Monday, January 17, 2011

An Essay With Tom Klubans Photos: What Derby Means...

As promised, more Tom Klubens photos from the Naptown Bout in Indianapolis on Saturday. The first thing to say about it is, there are a LOT of pics by Tom, and if you would like to see them ALL you can find them HERE. I can't post them all, but I picked some of my favorites, because I wanted you to see them, and well, I want to try and show you, tell you, how cool this sport is.

And how much it means to me.

Skating Derby means, for one thing, you are very FIT. Beyond FIT. I think "FIT Insane" might cover it. But there's a lot more to it. I only know the skaters on the Naptown team, and I sure don't know all of them well. Yet. But from what I have seen, it's they themselves that make it special.

They are about love, and teamwork, and I've never seen a group of women who have each others backs like they do. They are a force, they are strong, they are dedicated in the extreme, and they have a whole lot of fun doing what they do, very, very well.

They won the Bout, which wasn't easy, but even if they hadn't, they would have played, and loved the sport just same, I think. The sportsmanship is as important as winning. It's how they do it, with grace. And style. They know they're cool, but not arrogant.

Like the best acts in music, they go on stage knowing they're good, knowing you will love what they do, but knowing that everyone there, in the audience, is as much an important part of what they do, as they are. And treating the other team as as much a part of the art they are creating as they are.

That comes thru.

And I admire that.

It is also a sport tho, and a brutal one, make no mistakes there. They hit and get hit REALLY BLOODY HARD. They want to win, and they give everything they have to that, and they fall, they get hurt, they get up, and they do it again. They wake up after a Bout, or practice in pain. They scream, they yell, they curse, they fight. Every time they skate, they set the bar, high, and they skate better.

Seeing them skate, I don't know that I can do that. I don't know if I can be that FIT, could ever skate like they do.

I mentioned this to my friends on the Naptown team. They didn't laugh, they didn't much give me any pep talks. In fact, as a group, they told me three words:

Yes. You can.

They make me want to.

I wrote the team back here, where I live, a while back asking about skating, and up until yesterday, hadn't heard back. I woke up to an email, in my inbox, the day after this Bout, telling me the next new skater meeting was coming up.

On my Birthday, February 15th.

I think the Universe is trying to tell me something.

I think I must listen.

Love and Derby,


At 16:43 Blogger Phiala said...


As someone told me yesterday about something different, but of the same general class of challenging thing.

At 16:46 Blogger Jess said...

Yes indeed! :)

At 16:48 Blogger Precision Grace said...


You've described so well what I felt watching my first ever roller derby couple of months back. What really impressed me too is how much camaraderie and joined ownership of the game there was - from everyone, opposing teams as well as the spectators. I just loved that. It's a sport that makes you feel epic just by being there.

Here's for roller fit!

At 17:04 Blogger Dragonsally said...

I will indulge in the sport vicariously, through you...I'm far too much of a scardey cat to even think of skating like that, but I would love to go and watch some bouts.

Clearly, the universe has spoken to you, oh leader!

At 17:36 Blogger D said...

Hi Lorraine! I recently found your blog, and I absolutely love it. You really hit the nail on the head with what derby is about. I just started to learn to skate specifically so I could play derby (and it was a painful process) one year ago, and literally just yesterday, I tried out for the Denver Roller Dolls, and I MADE IT! Go to that meeting, and I will be happy knowing that there is another fine lady learning and loving derby with me!

At 17:45 Blogger Cecily said...

YES! What a great birthday present to yourself! I can't wait to hear all about it.
If my body was in the resilient shape it was half my life ago I would so love this sport. And if you know I could skate on those pesky type of skates. ;-)

As for the nekkid comments in the last entry. If my FIT continues to go well and we did something very Calendar Girls-esque, I would totally do a nekkid Fiend calendar. Just sayin'.

At 18:06 Blogger vampi said...

roll fit!

how awesome, ad on your birthday too!

sounds like a rock n roll birthday will be had

At 18:16 Anonymous Nikki Sutton said...

Roller girls have one thing in common: they were all not roller girls at one point. Go for it! Hard and impossible are not the same thing.

At 18:22 Blogger DataGoddess said...

You *do* have good health insurance, right? *grin*

My first derby bout is going to be the one on Feb. 5th. I'm looking forward to it!! If we came over to say hi, will you introduce us to the team?

And if you join a team, I think we'll need to do a Fiend gathering to watch you play!!

At 18:26 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love the photos. Love the "Yes. You can."

At 18:34 Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've seen the way you take care of Neil and Cabal and everything. You can do anything. Do what makes you happy. ♥

At 19:51 Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Thanks you Fiends, you're the best ever a girl could hope for.

The D, CONGRADS! How very cool is that????? I hope to see you skate!!!

Nikki, you have a VERY good point.

Data, of course, and glad you will be there. Me too!

