Whatta Tuesday

Apr 272010

Like anything else, there are a few things about roller derby that really piss me off.  Mainly it’s having to engage in the same dumbass conversations, over and over about what roller derby IS NOT:

We’re not all lesbians—but the sight of some of these booties in the tiniest of hot pants will  definitely make you want to check yo’self from time to time.

I don’t have anger issues, that’s not why I play Roller Derby.  Aggression,  it turns out, this form of socially unacceptable self expression, is fun, that’s why I play Roller Derby.  That and I want to be able to bounce quarters off of my ass. It’s a great party trick.

When I say, “I play Roller Derby” I do not mean“Roller Derby, like they used to have on TV”.  I have never choked my archnemesis by her helmet strap, nor have I ever bitten one of them, thrown a chair at anyone, or pushed some chick over the “Wall of Death” all while narrowly avoiding a pit of alligators.

Yes, we actually consider ourselves athletes.  We practice and strategize, and all that shit that “real athletes” do.

But the whole, “I bet ya’ll fight all the time, I mean, 40 women, on the rag all the time”, is quite possibly the biggest load of shit I’ve ever heard.  Because, everyone knows that vaginas and ovaries turn the most mild mannered of housewives into blood lusty savages.  Sorry to burst your porn bubble guys, but there’s really not much catfighting going on around these parts, on the track or off!

Generally, the parties with whom I am forced to endure said conversations with come equipped with a pair of balls.  And, once I have dispelled all myths of naked proportions, they have almost entirely lost interest in engaging me further in conversation, thank God.  But occasionally, I’ll run across someone who is genuinely interested in finding out what roller derby really IS:

Roller Derby IS:

An excuse to wear knee socks and fishnets everyday; the fast track to a smokin’ hot ass. Something that I  look forward to more than sex. The first time most of us chicks ever fit in. And a good fucking time!

Some of the best friends you’ll ever have. Six months ago, when I got thrown in jail, my derbies were the first people I called.  I wasn’t even on the TEAM anymore, yet these bitches worked round the clock and managed to get 3500 BUCKS in bail money donated to the “Get Tuesday Out of Jail Fund”!  Fortunately I only need $400 of that, and 11 days later after a visit with a very reasonable judge, one of my girls came from a Zombie Bike Ride, in full make-up, to bail my sorry ass out of jail!  Then when they shipped me off to rehab, they threw me a “We Wish You Weren’t a Sot So You Wouldn’t Have To Go Away” party.  They’ve taxied me to and from work, and practices, and visits with my probation officers.  (Yes, that’s plural, I have two probation officers. Go big or go home, right?)  And when I told my wife I’d gotten my 90 day Sobriety Chip, she clapped and gave me a big hug, even though she had no idea what the hell I was talking about.  She just knew that it was a big deal to me.  My mom has been my biggest cheerleader, but my teammates are a close second.

So, if you don’t already have a derby team, I suggest you rush right out and get one, because you probably won’t find friends like mine anywhere else.

Photos Courtesy of:  www.biz/ed.com, www.catfight.typepad.com, www.rollerderbysavedmysould.com, and www.thederbyproject.com

Apr 182010
Yeah, I’m going to write another entry about me not drinking.  Because it’s kind of a big deal for me.  I mean, I used to drink, ALOT, and that was a big deal for me.  I doubt many people know just how big of a deal it was, but those in the recovery business say that you’re always the last one to know.  So, maybe everyone knew but me.

I planned my nights around drinking.  I chose which friends I was gonna hang with based on the bars they frequented.  And while my budget didn’t consider grocery money, it did include a healthy entertainment fund, which was really just a fancy name for “My Drinking Money”.

