New Recruits

Come join roller derby! All skill-levels welcome for anyone age 18+. Next recruit night TBA.

Category: Derby Life

FoCo Roller Derby Feature: Rough Haus Episode 1

FoCo Roller Derby Feature: Rough Haus Episode 1

FoCo Roller Derby was featured in the 1st episode of Rough Haus, a new television program on Sundays on KCDO-TV K3 geared toward martial artists, yogis, movement fanatics, herbalists, artists, explorers & more! Check it out!

 

Welcome to Rough Haus! This episode kicks off the season with Native American fitness, C.O.B.R.A. Self Defense, Roller Derby & Introduction into Movement Methods. Join us as we explore different ways to aggressively redefine safety, fun, and fitness!

Snark Bite #789: My Derby Journey

Snark Bite #789: My Derby Journey

You know that moment when you are inches away from the goals you’ve been working your whole life for when suddenly fate tears the rug out from under you and sends you hurtling into the darkness? That’s how my derby journey began, 2 years before I’d ever heard of the sport.

I was a triathlete a week out from qualifying for the world championships again when I was riding a demo bike in a bike lane. I was passing a wedding when the driver of the limo I thought was empty suddenly opened his door on me, catching my hand as I tried to turn away. My hand absorbed so much of the energy that I hit the ground softly. As I assessed my internal injuries, the driver & his co-worker left me lying there. The coworker told me the accident was my fault and as I hobbled over to the other wedding workers in search of witnesses, the workers huddled up & looked sideways at me like I was Quasimodo.

The accident left me with a crippling condition in my hand that is extremely rare. As I bounced from doctor to doctor searching for answers, the medical community gave me shrugs of “just deal with it,” or worse, “it’s all in your head.” Meanwhile, I was fighting desperately to hang on to the life I had built, believing that I could somehow tough it out and everything would go back to the way it was. Two surgeries later, I was still suffering from chronic pain and sliding into depression as I tried to accept that I could never get back to what I was.

The thing about rare conditions is that you can’t just say their name in public & people will understand what you’re going through. If doctors didn’t believe me, how could a stranger? After all, I looked perfectly normal! My social life was wrapped up in my ability to train & race which meant I wasn’t seeing my friends anymore. And where once I had worked toward grand athletic goals, I now spent my hours online, desperately hoping to find a way back to normalcy. There’s no support groups for what I have so I tried joining a para-athlete group. But when I showed up to one of their activities, unable to fully explain why I thought I might fit, I just felt like an imposter. I wasn’t disabled enough, but I wasn’t fully abled either.

Although my family continued to offer their support, the negativity seeped into my relationships with them too as my world grew smaller and I struggled to get off the couch. I forced myself to go on long walks, but that left me awash in my dark thoughts. On a whim, I dug out my old rollerblades and hit the bike paths. Finally, I’d found an activity that didn’t make my hand hurt! In fact, the wristguard actually helped a bit! But there were not enough miles of path for me and it was still a fight to make myself do it. When I wore my wheels into squares, I went to Skate Ratz and saw videos of roller derby. I didn’t know anything about it but it looked like a lot of fun and you didn’t need hands. I wanted to learn more!

I looked into FoCo Roller Derby and what really got me was the mission statement. Here, spelled out, was everything I had always believed about sport and even better, it was a women’s sport! I wouldn’t be fighting entrenched misogyny like I had in other sports all my life. Bonus!

When I showed up to the New Recruits meeting, I’ll admit I felt a bit out of place. Why would this group accept me when others had not? I didn’t fit any definition of what I thought a roller derby player was but as I watched some of the practice that night, I was mesmerized by how the skaters moved. I wanted to learn how to do that!

Finally, I had found something that forced me to clear my mind completely at every practice, no time to mope about my hand. And it was so engaging that when I was off the rink, I was watching derby videos instead of researching my condition. Instead of fearing the things I couldn’t do, I was striving to learn new things on skates.

