Roller Derby Five Years Later

I’ve been thinking about this blog lately and ‘Thank You Jerry Seltzer’ for inspiring me to re post your blog. That led  me to browsing my own posts and for the first time EVER I read some of my very first posts. I wanted to go back o the beginning to see what I was thinking way back when.  All I can remember is writing something in the early days about the derby endeavor becoming either “Triumph or Tragedy.” And I have no idea why in the world I can’t figure out why WordPress is making this paragraph with a gigantic font.

Wow. Ok.  I’m in awe of my 2010 self that was full of hope, revelation and enthusiasm. I wish I could tell her (me of five years ago)  about what was going to happen and that it truly did become just an inch or two away from tragedy.

I found this post from October of 2010.  My head spins as I comprehend the amount of time that has passed as well as  impressed by my fifty four year old’s excitement.  I’m actually startled that the  very same issues in that post are the same as what has been  churning around in my head lately.

2010:

• Why Derby?
• Why So many women?
• Sports Psychology
• How we impact one another
• Women and sports
• Derby as identity
• Empowerment
• How women’s backgrounds can affect their views on competition
• Women judging each other instead of helping each other
• Women overcoming abuse
• Awareness of girls in sports as empowerment

These items from my five year old blog  have still been on my mind but not as singularly connected to roller derby as before. The rest of that blog is re posted below.

I’m coordinating a derby program right now, in 2015 for Citywide, which is the sports program connected to the Seattle Parks Department.  When I was doing it on my own, we were tossed around from practice space  to practice space (especially during basketball season).  I was finally beginning to accept that it was time to let go of derby for a variety of reasons.

During my year of  breast cancer surgeries (four) and recovery times, the organization dwindled and I was much too exhausted to continue to push the giant boulder up the hill. That year was the final nail in my proverbial  financial coffin. OneWorld dwindled alongside my confidence and excitement; ultimately leading to a serious depression.

Last winter, Citywide contacted me to see if I would coordinate a derby program for the parks. My first answer was no, I told them I was done with derby.  The second time they contacted me I told them the same thing.  The third time when they asked what it would take I told them if THEY found a good facility in a good location and THEY did the promotion and administration that I would do it.  I’m sure it was a surprise to them when they ran up against the same hurdles that I had, due to lack of facilities.  We had a small session in the spring and they say they’ve found a new “permanent” home (that won’t kick us out for basketball season) and it will start in the fall.

I’m swimming to the surface of the muck and looking forward to Rollercon next week, where I’ll lead a seminar about “How and Why to Mainstream Derby” and coach some skills training sessions.  I’m also looking forward to the fall season of derby.  The plan is to offer skills training and ultimately host open USARS scrimmages that are available to any skaters of any affiliation.

Several of the skaters from OneWorld are now skating with Rat City, Tilted Thunder and Jet City. I’m proud that after learning skills with me they were able to try out and make it onto teams.

I still believe that derby should be open and available to anyone who would like to learn. I know it is empowering and my favorite part was watching people grow from self doubt to self confidence. Take a look at what people have said about us: http://bit.ly/1Kf0kUI

Here is what I see right now.  If you are able to let go of agenda, extraordinary things can happen.  Just because we thing something should look a certain way, it doesn’t mean that it can’t be just as wonderful if seen in a completely different way.

The mission continues as outlined in the list from five years back.

October 5th 2010

By George I’ve GOT IT!

After dancing around my obsession with derby I have finally pinpointed EXACTLY WHAT it is.

Along with thousands of others, I’ve been astounded by the derby explosion in the world. Along with hundreds (if not thousands) of others, I’ve had the notion that maybe I could actually carve out a job for myself doing something I love, seeing that I need a job and have a beautiful child to support.

What is viewed as an acceptable “by the skater for the skater” is a whole other topic created by people who have skate shops. Whatever! I support anyone doing whatever they want. I support my local skate shop, but don’t exactly understand why anyone would think that attempting to start an enterprise via a website would be any less worthy than earning a living selling skates, but I digress…………I’ll get back to that one maybe. Actually I probably won’t; I’ve got more exciting things to think about.

So here is the THING that has fascinated me, amazes me and winds me up:

• Why Derby?
• Why So many women?
• Sports Psychology
• How we impact one another
• Women and sports
• Derby as identity
• Empowerment
• How women’s backgrounds can affect their views on competition
• Women judging each other instead of helping each other
• Women overcoming abuse
• Awareness of girls in sports as empowerment

There you have it! My personal journey has amazed me and derby has seriously played a part in helping me to overcome the “on my knees” challenges of navigating this crazy planet and some of the above issues. I’m not done yet; I’m still a skater and have no intention of quitting now.

Regardless of my  personal story and how anything turns out in my life, this is issue is big, and what we need to do is help one another SEE how we impact and either empower or oppress our teammates.

We need to WORK TOGETHER to bring awareness to the table; that is really at the core of what it is for me.

Think of the girls who can have their lives changed by the mere strength of this sport. Not everyone needs this, or me by any means, but I need derby.  Women who are trying to escape from worlds that aren’t very friendly to them need support, and people don’t usually know what is truly going on for someone else.

This awareness can be the strength that people get from being on a team, from sisterhood; the very nature of roller derby is powerful and women taking on the world are incredible.

Hell Yeah.

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About thehotflashseattle

I'm a person who found derby at JUST the right time in my life to give me hope, make me stronger and experience something that had been waiting for me all these years! My mightiest goal is to mainstream the sport of roller derby. My selfish goal is to help other people find ways to skate,connect and inspire each other to get back on track when they begin to slip off and help them up when they fall. Doing this helps me believe that there are others ready to do the same for me. In 2012 I had four surgeries, two of which were mastectomies and now at 57 I'm cancer free and back on track. Three years ago on this profile I claimed not to be a "great" coach but wanted to share what I knew. I am revising that statement at this time because I have figured out that I'm a survivor, a warrior and a damn good coach! I am the founder of OneWorld Roller Derby in the Greater Seattle area. We are sharing our resources to help other leagues form and we're creating a circuit that is coming together utilizing USA Roller Sports as a common link. We are bring roller derby to schools, colleges, parks departments and community centers across the US. Helping each other through the pack is what makes life work for me. In the world we get knocked down, get back up, reset and help each other through the pack. We look ahead for the holes to jump through. We gain momentum to find the endurance we need to be able to make it around the track one more time even when we don't think we can. Derby = life = Derby; It's all the same game to me.
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