Friday, August 19, 2011

WOW!!!!! First bout madness

It took me a while to get my thoughts together and start writing this blog. Because to be honest the feeling I had last Saturday was incredibly overwhelming, to say the least....

Saturday 13th of August 2011 
The day the first team of the Amsterdam Derby Dames played their very first bout!
10 am the ADD gathered around at a train station in Amsterdam to travel together by a large coach bus to Essen, Germany. Where we would play our first bout against the Devil Dolls Essen (Ruhrpott Roller Girls).
The bus ride over was fun, some of us were nervous, but mostly everybody was just very excited!!

It's hard to explain, but most of us have been working over a year to get to this point. And the feeling of finally making it there.... is just indescribable.

After the three hour drive (with a little detour here and there...) we made is to the Eisssporthalle in Essen.
When we got there Ruhrpott Roller Girls where working hard on getting the place in order for the bout, setting up the dressing rooms, laying the track, etc. They did a great job in getting the place ready for a great night.

The Supporters bus!! - Picture by Grumpy Crump
Around 5 the bus arrived with our very own supporters showed up! Girls from our own league, friends from our girls and people from several other leagues took the bus we arranged and came to support us.
Other people came by car, and all with all, there were people from 8 other Dutch Roller Derby leagues, and a whole bunch of friends and family to cheer us on! My brother and mother also made the drive out, and it was great to see them there.

We warmed up together and got to get used to the floor, which of course we never skated on before.
Warm up with Kim Wilde - Picture by Blauwe Bil 

The floor was great, my new skates felt good, my ankles weren't hurting, and my broken little toe wasn't bothering me while skating. So I felt as ready as I ever would for our very first bout.
Although everybody seemed excited and the team spirit was definitely there, I think we all were starting to feel the pre-bout jitters right before we had to skate out.
For the team skate out we picked a really cool song. Unfortunately we couldn't really hear it at all... We also couldn't really hear Puppi (announcer for the Rotterdam Death Row Honeys) call out our names, luckily she was awesome enough to run with us and call out our names, so we knew it was out time to show our selves :)

Puppi running with us - picture by Kristian Sunder

Acting all cool! :p - Picture by Blauwe Bil

I was crazy, our skate out wasn't necessarily very spectacular or anything, with the music not being heard and all. But having the crowd going wild when we did something as little as skate out, was amazing! It filled me up with the warm fuzzy exciting feeling that I guess is so very normal for your first bout! :)
It was just great. When we were taking a knee for the Devil Dolls Skate out, I saw my wifey's friends in the stands holding up 'Lola' signs and then I saw it, my mom and my brother holding up a banner, just for me! It was so great to see all this support, by our friends and family and our derby friends from all these other Dutch leagues.

We started the bout with our 'power line', which consisted of me, Abs of Steel, San Solo, Monstah Megs, Vegan Vengeance (jammer).
I was in the penalty box before I could say "Roller Derby", which to be honest bummed me out more then you can imagine. But when I got back into the game I played the best I could, we ALL did!

I did a several things I am proud of, like hits or certain strategies that worked out, and the feeling of pulling of a great legal hit or having your line pull off a strategy is just the greatest feeling in the world. I would come back to the bench after the jam just completely SICKED!!! :)

The emotions also ran high on the bench, sometimes by frustration (luckily not because of people getting badly hurt), but also because of crazy exciting jams, like Armorkillo's 38 point jam!!!

The bout was amazing... I have no idea how to describe it... there was action, strategic, great hits and blocks  and fast jammers...

It was simply amazing! So I will just post some pictures here, so you can see for your self how great it was.

Pictures in the slide show are made by Kristian Sunder (black and white pictures), Blauwe Bil (color pictures) and Grumpy Crump (color pictures). Thanks to all three!

After the final whistle blew, ADD blew up too! We were all so happy, proud and ecstatic!!! We did it!! And we didn't suck (yeah, that's for you Eliza ;)
We worked our asses off for the passed two years and it showed off!
The feeling I had at that very moment, I will never forget....
And therefore I would like to take this opportunity to thank some people, who, without them, we wouldn't have made it this far.

First of all I would like to thank the founder of ADD and of Dutch Roller Derby; Limpin' Lily. Without you, there would be no ADD. And therefore we are all in debt to you for eternity. But next to that, I also would like to thank you for all the blood, sweat and tears you have put into making this happen, taking your dream and making it into reality. I personally would like to thank you for letting my cry out on your shoulder every time I was hurting or frustrated, and for being in the board together and making stuff happen. And finally for being the great person you are, you ROCK!!!

Second, I would like to thank our coach Hurricane Hayles. Since you have joined ADD we have improved so much! You have a way of motivating us to push ourselves to the very best we can! And I would like to thank you for that. Also I cannot wait for you to give birth to that baby so we can finally skate together!!!

San Solo, 'captain oh captain', you've done a great job in leading this team to our own personal victory, to do the best we can!! And we did, we worked hard and kicked ass, thanks to you!!!

There are a lot more people I would like to thank, but if I write it all down, you will all stop reading, cause it's just to many people, so I am just going to list them, and make it easy for all of you! :)
Lola Rock 'n' Rolla (love you wifey!), Vegan Vengeance, Eliza Do-damage, Armorkillo, Sweet 'n' Sinister, Dirty Job, Mayatollah, Abs of Steel, Monstah Megs, Nasty Moves, Kim Wilde, Minnie Mischief, Nina, Crumpy Grump, Fembot 3000, Jamakaze, Irizzz, Cherry Poppins and all the other great ADD members, ChefX, DI Die, and the rest of the Devil Dolls Essen, Major Madness, Riff Reff, Crank Skice, Pixie Spankalot and the rest of the great ref crew and all the NSO's!

Okay, I'll stop now  :)  I just cannot show enough of my gratitude. It takes so much more then 14 players on two teams to play a bout.... Roller Derby is so much more then just girls in cute outfits skating around. It's a group effort of amazing dedicated, slightly crazy, wonderful people! And I am so happy to be a part of this.

