Swede Hurt

May 132010

I don’t do things in moderation, I just don’t. I have tried, but I still end up challenging myself to challenges that might or might not be totally crazy and undoable, the past few months I told others and myself that I was going to make the Gotham all-stars, that I was going to win an arm-off against Suzy Hotrod from Gotham (se picture) and win a tan-off against Sunshine Skate from Philly, who is a Latina… So I did make the Gotham All-stars, the other two things are still to be determined… oh and I also would really like to date Psychobabble (or you know maybe just hold hands), but I guess I settle for things that might be a little more in my range. (as in mentioned arm-offs and tan-offs )

Suzy Hotrod - arm-off is coming up...

I really hate to lose, not in the obvious ‘oh I am so mad I lost’ kind of way, I will just silently work out, practice listen and one day just sneak up on my target and go for the kill. Me and an old roomie used to compete in everything, Trivial Pursuit and video games were our usual objects to obsess over. I must say I mastered Mario Cart after that winter, and knew every Trivial Pursuit question by heart. Complaining never gotten anyone anywhere, but it has its’ charm at times, and I am willing to admit that I submit to complain at times. Like right now I have a couple of giant bruises, my shoulder is a little out of wonk and my ankle is disagreeing with me and skating. But when it comes down to it all, it is about to know your own body and push it a little more, but not too much, to recognize when you are in serious pain, or when it is really just regular derby pain. Because NEWSFLASH, derby is a full contact sport, your body will hit the ground numerous times, and if it doesn’t ever hit the ground, you are probably either magical (I am not opposed to that), not trying hard enough or just not really playing derby. And it will not only hit the ground, other girls will do their best to knock you around with hip checks, sternum blocks and shoulder checks, most of them will be legal, but at times you will grow accustomed to getting your knees wiped out by a low block or your head rattled by a high block. In all fairness, it will happen. Your body will slowly adjust to being covered in bruises, swollen knees, ankles and whatever happens to be your weak spot… You just have to identify your weak spot, and start working the muscles up around it, if you have a bad ankle, nurse it with love and pain, make sure it gets to rest, but also make sure that it get worked out, that the small little muscles in it builds up so it will become a part of your fierce derby body…

Well, enough about me ranting, I have a spray-tan appointment and a date with the gym… ehhh ohhh and all-star practice tomorrow…

Working out arms and tanning at the same time....

May 112010

The past weekend I went to San Diego with Team Legit and skated against the San Diego Derby Dolls on banked track. On Sunday we had a scrimmage on the flat track, and both was equally fun. I was housed by Ivanna and Trish from Sin City Skates together with Demanda, Jackie Daniels, Goodie and Miss E. we all came in Friday,  piled up on futons and beds, stacked our gear into corners and made ourselves at home.

Jackie, Demanda, Miss E and Ivanna, enjoying Sunday Funday

Betty, a displaced Australian roller girl made sure we all got fed, half of the San Diego Derby Dolls came by to share some beer, some food and say hello.  Sara Problem, Muffin, Meep Meep and AJ from Legit also showed up and I started to get excited, not only to see everyone but that I was gonna get to skate with them the next day . This was the third trip for Team Legit, since Legit was created by Carmen Getsome for Battle of the Bank II. Team Legit is made up of a bunch of flat-track all-stars from teams across USA, Legit mostly get together to play banked track, but we are open for flat track challanges. The roster always change slighty depending on who can make it, depending on  who has a home-game or another reason for not being able to come play.

I am really happy and grateful to be a part of Team Legit, it is quite an experience to get to play banked track, but also to be able to play against skaters such as Krissy Krash, Trish the Dish and Bonnie D.Stroir. It is always humbling but also fun, fun, fun… because even if we want to win real bad, it is not for ranking and the major reason we are doing it is to have fun.  Added pleasure is also that I get the opportunity to play with amazing girls, that I usually wouldn’t get to play with,  such as Rice Rocket, Demanda Riot, Jackie Daniels and Goodie Two Skates. (I am not mentioning the Rat City girls here, since I still have not gotten used to not being a part of Rat City, and I am always happy to skate with my old Wenches).

