No, this is not your grandma's derby from the '70s. No, we don't throw elbows. Yes, we treat objects like women. And yes, I have an alter ego—one wrought with a lotta ins, a lotta outs, a lotta what-have-yous. If you don't know who I'm paying homage to, well then, obviously you're not a golfer.
This is flat-track roller derby. There is pain. There are helmet panties. There are bruises, and more often than not there are nasty falls. And sometimes, if you're lucky, there is a full two-minute jam that can be the one of the most exhilarating moments of your life. But most of all there is my team, the Black-Eyed Suzies. They are the reason that I skate. And, in case you didn't know, they are hometown and homegrown right here in Rockville.
So how did I become a Little Lebowski Urban Achiever in the world of derby, you say? By word of mouth.
Last July, I got a random text from a really good friend of mine, now turned teammate: Basha Kneesta—Yes, she likes fashion and bashin' knees. We showed up to a Black-Eyed Suzies practice on a Wednesday night and could hardly contain our excitement. I'm pretty sure my mouth was ajar the whole time as I watched these tough-as-nails, breathtaking women skate in stride and blast each other with hits and hip checks ... all the while with smiles on their faces and the occasional high-five. I immediately turned to Bash, and said, "Sign me up."
Since starting in August, I have not only seen my body transform (as I am probably in the best shape I have ever been in, even during my days of collegiate volleyball) but my attitude and overall outlook on life has recalibrated. I am, as Walter Sobchak would say: "Calmer than you are." And that's partly due to my new outlet. I skate up Wednesdays and Sundays. On the track I'm Treehorn and that's it.
There's a magic that happens when you share the track with so many different people, whether they are skaters, refs, or NSOs (non-skating officials)—by the way, if you're thinking about participating, click here to get more info. You come from all walks of life, but you leave that life at the door and work together for one purpose: Your team.
Sure, there are many other reasons that I play derby. Let's face it: I get to knock other girls down. I get to challenge myself in becoming better each time I lace up. I can be as aggressive as I want and not hold anything back. I get to compete on an athletic level far different than volleyball, basketball, or softball (all "traditional" sports that I have previously played). I get to skate really fast (or fall really hard), and still look good while doing it. But these women ... well, they are family. And for the first time ever, they—err, we—are hosting a bout right here in Rockville.
This will be your chance to see the magic happen in person. On Saturday, we will be Jackie Treehorn, Basha Kneesta, Mary Go-Pound, Tawna Brixx, Morbid Karma, Ana Roll, T, Shank the Tank, Mothra Stewart, Whip-Her-Will, Surly Jackson, Miss Sindependent, Psyche Drama, Lady M-80, Shiv and Bunnie Lowbrowski. We will be taking on Salisbury's Wicomikazis for an epic rematch, and we hope to see you there cheering on the Black-Eyed Suzies—your home team.