Monday, March 19, 2012

Derby Dating: Do or Doo Doo Part 2

 Because the topic is derby dating, I shamelessly solicited both  success stories and horror stories about dating in derby.  The following is a story from Truckstop and Star Stormer of the Columbia Quad Squad, and it is a success story!

Star and I met playing roller derby in the fall of '07. I had been playing on our fledgling league for about 3 months when Star joined. From the beginning it was pretty awesome because we really just developed a friendship built on the joint efforts and the pursuit of our own empowerment. In many ways, I feel fortunate we met through such a difficult undertaking-- gutting our hearts out trying to learn a new sport and help run a non-profit organization from it's conception wasn’t exactly spare time activity. In short, it was a lot of work, and we both wanted it really bad.

We refused to act attracted to one another for a LONG time, which amounted to about 6 months. Haha! After we accepted our condition, however, we worried about how our relationship could change the team dynamic, and what might happen if we made it official and then didn't make it.  When we finally outed ourselves our league was actually really supportive, and that was awesome! At the same time, we were very aware of misconceptions about derby girls "going" gay, so did our best to stay very level with people by keeping the bedroom out of derby.

Haha! Is being on the same team ever stressful? Well, yes, it can be stressful sometimes. Most of the time, derby stress with Star and I stems from one of us feeling like we "sucked" at practice or at a bout, and the other trying to pull the one out of her ass. It's a little easier to pull your teammate's head out of her ass if you don't have to deal with her emotions on the way home.  Being in a relationship totally messes with that.  Often, it requires a cool off period whereby the non self-depricator simply has to wait for the other to come around and say something like "I'm sorry I was a dick earlier when you were trying to make me feel better." Other than that, the only difficulty lies in that accountability of when NOT to skate. Star is stubborn and doesn't like being told she shouldn't do something. Perhaps you know a derby girl with stubborn syndrome? I know, a TOTALLY rare bird.

Star and I have almost always been on the same roster in the 4+ years we've been skating together. However, there was a period when we transferred leagues in which we were not rostered together and that was hard. I would say it was hardest BECAUSE we'd always skated together.  Star was awesome though, and I think on the whole we learned how to be more supportive of one another as partners.  Both of us know we can’t skate forever (KICK OUR BUTTS, TAKE OUR SPOTS, NEW GIRLS!).  Hopefully we can go through that process with as much grace as a veteran derby girl can muster. I know I think about it. I think about "what will happen when I can't play anymore."  Both Star and I have lost half seasons due to ACL tears/reconstructions.  I, loftily, like to think this has prepared us a little better for the disappointment of athletic realities, but there's no stopping raw emotion.  We all have our time to do this.

For me, derby is the pursuit of the most excellent thing I've ever been about. To pour so much of myself into something and my partner be as supportive as Star is, is just the most unique thing I've ever experienced. Star always says "you're stuck with me."  And I agree with that statement.  I am grateful every day of the fact that her and I are both so head over heels in love with this sport.  We never have to barter with each other over derby time vs "us" time, and this is something I know is rare.  I am lucky.


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  4. I love this article. My boyfriend is not only our leagues ref, but also my teammates son. We had to have the "what happens if this doesnt work" talk as well.
    The last line of the article sums it up perfectly. Since were both in college and working, "derby time" is our "us" time :)