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Celebrating the Dads of Charm

Like most athletes, the Charm City Rollergirls couldn’t do what we do best without the support of our loved ones. For many of us, our biggest fans and truest supporters are the dads of Charm City. Whether they’re our own dads who coached us a kids and cheer us on as adults or our partners who happily take over the childcare duties on bout day, we’re grateful for the men who make our lives just a little more charming. We’ll be celebrating these dads at our June 14th bout in Laurel at the Gardens Ice House, and we hope you’ll bring your dad to join in the celebration.

Hittsuburgh and Sin Diesel are a full-on derby family, each supporting the other through practices, bouts, and league duties. Hitts credits her partner Sin with making it possible for her to play with the Charm City All-Stars in addition to her spot on the Night Terrors. “He has been a coach, a skater, and a devoted derby widow and has not only his own kids, but has gone above and beyond to help me with mine since I moved to CCRG.”

Sin even goes solo on parenting duties when Hitts travels for bouts. “I am thankful every time I step on the track … that I have someone that is so in love with my son and so willing to help me reach my goals. He has taught me that it is okay for mother’s to make time for themselves, and he allows me to do that on a regular basis.”

Sin’s derby history includes a role in founding the Men’s Derby Coalition (which later became the MRDA) and the Key City Roller Derby, plus coaching for multiple teams in the region. He currently skates for Harm City Havoc, where Hitts is his coach. It helps that both members of this team are derby players. They deal with life strategically, helping each other cope with challenges and distractions so they can both do their best on and off the track.

Papa Kill, proud dad of the Junkyard Dolls co-captain Federal Kill, is a familiar face at Charm bouts. “If you are ever looking for my dad in the stands, he will be the one who looks like Sam Elliot wearing a Harley Davidson t-shirt,” Fed says. It may have taken him a while to understand her attraction to derby, but Papa Kill has always supported his daughter’s love of sports including t-ball, softball, soccer, basketball, field hockey, dance and cheerleading. He loves to see her play, and he knows she’s an inspiration to her teammates. “After being cut from the high school soccer team during her first year she was determined to participate and tried out for the field hockey team. She excelled to a very admirable status throughout high school and lead her team to the playoffs I believe 3 out of 4 years.”

Fed says her dad worked hard to support the family when she was a little girl, which meant she didn’t always get to spend a lot of time with him, so they’ve always made the most of their time together. When she was younger, they went fishing together often, but now their favorite father-daughter activity is watching the Baltimore Ravens play. “We drink, we eat, and we shout expletives at the players. It’s very good father-daughter bonding,” Fed says.

Roger Huntington, father to Charm’s I.M. Pain, took her skating so much as a kid that she can hardly remember a time when she couldn’t skate. By age 6, Pain was signed up for her local speed skating team, and quickly fell in love with the sport.

Skating and competing were a big part of Pain’s life with her brother and their single father. It was a way they bonded as a family and shared life lessons. “Once I started to get older and more competitive, we started traveling all across the country. At some point, both my brother and my dad started competing too. My dad and I started cross training together on bikes, riding around our particularly hilly neighborhood. He always pushed me to work hard, train hard, and to never settle for second best. I carry that through into derby and everything, really. Never give up on what you really want, he instilled that in me.”

Mr. Huntington, nick named Rodger Dodger by Pain’s speed team, passed away due to liver cancer in May, and the entire Charm family grieves with one of our most beloved skaters. “Watching him fight this horrible disease has been absolutely heartbreaking. But I know he has been fighting, never giving up, and I strive to live like that every day.”

Raven Darkhold has played derby since 2006, but her dad hasn’t had a chance to see her play, yet. When she started playing, she was nervous about telling her dad, but to her happy surprise, he was very supportive. Now that he’s retired, Raven says she’s preparing DVDs of her bout footage to help inspire her dad and sister Melody to come up and watch her live. Raven is pictured above with her father Willie and sister Melody at Melody’s graduation.

Like many Charm skaters, Raven gives credit to her dad when it comes to her athletic ability because he taught her to skate at a young age. “I learned on the plastic Fisher Price skates and eventually moved onto real skates as I became more comfortable skating outside. When I got older, we went to the local skating rink virtually every Saturday. I remember my dad being out there skating with me with long strides. I eventually was able to skate faster than my dad. I remember being able to plow stop, which I learned on my own, and jumping over the smaller children who fell in front of me with no fear. That may explain why I love jumping so much now.”

