Hey SMRDers! Rebel Fury here, and this is a blog of roller derby life with Southern Maryland Roller Derby, currently from the sidelines.
Let me introduce myself first! I have been with SMRD since 2016. Like many skaters, I am a strong woman, a wife, and a mother. I balance derby with my job and non-derby life. Crazy right? I was introduced to roller derby at my last military base in California over six years ago. I did my first bootcamp there and like all of us, fell in love. Life and the military, had other plans. I passed my minimum skills assessment two months pregnant, stopped skating and vowed to return when I delivered. I was determined to not give up my pre-motherhood passion; I was also delusional 😊
Once I had regained my sea legs as a mother, my family received orders to Maryland. Now I had two kids, and knew I needed to find something for myself if I was going to survive the relocation. I searched derby in my area, and the rest is history. Fast forward to today and the real reason I started this blog; stepping back from derby when you get pregnant. I’m nuts, and am now pregnant with our third, joining the growing list of “injured”skaters. When I first found out, I researched to see who else has experienced this and how the hell did they step back from the sport we love so much. I found a couple, but none so relevant to my situation. Because let’s face it, there is some guilt associated with being a pregnant skater. I knew my team had plans, hell, I had plans! Now they were down a skater for some tough bouts. As my pregnancy has progressed I do not always have the energy, i.e. falling asleep at 7pm, to go out to functions. How do I fit it into roller derby without being able to actually skate; that was the FUN part!
I struggled in the beginning, but have since found my own way to contribute to the team I love so much. I NSO, I bench coach, and now do some of the background work that goes along with running a derby league. With a spouse who is away quite often, I find myself staying at home, watching my skates collect dust. I drool watching videos of how to perfect your hockey stops or Miracle Whips doing another awesome thing. I am keeping active with my workouts to ensure minimal muscle and endurance loss but I know when, and it definitely is WHEN I come back, there will be work to be done. Right now though, there is some envy, but mainly excitement watching this season’s bootcampers graduating. I for sure will be cheering them on this season from the sidelines. This experience has really created a deeper appreciation for those who do not skate but stay involved with derby. But if one thing is obvious, we, non-skating members and volunteers, do what we do because we love roller derby and our league!
Until next time!
SMRD made a recent appearance in one of the dominant Southern Maryland news publications!
Ms. Joy Shrum of TheBayNet.com attended one of our practices – actually, the last practice of our 2016 season – to learn, talk, and take some great pictures!
Check out the article she generated from her experience and look at the photos:
Featured Image courtesy of thebaynet.com.
Did you know that roller derby season is coming to an end? It is true and a very sad for all of us roller derby enthusiasts. As the season is coming to a close, Southern Maryland Roller Derby played in one last bout this past Sunday against the Salisbury WikomIkazis. It was a wonderful ending to the very first bout season ever played by Southern Maryland Roller Derby.
The Salisbury Wikomikazis is a formidable team, only a year older than SMRD, with wonderful spirit and some amazing players. The game was hosted by the Wikomikazis and played on their home track in Salisbury, MD. The track was new to some of us SMRDers (a wood court), and it definitely took some adjusting to.
Personally, one of the most exciting things was not only was this the last bout of the season for us but for Bunny Blaze, Carbomb Kelly and myself (JuiceBox), we all played for the first time with the team. Bunny Blaze, Carbomb Kelly and myself all graduated from the same bootcamp, spring of 2014, and were BEYOND excited to be playing with the team!
We fought hard against the Wikomikazis, gave it our all and came out learning a few new things. We hope to be able to take this last bout into the off season with us and really amp up our training for the next bouting season to start next spring. This off season we will not only be doing our usual training, but we hope to mix in some cross training in the gym to add a new dynamic and really jump start us for next season.
This year we finished our first bouting season, completed two bootcamps, and got our 501c3 (nonprofit). We did so much! We have big hopes for next year and hope you’ll join us for the ride
P.S. A big thanks to Jason Walter, who shot these amazing images!
Southern Maryland Roller Derby had a very busy Labor Day weekend! A good portion of the league packed up their derby gear and headed down into the mountains of Virginia for the Annual Virginia is for Shovers Invitational! Virginia is for Shovers is a derby event hosted by the lovely Charlottesville Derby Dames in Fishersville, VA near the Shenandoah National Park.
