Friday, July 9, 2010

Stack It, Stack it Good...

Dragged this sorry old example of a carcass down to derby training last night. Lurgy still lingers and I sound like a four-pack-a-day smoker with my hacking cough and raspy wheeze (never smoked a week in my life. Yeah, I know it should be day, but I did for a couple of those in high school until I realised EVERYBODY in Year 7 had taken it up as the cool thing to do. Never was one to run with the crowd, not my style).

But I paid my registration/insurance with Skate Australia, bought my ENRG t-shirt and managed some training. Funnily it wasn't the lack of lung capacity that stiffed me, it was the bung right knee! The day before I had dragged kidlets and extra rugrat up to an afternoon session BUT in the midst of my screaming at organising kids I forgot my knee brace. Whoops...

THEN, due to teaching said extra, I didn't have a chance to slowly warm up and jumped into Red Rover full tilt. Knee not happy, muscles screamed, and to top it all off, my left bloody ankle *clicked* out. Hot dang, I am so friggin old and decrepit sometimes even Methuselah gets jealous!

Anyhoos, back to the point of this rambling post. In the midst of learning to do a 4-point drop I choke (knee-hurtie phobia), wheels roll out from under me, and

Big Boy is ropable. He has NEVER seen me fall, and I have committed the unpardonable sin of giggling manically at some of his more dramatic spills. Ah well, he may have to wait another decade or so... at least I hope it will be.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fifty Ways To Tell if You are a Derby Chick!

You know you are a roller girl if...

1. You can identify everybody's skates, not only visually, but by smell.
2. You can't remember the original color of your helmet, there are so many stickers.
3. You get $10 haircuts, buy clothes at secondhand shops, and eat ramen noodles for every meal. Why? Because you spent $800 on skates, $300 on wheels and bearings, $200 on pads and helmets, and $200 in yearly dues.
4. Your skates cost more than your laptop.
5. You no longer respond to your given name.
6. You're angry that Facebook won't allow you to go by your alias.
7. You've started a petition for Facebook to allow aliases.
8. Your non-derby friends simply ask, "So, what hurts today?"
9. You've started buying Neurofen in bulk.
10.You've started buying Dencorub in bulk.
11.You own a brace and/or bandage for every body part.
12.You've made voodoo dolls of opposing players.
13.You believe that someone has made a voodoo doll of you.
14.When you hear the word "panties", you think of the kind that goes on your helmet, not your butt.
15.Your get-rich-quick scheme is making helmet panties and selling them on Etsy.
16.Your wear your underwear outside your derby gear.
17.You feel proud when you tell people you have joined derby and they cringe.
18.You hear the word "zebra" and immediately think "ref".
19.Your significant other has stopped thinking the term "derby widow(er)" is funny.
20.You check Borders weekly for a new copy of Blood & Thunder.
21.You own Rollergirls, Kansas City Bomber, and Rollerball (both versions) on DVD.
22.You think Whip It was the best recent movie evah!
23.You have your DVD recorder set to screen for the term "roller derby" and record all related programs.
24.You search YouTube for new bout videos every week.

25.You're contemplating paying out the nose for AusStar just so you can watch the bouts on sports channel.
26.You can't understand why anyone would rather watch any other sport.
27.Your friends have name like Deathweaver and Glamazon Bron.
28.You've played the word "WFTDA" in Scrabble.
29.You've secretly created derby names for all your non-derby friends.
30.Your husband takes the kids to Disney World while you go to RollerCon.
31.At work, you stockpile sick days for travel games.
32.By the time you get home from practice, you're ready to turn around and go back.
33.The mere mention of a sport court makes you shudder.
34.You find the phrase "______ by day, rollergirl by night," highly offensive.
35.You die a little inside when someone says, "Roller derby? It's back?"
36.Your old friends only get to catch up with you if they come to watch you bout.
37.You've had a heated debate about ranking systems.
38.Your ultimate goal is to play derby in the 2016 Olympics. (lol)
39.The top bookmarks in your browser are: your league's homepage, your league's forum, DNN, FTS, Derbytron, and
40.You make lists about roller derby while you're at work.

41.You get irate when checking twoevils and someone already has YOUR name.
42.You start dreaming up marketing ideas for your derby name.
43.Your clothes all seem to have a reference to derby on them.
44.You find fishnets cool once more, even with the holes.
45.You know Superman Rolls are a derby move not a kinky sexual tactic.
46.You can debate flack track versus banked track all night.
47.You have people recognise you as a derby chick from the bout the other night.
48.Your children are being told their Mum is the coolest.
49.You no longer shop in Target for mumsy attire, but That Shop for derby gear.
50.You've started your own roller derby blog.

Whoops. That's me. Ah well, on target to becoming the world's oldest derby chick I guess...

Oh, and if you don't VOTE for me, I'm coming round to discuss rink rash and giner shiners. Just kidding. Really.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Are The Gods Trying To Tell Me Something?

I have to wonder. It seems like every time I tried to organise to skate the Gods throw something in to stop me. First, I was sick, then had kids sick, then an employee sick - mind you, topped off with a flat battery so I couldn't even get to WORK! Good one that, double header.