Bout Preview: Charm City Roller Girls Season 5 Championships

Bout Preview: Charm City Roller Girls Season 5 Championships
By Holly GoHardly and Flux Incapacitator

Consolation Bout (3rd/4th Place): Night Terrors (1-3) vs. Junkyard Dolls (0-4)

At their last meeting during the season opener, the Night Terrors pulled out a 14 point victory over the Junkyard Dolls, in a game that saw several lead changes. Both teams have a lot of talent and tricks up their sleeves coming into this game. The Night Terrors closed a pretty steep point differential in the second half of their playoff game against the Mobtown Mods last month, while the Junkyard Dolls held the Speed Regime to the closest point differential of any other team this season. Look for the Dolls to rely heavily on the speedy jammer rotation of Flo Shizzle, Holden Grudges and Killer Kitten with support in the pack from tenacious blockers Xena Paradox, Quickshot Kitty, and team captain Mistress May Eye. From the Terrors, look for solid pack control from all-star Mibbs Breakin’ Ribs and tough positional blocking from Frenzy Lohan. Expect to see Just Carol, Minnie Piledriver, Radar Love and standout rookie Nuckin Futz take the star for the ladies in blue.

Night Terrors:

Jilli Idol 275 (captain) // Blind Banshee (captain) 4 // Nuckin Futz 187 // Fatal Attraction 24 // Mibbs Breakin’ Ribs 1010 // Just Carol 26 // Grand Theft Autumn 948 // Frenzy Lohan 119 // Radar Love 1 // Minnie Piledriver 125 // Rosie the Rioter 100 //Nurse Wretched 05 // Slap Tackle Pop 3E // Beth Steel 5446//

Junkyard Dolls:

Aidee Dee 22 (captain) // Mistress May-Eye 10 (captain) // Kelly O’Shanku 9 // Holden Grudges 63 // Pimparella L0L // Doris Day of Reckoning C6 // Whipstick 241 // Xena Paradox H4LFway // Quickshot Kitty 45 // Paige Fault 404 // Killer Kitten 909 // Flo Shizzle 247

Championship Bout (1st/2nd Place): Speed Regime (4-0) vs. Mobtown Mods (3-1)

This will be a rematch of both last year’s consolation 3rd/4th place bout that saw the Regime win by 54 points and of this season’s opener in which the Regime handed the Mods their only defeat this season. Speed Regime comes into this bout undefeated for the first time since the inaugural season in 2006, when their streak was broken in the Championship game by the Night Terrors. The Mods will look to heavy hitters Thoroughbled, Judy Boom, PENALTYna and all-around threat Joy Collision to put the brakes on the Regime’s jammer rotation of team captain Allie B. Back, Bambi’s Revenge, Tyrannosaurus Lex and dynamite rookie TwiBite. Meanwhile Mods jammers Dosa Badazz, fleet-footed newcomer Zamboni Toni and team captain Mya Bloody Valentine will have to contend with tight Regime defense from team captain Terror Izher, Deathany and Holly Gohardly.

Speed Regime:

Terror Izher 3636 (captain) //Allie B. Back T2 (captain) //Deathany 666 // Layne I. Hilator IL8 // Oh Scheydt P00P // Gidget Guttersnipe 2onU // TwiBite 222 // Holly Gohardly 415 // Flux Incapacitator 88 mph // Ali Kaida 175 // Tyrannosaurus Lex R44Wr // Bambi’s Revenge 42 // Loretta Scars 91

Mobtown Mods:

MIA POW F4 (captain) // Mya Bloody Valentine 190 (captain) // PENALTYna 7 // Thoroughbled 12 // Gloria Stunem 1971 // Dosa Badazz 01 // Zamboni Toni // Judy Boom 82 // Joy Collision 747 // Essie Ecks 1on1 // Shé Guevara 267 // Ethyl Hurtz 84 // Ginja Ninja 410 // Lady Quebeaum 34 // Grose Misconduct 33

Bout Preview: Charm City Home Team Playoffs 4/24/10

Bout Preview: Charm City Home Team Playoffs 4/24/10
By Holly GoHardly and Flux Incapacitator

The Charm City Roller Girls are poised to enter the Season 5 playoffs on Saturday, April 24. The matchups will be familiar to fans who attended the bout on March 27. The playoffs will pit the #1 Speed Regime against the #4 Junkyard Dolls. Speed Regime, fresh off a 111 point win over the Night Terrors, are 3-0 for the season; they will enter the playoffs as the 1st place seed. The Regime has harnessed a versatile roster of skaters who can serve on the blocking line or jam at a moment’s notice. In the pack, the Regime is led by team captain Terror Izher, and All-Stars Deathany and Holly Gohardly. Expect to see most skaters take the star at some point during the game in addition to the core jammer rotation of co-captain Allie B. Back, Tyrannosaurus Lex, TwiBite and Bambi’s Revenge.