The event boasts multiple challenge bouts and co-ed bouts throughout the day. If you are wondering, challenge bouts are scrimmages with individual mixed rosters or rosters of entire teams. The challenge bouts are a great way for players in the surrounding area to get some track time in order practice and hone in on their derby skills. A total of six SMRDers played in several challenge bouts throughout the day, often playing against our own teammates! Two lucky SMRDers, Bunny Blaze and Princess Sleia, were able to participate in a clinic with former Gotham Girl Luna Impact.
For all of the players who attended the event, we had a wonderful time and got some much needed track time. We were so tired by the end of the day, but it was well worth the trip and every minute spent on the track. Below you will find some awesome photos of us SMRD ladies kicking butt and taking names!
Princess Sleia © Monica Larmon
Lil Orphan Anarchy and Ryan N’Tigers N’Bears © Monica Larmon
Bunny Blaze © Monica Larmon
Rach Against The Machine © Monica Larmon
JuiceBox © Monica Larmon
All photos taken by resident SMRDer Kodiak Krush aka © Monica Larmon
Written by: JuiceBox
I do not believe I have talked much about my experience playing roller derby, or really much about the fact that I am even involved with the sport. I’ve been playing or rather, practicing roller derby for six months now. Fact is, even after six months of being with my league, I have yet to even play in a game. I participate in my first scrimmage at the end of this month. On one hand I am so excited and cannot wait, yet on the other hand I’m trying not to barf on the sport court. As you would have it, roller derby is hard. Like really, freaking, hard.
My roller derby experience or now way of life, started back in February, literally days after my husband left for deployment. I was always interested in the sport, in fact to me, it seemed almost glamorous. Well that was a lie. That crap is brutal, and exhausting and more challenging then anything else I’ve attempted in my life. Anyway, I signed up for bootcamp cause even in my already hectic life, I wanted something that was 1) fun and 2) got my mind off of deployment. I found both of these things and more in roller derby. When I go to practice, I try my hardest to only focus on being there. I don’t think about the time or if my phone is going off. I mean, I’ve even missed phone calls from the my deployed husband while at practice.
Doing anything new is hard. Most of the time anyway unless you are like a natural born genius. Which I am not. There were so many things I’ve learned from derby about derby and just about life in general.
1. Have a Positive Attitude – When you have a positive attitude, it simply makes things easier. When you are in a crappy mood, everyone around you feels it, including your team mates. When you are learning or always trying to improve, there WILL be days that you just plain ‘ole suck. Oh well. We all suck on occasion. If we were all awesome all the time, there would be no point in killing myself/yourself at practice for hours at a time, several times a week.
2. Get Rid of Negative Self Talk – I believe this goes hand in hand with having a positive attitude. You can’t have a positive attitude if you are constantly beating yourself up. Check that crap at the door. There are so many times I have beaten myself for my performance and it doesn’t do you or your team mates any good. Instead, acknowledge where you can improve and work on it. Please keep in mind that becoming skilled at roller derby, isn’t going to happen over night or even in a few weeks. I think this can be applied to learning any new skill. I know it is cliche, but practice makes perfect.
3. Lose the Ego – There is no way that you are gonna be some roller derby superstar coming out of bootcamp. Sure, there will be girls who its comes naturally too. There will be girls who extrememly struggle with getting the basics. But no one comes out of bootcamp ready to play on the All Star team. Welp, maybe there are a few exceptions, for the very rare who grew up roller skating their whole lives on sport court or did dance skating. More than likely, you will graduate bootcamp somewhere in a spectrum of ladies who are still not bout worthy.
4. Your Gear Is Important – If you don’t have gear, you aren’t playing obviously. But you wear your gear constantly and takes so much wear and tear so ensure sure you buy quality gear. Unfortunately, quality gear can be expensive. I started with Wally World pads…in fact six months I till use those but the fact is, they need to be replaced. I had to buy new wrists guard at 4 months because they had completely fallen apart. There are so many places you can buy used quality gear, so keep that in mind. I’m currently on the hunt for some new knee pads.
Second issue with gear….what you started with probably won’t end up being what you skate with in the long term. What do I mean by that? Are you having a really hard time with weaving, or cross overs or lateral movements? More than likely, you are having an issue with your wheels, plates, boots or trucks. You either need to adjust them or replace them with a different product. In my case, I needed completely different wheels. I struggled with sliding, EVERYWHERE, and falling. Lots of falling (thank you floor for always being there). Getting comfortable with the all the basic moves is also finding the right combination of gear, and that can take time.
