Monday, March 28, 2011

Derby Practice Tomorrow. With Skates. Uh-huh.

My Insurance came thru and tomorrow...And, well, I can skate. That's my team, the Chippewa Valley Roller Girls. I don't know all of them too very well, or anyone of them as well as I know other Derby Girls, but so far I can say they are as cool as everyone I've met so far, and they've been great to me. And they can SKATE. Because Derby is like that.

But I haven't skated yet. Except in my dinning room. And open skates. And that is not, I suspect, at all the same sort of thing.

Fresh Meat. That's what new girls are known as in Derby. I know I want this, very badly, and I know I will love this, but I also know I am really freaky nervous about it. It's hard being so new, being on the bottom, knowing nothing, with everything to learn.

I was talking to Joan of Dark about it this afternoon and she told me this:

Every derby girl is knocking in her knee pads the first time she practices with her team. Then again the first time she practices with a better team than hers. Also first workshop, first time on the jammer line, etc. There will always be something in derby that makes you scared and nervous. But there will be many more times you will have a confident smirk on your face and the knowledge that you CAN DO THIS!

I liked that. And she's right.

I was scared the first time I went to the gym, and the day I asked Poetry to teach me dressage, and the first time getting up on My (er) Little Pony, and when I asked Little Evil to train me, and, oh my yes, the first time I got Covered in Bees installing a hive.

If you've known me a long time you will remember the Flash Girls 3rd gig. (MY first gigs too, actually.) The first two were coffee houses, the 3rd was opening for Warren Zevon, sold out show. Someone told me I looked so calm, and I said that I was holding onto the pole so I didn't fall over and all I could think was "Don't throw up, please, don't throw up"

I can't imagine now, or even barely remember, what it was like to be nervous about being on stage playing music. Hello?

As Betsy Stemple always says "A Little Trial By Fire Never Hurt Anyone"

She's right. Yeah, I'm nervous. That's how it begins. Scared. But I'm going to skate. And start at the bottom, and work, and sweat and scream and learn. And get really freaky good at this. And Bout. And Win.

It's love and trust and work. Like riding. Or music. Or Bees.

If you asked me Why Derby? I don't think I would have an answer. Lots of reasons, the women who skate Derby, and the sport, getting FIT, but that's not it. It's that something else inside you that screams "YEAH, I CAN DO THIS!" no matter what you actually think, feel or believe.

You just have to.

That's Derby.


Love and Derby,


At 18:31 Blogger DataGoddess said...

And you *can* do it!!!

At 18:45 Blogger Jane said...

Maybe the question is why not Derby, not Why Derby?

At 18:46 Blogger Jane said...

And tick

At 19:01 Blogger Beez said...

Go forth. Rawk and ROLL!!

At 19:21 Blogger Jess said...

Go Forth! \o/

Warren Zevon?! I had no idea. I am well impressed.

At 19:30 Blogger One Sock Short said...

Woot! You are the Boss of Fear! It trembles before you!

And, maybe the timing of this post can make me feel better about what I just did a few minutes ago. Because it was starting to feel like all the obstacles that rose up today were telling me to Stop! That I was doing something especially foolish.

As my dear Fiends may recall, I hate exercise. I've been looking for a fun exercise for some time, to get myself to do it. I thought it might be some sort of dance class. That Zumba *sounded* fun. But I am an inhibited soul; and I never quite got myself to sign up for a class that assumed I could move about freely and rhythmically. In a room with Other People. I don't even do that when I'm alone, for pete's sake.

And even though I knew an increasing number of people getting into this derby thing, *that* was certainly not for me. Nuh-uh, not for this chicken. But then our own tigerinvaseline told me about Derby Lite. Which is all the exercise and positive body-image of derby without the trying to knock each other down part. Which seems to be primarily based in Chicago. Which has the tagline “Roller Skating for Fun and Fitness for Women Old Enough to Know Better”. Now maybe, just maybe, I could try that.

Only I didn't have a proper amount of time to really think about it (proper = weeks/months/you know, a goodly amount of time). The next round of beginner classes were starting next week. So I signed up today. One thing after another kept making signing up difficult though, so I have been wondering if I was doing the right thing. It sure is spendy, and may be a big mistake financially. But I've fallen so far behind on FIT these last several months. I need a kick in the ever-weakening posterior muscles.