But the best part was that I had found a community where I didn’t have to define myself as abled or disabled, just willing. My ability or inability didn’t matter. All that mattered was that I was willing to get back up & try again every time I fell down. And though I’d never realized it before, deep down, that was who I have always been.

Some people think that the hardest part of roller derby is the physical aspects of the sport. I would argue that the hardest part is the dedication required to succeed. But with a team like FoCo, that comes easy!

 

Huckleberry Spin #619: When Derby Finds You

Huckleberry Spin #619: When Derby Finds You

By Huckleberry Spin #619

Spend a little time in the world of roller derby and you will hear it over and over again: derby will change your life. And of course, it’s true. How can a sport so uniquely physical, with such a colorful history and so many strange and wonderful traditions not shape you into a new person once it sucks you in? Skaters, refs, fans–we all feel the pull of this high energy, empowering game that pushes limitations in every way, all while creating a culture that is fiercely loving, accepting, and familial.

Photo By Gil Crommens

It seems to me that derby has a way of finding you at a critical life moment. Not necessarily one you see coming, but in the rearview mirror, it starts to make more sense. Maybe you’ve followed the sport for years and always considered joining “someday.” Maybe you saw Whip It back in the day and started to dream about knocking people down in a whole new way. Maybe a post appeared in your Facebook feed and you thought, “What the hell? I could do that!”

However it starts, it takes over quickly and you are inevitably drawn into this world of bruises, sweat, tears, and inside jokes. When derby finds you, it changes everything.

“I was a mom of two who didn’t leave the house except to go grocery shopping or take the kids to the library, the only adult interaction I had was my husband…I was sucked into the world of derby.”
– Teisha Rasmussen, aka Molly NoMO, Durango Roller Girls

“I went from being a lifelong endurance athlete to being unable to swim, bike, or run after a debilitating hand injury. In an effort to stay active, I dusted off some old rollerblades. When I quickly wore out my wheels, I went to Skate Ratz where they were showing roller derby on tv. I knew almost nothing about the sport but I could see that it involved a ton of teamwork, strategy and fitness, things I have always loved. And the best part was, you didn’t need hands to play! I had no idea how much I would love the physical & mental challenges of the sport and how much it would help me re-define myself as an athlete and a teammate. I wish I had found it sooner!”
– Snark Bite, FoCo Roller Derby

“Derby found me when I needed it most. This sport draws me in week after week with it’s physical and mental challenges combined with a sisterhood that you would be hard pressed to find anywhere else.”
– Ruby Snap, FoCo Roller Derby

“I was a collegiate athlete and decided that I just wasn’t in love with my sport anymore. When I quit I was so incredibly lost. After about a year of doing nothing physical and basically being a lonely sad sack I tried out for derby. I’ve been playing for 7 years and it’s pretty much my entire life now. It’s by far the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done with my life.”
– Dusty Doublewide, Texas Roller Derby

“I was in grad school and also in a relationship that I was figuring out (slowly) was not great/was (also slowly) figuring out I was queer and was generally a bit lost and sad. I don’t know what made me do it…I joined, and I loved it pretty much right away.”
– Sasha, Toronto Roller Derby

“I call it my “mid life crisis” activity. I finally found the right time in my life to realize this childhood dream of mine. I grew up watching it on tv, as a kid, and I fell in love with the sport way back them. In my mid 40’s now I finally have the time and there’s still energy left in me to pursue it, for as long as I can. You’re never too old to achieve your desire. I also find this sport very exhilarating and it offers a sisterhood of some amazing ladies.”
– Coco Ruff, FoCo Roller Derby

“It was a present I gave myself for my 33rd birthday. I’m not nearly as meek and mild as I used to be. I’m much more aggressive. I’m much more confident in my everyday life.”
– Crazy Anya, Cape Girardeau Roller Derby

For me, I finally took the leap and put on my skates for the first time since childhood because I needed to do something, anything, that was for me and only me. I was a stay at home mom struggling with severe anxiety and depression. Roller derby hasn’t cured me, but it has opened up my world. It gives me a reason to fight that debilitating desire to curl up on the couch and hide from the world. It motivates me to make healthy choices for my body because I want and need to show up on the track every week. Once roller derby finds you and you choose it, your life is turned inside out in the best of ways. Eventually, you will look back on that first day, week, or month and see why you needed to be found.