5. Have Fun You Skatin’ Fool – Do you remember why you joined roller derby? Or any sport for that matter? I bet you thought at one point, it would be fun. And more than likely, you do have fun and get a lot of enjoyment out of it. So strap on those skates and don’t take yourself too seriously, laugh and joke with your team mates.
Learning how to play a sport, bake or change your oil probably isn’t or wasn’t the easiest the first time around. Have a sense of humor and the ability to laugh at yourself, you will save yourself some tears. Seriously, I’ve cried after practice. The point of learning something new is because you have an interest in it and it should be FUN, and it should be challenging because duh, its new. If you made it through bootcamp and continued on to join a league, that is a big deal. Even if you don’t play your first game for 6 months to year later. Skate those laps. Do those grapevines. Yell in your head how much you hate suicides…. it only makes you a better player.
Written by: Spring 2014 Bootcamp Graduate, Juicebox
Ask a league member about Tammy DePhillip and you might receive a blank stare. Who? But ask about Buffy Shovers — Tammy’s alter ego — and you’ll hear an outpouring of love for this talented skater and funny friend.
“I’ve personally seen her grow more confident since we met during the first revamped boot camp last year. And we will always remember yoga poses as “Angry cat” and “Sexy cat.” >^.^< Hiss… Meow… ;0) Hugs and belches. –Rhapsody, League Member
“Buffy is my favorite feminist. She definitely has left her mark on our league, one that will help us usher in the next generation of SMRDerers. And she, like me, is quite prone to dance at practice if the right song comes on, so I never feel alone in my nonsense. WE WILL MISS YOU!” –Rach Against the Machine, League Member
“Buffy, thank you for the jam skate…Laurel Skate Palace 2013. Hugs!” –Brooklyn, League Member
Buffy successfully led our winter Fresh Meat Boot Camp and was universally loved by “the freshies,” too.
“She’s very patient and understanding with us freshies. She never made us (ME! lol) feel stupid no matter how many times I said, “Can you show me that again?” and I really did ask a lot, being a visual learner. She also used positive reinforcement, so I felt good when I finally did get something.” –Monica Ausderau Larmon, Boot Camper
“She’s always been super supportive and fun to be around. Definitely kept us going even if we were having a rough time with encouragement. Superb trainer! –Sarah Kelly, Boot Camper
“She is a good person who shows her caring spirit without trying. Plus she’s so damned cute!” –Tamme Prowell McConnell, Boot Camper
In fact, a lot has been said about Buffy’s sweet looks…
“She’s like a pixie on skates and her hotpants were always funny 🙂 Haha penguins?! So funny.” –Lyndsay Daniels, Boot Camper
“I think of Tinkerbell every time I see her skate.” –Michelle Ryan, Boot Camper
…but don’t be deceived!
“Buffy’s sweet looks are misleading. She’s a firecracker. I love skating with her and will miss her presence so much. –Amber McDonald, League Member
“She had a dance off with some random guy at Towne
in DC. Her crazy leg dance won my heart that night.” –Beelzebruise, League Member
“She does the ‘down town’ real well lol.” –Morgan Smith, Boot Camper
Say what? Listen, we can’t give away all Buffy’s secrets…
“Aw man, I wish we say could her interesting nickname in the newsletter.” -Blair Knuckles, League Member
After that, it’s only fair to let our friend Buffy have the last word:
“I originally wrote a long letter but I’ve decided to change it up and keep things short and sweet, just like me. (Kidding… sort of). I have reached the bittersweet moment that I knew had to come, I am excited to find what the future has in store for me but saddened to think about what I am leaving behind.
“I would like to thank each of you for the support you have shown me during my time with SMRD, I was not prepared for the amount of love I have received. My hope is that you all will continue to share that love with each other and future league members.
“Thank you for accepting me with open arms. I can honestly say that I have never felt so accepted by a group of individuals before. I believe this kind of acceptance can only be offered among people who are able to bond over how strong of an odor they are omitting.
“When I look back on the time since I joined SMRD I cannot imagine what I would have done if I hadn’t drove out to the creepy sheep shack on that February evening, I would probably have knitted a sweater or two; but those sweater could never be as cute as the bruises I’ve received or as warm as the love you all have offered me.”
WE LOVE YOU, BUFFY!
It’s with very heavy hearts that we will say goodbye to Buffy after our inaugural bout. We invite you to come and cheer her on in Fredericksburg, VA, on May 17th!