So, when I STOPPED drinking, it really was a BIG DEAL.  If your drinking career has never brought you there, what I’m about to say will probably sound completely absurd.  When you are forced to give up drinking, or drugs, or fill-in-the-blank, it’s a pretty traumatic experience.  It’s something that I’d venture to say, most of us alcoholics and addicts actually grieve over.  Shock, Anger, Acceptance.  It happens—ironically, all things which would have six months ago, been perfectly logical reasons for me to drink.  But eventually, the realization sets in that this passionate love affair is really just suicide, on the installment plan.  And when you finally do sober up, there’s this hole inside of you—probably what prompted most of my drinking anyway, but trying to fill it up with booze, only succeed in accelerating the erosion of my very soul.  Ain’t it funny how that shit works, you know, when your solution becomes your problem??

But eventually, the fog begins to lift and suddenly you’re looking at the world with a clear set of eyes.  And I’d love to say that it’s magical.  But it’s not.  It’s the same old world that I’ve been looking at all my life.  As Tom Petty says, “Some days are diamonds, some days are rocks”.  Sometimes I can really appreciate that my sobriety is a second chance that alot of people never get, and sometimes I have days where I’d give anything in the world to not be sober—I’m just trying to keep it real.  Those days are getting fewer and farther between, and for THAT I’m eternally grateful.

And I’m really lucky to have something that I can pour myself into.  I’ve been a part of Red Stick, on and off, for over two years.  But, if I had to guess, I think most of my girls would probably say that I’m a different skater this time around.  My head is clear, and I’m focused, and I’m faster, and I don’t puss out at practice anymore because I’m really too hungover to be of any use to anybody.  And I actually give a shit about something.  I want to be there, and if you ask me for 100%, I’ll give you a 110%, and I don’t mind doing it.  Because you guys deserve it, and because it helps me stay clean.  Really!  When 52 people are counting on you to be there, a 110%, you better fucking be there.  And I CAN’T be there (or anywhere else for that matter, not 110%) if I’m fucked up.

Apr 132010

March 30th finds me back at practice for the first time in eight weeks.  Just coming out of substance abuse treatment and trying to slip seamlessly back into “life as I knew it” has proven trying enough.  Finding a way to go from rehab to roller derby is a bit more uncomfortable.  So many friendships are solidified over long necks after long practices.  I have an anxious feeling, probably stemming from the fear that with my hard drinking, hard partying days behind me, I’ll become a Ghost of Derby past.

I’m nervous.  Beads of sweat are rolling down my neck before I even finish lacing up my skates.  I feel like it’s my first day of practice.  Half of “my team” I’ve never even seen before.  The other half, the same familiar faces that have been hanging around some of them for years, some of them for just a few months, look strangely different.  Well, they don’t look different, but I feel like they look at me differently.  And I feel like I’ve got something to prove to all of them.

Fifteen minutes later, I’m whizzing around the track, dodging and weaving.  And I’m sucking air like a Hoover vacuum cleaner, feeling like I’m about to DIE but refusing to come up for air.  My thighs are on fire and I feel like my lungs are about to burst.  Really, I think I’m going to die.  Rehab did wonders for my sobriety, but right now, I think my 66 year old mum could beat me in a footrace—damn you alcoholism!

The next thing I know, we’re filing five at a time onto the track for R-Rated scrimmages.  And I’m about to cry.  I’m terrified—what if these rookies KICK MY ASS??  Then I got nothing!  As I get closer and closer to the front of the line, I’m pretty sure that I’m not going to make it through practice without either throwing up, or maybe peeing my pants a little.  Ahhh, but before I can make a hasty get away to either the bathroom OR the trashcan, someone is thrusting a pivot panty at me and shoving me toward the track.  I’d love to describe in the pages that follow my triumphant return to the track, but alas not.  I sucked—at least for the first several agonizingly looooong jams.

But by the end of practice, I was careening around corners and hammering jammers just like the good old days (eight weeks ago).  And few “It’s good to have you back” smacks on the ass and a couple of high fives later, I realize that this IS where I belong.  And I’m laughing at myself!  For worrying that there’s no place for me with this team just because I’m sober.