Photo By Flash House Photography
Fall Down Seven Times, Get Up Eight

Fall Down Seven Times, Get Up Eight

So, let’s start at the beginning and how I found derby.  In October of 2013 I moved to this lovely little town in Northern Colorado, Fort Collins.  A large group of my family lived here, so I had visited frequently throughout my life.  My husband and I finally made the decision to move after we had gotten married back in May of 2013.

We have a young son, Cyrus, who is absolutely amazing.  We had spent the majority of our time just being a family after we had initially moved Fort Collins.  My husband, Ryan, was working a lot and I worked from home, so by the time he got home we just wanted to hang out and be together.

Although we all thoroughly enjoyed all the family time, we were both beginning to realize “Hey, making friends would be nice!” Ryan had it a little easier since he worked in an office full of people with similar interests.  However, with me working from home the only time I really had much adult, human interaction was when I would take Cyrus to the park or a local indoor play area here in town.

Around December of 2013 my cousin, Mollytov Maguire, planted the derby seed. I struggled with the idea of playing derby because I couldn’t imagine paying money to go get injured. I mean, who in their right mind wants to willingly join a group of people where the goal is to hit each other? No one, thats who! This idea of derby would change dramatically when I actually started.

I attended the New recruits meeting in January 2014, and thus my derby journey began. Now onto the good stuff!

My very first practice, literally within about 5 minutes, one of the ladies in my new recruits class fell and broke her back.  I not only felt horrible for that woman, but was also mentally preparing myself for me to be next.

That first practice was rough.  I had never really skated, and have not been known for my grace.  In fact, my family has an on going joke about the multiple injuries I have received doing what would seem simple for most.  I was driving home after the first practice almost in tears, and strongly considering if I would go back.

I went back (call me a glutton for punishment).  This practice was slightly different, as all the new recruits were also in the same area as the vets.  Watching them skate around like majestic roller skating beauties was so intimidating, but also became a source of something to strive for.  I now saw what all these hard times, and rough practices, and those feelings of being completely lost would amount to.

After several months of practices, a few injuries (nothing severe), and meeting my derby wife, Misfit Millie, I was still struggling with so much doubt about my abilities in this sport.  Most nights I left practice feeling defeated, and that I would never become a viable member of the league.  Those feelings began to eat away at me so much that I could barely make myself go to practice, and ultimately lead to me taking a 2 month hiatus from derby and telling everyone it just wasn’t for me.

And you know what, that is okay.  I mean, it was not okay for me not to listen to all of the amazingly supportive teammates who were telling me I was doing just fine, or that they had been there before, and had literally felt the same things.  It was not okay for me to feel that I had no one to really reach out to about these things, because I had so many amazing ladies I could have talked to before my internal struggle reached that point.  But it was okay for me to take a break.  This was my journey, and they were my feelings and I needed the time to process all of this.

During my break from derby I realized how much I really did love it, and how accomplished it had actually been making me feel.  All of those hard nights, and rough emotions were teaching me how to persevere and to remain determined even when I was not the best at everything.  It gave me time to realize that I had been focusing on the wrong feelings, and that I needed to shift my focus. I began to think of all the times that I felt so proud of myself.  That time I understood sculling so fast, and really seemed to have a knack for it. Oh, and that other time I helped keep all the other ladies in my new recruits class from feeling discouraged. Oh, and that other time I met one of my now best friends! These were all the things I needed to look at, because we make our own happiness.  We create our reality, and I was tired of living in a reality where I was so miserable.

I came back to derby in October of 2014.  I have since passed my 27 laps in 5 minutes (whilst conveying every human emotion possible in that time frame.) I have moved up to Monday practices with the league, I have even had 3 Thursday night scrimmages with the league. Sure, there have been some rough nights, but that is life, and that is not where I am going to shift my focus.