GOGOGO! Went to the gym, and now. Trying to make dinner. Not going REAL well, but I sure as heck am going to sleep tonight.

This much I know. And I am sure as heck going to spend the next month getting as FIT as I can.

And then Skate.

At 20:05 Blogger Mike Lightnin said...

"Whether you think you can or think you can't, you are right." - Henry Ford

Great meeting you officially at the bout and hope to see you again soon!

At 20:05 Blogger Beez said...

You're going to do it. The "on your birthday" part was just the final hint from the Universe.

So- go get yourself the gift you want the most.

At 21:15 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, Lorraine, you CAN. I have confidence in you. You want it. Badly. And you have the dedication to see it through.

You talk about derby like someone talks about a person that he/she loves -- there's a kind of awe there. And it's rather beautiful to witness.

So, Ms. Q? The Derby Chicks aren't the only people who believe in you. :-) ~Ali

At 00:37 Blogger spacedlaw said...

Of course you can.
You can anything.

What of the girl that got broken last time you went to Indianapolis?

At 00:56 Blogger Marjorie said...

Yes you can!
I love how much you are loving this :-)

At 00:57 Blogger Marjorie said...

Aaaaandd... Ticky box

At 02:07 Blogger Ms T said...

That's it! I'm definitely going to the roller derby* next time there's a bout in town. Last time my plans were scuppered by having to work - I finished way too late to get there damn it. (Fingers crossed that doesn't happen when AFP's here in February.)
*Uh, that's to watch the bout. I've only just started on my path to fit.

At 06:26 Blogger FabulousLorraine said...


Kind of at a loss after that, I must admit. SLEPT that I know, like a log, up until five. Sore, but not horridly so.

Nathilie, that was Katya Lookin who broke her ankle, she's doing great! Walking with no crutch or cane now, and in fact, was bench coaching. Talked to her some at the after party.

(haven't said much about that, because one doesn't, what happens stays there, but I will say they are very nice girls and we had a very nice time)

At 06:44 Blogger spacedlaw said...

Were the words "patron" or "spanking" used?

At 06:48 Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Joan had no Patron, and I did not get spanked.

Dull, really. Ho-hum....

At 07:29 Blogger Joan of Dark said...

Our dear Quiche finally understands why very few after party pics ever get posted. I think she had wondered before...

But no. No spankings. No patron. A quiet night really...

At 07:42 Blogger Jess said...

I don't see what sort of party is could possibly have been without spankings. All watered-down punch and canapes and limp jazz piano, probably. Yawn.

At 07:48 Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Yessss. Very likely, Jess.

At 08:04 Blogger Jess said...

And you had a raffle at the end.

At 08:05 Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

We did. I won.

At 09:50 Blogger Jane said...

Derby and then party. Life doesn't get any better!

At 10:19 Anonymous Tom Klubens said...

Thanks again, Lorraine!

You pretty much summed up why I am so proud & lucky to be associated with Naptown. They truly are some of the greatest people I've ever had to the pleasure of knowing!

I few people were looking for the calendar in your previous blog. It is now available online.

At 11:03 Anonymous Wendy Withers said...

Go for it, FabLo! However, don't get too hurt out there. We need you here.

Today was my first teaching day! I started the morning off in my MWF classroom by mistake and told a whole class of students they were in the wrong room then skulked to the correct room without TOO much harm done.

Once in the correct classroom, I gave everyone a placement essay to write, pretended to read Boneshaker while stealing glances at MY students, and kept up on the time for them.

One of my students wrote his essay like it was a personals ad. I let them out early, because they just had to write the essay and today's class was fifteen mins. longer than tomorrow's. When I told them they could go, they sat and stared at me in silence until one of them finally handed me his essay and bolted.

So, interesting day! And it still isn't lunchtime yet!

At 11:19 Blogger Cecily said...

I am going to take a wild guess and say that i saw the thing(s) that made you make that great face with the calendar. LOVE IT!

At 12:37 Blogger Erin Underwood said...

Whoa! I'm likely to kill myself doing something like that ..... but WHOA! I think it would be fun. However, for the safety of the skaters, I will remain in the seating, watching from the stands.


At 12:39 Blogger Erin Underwood said...

Jess! LOL. First the rum and now the spankings. LOL!

At 12:49 Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

What Tom said there on the Calender! You will love it! Go, get one, my Fiends. And be happy!

GREAT ride this morning! Amazing in fact. Did my first pirouette even, which is when yu are cantering so slowly you aren't moving anywhere and then sort of turn around cantering without moving. Amazing feeling.

But the total high point was working on my half pass, kind of going forward and moving sideways...Couldn't get the feel of it until Poetry had this GREAT idea.

We shot vid, as soon as it's up, I'll let you know. I think we invented a new sport.

At 12:53 Blogger Jess said...

I'm sure I've no idea what you mean. ¬_¬

At 12:53 Blogger Jess said...

