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.