I may fall, but I have promised myself that I will always get back up, and will no longer allow myself to keep me down.  I have also promised myself that I will always try to think of the positives derby brings to my life.  I have made some friends, and get to hang out with some truly amazing women that I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to get to know otherwise.

I am so grateful for everything that roller derby had brought to my life, and how much more I know it will bring me.

Smashrodite

She’s Baaack!

She’s Baaack!

At the stoniest of henges, STONEHENGE

Wow, it’s been a long time since I last poured my little derby heart out on the ‘ole FoCo blog… I have missed it. Sort of. Its also been really nice to have a break from the pressure. Since my last post, a lot has changed. I took a break from derby, I stepped down as Head of PR, and I had some serious travel adventures. As of January 2015, I am back on skates, have completed the WFTDA testing once again (28 laps in 5 minutes, yeah buddy!), and I am getting ready to come back to scrimmage.

League Campout 2014 – My last derby event before I left for 4 months

It’s weird having been away from the league for so long. I was off skates from August 2014 to January 2015. I missed the workout, I missed my friends, I missed the derbs, but coming back, it’s not the same. I don’t know what I expected, but I feel like I don’t fit in with the new recruits I have been skating with and the relationships I have with the veterans seem to feel different.

The logical part of my brain is like “But Molly, did you expect your team to stop growing and changing while you were gone?” and I guess, subconciously, I kinda did. I didn’t expect to feel like such an outsider, I can tell you that. I feel like I am neither vet nor fresh meat. Not part of the league, but more than a fan. I feel like I have one skate in derby and one skate out.

Another weird thing about being away from derby for so long, was introducing myself with my derby name again. The first time I said “My name is Mollytov Maguire but you can call me Molly!” I stuttered over the “Molly” a little bit. Like it didn’t want to come out of my mouth. There has been lots of stuttering, and not just over my name. Skating, aching, going to 9pm practices, being AMPED THE EFF UP after them until 2 am, and getting less than 3 hours of sleep after derby nights, feeling the hunger of having burned 1500 calories at practice the night before; all are things that I had sort of romanticized. “Ah, the good ‘ole days, when my muscles hurt all the time and I was eating all the food and enjoying after derby beer club, and I was part of something bigger than me! Golly wasn’t that the best?!” but I had forgotten what it was like to have to make those friends and be in better physical shape. To have the pre-practice derby anxiety, and to have my shins hurt SO BAD that I almost cry. These are the things that I am LIVING once again, and it’s not as romantic as I had made it out to be while I was gone.

My skills and endurance have seriously atrophied and that is a real blow to the ego. I feel a little like the classic “Facebook Derby Girl” right now. She’s the girl who wants to do derby so she can post about it on Facebook, but where is she when practice time comes? In my case, she is dreading going back to a practice where she feels more alone than when she is alone. Where her expectations of her skills and the reality of her skills are no longer aligned.

What I am working on remembering is that these people, who I love, didn’t just stop existing when I wasn’t looking at them. They developed new relationships and inside jokes while I was away, and now it’s me that has to adjust to being back, not the other way around. There is still a place for me in the league and it’s up to me to find it. Just like it has always been up to me. Everything about my derby life has always been up to me.

Derby Love,

Mollytov Maguire

Suga’s Goodbye Playlist

Suga’s Goodbye Playlist

I have always been the kind of person to apply song lyrics to certain situations. Whether it’s time to party and “Shots” by LMFAO & Lil Jon comes screeching from my mouth or it’s a dreary day and I listen to sad indie music; I’ve always had a playlist to coincide with my mood. When I first started playing Roller Derby there was one lyric that always stood out as my personal viewpoint to derby. This little nugget of gold came from Ani DeFranco’s song Little Plastic Castle, “I wish they could see us now, in leather bras and rubber shorts, like some ridiculous team uniform, for some ridiculous new sport. Quick someone call the girl police, and file a report”. That little snippet always made me smile and think about Roller Derby.