The Junkyard Dolls, last season’s champions, have struggled to maintain a cohesive roster for the last few seasons. They recently saw the retirement of original Doll and 4-time winner of the CCRG Most Intimidating Skater Award Coach Ballbricker, and lost new recruit Pinky Tuscadare-ya to a shoulder separation. Leading the blocking for the Dolls will be formidable Boston transfer Xena Paradox, team captain Mistress May-Eye and newcomer Quickshot Kitty. While the Dolls struggle with their strength in the pack, they are a fierce force to be reckoned with on the jam line with the staple jamming of crowd favorite Flo Shizzle, the low and speedy Killer Kitten, Mistress May-Eye and fiery Harrisburg transfer Holden Grudges. The Dolls are 0-3 for the season, having suffered their largest loss, by 52 points, to Speed Regime at the March 27 bout. The pressure is on for the Regime to defend their #1 spot against the defending league champions going into the championship bout. The winner of this game will earn a spot in the championship game on May 22, while the loser will play for 3rd or 4th place for the season.

Speed Regime:

Terror Izher 3636 (captain) //Allie B. Back T2 (captain) //Deathany 666 // Layne I. Hilator IL8 // Oh Scheydt P00P // Gidget Guttersnipe 2onU // TwiBite 222 // Holly Gohardly 415 // Flux Incapacitator 88 // Ali Kaida 175 // Tyrannosaurus Lex R44W // Bambi’s Revenge 42 // Loretta Scars 91

Junkyard Dolls:

Aidee Dee 22 (captain) // Mistress May-Eye 10 (captain) // Kelly O’Shanku 9 // Holden Grudges 63 // Pimparella L0L // Doris Day of Reckoning C6 // Whipstick 241 // Xena Paradox HL4Fway // Quickshot Kitty 45 // Paige Fault 404 // Killer Kitten 909 // Flo Shizzle 247

The bout between the #2 and #3 teams will see the Mobtown Mods face off against the Night Terrors. The Mobtown Mods have won 2 out of 3 games this season, losing only to the dominant Speed Regime on February 20 by 90 points. The 2-1 record will position the Mods as the # 2 seed going into the playoffs. They will be missing rookie Grose Misconduct due to an injury that occurred at the March 27 bout. The strength of the Mods is their reliance on the individual skills of their players. Heavy hitting pack members include Judy Boom, Penaltyna, Thoroughbled and All-Star captain Joy Collision. On the jammer line, you are likely to see the star passed throughout the lineup but expect to see Lady Quebeaum, Dosa Badazz, Shé Guevara and newcomer Zamboni Toni step up to the line on multiple occasions.

The Night Terrors will be looking for revenge against the #2 ranked Mods, to whom they lost to by a relatively slim margin of 28 points. The Terrors have gone 1-2 this season, winning only against the Junkyard Dolls during a narrow, nail biting, back-and-forth lead exchange at the February 20 bout. The Night Terrors will find their strength in their strategic play on the track led by Rosie the Rioter, team captain Blind Banshee, Beth Steel and Frenzy Lohan. Expect to see the lanky jamming legs of Just Carol, Minnie Piledriver, and Fatal Attraction and the powerful speed and agility of Radar Love on the track with the star. LA Riot will remain out of the lineup recovering from a knee injury. The winner of the matchup between the Mods and Terrors will claim a coveted spot in this season’s championship bout. Neither are strangers to championship play: the Terrors were season champions in the first and second seasons, and the Mods carried home the Donaghy Cup in Season 3.
Mobtown Mods:

MIA POW F4 (captain) // Mya Bloody Valentine 190 (captain) // Penaltyna 7 // Thoroughbled 12 // Gloria Stunum 1971 // Dosa Badazz 01 // Zamboni Toni // Judy Boom 82 // Joy Collision 747 // Essie Ecks 1on1 // Shé Guevara 267 // Ethyl Hurtz 84 // Ginja Ninja 410 // Lady Quebeaum 34

Night Terrors:

Jilli Idol 275 (captain) // Blind Banshee (captain) 4 // Nuckin Futz 187 // Fatal Attraction 24 // Mibbs Breakin’ Ribs 1010 // Just Carol 26 // Grand Theft Autumn 948 // Frenzy Lohan 119 // Radar Love 1 // Minnie Piledriver 125 // Beth Steel 5446 // Slap Tackle Pop 3E // Rosie the Rioter 100 // Nurse Wretched 05
By Holly Gohardly and Flux Incapacitator

Announcing the Feb 2014 Draft!

