2006. I remember walking in that door to my first bout ever. It was crowded, and the doorway seemed so small. I handed over my donation of canned food at the table and was herded into the dimly lit room with a track and loud music, with what seemed like a ton of people. I tried to find a place to sit at the edge of the track, but became discouraged after I could not find a place, (and personally a little scared of the closeness to so many fast wheels). I went to get a quick beer instead.
After checking out the loudest one-man-band ever, with my cheap brew in hand, I went up some creepy stairs and came back down, only to be mesmerized by 2 skaters in the center spinning some kind of huge Madd-Max wheel. A wicked pillow fight ensued. Then the skating began again. One of my best memories ever—thinking that these were super-women living the dream out there, and that maybe I could do it, too. 4 years later, I finally gathered the courage to join Tucson Roller Derby.
Fast forward. 2016. After 6 years on wheels, with too many travel games to count, remembering the multitudes of faces that have come and gone (and new ones I have yet to put a face-to-a-derby name)—I am going to bask in that glorious radiance and sweat-drenched aura of the annual Graceland of Roller Derby—RollerCon.
When I joined derby—unlike many others—I did not join for the community. I have never been a people person. I was drawn to derby as one would try to get into a A-rated psychologist. I had many demons to conquer, and doing it on 8 wheels seemed to be the best (fun) way to do it. Me before derby? Overweight. Anxious. Shy. In a shitty relationship. OCD was an understatement. I hated social situations. And I was shuttered in that relationship that promoted all of these things.
Me in derby? Decided. Confident. Healthy. Happy. Smarter. Definitely smarter. A lot more comfortable in the social arena. And I run a little business on the side. In my journey to find myself, with derby as my helper, I have acquired some quite large tattoos. Many derby girls find this "happens". My creation of Derby Ink will go with me to my first RollerCon, and will radiate my derby number as a bright white declaration of success on each upper arm. I am so excited to go and learn, meet and compete, and show off my invention of DINKS. I will converse with like-minded people, skate bowls, and bask in the glory of this world that I am a part of.
2016 will be my first RollerCon trip. Now let's go pack—and don't forget the DINKS!
Photo by Derby With Recess 2016.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!