More than 4 years later, I have a whole new playlist for my Roller Derby experience. As some of you may know, Mary Poppin’ Caps and I are moving out of Fort Collins to the big city of Chicago. It was a decision that was not made in haste and leaving our Derby Family was the biggest decision to weigh. Now that the time has come for us to say our final goodbyes (our last bout with FoCo is this weekend at the Mayday Mayhem tournament hosted by Slaughterhouse Derby Girls), the only way I see fit to do so is to share my Goodbye Playlist.

Bye Bye Baby (Baby Goodbye) by Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons

The song starts out with Frankie Valli saying “If you hate me after what I say, Can’t put it off any longer, I just gotta tell you anyway”. This lyric makes me think of the fact that I literally cannot speak about the move in front of Ms. Eerie Bizness without her either crying or yelling at me. The song follows with the entire band singing, “Bye bye baby, baby goodbye. Bye Bye Baby, don’t make me cry”. For obvious reasons, this lyric automatically makes me want to cry. FoCo, please don’t make me cry (ya’ll know I hate crying in public).

Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye by Steam

Another obvious choice for a goodbye playlist, but this song also reminds me of FoCo specifically. At Wild West this year, Coach Paul had the MicroBruisers watch Remember the Titans before our first bout. It was one of the best bonding experiences I have ever had with FoCo. We joked about what FoCo player would be each character ( Miz was obvious the big guy that sang constantly), and just sat around and enjoyed each others company. Every time I hear this song I will remember The Original Skankster turning to Coach Paul and saying “Sheryl. Sheryl. Sheryl. I. Do. Not. Care” multiple times that weekend.

Cowboy Boots by Macklemore

Everyone knows I love me some Macklemore, especially after our fantastic choreography at the 2013 St. Patty’s Day Parade to Thrift Shop. However, Cowboy Boots is a song in a completely different category than Thrift Shop. Cowboy Boots is a bittersweet song about leaving the ones you love and remembering the good times. Honestly, with a few tweaks this song could easily become an ode to Derby. Switch “kids” to “derby girls”, “city blocks” to “practice space”, “high heels” and “cowboy boots” to “skate boots” and you have a perfect Derby ballad. It’s a song about the nuances of a summer with friends in your city, but could easily be about a season playing roller derby. A few of the lyrics really hit home when I think about leaving, “Hold on to what you were, forget what you’re not. The streets were ours that summer, at least those two blocks. Reminisce on those days, I guess that’s OK, you wonder why, Some grow up, move on, close the chapter, live separate lives. The twenty-something confusion before the suit and tie. Strangers become mistakes but those mistakes made you feel alive. Hindsight is vibrant, reality: rarely lit. Memory’s a collage pasted on to glue that barely sticks. Good Lord, they broke all my shields. Locked bathroom doors, graffiti, and high heels. Until you felt that altitude you don’t know how high feels. Party mountain, some don’t ever come down from around here. To be young again, I guess it’s relative: The camel lights, the whiskey rye, sink into the skin. I fantasize about a second win. Grow a moustache (leg hair?), pick up another bad habit and let the games begin”. There is so much in that verse that I could go into and explain how it pertains to me and my derby experience, but I will let you draw your own conclusions.

FoCo Micro BruisersDerby came to me during a transitional point in my life: I was finishing up college and trying to find out who I wanted to be. FoCo and the wonderful women of the league taught me so many life lessons that I can’t even begin to describe in this blog post. As I say my goodbyes, there are a few things I need to ask the ladies of FoCo to do for me. Someone needs to sing Disney songs with Miz at practice. Someone needs to say “Hallelu”, “Preach” or “Church” when agreeing with a statement at least once a practice. Someone on the Sirens needs to keep the Fishnet Rink Rash makeup tradition going. And finally, always skate with dignity and grace, and keep your heads up. You ladies mean the world to me and I don’t how I could ever repay you for the lessons you have all taught me.

I would like to finish this blog post in the wise words of Macklemore, “And acquaintances turn to friends, I hope those friends they remember me. Hold the night for ransom as we kidnap the memories.  Not sure there is a way to express what you meant to me, Sit around a table and use those years as the centerpiece”.

