My Derby Story................What is yours?
"I'm 49 years old and during the day i have a high powered job with lots of stress.
I love roller derby because it takes me away from my job, and gives me an outlet. (this is the only outlet that i have found that totally absorbs me.
I am one of the weaker players because of my age and i have physical restraints of age and fitness. However derby has rewound my life by 20 years. I have suffered with back pain and disc problems for my whole life-(since age 18). Since derby i have no issues. (3 yrs ago i was on walking sticks for 4 months!).
Derby really hasn't saved my life - it's given me one!!"
"So... I just turned 46.
I used to skate all the time when I was a kid but stopped when I moved away from home back in1988. Back in March 2014 a much younger friend of mine told me that she had checked out a roller derby team here where I live. Not knowing what the history was of the sport in my town I assumed it was at the roller rink 1.5 blocks from my house.
So after not having donned skates for some 25ish years, I decided to take my teenage son and go check out the rink during an open session. Within the first 30 minutes I had realized how much I missed the feeling and freedom that being on skates gave me when I was younger. So off to talk to the owner of the rink to see about getting a pair of my own skates (just to have them for leisure skating at open sessions).
I ordered my skates and agreed to come to my first derby practice...little did I know that this was not the same team my friend had been talking about. This was a new team just starting out and just building their team from scratch and definitely the right team for me.
Now I have been skating with our team for some 9 months and love it. I am riddled with health troubles, diabetes related issues and strength issues from complications of the disease and a couple minor injuries, and had never imagined being this active again.
I may never be strong enough again to skate in my first official bout and I may never be able to get strong enough to pass my minimum skills test but the sense of family and community that I have found has made me want to try to get better every day...even knowing that my future in derby may only be as Ref or NSO I am totally ok with it...I love my derby family and the sense of belonging and empowerment it has given me to be stronger and better every day."
Granny Smith, #29 - Poison Apples Roller Derby
"My Girlfriend wanted to start a Derby league, here in Cochrane Ontario Canada. She spoke to a ladie from Sault Saint Marie (Laura DevilsOwn Houle). She told my GF that there was another woman trying to start a league in our little town.
My GF get on the phone with her and it was someone she worked with for years!!!
Brainstorming leads to the first team meeting, almost 20 people showed up.
I've never done too much in sports,but I knew I'd really love this sport, Then I was nominated Assistant Coach. I Loved it! I couldn't believe what was happening.
The head coach and I spoke, the girls listened, the team grew so fast.......safety /commitment /determination. I needed MORE.
I Hopped into REFFING.
I was never too good at reading books,but this was very different. With every page turned,knowledge was built and was helping me as a coach as well... But,I wanted MORE!!!
Just this year, Timmins Ontario hosted the very first CO-ED Scrimmage in northern Ontario. I could not believe my eyes.
"Are you kiddin me??? Let me in!!! " I Played in the CoEd scrimmage and reffed the following game.
I simply don't know how to explain how Roller Derby has changed my life. I've been 100% invited to/from every team around. If we're going somewhere out of town/province /country we check out the Derby scene and are invited with open arms.
I've been bullied,tossed around, ridiculed and put down REPEATEDLY. I was kinda gunshy at first.
I'm So happy to make so many brothers and sisters from so many places."
Seattle Citywide aka OneWorld Roller Derby
How Derby Has Changed Me
This is derby
Derby Adds Quality to Life
It had a strong enough impact i startee my own league
11:57am · 2016-01-31
I'm more social and have met some really lovely women. I love roller derby derby because whenever I put skates on I laugh and smile.
11:28am · 2016-01-31
Derby has changed ever aspect of my life....for the better!!! Socially, emotionally, physically and...well maybe not financially LOL. I have met new people and became great friends. My job (social worker) is an emotional roller coaster. Derby is a great outlet for the anxiety and frustration. Derby IS my midlife crisis :)
7:16am · 2016-01-31
It has helped me resist "giving in" to a sense of a weakening body. I was growing chronically tired... so that I could keep up with my garden or other things that were important to me. Derby has given me an outlet to feel strong again.
5:20am · 2016-01-31
I am fitter, thinner, and have a better social life than ever before, and I am about to turn 46!
11:04am · 2016-01-24
A number of things changed at about the same time as I started Derby - I had a Gastric Sleeve surgery which meant I dropped about 20kg (45 pounds) over a 3 month period - I tell every body that asks that the weight loss is due to Derby :-)
10:53pm · 2016-01-21
I am a stay at home Mom with two boys, the youngest one is Autistic. I was becoming depressed with my "normal" life, and didn't have many female friends. I went to one Derby bout with my hubby, and fell in love. I started as Fresh Meat and just took my Level 1 assessments. I am a much happier person now, and I am enjoying all my new family.