Junkyard Dolls are thinking pink with Scarriett Tubman and Raven Darkhold.
The Night Terrors welcome Kamikazee Cash to the Thunderdome.
The Speed Regime coronate Poison Princess.
The Mobtown Mods prepare to throwdown Merry Khoas, Cherrylicious, Chris Crafty, Punchwrap Supreme, and Kimbuktu!

Be sure to come see the ladies skate with their new teams on March 22nd

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Advice from the Vets

The Charm City Roller Girls are proud to welcome our newest skaters who tried out in July as well as the transfer skaters who’ve joined in the past few months. Many newbies learn to play roller derby from scratch when they join their first league, and the learning curve is steep! Transfers, on the other hand, often come to Charm because they’ve excelled in their previous leagues and wanted a new challenge. For all derby players, the desire to grow as an athlete and help make the league better is a driving force. So, to welcome our new league members, several veterans offer their advice:

From Beau Tangled: Ask All the Questions
Our white star liason Beau Tangled is also a member of the training staff and specializes in coaching the newest members of CCRG. Here’s what she has to say about learning a new sport:

Derby is a sport that has not come naturally to me so I’ve reached out for tips from the veteran skaters more times than I can count. Also, I ask the same questions over and over and to different people as well. I also try to change the WAY I ask the question. When I was trying to learn the plow stop, I’d ask “What do you do?” “What does it feel like?” “Where are you contracting to push down into the floor?” I figure that at some point someone will phrase the solution in a way that resonates with me.

From Guantanamurda: Being the New Kid
Guantanamurda is the captain of Female Trouble and co-captain of her home team, the Night Terrors. She remembers the challenges of finding her way in the league when she joined in 2012:

I feel like most new skaters have the most trouble with a few things as they come into our league: navigating the system, believing they are actually a part of it, and understanding how much work goes into it in terms of personal development and league responsibilities.

I would compare becoming a new league member to being the new kid in school. At first, you don’t know where the cafeteria is or who to sit with. To some, this alone is enough to scare them away in the first few weeks. I am sad for these people, because it is really up to you to do something about being lost. Nobody else will do it for you.

If you’re feeling lost, or like you’re on the periphery of this sizeable group of people, know that you, yourself will have the biggest impact in terms of changing that. You can’t wait for it to happen, you have to make it happen for yourself. Other skaters will always be willing to help point you in the right direction, and offer tips/advice/a shoulder to cry on. But ultimately, the extent to which you are able to navigate and feel ownership of our organization is on you.

From 50 Shades of Pain: Learn from Your Team
50 Shades of Pain is a recent transfer who started playing derby during grad school in Miami and has come back to Baltimore to play for her home team. She sees significant differences between her previous league and Charm:

“The team is bigger and way more competitive. Miami was not a WFTDA team, whereas Charm is not only WFTDA, but a ranked WFTDA team. I feel like everyone I skate with is very talented, which is awesome. You learn a lot from people on higher levels and it allows you to grow and develop more as a player. I also used to skate outside on polished concrete, whereas with charm we skate inside on a wood floor. The different surface forces you to adapt your playing style slightly.”

As for getting to know people after transferring, Shades says, “Put yourself out there. Be outgoing and involve yourself in things. One difficult thing about being a transfer is that the skaters already have bonds and friendships with each other. It can seem daunting trying to integrate yourself into a new team, but you have to. There are so many awesome people on this team, and it would be a shame to miss out on some awesome friendships because you are shy.”

From Roxy Wrecks: Conquer One Demon at a Time
Roxy Wrecks skates with the Mobtown Mods and previously skated for two other leagues. Roxy knows that both new and experience skaters face one challenge after another, and that’s a good thing!

“I remember it taking quite a while for me to not feel like Bambi on ice. I hadn’t been on skates since I was twelve or so, and this was not “open skate”! Our Mantra (my derby wife’s and mine) was “just don’t $!@% up!” And we checked and challenged each other constantly. When a skill was hard to master, we practiced together during our free warm up time. When we were tired, we pushed each other because we both had the same competitive drive. And when things were frustrating (on or off the track) we encouraged each other to not give up or in. I thinking finding friendships in derby was key to making the lows tolerable and the highs spectacular.”