It's an eight-week class, so I'll have time to find out if this is just another of my silly, suggestible impulses. It it is, I hope I can find a market for some slightly used protective gear ;-)

I'm so far behind on comments, I'm sure lots of people are in need of hugs that I don't know about. Here, help yourself to a {{{few}}}.

At 19:35 Blogger Cecily said...


I suggest having advil and icy hot ready to go at home. And I can't wait to hear all about your first real practice. Derby is not something realistic for me to be able to do, (even though it does look like a great way to let off some steam), but I will be screaming for you from what ever vantage point I have!

Go Quiche!

At 19:38 Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Oss: GO YOU!!!!!! Follow it. You will not regret this, and you WILL get where you are going.

At 19:47 Blogger Siri said...

I'll never do derby, for oh so many reasons, but I'm amazed about how much I hear about it now. It's like being pregnant and seeing all sorts of pregnant women everywhere.

I have, however, written 239,000 words. And, I still love my story.

We all have our niches.

At 19:49 Blogger Vinity said...

I second the "Go Quiche!" I'm so impressed. No way I could skate.

At 19:59 Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Vin, but you're 10 times the rider I am, and Siri, WORDS, I have no stories to write like that.

Doesn't matter what your passion is as long as you're following where it leads you.

Stay on that Path. Where ever it goes.

(GODS I am wise tonight)

At 20:27 Anonymous Amy said...

Derby is so cool! Kick ass! \m/

At 20:27 Blogger vampi said...

"There will always be something in derby that makes you scared and nervous. But there will be many more times you will have a confident smirk on your face and the knowledge that you CAN DO THIS!"

these are wonderful inspiring words. i'm going through this in m new job. i'm scared daily i'm breaking something, but i'm also becoming confident as well. slowly the confidence is edging p to the cared and kicking it in the shins.


love you guys. you all inspire me so

At 20:49 Blogger Dragonsally said...

I can't wait to hear all about it Quiche..woohoooooo. I'll be cheering from way over here.

OSS - I like the sound of Derby Lite. I wonder if that exists anywhere near me.

At 20:50 Blogger gaypet said...

Go get it girl!! Rock ON!

At 20:54 Blogger vampi said...

oh fods, box of tickles

At 21:00 Blogger Chantrelle said...

YAY for insurance and skating "for realz"! Can't wait for those stories :)

OSS - I wish I lived near you, that's totally a class I'd want to do. I LOVE to roller skate and wear cool outfits but the running-into-other-people-and-getting-injured part is not for me. I want a full report!!!

I really really really need to start doing some serious exercise. I"ve been sleeping like crap and I know it's because i'm not moving enough. Getting started is the hardest part.

I wish I could rock-climb. I'd love it and I take ben every week but my hands don't work so I can't...need to find a hand-less exercise I really enjoy.

Making dinner for hubby for his bday tonight. Prosciutto-wrapped salmon. Then I'll REALLY need exercise ;-)

At 21:03 Blogger Chantrelle said...

OH, and I have a contract job prospect! I wasn't looking but a friend forwarded me a contact for doing a flexible-hours, remote long-term contract to "keep the website content fresh" idea what that means but i can update a web site like nobody's business!

At 21:19 Blogger El said...

Hey, fiends!

I'm commenting on the blog just because I can.

At 21:31 Blogger Rusty said...

I was going to ask, "What will your Derby Name be?" Then I realized, you are one of the few people I know who has gone through a major portion of their life with a "Derby Name" already! "And skating Derby for the FIRST TIME folks ... here she is ... the myth, the legend, Excitable Girl they all said, ... 'The Fabulous Lorraine!'"

At 21:39 Blogger AletaMay said...

Can't wait to come to a bout and see you skate! Wee!

Fear has had quite a hold on me over the last year. It ebbs and flows but seems always there, just around the corner, ready to pounce on my heart. Posts like this remind me that it is just part of the path, not a reason to avoid going around that corner. If that makes sense.