- Furrrocious

Friday, August 12, 2011

The night before I am on my way to play.....

It's weird, I started this blog to keep track of my experiences of being on my way of becoming a Roller Derby girl. Of being on my way to play!
So now is the time! Tomorrow is my very first official Roller Derby bout!! How crazy is that?
Worked so hard for the passed year and 8 months.
Lets go back in time.....

On Friday night January 9th 2010 at 02:29 in the morning after seeing Whip it! for the first time I wrote this email:
Hey Dames!!
Ik ben zo blij dat ik jullie gevonden heb!! Sinds ik in 2007 een Roller Derby Wedstrijd heb meegemaakt in Amerika ben ik opzoek geweest naar groepen in Nederland, en nu zie ik dat jullie er zijn! YEAH!!!
Ik zou heel graag mee willen doen, maaaaar..... ik heb eeuwen niet meer op rolschaatsen gestaan, ben redelijk stevig (weet dat dat ook een voordeel kan zijn in rollerderby! ;-) ) En ja, fuck, geen echte excuses dus... behalve dat ik het nog niet kan dan! :-p

But I am willing to learn!
Dus zijn jullie nog opzoek, naar onhandige, onervaren roller derby girlz?
Ik hoor het wel!
Groetjes uit Utrecht!


Hey Dames!!
So happy I found you!! After I'd seen a Roller Derby bout in 2007 in the USA I've been looking for groups in Holland, and now I see you are here! YEAH!!
I would love to join you, butttt....I haven't been on skates in ages, and I am pretty big (even though I know that can also be an advantadge in Roller Derby!). So yeah, fuck, no real excuses I guess...except that I don't know how to play!
But I am willing to learn!
So are you still looking for, clumsy, in-experienced derby girlz?
Let me know! 
Kind regards from Utrecht!
Limpin' Lily, our proud founder, emailed back the next day, and that monday I was on skates again for the first time in years. 
I stumbled and fell, but all and all I was excited about skating again. Learned my first falls that night. 
And I guess that night the derby bug was planted. 
Cause I haven't stopped. 
I wasn't really involved in the beginning. It took a while for me to understand that this bug was going to take over my life. ;)
After about 7/8 months I started skating with the Dom City Dolls once a week and twice a week with ADD. My life was all of a sudden all about Derby! And I was loving it. 

Before I knew it I was involved all the way, and I was voted in as president of our league. 
I know that people who don't play derby simply can not understand how this sport can take over your life... and to be honest I don't know if I can explain it. 
Is it worth all the time, blood, sweat and tears? I think so. And I think thousands of derby girls and boys will agree with me. Can I explain it? I guess not. 
What I can say, is that I think it's worth it because, I am enjoying the work out, loving being part of a great team, crazy about my derby sisters and brothers, traveling the world for derby, road trips, great friends, I love it all!!! And it makes every single tear, drop of sweat and pain I feel worth it. Because nothing can beat this feeling I have now, the night before I will finally play!

On my way to play (Roller Derby)....
1 year, 8 months and 1 day after I rolled on skates for that first time, I will be playing a real official Roller Derby bout!
I would like to give a special shout out to everybody who helped me get here! There are to many to name, but you know who you are and I love you all!!! 

Friday, July 29, 2011

Working through the frustration

RollerCon: day 2

After the bit of partying I did on the first day of RollerCon. Day two didn't start out all to early...

The first thing I did was meet up with Jennifer from Fast Girl Skates to meet about upgrading my skates, with a better and more durable plate. Being a big girl, at 105kg, my nylon plate is not made for me. Unfortunately the plate I want to get is not available at RollerCon, but luckily Jennifer has it at her store in Seattle. So she will take my skates Sunday, mount the new plates and send them to my family in Texas, so I'll still be able to take them with me next week.
I love Fast Girl Skates, they are not only helping you to get what fits you best, but they want to educate you on your skates and everything there is to know about wheels, bearings, plates, etc. And for me that is great. Cause to be honest, I don't know anything about skates. I mean I know more then I did when I started. But there is so much I didn't know yet.

After that I woke up looking at different challenge bouts. And oh my gosh it's so good to watch these talented skaters play!!
We still have a long way to go. But in such a positive way, we can only get better! And we have a goal to aim for too. It's inspiring to be here.

After I woke up watching those games and getting inspired, I was ready to take a class again. And I went to an international class by Trish the Dish. International classes at RollerCon are totally amazing by the way, the have one each day, where people with an international passport and people from Hawaii and Alaska get in before anybody else. Which is pretty awesome.
Anyways, the class was all about hitting and timing and working together and positioning yourself in a pack.
Trish the Dish is pretty fucking amazing. And I was happy I decided to go to her class.
Unfortunately the thing I've been afraid of before I came here happened. My ankles played up again. Within ten minutes my ankles were hurting so bad I had to stop. I am still officially not sure what it is. But it might be shin splints, but then on the sides of my legs, mostly at the ankles height. One of the worst things about this pain is that you never know when it will come. Cause I skated all day Monday, with in total maybe 5 min of pain, and I was able to continue after that.
This time I wasn't that lucky... Asa Spades was there as an EMT and helped me stretching both my legs. Which usually helps. And it did for a little bit, so I went back in but with in 5 min I had to stop again.
I cried... I get so frustrated when my body doesn't want to work with my mind wants it to do.
As I see it we have several stages to work through while on our way to play Roller Derby and for some these stages might not apply as much as for others. But they are there for all.
We have to work through getting fit, roller derby is much more of an athletic sport then people think or realize. And getting your body to be able to deal with all the hard work and training is especially hard for people with no athletic background.
Then working through frustration... This happens in so many levels. Getting frustrated with yourself for not being the best player you want to and can be. Getting frustrated with your body, pain and injuries...
It's a lot to deal with.

