Roller Derby (literally) has and will save your life.


America is an amazing country.

I often think about the odds of being born here and how lucky we are.  If my grandparents had stayed in Romania two things:  I wouldn’t have been born because my parents wouldn’t have met in Portland, Oregon, or if some how I had been born I would have been murdered in the holocaust.

So with all our weirdness and faults, we are so lucky to be here…..not that everything is perfect.

For instance, if there is no change in our gun laws, a new and disappointing record will be set in 2015:  for the first time gun related deaths will exceed those of car accidents, 35,000 to 32,000.

Image from hortongrou on stock.xchng.coom

Image from hortongrou on stock.xchng.coom

Also, and this is something that has occurred this year:  Obesity and related diseases (diabetes, heart, etc)  and health problems from it have passed tobacco as the leading cause of deaths.

OK, so I am ten or fifteen pounds over what I should be, but certainly not what we all see every day.   And I hate it at high schools, malls, wherever, where we know that people are harming themselves with inactivity and junk foods and sodas and on and on.

So how do you get everybody off of his or her ass?

You know where I am going with this.

Sports, crossfit training, running, swimming are wonderful, but when you add Roller Derby to the mix, you are adding fun, being part of a great bunch of people, helping your community, and maybe your only chance in life to be a sports “star”.

I obviously read a lot of the pages and posts that you all have and put out there.   Probably because of my age and relationship to them, I enjoy Derby over 40 on facebook…..I don’t think anything is more inspiring that reading their comments how they started at a later age, they are healthier than they have ever been, they have no intention of stopping, along with all the gripes about getting older.

When you join Derby in order to compete or just for conditioning, you are making a positive step for making your life better and for those around you.  Your family and friends will love it.  You will lose weight, and even if you don’t lose as much as you would like, you are making yourself healthier.

And you will find yourself smoking less or stopping (please!), eating better, drinking less, etc, unless you are just in it to be a “Rollergirl” which is a waste of time and effort.

And if you walk through the mall and see people in shorts with what looks like two kids fighting under a blanket for their rear ends, to end on a very positive note:  Derby women have the best butts out there!

So be very proud of your commitment, and you are doing your friends and family a favor by getting them to get into the best sport in the world.

4 comments on “Roller Derby (literally) has and will save your life.

  1. I was one of the ones who started later rather than earlier: when I was 18, roller derby wasn’t happening over here. I was 30 when I started learning how to skate and had NEVER been athletic.

    Derby’s changed my life for the better in many ways: I’m getting regular exercise, I’m eating better, and I stopped a nearly-pack-a-day cigarette habit that I’d had since I was a teenager. And none of this was about image or warped body ideals but just improving at something. (And important distinction because all too often I hear people excusing eating disorders with “health concerns.” With derby, you actually *have* to eat properly because you need fuel to keep up high levels of activity. And smoking and doing other destructive things to stave off hunger or lose weight are counter-productive to derby!) I’m getting stronger, and I noticed the other night that my alcohol tolerance has pretty much doubled (not that I’m much of a drinker, but I found it amusing… I suspect it’s to do with muscle development?).

    I don’t think I’ve so much as lost weight, but have gained a lot more muscle. But hey, who’s complaining? I wouldn’t trade this for anything.

  2. Derby saved me on many levels and was a catalyst for many changes in life. I loved skating as a child, it felt like flying to me. When I started derby in 2008 my legs were pretty weak but with practice I got my skate legs back and developed my strength in many ways. Derby “woke up” the girl who was “intense” and “high energy” throughout life. The girl I tried to “tame” with a long list of activities from self-destructive addiction to trying to fit in by getting a degree and being “serious” about life. I feel like hanging out with the derby crowd gave me positive role models who were strong and fiesty yet able to work as a team. I had never seen that in my life. I continue to work out hard and I’m stronger and more fit than I’ve ever been in my life.I feel like this strength has extended to emotional, mental and spiritual strength as well so it truly impacts every aspect of my life. I hope more and more leagues crop up as the years progress and enjoy being a part of the on-line community. Thanks Jerry for continuing your family tradition of supporting derby and derby gals.

  3. My name is Aura Ella Abasolo-Rabino (GodzElla) & I left my story on the “Derby over 40 on Facebook” but I would like to add that I too found roller derby later in life and I was never an athlete in school either but to be noticed as one now makes me smile. I joined my local league for me, wanting to do something for me, to be healthier and active and to be with other women/men who enjoyed skating as much as I did. I love my roller derby family and each member I get to meet on a daily basis, far and near. Here’s to making roller derby a positive and awesome experience for everyone. Thank you Jerry for your love and support to the roller derby realm.

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