At 21:40 Blogger AletaMay said...

opps! tick!

At 21:46 Blogger One Sock Short said...

There's a Path? These aren't just heffalump tracks?

Sally and Robyn - Check out the Derby Lite website. There's a link for saying you want to see it in your town. I don't know what the organizers do with the information. Maybe contact people they know doing regular derby in your area? But it does sound like a great compromise, doesn't it? I can't imagine doing regular derby, but getting derby-style exercise sounds like such a win-win.

Siri! What kind of story are you writing? If you're ready to say.

Vampi - Yay for growing confidence at work!

At 22:16 Blogger Siri said...

Bottom line, a love story. A story of two people who talk a lot.

No zombies, vampires or werewolves.

There is kissing though.

At 22:20 Blogger One Sock Short said...

Scary ;-)

At 22:39 Blogger Jane said...

You're all the most wonderful women (I don't think I saw any men). I'm so happy to be a part of this group.

At 00:07 Blogger spacedlaw said...

Because it looks like good fun?
You go!
You rock!
You conquer!

At 00:47 Blogger Jaime said...

WAHOOOOO!!!!! Wishing you all the best - sometimes fear is a good motivator and if nothing else, think of the calories you're burning and muscles you're working from the random trembling, eh?

My first derby practice was last week. Fresh Meat bootcamp-esque-ness. It was SO SCARY and I was SO TERRIBLE! *laughs We didn't do anything terribly difficult (basic falls, learning stops, learning about walking on skates, practicing gliding on one foot, attempting to weave through cones, and learning about skating in a pace line) I wanted to cry every time they suggested I try something else that was new and different, but they pushed and I learned a LOT about what to practice, for sure!

I hope your practice is phenomenal and you enjoy it!!!!

OOS - That looks like an AWESOME program and I'm so proud of you for signing up! GO BABY GO!!!!!!! *shakes pom poms, or, uh, rolls out the derby skates! ;oD

So very proud of you both! :oD

At 01:18 Blogger Marjorie said...

Drive by tick..

At 09:44 Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Rusty, many thanks, but it's Quiche MeDeadly!

Jaimie, who are you skating with? We need to talk, you know now what I need to know!!!

Aleta, fear isn't what kills you, it's what makes you stronger. Never regretted taking that corner.


Poor Joan of Dark has been listening to me all morning, I think she is nearing SHUT UP AND SKATE territory.


At 10:05 Blogger D said...

I think the fact that derby is terrifying is what keeps me coming back every time. The reason I practiced for a freaking YEAR so I could finally make the Denver Roller Dolls. You are going to totally LOVE this!

At 10:09 Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

I am going to love this, D, already do...a little terror never hurt anyone.

At 11:47 Blogger Kitty Cat said...

Hey Derby Girl.
Even though you have insurance, the real thing is Don't Get Hurt.
I remember calling you all nervous & crying about some thing on tour and you saying, you have to just take a breath and dive in. And i do that all the time now, each new thing, I think about you saying that to me when i couldn't even see straight out of nerves and tears and scaredy-ness.
I will always love you for reminding me to breathe.
So, in return, I remind you as well.
love you, please take care of that Fabulous Body.

At 13:07 Blogger Jaime said...

I'm skating with a relatively new league - the Whidbey Island Roller Girls just celebrated their first year of skating as a team. What do you call that? A birthday? An anniversary? Yanno, they've been around about a year now, so YAAAAY! :D

The big thing that helped me? Put on your skates and keep trying. I was nervous just strapping into my PPE I think I even had my helmet on backwards at first. Imagine the horror. *sigh

There are girls at our Fresh Meat practices that are so much better than I am, some are coming off of injury and working with fresh meat just to stay on skates, some are transfers from other areas (there's a lot of military in this area, so lots of coming and going on the team) and, I have to tell you, they are SO GOOD.

So. Good.

They trust themselves on wheels and I think that's one of my first goals - get REALLY comfortable on skates. Can I skate? Oh sure - I can roll around the rink a bazillion times, but do I trust myself on my wheels? Not yet! So I just bite down on my mouthpiece and push myself back up off the floor when I fall (on purpose or otherwise) and keep on keepin' on.