After I decided it might be better to take it easy and not skate the rest of the day (which isn't an easy decision to make...) I enjoyed the rest of the day by watching the rest of that class (which was absolutely amazing. Learned lots. Fun new drills Hayles!!), watching bouts and scrimmages.
Also I did lots of talking again! :)
I met so many great people!!

Fisty and ChefX inline for the black and white scrimmage.

At night there are so many things going on at the same time. There was a pajama party from Riedell. Which I missed cause I was at the scrimmage. There was an 80 dance party, which wasn't really my thing. And then the pool is open 24hr a day especially for RollerCon.
I ended up at the pool, and hung out with our delegation from Gent, Rotterdam, Essen and Berlin!

Whipping red siren won this great Riedell skate bag at the pajama party.

I skate Europe!! :)

Pool party!!

Of course we had way to much fun in the pool. A small group of about 15 people ended up playing in the pool with a ball (yeah, we might not like a ball on our track, but we sure like it in our pools! :p ) for hours. Never thought playing with a ball could be that entertaining for that long. :)

It was a great night. And I am sure the black and blue ball next to the pool will be amazing too! :)

Now I am off to see an EMT cause I got a skate on the inside of my ankle Wednesday and it really kind of hurts.... Let's just hope I'll be able to skate today....

- Furrrocious

Thursday, July 28, 2011

"You practice how you play"

Day 3 of Vegas, day 1 of RollerCon

It was hard to fall a sleep last night. A mixture of child like excitement overtook me before falling a sleep. As kid I always had a hard time falling a sleep if I was over excited, you like with Christmas or a Birthday.
My feeling of excitement wasn't any less then when I was a kid. Nervous about my very first challenge bout and just excited about what the day would bring.

At 7 my alarm went off, and the day officially started!! :)
Getting all my stuff together and putting on everything PINK! Yes, pink! Cause I played in a girls vs boys team and of course we were wearing pink!

After having a healthy breakfast me, ChefX and Die went to the hall. And that's when it started to get overwhelming...

The main hall here at RollerCon has several tracks, one big official sized track where the challenge bouts scrimmage are played. It's a sports court floor that is removable. Really cool, but weird to skate on. The big track has wood underneath, which makes the skating pretty nice. But it's a weird combination between being grippy and slippery.

Anyways, to go back to the story, the challenge bout started at 10.00. So warm up was at 9.30.
A challenge bout is not the full time like a normal bout. So it went really quick. Also you don't play with 14 girls, but with 20. So more people get a change to play. Which makes total sense. But it did make the whole thing go by even quicker!
It was lots of fun playing against guys. Even though I am not that experienced I stood my ground. And I didn't do all that bad.

It's kind of hard to see, but that pivot with the pink shirt and blue shorts is me! :)

After the challenge bout we directly got tickets for the next class we wanted to take. Which was 'Baby's got back' a booty blocking class by Quadzilla.

The class mainly focussed on how to use your booty and back while blocking.
The floor was really sucky, because this sports court floor was not on top of wood (like the main track), but on top of carpet. So it was really grippy and hard to skate on. But it was a great class. And I learned new useful skills.

One of the rooms for the classes.

After we got done with the booty block class (which was a hour and a half long) we again got tickets for a Quadzilla class. This time it was the class 'is a bird showing of when it flies?'.
For those who ever saw Quadzilla skate, might guess what this class was about. Quadzilla was basically born on skates and is a phenomenal skater. He can basically do what ever he wants to on skates....
But what this class was about was agility and jumps and stuff like that. But not just how to move your feet, but also really about why and when to move your feet! Therefore if you spin around somebody when they are trying to block you, you understand it's because you are doing everything possible to not get hit and/or smacked to the ground and not because you are showing off!

This two hour class was gonna be rough, and I knew it. I all ready had some problems with my ankles and with that floor being crappy and Quadzilla not training for the fainthearted, I was thinking that I should maybe just not do the class. But then again, I didn't go to RollerCon to sit out, I came here to learn and better myself as a skater.
So I pushed myself to do it. We started with jumping and footwork/agility. I'm not the most agile skater on the planet and I know that it is one of the things I need to work on more then anything.
So when we started with all the footwork it was, well let's say hard for me...
I had to drop out a few times, because of being hurt/exhausted or frustrated. But I didn't quit, I kept going back in. And because of what Quadzilla said to the class, "get out of your comfort zone! - "when you fall down, that means you are learning!" I pushed my self to try harder. And I did. I ended up doing things I would have never thought I could do.
And at the end of the class I was exhausted and incredibly exhilarated!
I went up to Quadzilla and thanked him for the great class. And even though he didn't know, he pushed me to do things I never thought I would be able to do!

Me and Quadzilla.

The rest of the day, I didn't attend any more classes, cause I was exhausted and my ankles were sore.
But I watched some challenge bouts and the black ad white scrimmage at the end of the day.

At night I went to the Pub in the hotel to go to the dance of pants off party and witnessed some American derby girls partying.... Oh my..... Those girls know how to party!! :)
It was great to meet Dr. No-No at the party, the great lovely head ref from Bear City Rollergirls (Berlin).
We hung out and ended up behind a slot machine.....
Oh was a crazy ride. Never gambled before, the free drinks and lights and sounds of Vegas lured me in. :) I met Asa Spades, Whipping Red Siren (both Rotterdam) and Sandra Buttblock (Gent) and we got into the had fun! I won a whole bunch and of course lost all of it too! :p

Me and Asa Spades!

It was a great and overwhelming day. And loved every second of it.

- Furrrocious

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Northern connection

Day 1: The sequel...

Last night, after I wrote my blog,
I went outside to smoke and saw a couple of girls sitting next to the pool talking. One of them walked by a little later and I instantly recognized her hat, the 'Stockholm hat'. If you have been to bouts in Europe you will see this group of girls sitting there, mostly Malmö girls, but all wearing these same hats. The Stockholm roller derby hat! :) So I talked to her and joined them next to the pool. And that is how I met Fisty (Sweden) and JJ (Denmark). We talked for a long time, mostly about roller derby of course, and it was nice having good company one my first night in Vegas.