For a couple of training sessions my mojo just wasn't there, and every promotional thing the derby girls have needed help with I've either been working, or away on holidays!

I had a good training session on Thursday, considering I hadn't skated in nearly a month. But I notice how much more a lot of people put in. Is it because of my dodgy knee? Or fear of my own ability and lack of confidence?

I always knew with all the committments I have (mostly not of my own doing, but because of business, kids, mother) it was going to be hard to fit in, but I just really wanted something for myself. Something I love.

But now I am questioning if I love it enough, because when I look around me, the level of passion my fellow team members have is so far beyond what I feel. I just think maybe I am too old, and have too many emotionally draining aspects in my life to be able to give what is needed... Maybe it is time to hang the skates up and admit defeat.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

It Has To Happen

With all organisations, as they grow, so too do the demands, internal politics and conflicts. Yesterday I witnessed one such hiccup in our derby league. On the regular Wednesday morning skate a lot of the people attending are the derbyers. This little league is now growing at an incredible rate, and what once worked is starting to show sly cracks of weakness and dissent. Not through bitchiness (though I must add, you put of lot of strong women in a group and hell, whaddya think is gonna happen... ) or troublemakers, but purely from the pressure of ANY organisation that grows too quickly. Firm procedures, processes, rules and expectations have to be explained clearly AND enforced. It is no good worrying if you are goin' to be everybody's mate at the end if the whole damn thing implodes before it even gets started. If people want to act like a bunch of children there are times you need to treat them as such!

The whole philosophy of this league was what attracted me and many others, it would be a shame if it was lost. That is what WILL happen unless you all focus, find the issues, and resolve them NOW from a grassroots level. If you take the title, you have to do the hard yards, and not leave it all to fall on one or two people until they buckle from the strain.

So people, breathe, take a step back, and as I said yesterday, if you ain't part of the problem nor part of the solution: ZIP IT!

And even more tragically - my derby name might be taken already! How could I ever be anything other than Madmother after a decade of this username... *sob*

My only hope is that when the backlog on the international register clears, I am the one who applied for it first. Now I just have to wait it out...*sniff*sniff*

Friday, May 28, 2010

Pffft - Truly Tragic

Absolutely abysmal effort on my part tonight. Was so far from the zone it is not funny. I guess after the week I had (two funerals, travel with Boy 1 deciding mid-flight that flying was not for him, little sleep) it was to be expected, but I had hoped to push through and skate it all out. Did not happen.

So now I feel I have let myself down. Just gotta suck it up and move forwards. After all, there is always next week.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Finally. Attended my first Fresh Meat training session on Thursday night. To say the muscles are screaming in protest still two days later is an understatement.

BUT... The skills are all still there! Rusty, yes, but present for sure. Really enjoyed it, gave me a much needed high and release from the stress of the last few weeks.

ENRG Roller Derby Girls ROCK!
Copyright Erin Smith Photography
Can you spot me?
May 20th, 2010

To quote an old Aussie songstress, "It's only the beginning..." (Deborah Conway)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The First Wave

Have you noticed the median age of roller derby girls? I mean, have you really had a good look over a larger group? We are the first wave surging back. The roller skating fanatics of the seventies and eighties leaping forward to embrace the now. The thirty and forty something former hot skater babes, now hot mammas, looking for me time. Leaving behind the life of nappies, school, homework, soccer, taxi runs. Taking back control and  our lives. If only for an hour or so twice a week for training and bout time. 

Remember us? Watch out. We're BACK!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Memoir Monday: Whipping Madmother

Ha Trav - betchya diddna know I had me lots of blogs! Now, there does not appear to be anything restricting me to entering more than one of my blogs, and so I'm running with the theory that it is allowed.

Skating formed a major part of my youth, and it probably saved me from some serious shit when my sister died. It gave me an outlet whilst also allowing me to be "the skater" instead of "the girl whose sister died". Self-centred, I know, but you usually are at fifteen. And I was desperately trying to hold what was left of my family together most days, so a few afternoons and weekends of being sk8r girl was not so much to ask for.

But enough of the poor me pity whining, time to break from the gloom with a bit of a light relief madmother wheelie tale.

The Whip:
I briefly touched on the description of the whip in this post. But now I will go into the DARK SIDE of this classic move.

If you have seen the movie Whip It you would have seen the new generation tame pussycat whip derby move. A modern day whip is merely grabbing another player by the arm to whip you forward. If you really want to know more there is a good video here.

The 1970's version was far less politically polite... two girls forward, two girls backward, fifth girl forward on the outside being "The Whip". First girl facing forward (in the centre), after speed built up, plants herself i.e. brings herself to a dead stop, result - whip is cracked and fifth girl is propelled forward at an incredible speed.
What I neglected to tell was that it was a favourite move to smash any newbies who came in with big mouths and no talent. It was no issue if you talked the talk, so long as you walked the walk too. And so many did not. No follow through  - cardinal skating sin!