It bears repeating, “Not sure there is a way to express what you meant to me”.

With all of my love,

Suga Smaxxx

Buying Lego’s

Buying Lego’s

Building a house is never easy. It takes months of planning, hard labor, and lots of split decisions along the way. Now imagine pouring the foundation, building the frame, putting in the plumbing and wiring, and finishing the drywall. You’ve put bricks on half of the house and the second story is partially finished. Oh- and the garage has had the cement poured. It’s been months but your almost done, right? Now I’m going to tell you that you built the house wrong, that it was resting on shaky ground, and that you need to tear the whole thing down, move it 6 feet to the right, and start over.

You’re psyched, right? I mean, who doesn’t want to put in all that extra work night after night when they already have a fine shelter and a thunderstorm is on the way? Now, if you couldn’t tell (and I really hope you could), I’m being sarcastic. No one wants to tear down all the work they’ve done when they’ve got a perfectly good fireplace and all of their teddy bears are already placed in their room right alongside their unicorn alarm clock. Rebuilding takes work and it’s not always a sure thing. What if you tear down the house and the construction crew stops showing up? What if it snows and delays your plans to pour the concrete? Nothing is guaranteed, which is why rebuilding is so hard, but so important.

Just in case you drifted off during the first two paragraphs, yes, this is still a post about roller derby. Derby is never consistent; rules change, players leave for a variety of reasons, people no longer have the time or means to travel, or committee work takes over, and it seems like our league is always in a state of flux where our player pool is always changing. We knew we needed to change some things in order to accommodate this ever changing sport, so we decided that we were going to do something things a little bit differently this season. This year we got something we’d never really had before- an actual coach who’s invested in us and ready to start winning. We started doing fitness requirements to get our ladies to start working out outside of derby. We started doing a more intense off-skates warm up. We started formulating and implementing new strategy. We brought in a nutritionist to teach us about healthy eating for our active bodies. We started honing in on specific skills that would give us an edge on the track, and we stopped allowing people to feel entitled to their position simply because they had been around a long time. These were hard changes to make or implement; some people felt picked on or that the work load would be too much for them. Some of us just felt shaken up, worried that everything we had built was going to be tossed in the garbage. It was definitely a massive culture and attitude change, but when we all packed our bags and headed to the Wild West Showdown in March, not one player felt like they hadn’t earned their spot on the team. We had all put in the sweat, tears, long nights, and burning muscles to get there, and because we all knew we had earned it, we felt more like a team than ever before.

I came to realize that some people were not willing to rebuild our foundation. Whether it be impatience, an unwillingness to be challenged, or just that they needed a more competitive platform, it was hard losing these valuable players. That being said, I would do it all over again. We’re not finished, not even by a long shot, but we’ve torn down the old structure and we’re slowly and steadily rebuilding to have a more solid future. Even though it’s thoroughly depressing to stand and look down upon an empty hole where you once had your house, we’re building this brick by brick and bolt by bolt in order to stay steady when we lose skaters to anything from pregnancy to career changes. We want out team to remain strong even when we only have 8 skaters to play an entire bout with. So, if your team or your heart is facing the old dilemma of where you want to be with roller derby, just ask yourself:

Do you want to right the ship, or do you want to build a new one?

Cheers,

The Original Skankster

My Weight Loss Journey

My Weight Loss Journey

So why did you join roller derby? This is usually one of the first questions someone asks me when they find out I joined the sport. I respond to that question similarly to most of the things in my life- I did it on a whim. After all, I had never attended a bout. I knew little, if anything, about the sport and after years of broken bones, sprains, and injuries from riding horses, the idea of getting back into a full contact hobby was a little daunting- yet here I was, investing a small fortune into tights, knee-high socks, and glitter. Yes, it was a whim, but there was another, larger force at work.