Me and Fisty found out that they have colored sugar in Vegas, which is pretty much the most bizarre thing ever.

Around 1 in the morning my roommates DI Die and ChefX from Devil Dolls Essen arrived. After a trip of about 24hr they finally made it to Vegas! And it was great to see them again. So of course we went outside again an hung out next to that same pool again. :)

Day 2

I was beat! After not sleeping much before coming to Vegas and then staying up late talking, I was in need of lots of sleep. So when DI and Chef got up butt fuck early...I turned around and went back to sleep for a little longer.
Around 10 a decided it was time to get up and start doing things. Of course I had some derby mail to deal with first. ;) I miss my ADD girls so much!!! Wish you could have all been here.
After the morning rituals I went to see if registration was open yet, and I was happily surprised to see it was. An hour earlier then expected! So I got my registration fixed and my insurance.
RollerCon is so well organized!! The volunteers work their asses off. There were goodie bags for everybody, with great program books and other stuff. It's just crazy!

My MVP sticker on my helmet.

That's me!!! Now I can get in everywhere (if I am on time and there are still spots available...)

The program book! Which looks amazing by the way.

At registration I met my friend and fellow league president from the Rotterdam Death Row honeys, Asa Spades.
After hanging out with Asa we ran in to our new Northern friends JJ and Fisty. And we basically hung out and enjoyed our selves in the pool all day, together with the other swedes and Germans. It was our own little European take over of the pool and we were getting whistled at by the life guard a lot........ :)

In the evening I had to go to a meeting from my challenge bout team, Sugar and Spice.
It was good to see all the girls. And it's fun to be in such a mixed group of people.
My derby name for this challenge bout is Jawbreaker. And I had to fix a shirt. Cause our color is pink.... And I really don't have that much pink in my wardrobe. :)

Now I need to get some sleep as I need to kick some boy ass tomorrow! :p

- Furrrocious

Monday, July 25, 2011

RollerCon here I come!!!

Day one
After packing about 10 Amsterdam Derby Dames tank tops (with of course my name and number on the back!), 15 pairs of socks and a whole bunch of other stuff, my uncle took me to the airport this morning.

Going through security has never been this fun! My carry contained my skates and the TSA guy checking all the bags said "wow, nice skates, do you play Roller Derby?".
Now this might not seem strange to anybody in the US. But being from Europe, nobody knows what Roller Derby is, definitely not a guy working at airport security. But here they knew, not just him, but a whole conversation got started on me playing roller derby. Especially because my bag had to be checked. I thought my skates were going to be the problem, but I forgot about a bottle of water that was in the merch bag I stuffed in there last night. :)
So they guy took it out and all was fine. Before I left, he asked me one more question: "so you're a blocker right? I bet those skinny girls fly right off of you!".
And that was the start of my trip.

On the flight (only 2,5 hours) I was able to read up on my derby, in five on five magazine!
But derby couldn't keep my eye in the magazine once we started flying over the dessert and some of the most amazing sights were right there outside my little plane window

We were supposed to be able to see the grand canyon, but it was a little to cloudy. Maybe on the way back. Still the view from the plane was amazing.

Once at the airport in Vegas, it was so funny, I felt like a little kid in a candy store looking around at all those buildings I've seen in so many movies. The MGM, the Bellagio, the Luxor, pretty wild stuff!
But the very first thing I saw coming out of the airport was this

That just cracked me up!! The first thing I see in Las Vegas is a reference to something DUTCH! :)

When I got to the hotel Riviera there where some problems with checking in, but the lady behind the counter was super sweet and hooked us up with a really nice clean non smoking room. The first we had was smoking...and was just disgusting! Crazy thing about Vegas, you need to pay extra for non-smoking!! But as I said the lady hooked us up, so we didn't have to pay that much extra for a cleaner nicer room!

In the meanwhile the riviera is filling up with derby girls and boys. I have all ready met a few different people from the US and from Australia.
It funny when you look around the hotel lobby, you see all these different derby shirts and derby names printed on peoples shirts.
I have never been around as many derby people as I will be this week. And I've got a feeling this will be amazing and overwhelming!! :)

- Furrrocious

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Hotter then hell....

Last saturday I arrived in the USA to visit family in Texas. One of the things I did this last week was I went to a roller rink to skate! It's funny how we are not used to having these in the Netherlands (except for the one in Eindhoven..).
It was great skating around in the rink, but pretty soon after I got there, a lot of kids showed up, and I couldnt really skate fast or anything like that. But I started helping this little boy that was on skates for the first time, and skated backwards the whole time, so it ended up still being a good practice! :) 

Today I went to Lawton Oklahoma, to skate with Lawton Roller Girls - 580 Roller girls. 
No you have to understand, it's hot in Texas and Oklahoma, like 100/105, which is around 40/45 degrees celsius!! In Holland it will get up to 30 degrees every once and a while! So you can understand that for me, coming from Holland, I was NOT used to this heat. 
And after the warm up drill I almost passed out. Everything was turning black in front of my eyes and I was feeling sick. I sat down and one of the girls made sure that I got a ice pack to cool down and gave me a drink. By that time I all ready drunk about 3 liters of water. But I was losing more fluids sweating then I could drink water.

About 20 min after I felt like passing out, I was able to get back on the track and continue skating. I was happy I was able to, cause I was afraid I was going to have to stop totally, and that would have really sucked. 

The Lawton Roller girls are super awesome sweet girls!! I cannot wait to get out there again next week and skate with them.

I was a great lesson today, hydration is not a thing to take for granted!!! 

Now I need to get some sleep, cause tomorrow I am off to Austin to go to the Austin vs Denver bout on saturday. I cannot wait. This trip is just amazing!! :) 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

On my way to...ROLLERCON

For most people it's still a month and a half away. But for me it's never been more close! RollerCon!