I'm usually one of the last (if not THEE last!) to finish drills because I want to learn the skills and do things right before I can do them quickly. I usually have a derby girl next to me saying, "Eyes up! Bend those knees! You're doing great, keep pace with me! LOOKING AT YOUR SKATES WON'T MAKE THEM DO ANYTHING SPECIAL!" *sheepish grin They're not yelling because I'm a bad skater - they're yelling to make me a better skater.

Really I think I qualify more as "Potential Fresh Meat" than actual *laughs But yanno, as long as I keep trying, I'll keep getting better. Even if I'm NEVER good enough to bout, I can help in practices and work my organizational magic with helping fundraising efforts, taking stats, and helping video tape individual skaters so they can see what they're doing.

I might not be a derby girl for a loooong time (if ever!) but I freaking LOVE this sport and I'm gonna be a part of it no matter what. I'm gonna get better, one shaky weave and one knee fall and one cross over at a time ;o)

That's all that matters - if you love it and you push yourself and you don't give up and you trust yourself enough to try, then you win. Every time.

At 13:37 Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Awww, Kitty! I remember that, pretty darn crazy for you at the time, I'm so glad I helped you!

Jaimie, Thanks! How very cool and awesome and you so rock! That's the way to do it!

At 14:16 Blogger Phiala said...

No time, no time.... maybe in June I'll have time to read all the comments!

At 14:16 Blogger Jaime said...

Can't waaaait to hear how you do! I'm also curious about how your league, uh, rolls, so to speak. I know being relatively new and inexperienced, Whidbey is learning as they go - teaching fresh meat and otherwise.

I hope you have a fantabulous experience!!! *shakes pom poms and rattles derby gear!

At 16:00 Blogger Pi R Squared said...

Finally getting to skate=awesome! Good luck Quiche and keep us updated on your progress...I can always use the inspiration!

OSS-like the idea of Derby Lite!

Siri...that's one awesome word count!

At 16:09 Blogger Chantrelle said...

I've already got 3 women who want to do derby lite here. Sounds so cool!

At 17:25 Blogger Dragonsally said...

Hey Fiends, have you seen this clip someone just posted to AFP's blog?
I love love love it.

At 17:30 Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Off to Derby Practice now...See you later!

At 17:33 Blogger Cecily said...


Sally, I think I like that song more than Friday...I really dislike Friday.

At 18:37 Blogger LihuaEmily said...

That is one unique passion ... very cool. Oh yeah.

At 22:34 Blogger Jaime said...

Just got back from practice myself... yeowza I broke a lace! Skates, meet new laces. Already. *sigh

How was it?!?! Did you love it?!?!? How'd you do? What'd you learn? Did you smile lots??? MUST KNOOOOOW!!!!!

At 22:45 Blogger Jess said...

Look! Look! She's a roller girl! Look! :D

At 22:55 Blogger Chantrelle said...

Awesome Quiche MeDeadly!! Can't wait to hear all about practice!

At 23:02 Blogger FabulousLorraine said...


Gods, I love this! Sooooo cool.

Gods, I am in pain. No, didn't fall, didn't get hit. I just don't have DERBY muscles yet.

Need long bath. Then sleep. Then I will tell you things. I know a lot more now than I did a few hours ago.

SO cool. I can do this.

At 23:15 Blogger Jaime said...

YAAAAAY!!!!! :oD Lots of warm water, stretch extra if you need to, SO PROUD OF YOU!!!!


At 00:27 Blogger ariandalen said...

Of course you can do this! You've conquered bees and horses, Roller Derby is a piece of cake by comparison. :)

At 10:02 Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

New post is up! All about that first practice....

At 15:44 Anonymous Anita Mann said...

I thought that I was the only one who first got skates and "practiced" skating on the hardwoods in the dining room. I cannot tell you how many times I went around the table. A few days after someone showed me some stops I thought I would try to do the plow stop while going from my dining room into the living room - not smart. I ended up falling and broke my ankle - trimalleolar fracture. One plate and nine screws later I am rehabbing the ankle and looking forward to getting back up on skates. Until then, I will live vicariously through you. Have fun!!

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