Friday, December 16, 2011

You have a problem: derby hoarding

Who hasn't seen that train wreck of a show called Hoarders?  Let me sum it up for you; people have too much crap and too many issues!  Are we all just one step away from being hoarders ourselves?  Well, I'm here to tell you that a lot of derby girls are hoarders and it is time to fess up to it!

Actually, you did on Facebook.  Socks win!  Spiffy graph brought to you by Hawaiian Donkey Punch

Now, let's define hoarding.  When I have a collection of old, worn out wheels that I hold onto for no reason, it's because I'm thrifty!  When you do it, you have a problem!  I'm kidding, but only a little.   Right now in my derby box, I have thirty two wheels that are no longer bout or practice able.  Why the heck am I keeping them???  I know that I have some vague idea that I could use them for outdoor skating, but do I need thirty two wheels for that?  The answer is a definitive NO.  I should throw out or recycle the other twenty four, and yet they're still sitting in my box. Do I really think I'm going to have a catastrophic wheel crises where I would need 32 extra wheels?  No.  I know I'm not the only one who has this problem; my good friend Beth Row carries a huge and heavy box around with her crammed with wheels for every occasion.  When we get to the bout, she decides what she wants to wear and then she has to dig through a bunch of wheels to find the ones in the best condition.
Look at the dust on some of them...oops.

Let's see what else I have in my box; ok, I have a ton of bearings that I actually use when I swap out wheels, or need to replace a bearing or clean my other set, so that doesn't count.  Hmmm.  I have three old toe stops; I know I should keep two of them for outdoor skating as well, but what would happen if one of them broke too?  This is the kind of thinking that let's me keep trash!

Every time I upgrade my pads, I tend to hold onto them; I kept my original Protec knee pads for almost four years until two weeks ago when I decided I had enough clutter in my house, and I finally pitched them.  Yea me!  Unfortunately, I still have my 187s hanging around for no purpose.  It's nice that I have two and a half pairs of wrist guards piled in the corner of my spare room, but why do I need so many? I don't even want to get into how many handkerchiefs I have or stockings that only have a few rips in them!

I have a serious problem.

So, how can we fix our hoarding issues?  Honestly, I think hoarding can be helped by turning it into sharing.  Every league has a crop of newbies who come to us with nothing; some of them will skate with the crappiest of wheels and bearings, or terrible protective gear. I'm sure that someone somewhere gave you or let you "borrow indefinitely" pads or wheels or a shirt or something.  It's time to pay it forward: organize a newbie gear party, and have your vets bring in their extra crap that might still be useable.  Think about how much happier you'll be with getting rid of stuff you aren't using, and giving it to someone who will appreciate it.  (Please don't share mouth guards.)  If you don't want to give away all of your cool derby shirts,  MC Fyte suggests you can turn them into a really cool quilt.  Think about how awesome that would be for someone to do for a retiring derby sister?  If I could sew, I would totally attempt that!

If you have suggestions on recycling our hoarded gear, please share!  Stop the madness!



    Old t-shirt ideas....I like to make scarves where you cut into the logo, and make a quilt-like scarf. I made one for Punk.

  2. My mother-in-law is an artist. While she does not have a need for old wheels, bearings, etc. since she exclusively does textile art, she has many friends who are mixed-media artists. We've donated wheels, bearings, and several other trinkets from around our house.

  3. Auction them off for a fundraiser...what fan wouldn't love an old wheel or tower some nasty smelly pads?

  4. I can totally support the lend-it-to-the-Newbies-part. I'm a fresh meat myself and luckily, my league, the Stuttgart Valley Rollergirlz, has a big closet filled with old pads, helmets and even skates. I was able to borrow everything for the first weeks of practice (heck, I could still use it, if I wanted to until the next recruiting day). That was absolutely awesome! And it allowed me to buy my gear step by step as my purse allowed it instead of having to buy all of it at once.

  5. Our little NZ league (less than 25 active skaters) has a box at our shared rink where the newbies can find stuff to skate in- including old skates. They can keep using them as long as they need to, up until they sit their basic skating skills test. To fully pass this test, they have to have your own gear.

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  7. Last year, I decided that we would use old, dead wheels for MVP awards. Some gold spray paint and a purty plaque makes a great MVP gift! Everybody on the team was really generous in finding old wheels to donate.

  8. One of the coolest things you can do, as an ancillary benefit to playing derby in New Orleans, is skate in a Mardi Gras parade. If you have extra gear (especially bearings and wheels) send them to girls in New Orleans to render into special throws. They are coveted like Muses shoes by many. You may not know what a Muses shoe is, but if you would consider sending your trashed wheels and bearings to New Orleans, take a quick Google peek at what Muses shoes are, and you will see what your gear can become.