On the 31st of December last year, I bought my early bird ticket for RollerCon. Not knowing if I would actually be able to go.
Because well, when I am not Furrrocious 'the-girl-trying-to-become-a-derby-girl', I have a job as a social worker and tons of student loans. And the USA is just not right across the road... (read: expensive as hell to get to, especially in the summer time..)

But this week I was finally able to buy my plane ticket! Flying to Texas first to visit my relatives, while I am there I hope I'll be able to practice with a great league like the Dallas Derby Devils, and go to the Texas Roller girls bout against Denver on the 16th of July in Austin.
And then at the end of July I'll go to Vegas for five crazy days, filled with breathing, sweating, eating, laughing, partying smoking and drinking Roller derby!!
I am pretty sure it will be wayyyy more then I can handle, but I am super excited about it!

I think I will probably only survive one day, and then I won't be able to walk anymore, because of all the pain in my muscles!!! LOL! :p
But it will all be worth it. As I will learn sooooooo much, and I'll bring it all back to Amsterdam and put it to good use right here.

This rookie is on her way to RollerCon... even if for now, it's still only in my head! :p

- Furrrocious

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The joys of being on my way to play Roller Derby

Roller Derby has a tendency of taking over your life. All of us, who are either on our way to play or all ready playing, know this, but for all of you who haven't experienced this, it might be hard to understand. It is just like I have said before, Roller Derby is a sport that we need to organize ourselves, and that takes hard work!

But to all the hard work (and frustrations) it takes to get to play Roller Derby and to start and run a Roller Derby league, there are luckily enough also a lot of joys!

Me and Hunter S. Toss 'em

First of all, we have had so many great visiting skaters and refs, that have all in one way or another thought us valuable lessons, they taught us new skills and drills, but also that Roller Derby leagues all over the world deal with issues just like ours. Which is great to hear, because Roller Derby being a new sport in Holland and all, it sometimes feels like we are figuring out everything by ourselves. You know not having to inventing the wheel again and such. But luckily the struggles we have are not just unique to our league, all leagues have struggles and issues, and that is great to hear and learn from.

Roller Derby as a sport is growing like crazy in Europe. Which means that lucky for us, there are more and more events and such that we can go to. Like actual live bouts, parties, scrimmages, friends and family days and more.
We have been to a few exciting things over the past months. And the joy of derby I experience at those events makes all the hard work worth it.
A little over a month ago we had our very first international scrimmage against the One Love Roller Dolls. It was super exciting and playing with a couple of our girls that just passed their WFTDA test. But we didn't care about winning or losing. We wanted to learn as much as we possibly could and we did!!
Group pic by Robin Minter
 Oh my, we learned so much. OLRD showed us some great team work and strategy which we took home with us.
I personally took a lot from that scrimmage for my own progression and that of our league. I found that I really liking the role of Pivot, but I didn't really know what to do all the time.
As for our league, we had our brand new member Hurricane Hayles bench coaching us, which was amazing. It just really felt like we all grew closer together that day!

Not just playing gives us joy, but also making money for our league gives us lot's of JOY! And when you life in Holland, there is no better time to raise money then Queens day!
And so we did, a bunch of our girls got together and started baking and cleaning out there attics and garages to find stuff to sell on queens day, all in order to make us some money.
Pic by Mad Gent

One of the other joys I had this past month, was being able to share my joy for Roller Derby with my friends and family. We had our own ADD Friends and Family day.
With miniature scrimmages, of course more cup cakes and some beers :)
It was a great day. My biggest fan even came out to see me, and had a surprise for me.... With t-shirts saying "go Furrrocious go" and an awesome banner, it was the best to see my little sis standing on the side line, supporting me!
8 wheels, 2 skates, 1 bad attitude! Love that banner!!
It was a weird day, great, but weird. Cause we were so busy with the organizational part of things (pr and stuff like that), I didn't actually have to much time to talk to the friends and family that came to support me. But that was the one real downside of the day.
The Furrrocious fan club! :p
Because except for that, we had a great time! I even had to to a dance of shame, cause I ended up in the penalty box :p
Just for those who haven't seen a Roller Derby bout or scrimmage before, normally there is no "dance of shame". But we did it for the fun of it! ;)

We also got some great publicity from this F&F day. We had a big article in a Dutch (well read) new paper, and a film crew from a national Dutch television came by.
You can see the video here. It is in Dutch, but you'll get the idea. :)
It was so much fun to finally be able to share this (now very) important part of my life with all the friends and family that came out. I hope we as a league will do this more often.

Officials team Block 'n' Roll - pic by Val Killer

As happy as we are with all our visiting skaters and refs, we also love to go places for Roller Derby! Especially me and my wifey Lola Rock 'n' Rolla. We sure love us some road trippin'!!
This past saturday we went to Essen, where the Devil Dolls where having their first home bout against Barock city. Block 'n' Roll!!
It was great seeing all our German friends again, Major Madness, ChefX, Gina Gasolina, DI Die, Psycho Annie, Big Red, and so many more that I can possibly name all at the same time. :)

My wifey Lola was announcing the bout together with Johnny Bash and I bet they did a great job... I say I bet, because I don't understand a word of German! LOL
She made sure of one thing though, that you did not need to know any language for: she looked smashing!!

I was an NSO. Penalty box Jammer timer. It was lot's of fun, screaming at girls when to stand and when they were done. There where enough penalties to keep us busy too....
You learn so much as a player when you NSO. As it was my first time working the penalty box I learned a lot about that part of the game. First of all, stay out of the penalty box, it's a waste of time to be in there! And more importantly, get there as fast as possible and sit down right away! The clock doesn't start ticking until your butt is on that chair!

