Derby Diary: No longer nameless?

Quality time with Mao, Anna and Hanna.

The derby dream lives on, but thanks to a lot of cold weather and slush, I haven’t gotten out much. In lieu of watching the Super Bowl, we had a bearing-cleaning party here at the house during which I only broke two bearings. Turns out that if you hold a bearing up and spray directly through it with canned air, you can pop the balls right off the track and send them flying across the living room. Who would’ve known? (We followed the instructions on this blog post, which I found really helpful.)

However, my parents sent me a ridiculous gift certificate for my birthday, which I finally got the chance to use: New toe stops, helmet, laces, bearings, toe guards, and a better mouth guard — awe yeah, I got some sexy, sexy tooth protection. Of course, that kind of haul called for an afternoon of skate maintenance, in which I learned how to replace said toe stops (Gumballs) and attach the guards. (Confession, I am pretty much in love with my skates and take like a dozen photos of them every time I do maintenance.)

The beers in this photo have nothing to do with the reason I broke two bearings.

Oh, and I may have found my derby name: Rainbow Smite*. According to everyone I know on Facebook, it’s a pretty good name, and we all know a casual poll of our Facebook friends is a good way to make decisions, right? The name might also have to do with why my gear is all mismatched — I want to wear all the colors. Anyway, choosing a name now might be a little presumptuous as I haven’t actually made a team yet, but I’m pretty invested, and I think there’s a decent chance I will make it to fresh meat status.

Finally, I have cleared one major hurdle that I hadn’t mentioned before: I got health insurance. Or rather, I discovered that I already had health insurance but didn’t realize it because of some combination of paperwork and communication error. That’s a huge relief because you absolutely have to have insurance to play on any of the WTFDA leagues, and I was afraid it was going to be a major expense. Plus, it’s something I really ought to have considering that my job involves a ton of physical activity. The possibilities for me to get hurt are numerous, and after that back injury a few weeks ago, I really didn’t want to be more seriously hurt in the future and unable to get treatment. So, as a responsible adult, I’m pretty pumped that I can now make an appointment for a check up, which I haven’t had in a little while. Wooo! Go team grownup!

*It turned out Rainbow Smite is taken, so I’ve been brainstorming for a new name ever since.

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The Revenge of Anna and Hannah

I was pretty thrilled about  getting my girls. Yes, of course, the skates are girls.
I was pretty thrilled about getting my girls. Yes, of course, the skates are girls.

I have decided to name my skates Anna (left) and Hannah (right). They’re named after two girls I knew in high school. Anna was my best friend, and Hannah was a girl she met through other friends of ours. When Anna and Hannah met, they immediately hit it off and noticed a lot of things they had in common — starting with their similar sounding names, but they had a lot of little personality traits and physical features in common. Turns out, they were even dating the same guy. High school homedude had been juggling the two girls for a few months it seemed. But instead of getting mad at each other, Anna and Hannah got pissed at their boyfriend for lying to them, and they decided to show him up. Homedude worked at Taco Bell, so the two chicks decided to go in while he was working, sit down and have lunch together, all the while acting like everything was totally normal. He had no idea the girls had met to begin with, so of course he was pretty floored when they showed up chatting like old friends and giving him the kind of knowing “eat your heart out” look that only a smart bitch out for revenge can give. It was cool because they didn’t have to ruin his life or anything, but they clearly won.

So, Anna and Hannah arrived last Monday, and I promptly put them on and began skating around the house. Of course, there’s no room to go very fast in my house, so I just practice maneuvering around without breaking anything (self included), going forwards and backwards very slowly, and turning without stopping. I’m getting pretty good at these things, and it’s starting to make a difference when I do go to the rink. Jenn and I went to a new rink on Wednesday afternoon, and the girls performed beautifully.

On a different note…


They say roller skating burns more calories than running, which seems crazy to me because running is such a miserable activity that it really should burn the most calories — there should be some reward for it, I think. However, after skating at least once a week for several weeks and doing a little bit of easy practice at home, I’ve already noticed a subtle difference in muscle tone and how I’m feeling overall. I didn’t know I was looking for a new workout, but I think skating is an excellent compliment to my yoga practice. I’m definitely working in a different way than I’m used to, so I’ll have to adjust my yoga practice to account for it. After Thanksgiving dinner, I sprawled out on the living room floor and stretched for two hours, which felt AWESOME. On the other hand, when I go to the rink and see people doing things I don’t know how to do, I ask myself what yoga pose I could work on to help me get there. It’s definitely a fun challenge, and it’s making me think about teaching a class especially for derby girls or for athletic women in general.

Funny, earlier this year I knew I was ready to pick my next direction with yoga, but I had no idea it would come in the form of taking up derby. I’m pretty happy with the way things are going. Can’t wait to find out what comes next… I guess blogging about derby is officially a thing for me now, as I’ve added a category for it.


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My Wheels Don’t Roll Right


Oh hey, happy Sunday! I felt like making an extra post today since so much has happened since the skating lesson of yore. For one thing, I decided I need to buy my own skates sooner rather than later so I can get to practicing every day.

I’m not prepared to spend $300 to buy all my basics brand new, so yesterday my mother-in-law (Chuqui!) and I decided to check out the local sports consignment shop. There for $10, I bought a pair of pre-loved skates with wheels that had clearly made a lot of left turns already. They were so uneven they were completely un-usable, but I tried anyway. Our house is at the bottom of a long, shallow incline, so I figured it’d be a nice challenge to skate up and a decent coast down. Turns out, the slope’s a lot more intimidating when you have wheels strapped to your feet and one skate keeps pulling to the left. I made it to the top but didn’t dare go back down. Out of fear that I would kill myself or damage someone’s car, I took a seat on the curb, removed the skates and my socks, and walked back down the hill barefooted.


It was a small defeat, but I took a shower and got ready to go out because Jenn and I had plans to see a bout between Baltimore’s Junkyard Dolls and DC’s Majority Whips. Baltimore pretty much trounced DC, but both teams were amazing. We bought VIP tickets for the floor seating, so we had a great view of what was going on. When we sat far away before, it was easy to see how awesome the jammers were, but when you’re up close and see the work the blockers are putting in, the sport takes on a whole new quality.

Between bouts, we talked to the women from Department of Skate, who said they’d be happy to take a look at my skates and help me replace the wheels and stuff. And that, my friends, is where I’m headed off to, now. Hopefully the next time I give you a derby update, it’ll be about how awesome my newly wheeled skates are!

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