The great things about Derby and one complaint (not even mine)

I tend to get involved with things about Derby that I think are helpful:  advice, whether you want to hear it or not and groups and individuals that I feel are not only good for Derby but for all of us.

I love what “Derby against Domestic violence” has become:  over 2400 who tell their stories, listen to others and find ways to get support and guidance……I wish all of you would join.  Also check out “I choose when to get bruised.”

And now Derby over 40.  What an amazing group of wonderful people…..and some of their athletic and personal accomplishments will startle you….check out the site.

And here is what blows me away about the group:  there are 919 members who are active in Roller Derby (including a few good men) and their stories and experiences are worth listening to…..There are a few 60 year olds and Merby Dick at 73 and Bob Wright at 55 lead the men.

Sometimes questions are posed on Derby over 40 and the answers surprise me.  A recent one asked what about Roller Derby surprised them the most, and although many gave the answers of how they were renewed, gained confidence, lost weight, found new lives, etc, many gave the answer “the drama”.

Photo by mattox from

I think they came at it from the perspective of age: “stop whining”, “get over it”, “learn to work together and get along”.  Maybe one thing lacking in many of the leagues is a program as outlined by Donna “thehotflash” Kay on how to be good executives and curb the drama and the problems between the women, and maybe that is the main reason why there are so many splits going on even today.

For all the talk about sisterhood and empowerment, I get the feeling as an outsider that it is the internal relationships (in many, but not all leagues) that hurt this image.

There are no problems that are unsolvable, you just have to be aware of them and confront them.

Let’s make Derby Love a little more meaningful.  If there is dissension and problems, it will show in how successful your league can become.   Good executives know how to delegate and let go of certain tasks so they are not involved in every decision and action;  when you involve more people you usually get better results.

So much is happening today; heed the word of those in your world who are older and maybe wiser.  Do them a favor and curb the drama.  And also let’s find the other 81 people somewhere in the skating world to bring “Derby over 40” to 1000 joined, so we can all say look how little age is a factor in Roller Derby.

Nothing makes any sense

A few posts back I mentioned about publicity.  So much of the good that is going on with Roller Derby is virtually unknown, and yet someone like Kim Kardashian is followed by millions (not just on TV and media, but literally with 6.9 million following her on facebook and 10.9 million on twitter).  And if she and her family are examples of what America is or should be, maybe the Iranians should just come in and set us straight!

a multi-million dollar wedding extravaganza, higher ratings on cable than major league playoffs, and an example of the spoiled 1% that those in the street are protesting about.

And we have literally thousands of Derby people worldwide who are not only skating at their own expense, but doing so much good work in their communities and lives that they deserve so much more.

And then we have Lori Milkeris who has become such a symbol to all of us.  To be beaten and disfigured within an inch of her life by someone she loved and trusted, and now going through the ordeal of surgery and getting her life together, trying to complete her college degree, raising her children and just existing.  And even when her tormentor was sentenced to a long prison term, it has not given her closure but, because of her compassion has caused her even further anxiety.

But she is making it through all of this, and has the love and help of thousands of Derby sisters and brothers.  And because of her and others in Derby, we now have, thanks to Rhea, Derby against Domestic violence on facebook, with over 2300 who have joined and many who have been helped already.

Kristine Milkeris-Smith,  Lori’s sister, has been there to help take care of her, but is now back home with her own family, but is devoting herself to continuing to help and to further get the word out about domestic violence.  She has created purple message bracelets that sell for $2 each to help with Lori’s continuing surgery.  Please go to Lori aid 2011 on facebook or to Kristine’s site (her name).

Please note that at Lori aid 2011 by the photo of the bracelets, there is a link to make a donation through paypal….any amount is great.

And in Doug Martin and my booth at the WFTDA Championships I will be selling the bracelets and taking checks for Lori.  If you don’t want to come by and see me just for the wonderful person I am, at least make certain you stop by to aid a Derby sister who needs your help now.

This societal ill is endemic both within Derby and certainly without.  Many leagues are working to inform and educate their members and outreach to the community through women’s shelters and more.  And there are organizations that men can join who have engaged in violence or want to stop it.  And it is not only limited to violence against women.  Men and children are also victims.

Roller Derby is often what our life is all about; not just the game, but the empowerment, the closeness with others, with doing good for our community.  When you are at the penultimate event of the year in Derby:  the WFTDA Championships, or you are watching on or listening on Derby news network, add to your good feeling by helping someone who really needs you.

I have asked Lori to be my second Derby wife at Rollercon next year,  and she has accepted!   I hope you understand dear Val and Judi.