In recent months, I've sort of become obsessed with roller derby. This is through a combination of attending several bouts with the DC Rollergirls and watching the movie Whip It a couple of times. The obsession became big enough that I went out and bought some derby skates, a helmet, and pads and spend a good chunk of my idle hours dreaming of my future glory as a derby girl...kicking ass and taking names.
I'm not sure what it is about derby that captures my interest so much. I've never really been into sports. While I like going to the occassional baseball or football game, for the most part I can't be bothered to get into any sports or learn their complicated rules. I went to my first derby bout out of curiousity. I liked it immediately. I liked the punk-ish DIY aesthetics of the whole things. I liked the bad-ass aliases that the players use (the DC league has players called "Guantanamo Babe", "Marion Barrycuda" and "Condoleeza Slice", for example). I liked watching the blocks, the spills, watching the jammer whip around the track in a merciless pursuit of points.
With each bout that I've attended, I've gotten more into it, learned the rules, the penalties, and what to watch for.
Maybe the thing that attracts me is that roller derby is a sport in which women are encouraged to kick some ass, to be strong and aggressive and awesome.
Maybe it's because I feel, deep down, that I need be strong and aggressive and awesome. That I need to learn to show a little nerve, to gain some confidence, to grow some balls (metaphorically speaking).
Maybe it's just because I want to learn to be able to wear booty shorts and fishnets without fear.
However, my dreams of being a derby girl are currently just pipe dreams. I cannot skate without looking like an old lady shuffling or without falling on my ass. But maybe one day I'll grow some balls, learn how to take a hit (as well as throw one), and get out there on the track....you can call me "Hate Winslet".