Season Ender

Rowan is ready for roller derby.
Originally uploaded by xadrian.
TXRD's championship bout was last Saturday. The Cherry Bombs were triumphant over the Hellcats in a nail biter of a match that was hard fought, tightly contested and full of emotion. Skaters flew off the track, fought, danced and skated their brains out. The last jam saw two rival skaters arms around each other's shoulders, pumping their fists in celebration. Despite the animosity seen on the track, in the end they are all skaters and they all belong to the league and they all do it for the love of roller derby.

I told someone about the upcoming event and how LMA was going to be manning a table to raise funds for her new league, and they rolled their eyes and said with much derision that there was a group of people you want to get involved with. At the bout when I could sit in the crowd and watch the bout, I sat in front of an older couple that seemed to take pleasure in tsk-tsk-ing and belittling everything that went on in front of them from the music, to the dress code to the actual match.

I'd always thought that roller derby now is like what comic books used to be in the 70's. Mostly a cult following but slowly growing in popularity. At first it's just those involved and their friends and families. People in the know really appreciate what it means to be involved but have a hard time relaying that to The Everyday Joe. Eventually enough people across the globe are involved, a movie is made based on the idea and suddenly it lives somewhere between cult and mainstream. People know about it, may have participated in it, but most generally don't know enough about it and some even look down on it.

The difference is, a comic book nerd is much less likely to start a fight over costuming.

Derby girls are hard working, genuine and passionate folks who aren't afraid to speak their mind. They are loyal, creative, determined creatures who have found in derby something meaningful. They are strong and at the end of the day, I'd rather have my girl emulate them than any girl scout or beauty queen or movie actress. These ladies are entrepreneurs and business owners and athletes and they have thousands of girls looking up to them. Not only because they skate fast and hit hard, but because they are successful at doing what they want when other people shake their heads.

So the next time you're not sure about how to react at a bout, or what to say to someone affiliated with derby, it's probably best to keep your mouth shut. Because while they may be role models to young women, they'll still punch your lights out for being a judgmental douchebag.

Carry on.

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