The day I decided to try out for roller derby changed my life forever.
After seeing the film Whip It for the first time, I casually looked up local roller derby and discovered to my shock that Cleveland had a very active scene.
My husband and I started attending Burning River Roller Girls bouts. Watching flashes of green and red and pink and gold race and smash each other on the track thrilled me like no other sport had.
“I wish I could do this,” I thought.
I sat at the edge of my seat while CoCo Sparx would maneuver her way through a pack of opponents with stealthy precision. Or while Veruca Salty would introduce her opponents to the ground over and over again. Or while Punk’d Pixie was lifted onto the shoulders of her teammates in the championships.
Soon my thoughts changed from wishes to wants. I had always loved roller skating. With the right training, could I too be a roller girl?
“I can do this,” I told myself.
I used my tax return to buy all of my gear from Rich at Skaters Edge in Cleveland. He’s the guy to trust, the Burning River website told me. If I was going to do this, I was going to do it right.
I attended an open practice where we could meet skaters and watch. I timidly spoke to the Killustrator (“Oh my god, I’m talking to the Killustrator” my fan girl inner voice shrieked) about whether I would be attending training this year or if I’d wait until next year when I was more prepared. A voice deep down still doubted that I could do this.
“Unless your skates self-combust on your feet, you’ll be fine,” she told me.
Best. Advice. Ever.
Within a few months I had completed my initial training and passed my basic skills test.
Suddenly, I was a Burning River Roller Girl. Suddenly, these women I admired were my friends. Suddenly, my name was Star Crash.
What was crazier to me was that for the first time in my life, I was an athlete.
I started recognizing food as a source of energy. I looked at exercise as a way to build strength. I looked at my friends as teammates and allies on the track.
I felt a power I had never felt before. And it was awesome.
After two years on the league, I stepped down as a skater. But I wasn’t done with roller derby yet. I stayed active as a volunteer with the league and began mentoring skaters for the Rock Stars, Cleveland’s junior roller derby league. And recently I was elected president of BRRG, a position I hope will allow me to connect many more women to this amazing sport.
So that’s why I am inviting women 18 and over to join us Wednesday, Aug. 21 at Pla-Mor Roller Rink in Euclid for tryouts for the Burning River Roller Girls. If you’ve been attending our bootcamps this summer, great, you already have a huge head start.
If you haven’t, contact email@example.com. Our recruiting director, Soul Eater, can get you up to speed on what you will need to try out and all of the skills that will be tested. Even if you won’t be ready in time for these tryouts, she can keep you posted on future tryouts and give you great advice for all you need to start preparing now.
Visit our Facebook event https://www.facebook.com/events/551763224860379/ for more details.
It could change your life.