Jun 092010
 

In Portland February 2009

When I started skating I almost only jammed, I was told at boot camp that I would be a jammer and since I barley knew what a jammer was, I googled it and then went with it. I was a very very sucky blocker, but I jammed, I was one of the fastest skaters on Jet City after a year, and I was also quite determined. So I skated, skated, skated and mostly jammed. And I didn’t particularly love it, but I didn’t hate it, it was what I did, I was a jammer, I scored grand slams and I helped my team. At some point the pressure just got to high, I became that jammer that everyone chanted ‘grand slam, grand slam, grand slam’ for, and I buckled under pressure and I started to feel anxiety every time I slid the star over my helmet.

I got picked up by Rat City, and my jamming time started to diminish at the same rate as my blocking got better and better, I enjoyed killing the other jammer. I realized that I was a very effective blocker, and I did good, I got good feedback on blocking, maybe because people saw me as a jammer that suprised them with blocking skills. I was still expected to go out and jam, and score, score, score when I did, no matter what my pack looked like. I held myself to really high standards, and when i couldn’t live up to them, I avoided jamming even more. And it wasn’t that I wasn’t doing good, I just wasn’t doing as good as I felt I should.

Sockit Wenches vs. Grave Danger 2009

Sockit Wenches vs. Grave Danger 2009

I still enjoyed jamming, but my jammer anxiety was just out of hands, and I felt like I was needed more as a blocker. And about the same time as my second home-season came to an end and I was committed to the travel team fulltime, I was never really jamming. The travel team  never practiced me jamming and I never stood up voluntarily to jam, I had turned into a blocker over the course of three months.
Don’t get me wrong, I really do love jamming, I think it is fun, and I have slowly been trying to get back into it. My current team needs me to jam, and I do it, because I have to. But I still stand on the line questioning myself, always being nervous that I will not live up to expectations. Nowadays I am in many times more effective as a blocker, I am a jammer-killer, I have awareness on the floor and can help my more rookie skaters more on the floor than with a star on my head. I can try to make out jammer look great but I have to work on my offensive blocking, I am not a whipper, but then the question is, am I a jammer??
I can score, I can pass, I do get lead jammer at times, I still hesitate to jam, and only I am the person that can remove the mental block I have for jamming… and I am working on it… but it is hard when you line up against Bonnie Thunders or Suzy Hotrod with Beyonslay or Donna Matrix in the pack, just waiting to kill, kill, kill you…

Isn’t derby just great so say!?

And I have already started my plan on how to get into better jammer shape… please follow and give me happy feed-back!

Swede Hurt Goes Fit blogspot dot com

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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’.

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Apr 112010
 

When I write this I am sitting on a train going south, trains are amazing in the way how I can see the landscape fly by outside and still walk around and have my own little space. X2000 is the fastest train of Sweden, and that is where I am, in the distant north where I was born. I flew from a sunny glammed out LA, a packed Doll Factory, skating my little Legit heart out against the banked girls of LADD to a Sweden, where the spring slowly is hesitating, one step forward, two back. Yesterday it snowed in Stockholm but today I could lace my skates on and skate down to the station to hop on the train to head towards the third largest city of Sweden called Malmö. Malmö just started Sweden’s fourth roller derby league, and I am there to meet with some of the girls and talk derby. It has only been two years since I skated my first bout, but the two best years of my life…

I found derby a little over two and a half years ago, and it was not in Sweden at all, I found it when I was just returning from a very crazy summer in Berlin, I needed some substance in my life, I wanted to find a passion that was filled with more than just words and no action. I needed to find something that made me smile with my eyes and that wasn’t about getting myself too drunk or writing self-loathing poetry.
In the middle of all this I had a great neighbor who was friends with Deadly Aim (former Rat City now Oly Roller) and asked me why I just did not try Roller Derby. Without even knowing what roller derby was, more than girls on quads knocking each other over while wearing short skirts, I bought a rookie package from some online shop. From that day and on I rarely drank, I quit smoking (and I had smoked for almost 14 years) and I went vegan. I tend to do things to extreme when I fall in love, and I fell in love with roller-skating, and later on with roller derby. After two months of going to all of the skate rinks of the Seattle area and mimicking the moves of random girls with striped socks, I found Jet City.
I was scared and shy; I was sure I would be laughed at and fall flat on my face. I wore stretch jeans and an oversized Misfit t-shirt, and I think I might have fallen on my face, but I ended up being accepted to Jet City’s booty camp and later trying out for the league.. Trixxie Trah’em, one of the best and scariest blockers of the league, always used to practice hits on me. I was always that scrawny and tall girl, I never imagined that I one day would be feared as a blocker on the track. I jammed my little heart out that first year, and I don’t think I ever really considered being a good blocker until I got on Rat City a year later. But I believe you can become anything if you really put your mind to it, it is all in the hard work and passion.
And it is not easy, I have fallen asleep some nights crying, feeling like I am not good enough, but when my jammer tells me she feel safe with me in the pack, I know it is all worth it. I feel good about being me, I feel good about wearing my team’s color on the track, and I feel good about roller derby. All the strong women that makes me believe that I can be what I want and strive to be, women I love on and off the track. I love how I can shit talk with Krissy Krash on the track just to lean my head against hers afterwards, because I know she is one of the good people. We all belong together, they love me for who I am just in the same way I love them. What is there not to love??

Oh and by the way, the Malmö girls got me real drunk after a little skate session.

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