Two of my favorite Germans on this planet!! 
Our Essen friends made sure all 7 (6 working and one awesome visiting ref that we took with us - Rave N Busther from San Diego) of us had a place to crash, for the next day we were off to Antwerp for the OLRD friends and family day scrimmage.
Because we were able to sleep over, we were also able to hang out with our friends at the after party! And we ADD girls sure like our after party! :)
Wise as I was I of course didn't drink at the after party and went home early..........oh no, that wasn't me! I stayed way to late and drank a little to much and had an AMAZING time!!! And I would do it over again and again (even though skating with only 4 hours of sleep isn't exactly ideal either.... :p)

It's a strange sensation, the 'family' feeling Derby brings with it. You make great friends all over the world because of Derby. Without even having to know people very long. We have one and the same passion that we share and it's a brother/sisterhood you are immediately a part of. And you know what? I love it! Every minute of it. 

Before I could get even more fuzzy and huggy with all our German friends we packed up and went to Antwerp the next day. Making sure we took one of our favorites, Major Madness, with us, so he could ref the scrimmages the next day!
The One Love Roller Dolls organized their Friends and Family day in a very special way. They invited all the Dutch leagues to come and scrimmage. And so they did! Not just ADD was present, but 6 out of the 7 Dutch Leagues were there. Eastside Rock n Rollers (Enschede), Rock city Rollers (Eindhoven), Dom City Dolls (Utrecht), Deathrow Honeys (Rotterdam) and the Fallen Angles (Arnhem).
Belgium and Holland group picture - pic by Ian Rwb
And the coolest thing was, we were all playing together!! For the first time.
There was a beginner/intermediate scrimmage between two Dutch teams, made up out of all 6 leagues, they played each other. And as my wifey and other league mates were in both teams, I literally screamed my longs out... the roller derby hooligan showed her self... :)
It was amazing seeing so many of Holland and Belgium's players on one single track in one day!!

I was in the 'advanced' scrimmage later that afternoon. 5 of the dutch leagues came to together to form one team and played against the OLRD team. It was a great scrimmage.
'Bloody oranges' waiting on the Bench -pic by Ian Rwb
I don't even know where to start.... I wasn't really nervous before we began, that might have been because of serious lack of sleep... But when we had our teams intro song, and my name was called, and I heard applause and people screaming my name, my adrenaline started running, and basically didn't stop until a couple of hours AFTER the scrimmage! :)
The reason I had the best time ever, was mainly because I have made a huge leap in my own development. I understood what was going on (most of the time), I tried new strategies and was able to test them and repeat them, and I had NO PAIN in my ankles! Which was awesome!!
It felt so good to be on the track an actually playing! I know it's a scrimmage and not an official bout, but this is the closest I got to playing 'for real'. And it was the absolute best feeling in the world. I fell in love with Roller Derby AGAIN during the scrimmage. I was all ready absolutely in love with this sport, and I didn't think my love for it could grow any bigger, but this last Sunday it did!! :)

After the scrimmage I looked around at our girls and could do nothing but smile! I am so incredibly proud of where we are right now in our league. We are getting there, slowly but surely, and it makes all our sweat, blood and tears worth it!!

- Furrrocious

Saturday, April 23, 2011

What a crazy week it's been...

Saturday we had a scrimmage training with Damage Dahl and 'snot rocket science from Steel City. It was awesome!! I have learned so much and had a great time.
Unfortunately my ankles were really acting up again, and hurting like hell...So it was hard not being able to skate constantly, when we had a training with these amazing ladies. But I was able to scrimmage, had to be smart and listen to my body and sit out more Jams then I wanted to, but well I just learned in Derby that listing to your body and trusting that what you're feeling cannot be ignored.
I cannot explain how freaking awesome it is to be in a scrimmage with girls that you just saw on DNN a week earlier... I was on the white team with Damage Dahl, and actually tried Jamming with 'snot rocket science as the opposing was scary to say the least! :p 

It ended up being a great training for all. The girls learning more blocking/jamming and scrimmage skills and our Refs getting a chance to do some actual reffing!! Blauwe Bil (Rotterdam Death Row Honeys) and Stan-Lee (Dom City Dolls) joined the ADD Zebra's and they all blew their whistles at us! :)

Steel City in ADD disguise! :)

Me and Blauwe Bil! See Rotterdam and Amsterdam are perfect together!!

Monday night we had another practice with Damage Dahl and 'snot rocket science. And I just feel like we are freaking lucky to have such talented people visiting us. As I have said before it really has his upsides to be 'Amsterdam'.

Wednesday I unfortunately had miss practice by our brand-new-very-own Hurricane Hayles, cause of work. Had a meeting so couldn't go to practice. 
During the day Hunter S. Toss 'em arrived in Amsterdam, and we spend some time talking on the phone catching up. 
Thursday after work me and Hunter met up and went to practice. Was great having Hunter back with ADD. We went through a lot of things that are pretty much 'need to know' before our scrimmage with OLRD. It was super useful to go through all that and great to have him back on the track with us!

Today was a super long and hard day for me, working the sixth day in a row... but it ended just perfect, hanging out with my wifey, cleaning our skates and watching some more Anarchy in the UK footage (whilst drinking lots of water and icing my ankles). 

And now it's almost Sunday (or it actually all ready is sunday, after midnight, I should really get to bed...), and we are getting ready to play our (and Hollands) first international scrimmage against Antwerp One Love Roller Dolls. It's going to be a FUN learning experience for all of us. And I cannot wait!! It's going to be the closest thing we have gotten to a bout. There will be a full NSO and Ref team (with Hunter S. Toss 'em and Major Madness being two of them!)
I am super nervous and excited all at the same time, and if I wasn't so tired from working all week, I would probably run around in circles in this very room, because of it! 

So more info on Dutch Roller Derby history after tomorrow! :) 

Now, I am off to bed...

- Furrrocious

Friday, April 15, 2011

It's great being the "AMSTERDAM" Derby Dames

There are lots of 'up sides' to being the Amsterdam Derby Dames. We get a lot of visiting skaters and refs that are traveling through Europe. Just to get into some tacky name dropping: Hunter S. Toss 'em (Rat City), Tara Armov (LA Derby Dolls)..... We are, of course, eternally grateful that these amazing skaters and refs visit us, and teach us bunches! It's simply amazing.
Tomorrow we have a scrimmage training/bootcamp with some of Steel City's finest: 'snot rocket science and Damage Dahl.
This is them. 'snot as Pivot on the left. And Damage with the pink helmet on the right. 

