shifting my left out to the loaded leg from center.  The toe stop portion I’m having trouble with ‘flicking my hips’ but I think the exercise he showed me using the tiles as markers will help me get the gesture of it down.  

Most proud that when they had us start pushing two man walls I did well there, kept the wall moving forward and popping my shoulder into them.  Managing to knock our 'jammer’ off balance at least once with a shoulder to the rear too.

More stable when getting hit from behind but its a far cry from what I’d call acceptable for me.  The guys are encouraging and say I’m doing well, and its actually fun to be getting tossed advanced concepts.  Even if I have to ask them to slow down sometimes and break them into their individual compnents.  I’m enjoying the challenge.

 The Biggest Challenge

The biggest challenge for me right now is transportation.  No license, no car. Normally for these weekend practices I can go with my gal, as Saturday is her teams practice and Sunday she likes to come for the extra skate time.  This weekend she’s enjoying her birthday present - got her ticket to the Gotham Girls Fall Boot Camp.  Roller Derby is probably the few places where you can buy your significant other a weekend long ass whupping and they love you for it.  But I’m on my own.

Saturdays that means riding one hour on two buses plus a half mile walk to get from my apartment to the Garden State Rollergirls rink.

Sundays means 2 hours of transit on the train getting there…and four getting back due to connecting train issues. 

I want this.  I want this REALLY bad.  And if that means sitting around in secaucus junction reading my kindle for three hours, offending commuters with my stench while sitting in my soggy post practice socks…well hey some days thats what you have to do.  Every time I go to a practice I feel like I’m doing better and worse at the same time, which is a good thing in a way.  Means there is still tons more to learn and always more ways to make it better.

For now at least I’m home, and I can get started on making dinner early, as in a few hours a very tired derby gal is going to drag her carcass across my threshold and I want to make sure something delicious and high protein is waiting for her.