And so, the Madmother sinner version of the whip was this...
Two girls forward, two girls backward, fifth girl forward on the outside being "The Victim". Madmother facing forward (in the centre), after speed is built up to a crescendo, plants herself i.e. brings herself to a dead stop, result - whip is cracked and newbie is propelled forward at an incredible speed usually planting herself halfway up the rink wall face first. And then slowly slides down to the floor.
We ceased this practise after one such victim broke their leg in three places. Ouch. Oops.

Had a few anger management issues in that grief period...

Friday, April 9, 2010


I have been to a skating session three times in ten days! And one more on Monday to go!

Ouch, my poor tired old muscles are aching, though I don't notice until around an hour after I stop. It is even worse when I stiffen up later. Ah the joys of being older.

And I have my eyes on some new skates. Black leather figure uppers, Italian trucks and Giotto wheels... Dazzling but dollars. $$$$$$$$$$$. But I do believe you get what you pay for, after all my thirty year old beauties were incredibly expensive in their day and look at how much monies worth I've gotten out of them!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

And skate we DID!

Yes, after much stuffing up and screwing around, (refer here) this morning we made it to the rink near the brownest of plains, on the crest of the hill, otherwise known as Digi-Skate! The car was full to the brim with myself, Lash Lass Lisa (I am now bestowing derby names on all who accompany us. I mean, hell, I have one - Madmother - so everyone else can have them as nicknames!) and six, yes you read it right, SIX strapopping young lads eager to skate. Well, when I say eager I mean sorta looking forward to it, some with a little trepidation...

The weather is pefect. Not too hot, not too cold. And skate we did! A good, fun time was had by all. No damages, very few falls. But most inspiring of all was LL Lisa and her amazing acts of recovery. I think she almost fell at least twenty times: arms would whirl, legs would wiggle, over she'd nearly go... then hey presto! She saves herself! Wish I'd had a camera, could have been worth millions. Or at least the grand prize on Funniest Home Videos...

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Am I Nuts?

After two days more or less in bed, lots of pain relief, heat packs, Voltaren rubs, massage and more rest, my back is pretty much okay today. Tomorrow afternoon I am meant to be skating with my two sons and two of their mates.

I feel okay, but am cautious. I now think I did not injure it skating, merely pushed some muscles a little harder BUT then slept in the wrong position, and with my back issues that was all it took.

But, and this is the nuts bit, I think I will skate. So long as I do not push it hard, nor fall (which I don't tend to do) I think all will be well. I want to skate. I need to skate. Let's face it, I am going to skate. Carefully.

Friday, April 2, 2010


You guessed it. Back is spasming, excrutiating pain down right side waking me hourly last night. I have always suffered back pain and problems. My back used to click out and lock even in my teens (made for some fun times with friends, let me tell you. Many slow baby step walks home from being with mates, usually accompanied by quite a few of them feeling helpless).

Falling down a flight of stairs when seven months pregnant with Boy 2 could have made things a tad worse...
I had a couple of bad twinges earlier in the week, but I think skating may have pulled a few things out of whack. No falls or spills, just the pushing myself to faster speeds stretching things a little locked already.

Now I'll just have to get Big Boy to massage the Voltaren in, take some pain relief, and hope all is well in a couple of days. Especially as we are skating Monday, Friday and again the following Monday with extra kids.

Bloody hell, this getting older sucks!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Good? Or Bad?

Well, today was a day of mixed blessings. I bit the bullet and drove down the coast to check out another rink (traitor I am). Motivation for this was the lack of weekday classes or sessions at my regular  rink whilst the boys are in school. The one class they hold is a Star class. In other words a figure skating or dance skate class.

I went to one a few months back mistakenly believing it to be a normal session, but just for adults. How embarrassing! I had dragged two friends with me, but they quite enjoyed it. Unbenownst to me friend 1 had been attending beginner star classes on a Saturday morning with her daughter, and friend 2 was a former free-dance champion! They joined in and happily performed the fancy seal tricks dictated by the overweight, overtanned, overoiled fifty or sixty something instructor who reminded me of the oldies in Strictly Ballroom. He was not impressed when I asked if we could speed up the music with a bit of AC/DC...

After this experience, it was with trepidation I decided to trek down the mountain, over the state boundary, and give it another go at another rink.

Due to daylight saving still in place there and not here, I knew I would miss at least half of the session. But this was merely a reconnaissance, and if I managed a skate then bonus!

Walked in. Four woman skating, two of whom had prams on the rink. Instructor made five and her young son of around eleven years of age, added one more. Smaller rink than my usual, but friendly people. Was introduced as soon as I rolled on the rink. It is a combined skate/fitness class based mainly around derby training. The instructor is a woman of 46 (woohoo - someone doin' derby of me own generation!), and she filled me in on the idea of the session, and also about the team. So now I have a third team adding to my indecisiveness about who to join. And I may have only skated for an hour, but by hell I did sweat!

The good: the people, the lack of pressure, the encouragement.

The bad: the distance (an hours drive), my lack of fitness, and the condition of the floor. My wheels are disgusting and I'll have to give them a thorough clean to get the muck off.

But I enjoyed it so much I've already rung around and told friends of the session, and my intention to go every week after the holidays (they don't run them in school hols). 

Overall, a good day I would have to say!

Must add, I had forgotten how punishing it is to do fitness exercises on skates...