Sunday, October 12, 2014

How far do you drive for derby?

Neuralize Her is a former CRG skater that moved away recently. I miss her terribly, but I'm excited that she and Glenn Hur have found a new home with the Big Easy Rollergirls. (You owe us bigtime, ladies. ;) ) Neura used to travel a LOT to come to our practices, and she asked me if she could share her experience in my blog. 

Honestly, if everyone was this dedicated to derby, just imagine the possibilities.

How far do you have to drive- or how far are you WILLING to commute to play roller derby?

When I moved from San Diego, CA to New Bern, NC I was faced with this very question...with a small league 40 minutes away but a more competitive WFTDA league about 2hours and 15minutes away, I thought I would settle for the closer, smaller, less competitive league.

After about 6 months more or less on the smaller league, and realizing that if I continued with them I would never have more than likely 5, and this was a BIG night, at a practice, I was ready for a change....and I decided to tryout for Carolina Rollergirls and to try the 2hr and 15min drive twice per week.

It definitely took some thought on my part. I wanted to know that it was doable and I figured it was because:
1. My boyfriend plays derby too and offered to drive so I could sleep in the car if I needed to
2. I am single
3. My job allowed me to leave work early once per week, sometimes twice, with a little bit of changing my schedule around.

Of course everyone's situation is different. Unfortunately, real life does trump roller derby...although sometimes I (we) maybe wish it didn't...

Are you in a similar situation? If you are considering driving a long distance to play roller derby you need to consider a few things:

1. Is your job flexible with your work schedule?
2. Do you have someone to share driving responsibility? Or maybe a skater bud you can stay at their house so you don't have to drive late at night or when tired?
3. Can you realistically make the attendance and league requirements with your schedule? How will you do this?
4. Are you ok with your life being solely dedicated to work and roller derby? You will likely need to sacrifice any sort of family.friends-outside-of-derby time to do this because of the travel distance.

So those are real ?s to ask yourself. It is doable, and I know I wouldn't be the skater I am today if I hadn't. I made the right decision for me because I love the sport and my team so much, but I know it may be a different story for others.
Photo by Joshua R. Craig

If you have more ?s please don't hesitate to email


  1. I used to live 45 minutes to an hour (depending on traffic) away from our practice venue in Houston. Finding carpool buddies helped so much.

  2. No traffic? 30 minutes. But I'm in Houston, so it's usually more like an hour. More if it rains, or there's a wreck. (I just wish we had swift and accessible public transportation here; sigh.)

  3. My first league had two practice spaces--the year-round one was 11 minutes away, and the summer one was 3 minutes from my house and that was if I caught every light red. It was insanely convenient for those times that I forgot socks or my mouthguard and needed to run home before practice started.

    I live 25 minutes from where my current league practices, but the all three highways I use to get there are under construction right now.