Since making it into the league, I’ve been inundated with derby: Practices, scrimmages, volunteering, bouts, committees, meetings, social events, and oh yeah, picking a name. I thought I’d found the perfect name, but according to the derby name registry it was taken. Picking a name isn’t the most important part of derby, but I admit I obsessed about it all week.
My husband thought I should stick with MissDirt since it’s already my name everywhere else. “Dirt” has been my gaming handle for over 10 years, and many of my close friends call me that, but I also still wanted a fun derby name that would be unique to this new part of my life. After brainstorming a while and surveying my friends, I found one I like: Ms. Dirt Deville. Some people have already started calling me Dirt, and I’m totally happy with that.
Fun facts about the last name Deville: It’s French, so it’s a little nod to my Cajun roots. It also looks like “devil,” and you know I’ve got a little bit of a devilish side, so that works. Plus, “Ms. Dirt Deville” rhymes with Mr. Demille, which makes me think of Miss Piggy batting her eyes and saying, “I’m ready for my closeup…” I’d like to think I have one or two things in common with Miss Piggy, so I’m cool with that. Derby girls are supposedly mean, and Cruella Deville is nothing if not mean. And finally, Deville happens to be the last name of Phil and Lil from Rugrats, the two coolest twins ever.
Practicing with the league is going well so far. I was intimidated for about the first five minutes of my first practice, and I still get a little flustered trying out new skills in front of the more experienced players, but that’s getting better. The coaches give lots of direct and specific feedback, and I can actually feel myself improving during practices. As a result, I’m more willing to take little risks during practice because the payoff of improvement is so big. And all those women who look so tough out there on the track? Well, they are tough! They’re also nice people who love their sport and want to share it, so until you’re playing against them, they’re not scary at all.