To be honest, I prefer flat track, I really love to play banked track, but there is something more to flat track, I can’t put my finger on it, but I guess we all have preferences in our lives. But one thing doesn’t always have to exclude something else. We lost against San Diego this weekend, but we still had fun, we slipped up in the third period, and it took all the way into the fourth period until we gotten our skates under us again. It happens, but for every time I play with Legit and on the bank, I feel a step closer to figuring it out. I probably could write lots of more about the actual game, but why bother when you can go on DNN and watch it… The night turned into a mellow after-party with some dress up elements and DDR… We had promised to scrimmage the Wildfires the next morning, so nothing to crazy. We did make sure to put a few into Miss E, considering it was her birthday, I did not know where to buy a stripper, or that might have happened. I guess I have to save that for next time….

Sunday morning we met up with the San Diego girls to scrimmage, this time on flat-track, and after scrimmage we submitted to Sunday Funday, and that was lots of mimosas, Guinness and ended in tattoo-o-rama… We can just say I now have a permanent memory of this weekend.

Swede in the San Diego sun


Change and move

 Posted by at 12:05 pm  No Responses »
May 032010
My first team was Camaro Harem of Jet City Rollergirls

Camaro Harem of Jet City Rollergirls 2008

Changing leagues is not easy, you are leaving all that hard work behind you to join a new league, and they have no clue how hard you worked in your previous league, and you have to do it allover again. Gotham is my third league, and considering that the American population is more prone on moving than most other populations, it is not to odd to expect that many derby girls will skate for more than one league during their active skating careers.

I started out playing for Jet City Rollergirls (Everett) and it was good fun, it was their first season. I felt welcomed when I tried out in December 2007. My coach was great at teaching skating technique and I was completely new to roller skating. Jet City gave me the real foundation. But the late practices (9-11pm) and the long drive (50min) was what finally made me decide to try-out for Rat City Rollergirls.  I was living and working in Seattle and skating for a Seattle league made sense. I also wanted to play for a WFTDA league, and at that time, JCRG were not really sure where they where heading.

Sockit Wenches of Rat City Rollergirls 2010, photo by Jules Doyle

Sockit Wenches 2010 (photo by Jules Doyle)

I tried out for Rat City Rollergirls in December 2008 Rat City, was drafted to the Sockit Wenches. I was the opening jammer for the Sockit Wenches at the first Rat City bout at Key Arena. I thought I was going to puke.

But to be honest I had my goal set on the travel team, and attended practice four times a week and worked really hard to learn everything about derby. I made the travel team in April 2008.  In late June I was elected co-captain for the Sockit Wenches and I was working at least 30 hours per month for the league. I was greatly disappointed that we weren’t able to beat Oly and make Nationals, but I guess it makes me feel a little better that Oly went on and won Nationals. At that point I was looking forward to a 2010 season with Rat City, working out, but I also had a month trip to Sweden planned in December…

I had always had a dream of moving to NYC, especially after six years in the Seattle area, and after a very intense discussion with my parents; I had to tell RCRG that I was leaving them for the Big Apple. They really understood, but it really was one of the hardest decisions I have made.

Moving to New York and trying out for Gotham, was much harder than my previous transfer and much more emotional than I thought it would be. Being used to going to practice four to five times a week, I all of a sudden were limited to a max of three practices with one being especially targeted towards very basic skating skills. I missed Rat City, I missed my Sockit Wenches, I missed the travel team… and I cried at times. I knew it all would change, but it was hard mentally to adjust not only to move cross-country but also to figure out how to fit into a new league and make new friends. When Fisti Cuffs called and told me that I had been drafted to Manhattan Mayhem, I actually cried, it was as if I had been told I had gotten a new home. I still was longing for a place on the all-star team, and a few weeks’ later tryouts for the all-stars were held.  When Bonnie Thunders told me that I made the Gotham Allstars, it was like a little knot in my stomach released. I am so proud and happy to be with Gotham today, but I know that I am the skater I am today thanks to Jet City and Rat City, but also thanks to myself and all the time I have spent skating, skating, skating and playing…

Once I read a quote in a gym before a bout, probably scribbled for the High School students, but I will always remember it ‘Hard work will always beat talent, if talent don’t work hard’.