Instead of being thin and lithe growing up, I was built more like a Mustang horse…short and hardy. Since humor was something that came naturally, it was easy to be the chubby, witty girl in a group of friends. Even though I knew I was overweight, I still had a positive self-image and a voracious appetite for food and life. Over the years, the weight had crept up and instead of getting things under control, I told jokes. Then I stopped going out with friends. Then I rarely stopped moving my body from the couch or bed unless it was for work.

“Got fat.” There it was- two words jumping out at me when I accidentally glanced down at my audition sheet for a community theater production in 2011. “Egads” was one of the words that ran through my head followed by a series of swear words. The director of the show was not attempting to be mean or rude; in fact, the audition sheet is solely for the use of the director and was not meant to be seen by yours truly. Nevertheless, words were written and inadvertently seen by me, proving the hard truth that I had deliberately been ignoring for the past few years. In all actuality, it didn’t hurt when I read what someone else saw when they looked at me. Instead it helped me become resolved.

I joined Weight Watchers the day after the audition. I was cast in the show, ironically named, “Eat Your Heart Out” and told the director that by the time the show opened that I would be 20 pounds lighter. Nine weeks later, I was 19.6 pounds lighter. In less than a year, I had shed 60 pounds and began to find a smaller me within.

But this is not a story focused on Weight Watchers or the power one has to rise up from the ashes of couchdom. This is my secret reason for joining roller derby that I have rarely divulged…until now. The reason I joined roller derby is because I need to be the healthiest I can be. This doesn’t translate to a dress size 2 for me, but it does translate to muscle tone and finding my collarbone without digging my fingers into my neck, and eventually making that mile jog in less than 10 minutes. Intentionally or unintentionally, my teammates hold me accountable to keep attending practice and keep me moving. At 25 years old I was borderline diabetic and my cholesterol numbers had doctors discussing medications that I had only heard about on commercials. Whether they know it or not, my Foco Girls Gone Derby league-mates have helped me keep those numbers beaten back with a well-wielded stick…of quad skates. Will roller derby help you lose weight? I can’t really say, but considering the health risks I could face by going back to my stagnant lifestyle, roller derby is help saving my life.

Dyer’s Eve

Get Low – The Emotional Timeline

Get Low – The Emotional Timeline

Even before I got on skates, “get low” was the anthem I learned when starting my journey with Foco Girls Gone Derby. My first day of training I was an exact representation of what a baby dear on ice looks like, where I was simply told by the coach to “get low.” Not heeding her advice, I continued to spend the majority of my practices on the floor not being able to stabilize myself, or do any of the exercises. The lingering phrase “get low” was told to me once again. Feeling defeated, and like a failure I almost wanted to throw in the towel.

I suddenly decided that giving up was not an option. I spent the days I didn’t have practice in front of my house and at Rollerland practicing squatting on skates and skating as low as I could possibly muster. When we began to learn hits and blocking, I found that I needed to be even lower than I had anticipated, so I started squatting while doing the dishes, brushing my teeth, even at work if I could sneak it in. What I came to learn as I was being hip-checked to the ground is that the lower you skate, the easier it is to not only take hits but to do anything in roller derby. It was a whole new world as I finally started to have fun and improve. So, new recruits, when you feel like you’re going to give up or that you made a mistake starting derby, just get low!  -Ginger SnapHer

Free this Saturday? Even if you’re not, cancel them plans and head on over to watch our kick-ass Punchy Brewsters take on the High City Derby Dames! Traveling all the way from Aurora, these ladies are eager for to win, so this bout should be an intense firefight! Come to Qdoba Event Center at 218 Smokey St. in Fort Collins in order to experience the food, beer, crowd, and fun we have in store for you. The bout starts at 7pm, but the doors open at 6:30 so you can make sure to snag your favorite seat in the booty zone! Come and support your favorite roller derby league and we’ll make sure you’ll have a great time! Tickets can be purchased here!

See you track-side!