...Erin. Not Q. Q makes perfect sense.

At 12:56 Blogger Erin Underwood said...

Hi All,

I have an idea for the GLBR. Well, in my head it's a great idea! We'll see how it sounds once it's out there in the air.

I want to start supporting some charities on my blog. So, I was thinking I could start with GLBR by hosting a post called POETRY FOR CATS. So, anyone with a cat poem can send it to me by Feb 5, and I'll post the poems on Feb 7 along with a blurb about GLBR and a link to donate.

What do you think of POETRY FOR CATS?

At 13:06 Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Duh, Jess. I knew that. Everyone know what a half pass and pirouette are.

Cool idea Erin, go for it!

At 17:00 Blogger Dragonsally said...

Erin, that is a great idea.

I love the calendar - Tom, your photos are amazing.

At 18:39 Blogger Erin Underwood said...


Send me your Cat Poetry in support of GLBR to e.m.underwood at

Q: Can't wait to see the video. :-)

Ok, time to check out Tom's URL. Fun!

At 18:50 Blogger LihuaEmily said...

Glad you've discovered something so amazing about which you can be really passionate. Of course knowing you ... you'll find more amazing things about which to be passionate!

At 18:53 Blogger Precision Grace said...

Hello Fiends.

Hope you are all having a lovely time. Please give extra love to your pussycats this evening.

My auntie lost one of her beloved kittens last night in a horrible accident - right in front of her eyes - I know this from my mum who spoke to her - I haven't been able to speak to her because ..I guess she just doesn't feel up to talking.

Send her all your healing vibes for me please. She is so far away and I can't even hug her for comfort.

And give your kitties extra treats tonight..

At 19:28 Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

No video yet, sadly, as soon as it surfaces tho, I will post it.

Little Evil was lovely tonight.

(of course, you need to kind of use your imagination a bit with "lovely". Kind of like saying "the afterparty was swell, and there were some very nice girls there)

At 21:30 Blogger Pi R Squared said...

These photos are fabulous!

Makes you want to go, go GO!

Do it Quiche! It's on your birthday, that IS significant.

Great post!

At 21:43 Blogger vampi said...

nice girls are no fun at parties. where were the naughty girls???

also, wowza at those calender pics. way coo (i have been told by npr that coo is the new cool in socal. i've heard lots of stupid things in cali, but never coo)

At 07:51 Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Good Morning!

I am going to kick some Prissy Bitch Ass this morning.

It seems some Prissy Bitches gave my trainer Little Evil, a lot of shit in class last week while I was gone. She started early, she wanted to switch to zumba instead of step, she started early by 3 min.

And her step wasn't PERFECT.

Step is one of the most BORING classes going, and kind of sucks, as opposed to zumba which is a whole lot of fun, but even if they preferred step there was no need ot be bitches about it.

They made her feel bad.

Oh, no, I do not THINK so.

I owe Little Evil SO much, and training with her is one of the coolest things going in my life. She works so hard for people.

And these Prissy Bitches treat her like shit?

Today, they meet ME. Full on me. The one that does not mess around. Going to show them what learning with Little Evil means, and they need to shut up and Priss their butts back where they came from.

Not in my village.

At 07:52 Blogger spacedlaw said...

I almost - almost - pity the stupid bitches.

At 07:53 Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

They will be better people for this.

At 07:58 Blogger Phiala said...

Oh dear.

Heads will roll.

*pops healthy popcorn, settles in to watch*

In completely unrelated news, I finished a novel last night. Go me! (YA fantasy set in a world resembling 15th-c Italy)

Of course, that means I have to revised the cursed thing...

At 08:13 Blogger Erin Underwood said...

This annoys me so much. People can be so petty and rude....and I just don't understand "why" they need to be that way.

At 08:23 Blogger Jess said...

Begs the question: why take the class at all, if they're so good at it already? They could just as easily sit around at home talking about how much better they are than everyone else, and let the people who actually want to work get on with the job.

At 08:51 Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

I don't get it either, but I have seen these sorts of women before. Kind of a Holier than thou, they get off on making themselves feel better about themselves by putting other people down.

Time for them to learn better.

And, Mistress, way to go!!! Well done!

At 10:01 Blogger vampi said...

cats in the news

did anyone else lol at this? i immediately thought of bengal court...

At 10:10 Blogger Erin Underwood said...

LOL! I love my town, but I'm not sure that the court system is working with a full jar of kitty treats on this one. Then again, maybe justice will finally be served with Sam on the jury.

Now, if only I could stop laughing.

At 10:23 Blogger Jess said...

Sal would administer Cat Justice. So the trial won't take very long, but they'll be a while mopping up afterward.

At 11:30 Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Well well, and a new post is UP!!

At 20:12 Blogger Siri said...

Phiala - stopping my writing long enough to say go you. I'm probably 100K words behind you. Roll out the red pencil.

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