Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sunshine and Rainbows (Or... How I Spend Time With My Big Derby family)

Guest post by Deadlie Mercury

The reason I decided to do roller derby back in January was because my long term boyfriend was going abroad for school for the next two years and I needed something exciting in my life to kill time. Now ... when I joined The Hellions I figured "Alright, these girls seem swell and I'm sure we'll get along great at practice and we'll probably do some events and after-bout parties but that will be that." I never really thought that these ladies would become a group of friends that I would go out of my way to hang out with.

Hellions Camping Trip
It's not mandatory that your derby team becomes your second family (or third, or fourth) but it happens. You discover that the people you play with can relate to you on and off the track. You find you have common interests outside of roller derby and end up sharing them together. I don't just skate with my teammates, we all go on outings together too! We usually refer to them as 'Sunshine Events' (not sure what or if other teams would call it). From time to time some of us will come up with an idea of "Hey, that would be tons of fun, I bet some of the girls would be interested in this!", so the word is spread that this awesome thing is coming up and all are invited to partake. We've done movie nights, CD swaps, adult-toy bingo, camping trips, apple picking/haunted house-type-stuff, etc. There's really no limit to what we find entertaining.

This past weekend five of us went to Bowman Orchards for a delightful day of apple picking and cider drinking, then to Liberty Ridge Farms to get our pants scared off in the haunted corn maze and of course for more cider consumption.
Ursula Udders, Asa Diamonds, Shockratease,
Spam Ghetti-Ho's, and Deadlie Mercury
We found some of the best apples, figured out a complicated pumpkin maze together, and ran from guys with chainsaws. It was a blast, and honestly, it's refreshing to know that yes, while we can all get together and talk derby for a while, we can also put that aside for other subjects. I love finding out new things about my teammates. What they studied/study in school, what kind of pets they have, even their views on meat consumption. It shows you really can find a kindred spirit in someone that you never thought you would. For example, I recently realized how many geeks play roller derby and it's always nice to know I'm in good company.

HoT Family Photo - before the June 12 bout in Maine.
No one told me how close I would become with my teammates -- that I would have a genuine connection with them. I thought we were just practicing together. We hang out on weekends, and we do road trips to bouts, tournaments, and conventions. When fully invested in derby, you see your teammates a lot, so you'd better like them. In some ways they know me better than most. They see a part of me on the track that I rarely show - that raw and competitive side who has never really made an appearance outside of roller derby. But they also see the part of me that my other friends see too, the goofy girl who just needs a beer and good company and she's happy.

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