“New skaters struggle with every aspect of derby. I don’t mean to say that every aspect of derby is hard for every skater, but it’s likely each person will find their own “demon” to conquer. And then there will probably be another one after that. For me, right this minute, it’s narrow plow stops. Before that it was high-speed hockey stops. Before that, it was defining my role as a member of two different teams. No matter what your particular struggle, I find two things help me get over the hump: First, find someone who does that skill well, and ask them to demonstrate, explain or provide pointers. If you’re lucky, they’ll keep an eye on you and give you feedback as you progress. Second, practice that thing often. If your want to get better at backwards skating, do it every time you go for water, on the way to sign in, and between drills. Get on the track early and take a few laps before practice begins or consider finding an open skate session. Make an effort to conquer it, not avoid it.”

From Hittsburgh: Find the Positive
Just as it’s hard for new skaters to learn from scratch, experienced skaters often struggle when they decide to step up their game. Hittsburgh knows all about that.

“A former coach of mine warned me that it could be difficult moving to a bigger league when you are used to being a “big fish in a small pond”. I took a lot of time to mentally prepare myself prior to transferring to CCRG. I decided that my goal was to learn and see how far I could go. I entered with the mentality that I would stay quiet, learn the ropes, and take it all in. I wanted to pick up as much information as I could from anyone willing to help and work hard to put the new skills into practice.”

“With that said, it was HARD. Some days I questioned if I belonged or if I should have stayed in a small league. Other skaters had a hard time getting a read on me because I was so quiet and tried not to show to much emotion or reaction (although I am pretty quiet anyway). I felt like everything I thought I knew about Derby was years behind and my skill was nowhere close to what I thought I had. I am naturally very hard on myself, and feeling lost on the track after skating for three years was hard for me to handle. It was like starting all over again. It was a good thing I had my drive home to process, because after trying to maintain at practice there were many times I broke down the minute I hit 95. But, I knew if this was what I really wanted, I had to find a reason for myself to stay. I made a point of always finding at least one positive thing about every practice even if it was a single effective move in the course of a three hour practice, that gave me. something to hold on to and build on.”

Think you might be cut out for derby? Come to our next bout to learn more, and then give it a try at Charm School! Next bout: Aug. 9, 6:30 p.m. @ The Gardens Ice House in Laurel
Charm School: Aug. 16, 10 a.m. @ Skateland on North Point Rd. in Dundalk

Open post

A Decade of Dedication

Photo by BrendanMc

By: Throttle-Her

This year is the Charm City Roller Girls’ 10th year of derby, and in February earned my 4th year of membership with the Charm City Roller Girls.

It’s been four years of so much. I started out as a referee, committed to CCRG even after failing my first tryout. I nailed the next tryout and broke my left ankle five months later. But I was hooked. So I came back, worked through many tests and got strong, only to break the right ankle 2 years later, after bouting just 4 times. I didn’t get enough, so I’m still here, fighting for every piece of track I can get. And almost every step of the way, battling some form of mental demon long established in my life — the kind of demons that tell you that you’re not good enough, that it’s too scary, that maybe you should stay home today, maybe you should keep your mouth shut.

I don’t keep my mouth shut too much these days and have spent time contributing to the leadership of this league, serving as the leader of the art committee last year and a member of governance. It allowed me to contribute some of my strongest off-skates skills to the league, and I know my way around art and print. It is also a demanding time commitment. Everything here is a labor of love and dedication. We are a hundred volunteers working together to foster this small business fueled on sharing our personal interests with our community. There is not a game day that I am not simply amazed at what we are able to manage to pull off in a span of less than 12 hours. And then we get to skate, too.

A decade of women shaped this league, this sport, and this space so that we could learn, grow, and support one another. As founding member Lady Quebeaum once said, “This is a Revolutionary Act.” That was at my first awards banquet. I’ve never been the same since.

As a Charm City Roller Girls member, I learned to love this city I moved to in 2010. While I’m sure some people would like me to shut my mouth like I used to, I learned to speak out, ask questions and offer opinions. I learned to take lead and delegate. I’ve learned how to challenge myself and try new things without having to know I will be successful the first time. I learned to manage my time, because my schedule is so packed there’s no time to procrastinate. I’ve learned what it means to be a teammate and how to communicate effectively both in derby and my work and personal life. I’ve learned about how strong I can be and how to take care of myself, how to set myself up for positive outcomes where possible. And most days, I can put any mental demons to bed and push forward. All because I put skates on my feet, started looking at photos of CCRG members in 2010 and clung to the hope that I might be able to join the ranks of these amazing women.