Mollytov Maguire’s Top 10 Derby Moments

Mollytov Maguire’s Top 10 Derby Moments

Sometimes, in derby, conflict happens. This can be between players, between teams, between skaters and refs. Conflict is hard. I am not a fan. I don’t like to manage people, I don’t want to fight. I mean, I am Irish, so I kinda do but I know that it’s not really productive. I like it when everyone does what they need to do and they come to events at their scheduled time or they complete the committee work they were asked to with no additional nudging from me. But alas, this is not the role of a board member. This gal, sometimes has to be the bad guy and that sucks. I am the kind of person who likes to focus on the positive, feel like I have a role in being the change I want to see in others.

So, instead of writing a bunch of crap about how much derby drama sucks, I am going to write a top 10 list. Here are my Top 10 derby moments:

10. That time when my cousin, Smashrodite, joined the league. We have been good friends for most of our lives despite a 10 year age gap. I love the shit outta her and I am SO. FLIPPING. GLAD. that she a) joined derby and b) joined my league. I love having a good friend that is learning how to speak my fave language in the family. No more will I sit awkwardly by myself at family events talking about the weather or whatever. NOW we’re a team!

9. That time I did more than just turn left. It took me a while to feel like I was doing anything at all when I was skating. I still have scrimmages and even games where I am pretty sure the only productive thing I did was turn left and stay with the pack. But I can still remember the first time I did something. It was a scrimmage and I was skating with Battle E. Portman and she is a great communicator and I just… did stuff. It was AWESOME!

My poster with Unchained Malady

8.  That time I played with Unchained Malady. Mal is a friend from life. She had wanted to join derby, but didn’t want to step on my toes and as soon as she figured out that I would be STOKED to have her in my league, she was all up on that shizz. We’ve never looked back. I have loved having her there. She is my rock. She has gotten me through, what I consider to be, some if my toughest times with derbs and is one of the main reasons I am still skating. First time we scrimmaged together and I screamed my face off for her when she jammed, I teared up. No joke.

7. That time I got my first jersey. Someone once laughed at me for feeling great about this moment, but I don’t care. It meant a lot to me. It still means a lot to me. I wear it to the gyno and the dentist and all the places I don’t really want to be because it makes me feel powerful. In a good way. Not like an “I will rain lightning down from the sky!” type of way. Just a general, good, confident, strong woman way.

6. That time that I realized I could skate through the pain. There was a dark moment in my life almost 2 years ago. My grandfather and my uncle passed away in the same month and I went to practice and told Double Destruction (our new recruit trainer at the time) “I want to hate you more than my life tonight. Can we do that?” and she obliged. As I geared down, I realized that I had been too busy to be sad and my grief had lifted for two amazing hours. I knew I could and would be a skater in that moment.

5. That time at my first derby strategic planning retreat when Mudgie talked to me by the fire. There I was, being all awkward and not knowing anyone and she talked with me. She was the first veteran outside of my trainer who made me feel welcome. I will always love her for that kindness. Well, that and many others since then.

4. That time at handbilling last night when Suzy hugged me and Battle E. had just the right words. I’ve been struggling lately and it was what I needed. It made me feel happy ALL DAMN DAY today. Thanks ladies!

3. That time I bouted for the first time. It was Black and Blue Ball. I had a kick-ass dress. My family made matching “Mollytov” shirts and pretty much everyone in turn three screamed their faces off for me. L.A.’s Finest it me into the booty zone, and I won “Best Dressed.” I still have the sash. AND Team Black won the bout!

I know I’ve used this picture before, but it’s still awesome!

2. That time I learned how to give myself a break and didn’t cry after jamming. I don’t jam often, but I am working on this. I have still had practices where I didn’t live up to my promise to jam at least once, each 1/2 of each scrimmage. I try though. Sometimes, I just don’t have the lady-balls. There was this one time, and it was this season, where I jammed, and I didn’t cry after. It wasn’t that bad!

1. That one time that that I proposed to my derby wives. They’re no longer with my league, but I miss them all the time. Femme and Mome are some of the best people I have known. Also, they’ve both changed their names, but they’ll always be my wives, no matter when they’re called. They’re an inspiration for me still. I don’t care that they’re skating with other leagues, I love them all the loves!!

Derby Love,

Mollytov Maguire