Apr 262010

Last week I spent at practice, finding out I made Gothams All-stars, scrimmaging Philly and hanging out with girls from Philly, Rat City, Gotham and even a few London girls. Rollergirls are the best, we play hard and we party hard. We drink beers and we fall into each others arms laughing after beating up on each other on the track. We all know you can only learn from the best… so we get the best drunk and pump them on information… MOHAhahahaha… We also realize that we are involved in a serious sport, and therefore drinking is not the main point of our lives or the fun.

Calling of my last jam with Rat City

Calling of my last jam with Rat City (Photo by Jules Doyle)

I take derby very seriously. I will be at practice four times a week. I will work my ass off. I will listen to what the other girls have to say, I will look at how they skate. I will be humbled and annoyed. I will work really, really hard to make sure that my team can count on me. I also work out off skates, I life weights and do other off skate workouts. I don’t go out and get drunk the week before a bout, but I will be dancing on the bar with my teammates after the game is played and the points are scored. I consider the after parties a workout, and sometimes I even bruise.

I love derby, I love every aspect of it, I mostly love being on the track and learning new drills, but I also love the off track comradarie, I love that I now have friends in almost every major American city and even a few in Europe. I love watching derby, but honestly, it will never be as fun as playing. I am not only a Gotham Roller Derby Girl, but I am also a proud member of Team Vagine and Team Legit, and I try to get as much time on the track as possible, because that’s what really matters, to get to skate…. I love my pick-up teams because it gives me the opportunity to skate with girls that I only get to see once in a while and also experience something different from my everyday life.

Team Legit played the LA Derby Dolls earlier this year


Derby in Sweden

 Posted by at 9:15 pm  3 Responses »
Apr 162010

Kitty Cleavage from STDR in London to learn more about roller derby when Texas came to play London.

I spent the past week in Sweden and I had the opportunity to appear in Swedish Morning TV to talk about roller derby together with the president of Stockholm Roller Derby, Bess Irv Cold. The morning hostess borrowed a pair of bedazzled R3’s (courtesy of Jender Bender) and I was slightly surprised she did not fall on her face and seriously harm herself. Before we went on air I spent some time flirting with the band was featured in the morning show. Ah… life as a derby girl is so taxing sometimes, it was about 8 am, but it is never too early to impress.
The following day I got to guest coach Stockholm who mostly have very new skaters, but they are all so excited they are on skates and about roller derby. I got to blow the coaching whistle, boss them around and tell them a hundred times that they get extra credits for falling. (for some reason no one took this really serious, I WAS SERIOUS, falling IS good for you, it teaches you to get up real fast) The next day I took a train down to Malmö to visit the brand new league there.

Coming back to Sweden and see the girls working hard to find a place to skate, find gear, find someone to teach them the basic rules and even find enough girls to make up a team. And they do it all with smiles, giggles and beers in their hands make me remember why I loved derby from the first min. Those girls love derby for what derby is, they take every little piece of information and squeeze it, turn it upside down, jab at it, and ask more questions. They make derby their own, they love every little piece of what derby is and is becoming. They show up to practice in newly bought R3’s, in duct taped skates from the 70’s that someone found at a garage sale. Their pads are fresh out of boxes shipped from US or stolen/borrowed from a brother, sister or boyfriend. Everyone just trying figure out what derby is, how it is played, what to wear, what wheels that work in rented middle school gyms.

Sweden made me realize how blessed I am, that I am a part of a sport that women allover the world, not only US love and work so hard to get recognized. Derby makes me smile multiple times a day. And when it frustrates me, I just think of how much happiness it has brought me and all the friends I have made. Because Roller derby is something that is in your face, and I like to keep it there, with or without fishnets, it is what we all make it to be!