I go through a lot of photos from past years of the league. Lately, I have just been dumbfounded by the reality. There are 10 years of women that came before me that put out their heart and soul, only to retire their skates before I knew them. Hundreds of Baltimore women that have helped build this sport and this organization. In photos, jammers grinning broadly, blockers taking swinging hits, gummy football mouth guards and fond after party photos of people I cannot put a name to. I look at these old photos, grainy shots of Skateland with a full house, kiddie pools as penalty boxes, score card girls and handmade uniforms, and realize how easy we have it because of these girls that got it going. I think of the volunteers, the officials, the photographers that have come and gone. I want to know them all. I want to hear their stories. Maybe they’ve been at bouts over the years, but I couldn’t have known. I want them to say “hey” and introduce themselves at the next bout and have a flashback of smelly sweaty nights in Dundalk because I will be sweaty and smelly. I want to see them at games and after parties and know that derby is still a happy memory in their lives. I want them to feel like they still have a place with the organization, even as life takes a toll. And I want them to know that I feel blessed that they created this space for me. And I want to say: Thank you, from the bottom of this one derby girls heart.

Are you one of those retirees? We’re trying to get caught up in our database. if you’re not listed on our retiree page, give us your details by filling out this form.

Want to check in and see how we’re doing? Our home season championships are on April 25th. Retired members can always get a free general admission ticket when they purchase one at the door when wearing a league jersey. Or purchase tickets at missiontix.com to take advantage of other special offers.

2014 CCRG Awards

We recently had our end of season banquet and these are the league members that took home the awards.

Open post

10 Ways the First Year of Derby is Like the First Year of Marriage

By Slampagne Super Nova

The other night at practice I was having a particularly rough go of it. I just couldn’t seem to get through the pack and if I did I almost immediately landed in the penalty box. I found myself feeling a bit hopeless, but I kept reminding myself- “it’s only the first year.” I was then reminded of another first year.

My husband and I married young. We were in our early twenties and had been living together for about two years. We’d been told that the first year of marriage was “hard.” No details about what made it hard- just “hard.”

“How hard could it be?” we thought.

We were in love and had already been together for years. Surely, it would be a romantic breeze. It would be passionate and exhilarating and sexy. It was.

And it was hard.

Looking back now I still can’t really articulate why it was hard or what, if anything, was wrong. There were moments when we probably wondered if we’d gotten ourselves into something that we weren’t ready for. There were moments when we didn’t know if we could make it. Truth be told, I’m sure, we both, in our deepest, darkest moments wondered if we’d made a mistake. Did our hearts lead the rest of our bodies into something absolutely crazy?

There were mistakes to be made. There was trust to be earned and given. We eventually stumbled around in our new own roles and slowly started to work together as a unit.

Here are my top 10 ways that the first year of derby is much like the first year of marriage:

  1. Your family suddenly grows. By a lot. You are greeted by smiling faces all welcoming you into the fold. Just like with the new in-laws, you will be anxious to impress your derby family and show them that you really do belong. You won’t remember all of their names, and they may not remember yours, but they are family nonetheless.
  2. You get a shiny new name. You’ll be excited to try it out, yet you may not recognize it when you hear it and will probably forget to respond to it.
  3. You will wonder whether you belong, if you’re doing it right, if you should just quit, but…
  4. …you will be madly in love, almost to a point of obsession.
  5. Your “civilian” friends might get tired of you talking about the new love of your life.
  6. There are new rules, new roles, and new responsibilities. These are frustrating, but you’ve made a commitment, so you stick with it. Your heart makes you.
  7. There are other people relying on you, which is scary for someone who has no clue what’s going on. The good news is that you’re not alone in this world. Other people are looking out for you.
  8. It will get real. And there will be tears.
  9. It’s passionate, sexy and exhilarating.
  10. It’s hard. It just is. But it’s love, so it’s worth fighting for.

I love my marriage and after 12 years of being married, I’m madly in love with my husband and I’m proud of where we’ve been and the challenges that we’ve overcome- either through sheer love and devotion or just plain stubborn determination and a come-hell-or-high-water refusal to throw in the towel.

I’m six months into my first year of derby. I’m in love with it even though I spend most of my time wondering what the hell I’ve gotten myself into, wondering if I’ll ever get it right, wondering if it’s just not meant to be. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t, but it won’t be for lack of trying. Or lack of love.