When you are a Rookie League, like we are, it's pretty intimidating to see a track record like theirs...
Co-captain, a crazy amount of skating experience, lots of bouts played, and even awards for their Roller Derby play.....
I guess it would feel pretty much the same as when a major football, basket ball or soccer star comes to train witha little league team.
So yeah, it makes you a bit nervous and insecure. But especially it makes us honored and enthusiastic! How awesome that Amsterdam is a great city that everyone likes to visit?! :p

A lot of stuff has happened to our league since the last time I wrote anything (yeah I know, I havent been writing to much, crazy busy...).
We were lucky enough to have had a bootcamp as well as a training session with ChefX and Major Madness from the Devil Dolls Essen.They have thought us and our refs so much, we absolutely love ourselves some Devil Dolls!

We also had our second run of WFTDA Minimum Skills testing last saturday, with some of the 'old' girls that didn't pass last time in october (like me...) and almost all of our FM that started end of last year.
And to all our surprise, EVERYBODY that did the test passed! It was an amazing feeling. Just an overwhelming feeling of oooowwwwhhhhhaaaaahhhhhh!! I literally got goosebumps when I heard. I know it's crazy. But when you see everybody work so hard, it's just the best feeling ever to see everybody pass.
And so all those girls get to join in on the training with 'snot rocket and Damage tomorrow. Which is just great!
Group picture taken after the great result of the test! 

And next week we will be playing our first official international Scrimmage against the One Love Roller Dolls from Antwerp.
Super excited about that!! And nervous of course.... All our girls have come a long way from being the wobbling bambies on ice... but are we ready to do this?! I guess we will just have to wait and see. At least we will learn a shit ton and have a bunch of fun doing it!! Cause yeah, we also love ourselves some OLRD :p

We also have a brand new member of the Amsterdam Derby Dames: Hurricane Hayles!!
Hayles who is originally from the UK, played with the Montreal Roller Derby League for the past two years. Now she is here with us in little 'ol Amsterdam! She and here derby widower are expecting a baby, so she is going to show us the robes from the middle of the track, off skates unfortunately, luckily that doenst mean she cannot crack the whip on us! And she will be Bench coaching us at scrimmages and hopefully at our first bout in August. It's great to have you here Hurricane!
Hurricane Hayles        

It is bizarre how much can happen in such a short period of time. Only months have gone by, and ADD has grown, I have grown (in muscles as well as in 'hart' for our girls) and Roller Derby Holland keeps growing, its just all amazing.

I am happy to say, I am so very proud of our League. And if you are interested in supporting us, or wondering where I am (cause you never see me anymore). We will be having a Friends and Family day on may 7th! And you are all welcome to come!!

Derby love,

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Whooaaa...what happened to my life?

I started this blog fall last year, cause the derby-ness was overwhelming me and so much was going on, I wanted to make sure I would make a documentation of what I was experiencing. And I am happy I did.

Because in this past year (and a few months-but let's not get into details now) I have gone from a girl knowing not much about roller derby, except for watching a bout in the US, to derby-crazed girl, having not only derby on the mind 24-7, but practicing it in every way too.

Being part of a group
My whole life I have been involved in groups in different social settings, like most people.
I have been a part of several groups of friends, from primary school to college, I've always had a group of friends I called 'mine'. As a kid I was a scout and participated in lots of group activities, like acting classes and such.
In the last ten years I walked around in the more cultural and political groups, like squatters, activists, musicians and punks.
But also in work, i've been part of teams, organizations and companies.
And to say so myself, I usually work pretty well in groups. I am a social being. So comes quite natural to me, I didn't become a social worker for nothing! ;)

But a sports team, is the one thing on my list of groups-i-participated-in, that I could not cross off.
Also because, as I have said before, I am not quite the athletic type, to say the least.
When I found roller derby in Amsterdam and became part of this great league, the Amsterdam Derby Dames, I found myself to fit in quite easily. I guess it's just

a) The ADD girls are awesome
And b) because being in a sports team is not much different then all the other groups I have participated in through out the years.
Except for of course for the part where we work our asses off and sweat like pigs!

But there is something a lot different about this group that unites because of Roller Derby, and not only because we sweat together.

This sport is athletic, we train a lot, so we see each other more then other (very important) people in our lives.
Roller Derby is a DIY sport. Everything (and I really mean every little thing) around this sport we need to organize ourselves and it's brand spanking new in the Netherlands, which together makes it a team effort to get this of the ground.
Roller derby might be new in the Netherlands, but there is a big community around Roller Derby, internationally and growing nationally as well.
And I think all those things combined, just makes Roller Derby in to a unique team/group/community/phenomenon.

*group picture of our last bootcamp*

Sucked in...
I have always been the busy and enthusiastic type, so I guess I should have know, this new "hobby/sport" was going to take up allot more time and energy then one or two practices a week....
But seriously I don't know what happened, within a little over a year, my life has completely did a 180.
I work 36 hours a week as a social worker, and have three practices during the week, additional practices (at least) once a month in the weekend.
Then there a committee meetings, board meetings, bootcamps, bouts, scrimmages, parties,blogs, lots of phone calls and even more emails...
And when I am not doing any of that, I am still ready in a magazine about derby, watching derby online or communicating about derby online, and even when I am asleep derby haunts me in my dreams. :)

I have exchanged my life with friends and family for a new group of friends that almost feel like family sometimes.
And of course I still love all of my friends and relatives. But this just happened. I have read about this effect Roller Derby can have one ones life, but just didn't realize it would happen to me, cause I thought I was to busy for that. How wrong I was... :p