10:06pm · 2016-01-21
Not yet but it is changing (sorry i am frensh).
6:20pm · 2016-01-07
It has helped me build confidence to stand up for myself not be pushed over, which has been a difficulty. I don't apologize as much any more :)
6:34am · 2016-01-07
I started at 47 hoping the exercise would help with my hot flashes. I had a stroke three months later that took most of my eye sight. Through it all the women have always been there. I'm much older than they are and some times that can be awkward, but when the shit hits the fan we're there for each other. We're family. That's beautiful.
9:12pm · 2016-01-05
Derby Adds Quality to Life
I'm feeling better, both physically and mentally, than before I started skating (at 38) thanks to roller derby.
11:31pm · 2015-08-04
I started derby at 45 and fell in love with the sport. It is the only exercise I have been able to stay committed to and I rarely miss a practice. I feel strong, fit, and empowered and try to pass the sport onto others.
11:24pm · 2015-08-04
Derby has changed my life in so many positive ways. Keeps me very fit, challenged mentally, physically and socially. It makes me step outside of my comfort zone. I have become a much more confident person. I feel strong. I have lots of new friends. I am very happy!
10:47pm · 2015-08-04
I never played a sport before. I never experienced team bonding before derby. I have been a derby fan since 1968 and always fantasized about being a skater so ten years ago when Pioneer Valley Roller Derby started the first men's team, it was like a lifelong dream come true. It happened at a particularly low point in my life and really saved me from a depressive state.
10:22pm · 2015-08-04
It hasn't changed my life but has certainly enriched it! I've meant some wonderful people over the years. Also since being part of a league is about running a nonprofit organization; the roles I have served has helped equip me for the responsibilities I have as a new business owner.
10:07pm · 2015-08-04
Never been stronger, Valley, or more confidentas since derby
10:00pm · 2015-08-04
It reminded me of the athlete that I used to be, and now am again!
9:58pm · 2015-08-04
for years I wanted to try out Derby. I always love to skate, but I didn't know if I had what it would take to actually be able to skate Derby style. At 46 I decided to go ahead and go to my first practice. I was really nervous, I realized I didn't know how to skate anymore, since last time I was on skates was 30 years ago. but the love, camaraderie, friendly atmosphere and like minded people made it a great experience. Though I have never had that passion to be a truly competitive skater, or to live and breathe Derby, like some, I feel that I have found the most wonderful sport, and the most genuine people I've ever known in my life. I have made true friends, with a common interest, even though our lives might be totally different, and our other life interests might be totally different, we all come together for one reason, and that's to skate. I am more confident, outgoing, and have a higher desire to just live life to thenfullest, because I know when everything is going crappy, I could just strap on my skates, call up a bunch of my derby friends, and go have a good time, laugh and love.
9:52pm · 2015-08-04
Helped me leave a bad relationship
9:45pm · 2015-08-04
Derby is the best therapy ever! It keeps me in shape, makes me continue to challenge myself and constantly push my limitations. It requires teamwork. The best skater in the world can't win alone; you don't necessarily have to like or get along with every skater on your team outside of derby; but once you are on the track, you have to have each other's backs, and operate as a team in order to be effective. Also, I did get lucky and met my Derby Love (she was the coach of one of the teams I played against... now she is my team mate). . . And much much more which doesn't really have words... it is an overwhelming mixture of physical and mental and emotional and chemical and.... which floods every cell during and after derby... only one way to experience it....
9:37pm · 2015-08-04
Before derby I had not lasted a season in any organised sport for over 20 years. My confidence and health have improved thanks to the regular exercise. I have recently completed a coaching accreditation course. I can see my association with derby continuing long after my competitive skating days are over, I plan to work towards becoming an official
9:08pm · 2015-08-04
Community. Confidence. Fitness.
9:05pm · 2015-08-04
Met great new friends.
8:52pm · 2015-08-04
Made me a stronger woman; mental as well as physically.
8:46pm · 2015-08-04
Derby bright a new light to my life. As a mom of three kids was beginning to feel as if I needed something for just me. Derby has given me that. I love skating. I love getting stronger and better. I love that I'm 45 and I have a lot of energy and in it slowing down any time soon.
8:24pm · 2015-08-04
It gave me the physical and mental outlet I needed. It has had many ups and downs but more ups to keep me from walking away or retirement. I want to help grow the sport.
8:21pm · 2015-08-04
Best thing I ever did.
8:02pm · 2015-08-04
I am more outgoing, and in better shape. Participating in roller derby has made me realize I am able to do things I am afraid of or challenged by.
7:55pm · 2015-08-04
Derby has allowed me to see other cities in both the US and abroad
7:52pm · 2015-08-04
I have accomplished things I've ne thought I was physically capable of!
7:42pm · 2015-08-04