Every day at some point or another I stop and say thanks to the random “Roller Girls” commercial that came on my TV in my lonely Huntington Beach apartment in 2006. I am sure I would have found derby one way or another but that is how I found it. On that 30 second spot about girls on roller skates hitting the crap out of each other. I didn’t know WHAT is was but I knew for that second that I was totally in. So I googled Roller Derby, Orange County and found a local league call the Orange County Demolition Divas. I bought skates, went to practice and together we all figured out WTF this crazy game was.
Over the last 4 and a half years I’ve gone from Orange County Demolition Divas, to banked track with the big girls AKA Los Angeles Derby Dolls and now back to Orange Country Roller Girls to play some flat track and help build up a new Banked track league. Through all the bumps and bruises and tears and drama there are 3 things that I see remaining consistent and ever growing in our derby community.
Friends are why I joined derby. I lived in HB and I didn’t know anyone. I just wanted a way to meet people I actually wanted to hang out with. I missed the comradery of sports. I was playing on a soccer team in Anaheim at the time and was the only white girl on my team. Our coach spoke Spanish and the fans would yell at this “güera” to get off the field. So when I found a community of tattooed girls who loved sports and were willing to get together twice a week to kick the crap outta each other I thought I had died and gone to heaven.
I am so thank for all the friends I’ve made through derby. Not the least of which is Swede Hurt. She eats, sleeps and breathes derby. She is one of my best friends and my twin tower. We met at battle on the Bank in Texas 2009. You form these instafriendships in derby. You can meet a skater any time, anywhere and it’s like you’ve known each other forever.
The Derby Underground Railroad
If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend every derby girl at some point takes advantage of the Derby Underground Railroad. You could literally cross the country without having to rent a hotel room. I’ve gone to random states because I met and made friends with a skater on FaceBook and decided to go and visit. If you and travel and skate you should! If you can’t afford it, SAVE. Take a weekend, a week, a month and travel to different cities and guest skate. You will make friendships that last a life time. I have been fortunate enough to have stumbled across and built a business that revolves around roller derby…..
The Derby Economy
When any group or trend becomes large enough, entrepreneurs with in that community appear who recognize that people actively spend money to participate. Over the last 5 years or so we have seen businesses sprout like Derbalife, Wicked Skate Wear, Derby Skullz, Scarred Derby Designs, Lead jammer Skates, Moxi Roller Skates, Iron Doll Clothing, Orange County Roller Skates, and Sin City Skates just to name a few. These ladies were hungry. Hungry for their sport and hungry to find a way to fully immerse themselves in the community they love, help out the girls in whatever way they could and to prosper from the Derby Community. I was excited to start Derbalife a year and a half ago. We work with skaters on Athletic Performance through Fitness and Nutrition education, nutrition programs, and personalized coaching. Since I started my company, I have met new friends and together we have become a team of business partners across the US and Canada who are actively working with hundreds of skaters around the world. Last January I was able to leave my full time job as a substitute teacher and become a full time Derbalife Health coach. As I watch the other coaches on our Derbalife team moving in that same direction of leaving their jobs and becoming independently successful I have to stop and be thankful that I found Derby. For the friends, the travel, and to find my own business and dream job.