Thursday, September 10, 2015

Roller Derby! (a local color post)

My wife and I have very different relationships with skating, both roller and ice. I grew up skating. Roller skating, that is. There was no such thing as ice skating where I grew up in the south. The nearest ice skating rink was in Dallas, nearly three hours away. And, when I say I grew up skating, I don't just mean I knew how. One of the things I did during high school (and after) was work the recreation programs at my church, and we did roller skating. I often wore skates five or six hours a day, three or four times a week. More on Saturdays. Sometimes, I had to adjust to just walking around. I think it's like having "sea legs." Or something.

Despite the lack of ice skating in the south, I made a fairly decent transition to it. Ice skating is more like inline skating, I think, except easier. Yeah, I have not enjoyed my experiences with inline skates, mostly because they just hurt. It's the way they hold the ankles. Just trust me, okay.

One of my wife's early experiences with ice skating (this was just a few years ago) involved having some kid do a power slide into her feet and her bashing her head on the ice. Yeah, she hasn't been back out on ice again since then.

We do go roller skating sometimes, though, and it's a thing my wife wants to be better at. All of which is to say that my wife has a kind of fascination with roller derby, and it's a thing we've talked about going to see for years, especially since a local league was started about four years ago, the Resurrection Roller Girls. Well, we finally went to see a match!

If you noticed the picture at the top, that was on the skating floor where the seats were set up because, yes, there is seating on the skating floor. We, of course, sat in the front row right behind that sign. But no one ran over us. Not this time, anyway. The couple sitting next to us, who were veterans of going to see derby events, did tell us to take the warning seriously because, although it didn't happen often, having players fly into the crowd is not unheard of.

Talk about excitement!

Roller Derby, at least the variety that we were seeing, flat track, was different than we expected. It was slower and had a lot more strategy involved in it. It took us a little while to figure out, at least the parts that we did figure out, but it was very interesting once we did, and we picked up a few favorite players (from our local team, the Cinderollas) by  the end of the night. Our team lost, but it was still very exciting.

I'll be covering some more roller derby stuff coming up in the next few weeks, but, for now, I'll leave you with some pictures of the match we saw.


  1. Cool pictures. Roller Derby is one of those things I always read about or hear about and think "I would probably like that," but then we never go. Maybe one of these days I'll take Sweetie on a date to them.

    I always loved the feeling of roller skating for a while and then taking them off and walking. I don't know why. It was probably my favorite thing about roller skating.

    I used to inline skate (technically "Rollerblade" is a trademarked term and I'd rather not get both of us sued. We might cry so much we would have to use a disposable tissue, and we'd certainly run up lots of charges having to make duplicated photocopies of documents. We might even get arrested and have our pictures taken via instant-development camera film).

    Where was I? Oh, yeah: I used to do that, to stay in shape and give my knees a break from jogging. I didn't do it much after the time I was going down a long shallow incline, pretty fast, and my right skate hit a patch of soft tar and I went skidding along the road about twenty feet. I looked like a cheese grater had been taken to my arm and leg, and had to walk home (about 1 1/2 miles) bleeding.

    Nobody offered to help! What kind of country do we live in where strangers won't help an angry bloody man walking by the side of the road?

    Boy I really made this about me, didn't I? I like these local color posts.

    1. Briane: You should take her on a date to one. It was a lot of fun!

      See, your story about street skating is why I've never wanted to do that. I've know some other people who've had similar experiences. It's bad enough when you're in a place made for skating and you hit something (like a stray ball bearing), but it's like a minefield out on the sidewalk or something similar.

      And that doesn't even deal with the part where no one will help you out once you look like you've been beaten up.

  2. Five or six hours a day? You must have had iron legs. Although maybe it's different with regular roller skates (I've only done roller blades). I'd definitely have fun doing roller derby. I'm not usually one for sports, but I do like the idea of knocking into people while on skates.

    1. Jeanne: There is a difference, that's all I can tell you. I would not want to stand around for 6 hours in inline skates.

  3. I'll admit, I'm a lot better at watching skating than I am at doing it. One of my favorite winter Olympic sports is short-track skating - looks like roller derby on ice.

    1. TAS: I think it's one of those things where it helps if you start really young.

    2. My daughter was interested early but you're right, if you don't stick with it, it doesn't take. And it is not like riding a bike. I was a lot more comfortable on skates as a kid than I am now.

    3. TAS: Yeah, it's really not like riding a bike. Not that I'm sure that riding a bike is like riding a bike.