Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Conversation Starters

When I first started keeping this little blog, just shy of three months ago, my desire was, and still is, to share my honest experiences as a dad, husband, and roller derby rookie. That means that already you’ve seen the good and the bad and heard more than enough whiny rants than you probably ever needed to hear. But, through it all, thus far, I’ve been as honest as possible about the challenges that have come my way, only occasionally changing names to protect the innocent.

One of my other reasons was for the sheer purpose of accountability. It’s easy to quit things, as I’m sure we’ve all discovered in our lives but is far more difficult to commit and to stay committed, especially when something is as damn hard as derby can be, sapping your energy, time, finances, and ultimately causing some serious emotional wrangling’s as well. It’s not easy by any stretch of the imagination but having this simple thing to come back to, this thing that at least a few people read, keeps me from taking the easy road out.
Additionally, I wanted to be able to use this format as a way to get to know some more of the derby community and what helps to make it tick. I’m one of those introspective types, who enjoys the overall thrill of things but kind of also enjoys getting to the heart of what really makes things work as all, at least when it comes to people. I don’t know; I guess it’s kind of ironic that I’m a bit socially shy and awkward but really like connecting with people.

So, as I sat this morning, thinking about throwing my skates on and working on some stepping drills in the garage but instead finding myself watching the majority of the bonus features for The Dark Knight Rises (because, well, I’m a Batman fanatic), I found myself wondering about what to write about. Because it’s extremely difficult some days to come up with something vaguely witty, well-written, and derby related, especially when I’m not doing something derby-focused every day, aside from writing about it.
So, in an effort to get people talking, and to bring some more insight to this rookie skater, I simply thought up some totally unoriginal questions with the hope of generating some conversation and some discussion. Please (and I mean this, because nothing is more daunting for a writer than to write something, which we’ll then disdain because three seconds after every writer submits his or her work he immediately realizes it’s drivel, while desperately longing for everyone to read it and praise us, eventually allowing us Stephen King numbers on the best-seller charts and a luxury home in the hills; just saying), please, please feel free to step up and get the conversation going here in the comments section so we can get to know one another and so I can learn more about this diverse community of derby fanatics.

So, without further ado, here are some questions:

1.)    Why derby? How’d you get into this sport, whether or not you’re a skater, NSO, coach, ref, or just a fan?

2.)    In your opinion, what makes derby shine above other “traditional” sports?

3.)    What’s your biggest accomplishment in derby to date? What’s that one thing that you’ve done that keeps your mind fresh and excited?

4.)    What’s your biggest defeat or frustration in derby?

5.)    What’s one thing you think most people would be surprised to know about a life in derby?

6.)    What’s your worst derby-related injury been?

7.)    Complete this sentence: “If I could change anything about derby, it would be __________________.” And why?

8.)    What is the biggest thing that you’ve gained from being a part of this sport and this community?
So those are a few questions that will hopefully generate some responses. I’d love to get some real solid feedback on this because, truthfully, they’re questions that I’d like to hear the answers to. I think the answers might be thought-provoking, interesting, and, I’m hoping, occasionally funny.

One thing I’ve learned in my brief step into roller derby life is that this is a world of unique and diverse individuals. Here’s to hoping that I hear from a few of them.


  1. 1.) My daughter went to a couple skate lessons at the rink that start after bombers practice and she decided she wanted to play so i followed.

    2.) Go fast, hit people, turn left

    3.) i didn't throw up at practice on monday!

    4.) i had to go to work after practice on monday

    5.) that roller skating equipment can smell that bad

    6.) i got a purple boo boo on my bottom

    7.) The not moving business. It goes against 2 of the 3 best things about derby, going fast, and turning left

    8.) this sport and this community? answers in the question


  2. I love #3! I'm so, so glad that we rookies didn't have to take part in that hell on earth that you guys went through on Monday! Pretty sure that if I had, I wouldn't be here to write this right now...

    And #5? No kidding! And it's definitely NOT a gender-specific issue either! It's simply sheer nastiness!

    Thanks so much for chiming in, Vorpal! I've really enjoyed getting to know you guys over the past couple of months and look forward to more as time goes along!

  3. There are still many good times to be had. I still consider myself a derby rookie. i just already knew how to skate when i signed up. Joined maybe a month or two before you did. The hardest part is getting your wheels under you. After that it's just tactics and endurance.

    You wont be on the little track much longer. Then it's scrimmage time!

  4. Oh, I totally agree. And that's the thing, getting those wheels under me. I'm feeling more confident with each time out though, once that initial "whoa" of stepping onto the floor kicks in. It would be nice to learn to stop, which ProseHack is working tirelessly with me on, but I'm eager to make it happen.

    Although, after watching that practice Monday, I'm kinda scared to leave that little track...:)