Derby girl, to be or not to be, is that even a question?
Like I tried to explain above was how much of a community roller derby really is. It's so much more then just a sport. Which I guess is probably the same for more sports. But the cool thing about the Roller Derby community is, that I like it! :p It fits me well and I love being part of it.
The thing that is strange, is that we've been working hard, around the clock, on our league and on training. But because we haven't played our first bout yet, we are still pretty much newbies in the sport! So even though I feel completely sucked into this world of roller derby, I am not really comfortable about labeling myself as a Roller Derby girl. Which i know, is kind of a weird discussion anyways. But I am new to this 'world of derby' and not sure what the guide lines are. I know I get annoyed by girls 'posing' as being derby chicks, even though they can hardly skate. Then again, compared to people who can actually skate, and have played for years, like Tara Armov, I cannot skate for shit...
So where to draw that line? To be or not to be? To be honest, I think it's a no brainer. There is no choice, when you get that bug, and you start seeing your derby team mates more then the people you live with, I think it's clear, you have become a derby girl! Label or no label, it's just the way it goes.

To be honest, I am fucking proud of being part of this all!! I have so much love for our league and love the sport and the community more every day.
Yes Roller Derby has completely taken over each asset of my life, but I am actually happier then ever, so I am ok with it!

As an end to this very extensive blog (sorry bout that..), I would like to shout out to all of my friends and family that I have been neglecting over the passed months/year. I hope you won't hate derby because it took over my life and I cannot stop talking about it. :p And I hope you'll all be sitting (and screaming) in the front row when we are playing our first bout. :)
Love you all!!

- Furrrocious

Ps: All pictures in this blog where made by Edmond van As. Thank you!!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

No end in sight.... this amazing league we call: The Amsterdam Derby Dames

This passed Saturday we had our very first Bootcamp!
It was a one day bootcamp with visiting coach from the Devil Dolls Essen, ChefXecutioner!
For the officials team side of the bootcamp Major Madness came out and gave our brand new refs the 1.01 about reff'ing.

The week before the bootcamp was filled with a lot of last minute things to arrange.
Because Major madness was there in Friday, Limpin' Lily took the liberty of organizing a unofficial officials meetings with the Dutch Team Zebra on Friday night.
Also on Friday our training committee had a meeting with ChefX about the bootcamp the next day.
So there needed to be NSO and other meetings arranged, travel guides made, info had to be given to the members about the bootcamp, lunch needed to be bought and prepared, and then just all the other little things that come with organizing stuff.
Luckily we have a league with amazing women in it! That know how to get things done!!
While Limpin' lily and Belle Anger made sure we had everything we need for the officials team, Lola Rock 'n' Rolla and I did grocery shopping. Everybody just did what needed to be done, and that was great!

And on Friday night while some where having derby meetings, others where preparing for their first bootcamp the next, I was getting tattooed
and went to a pole dancing workshop with a couple of my best girlfriends... Yes! I did say pole dancing workshop. Why you ask? Because we thought I would be F.U.N. Oh boy were we wrong.....
It was athletic and crazy serious! The serious part, wasn't to bad, we were with three girls, so we had a blast, but the athletic part...oh boy! How I was not expecting that the night before a bootcamp.
Anyways, we survived, it was fun enough but never again! I'll just stick to kicking ass on the track! :p

So the bootcamp it self:

A small group of awesome girls took it upon them to set up the track. Unfortunately they couldn't get in until 8.30 am. So they weren't quite done when the rest arrived at 9.00am.
ChefX, Madness and the group of girls from Essen arrived and a nice reunion/meet & greet happened early on this Saturday morning.

We started the training day with minimum skills passed girls and fresh meat together. Which was awesome. Because you looked in to this big gym and just saw +/- 25/30 girls (and a couple of guys) skating together! Great sight for early-saturday-morning-sleep-deprived-eyes. :)

While all girls where skating, there where a couple of girls that weren't skating (due to injuries and such) Lola Rock 'n' Rolla, Sofie, Armorkillo, Limpin' lily, that made sure everything was running smoothly. Providing us with water, providing lunch, etc. It was amazing that they were running things while we were able to focus on skating. Thanks again girls!!

In the mean while the girls that were skating were working their asses off. Doing fun pace lines, and practicing skills.

In between 11 and 12 we couldn't use the hall because of another group using the space that hour. So we went to the other hall to talk and learn about roller derby strategy. We were so lucky to have ChefX teach us so strategy which we would be able to practice in the scrimmage later that day.

From strategy we went into a quick brake with a great lunch.

After the brake we split up the group into minimum skills passed girls and fresh meat girls.
The first part I trained the fresh meat girls, so that the two girls of our training committee could train them selves. I had a lot of fun training the fresh meat. They are getting ready to pass there test and are eager to learn and so motivated to skate! Which is just a joy to see and to work with.
Cherry Poppins and Mayatolla also took turns training them, so we could all get some skate time in with the minimum skills passed girls and with ChefX. :)

In the afternoon we went through different exercises, training skills and strategy.
I felt frustrated at some point, purely because I felt I was keeping back the Essen girls while skating with them. Mainly because I wasn't as good as they were. Luckily I had my lovely Gina Gasolina there, to smack me in the face and tell me to shut up! :)
When I forgot about my frustration it was so nice training with almost all ADD girls and a group of Devil Dolls, it was just a great experience.

At the end of the afternoon we had a short scrimmage with the minimum skills passed girls. We had enough girls to scrimmage, but only bearly, so it was 6 girls on each team... well let me tell you, after about 5/6 hours of skating, that was really really really hard! On all of us. We were all eager to scrimmage, but also really tired. We did have a great time though. Putting all our new learned skills and strategies into practice.
I was able to get some really nice hits in, which I was so happy with!! Actual nice, meant, legal hits! At one point I hit Cherry, who was in the opposite team, and she went flying. It was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!!! To see an opportunity, think about what you want to do, make a decision, get the timing right and go for it!!!

During the scrimmage we had our refs working with Major Madness and ChefX. And our fresh meat and girls that couldn't skate were all NSO'ing. It was really a good practice to have penalties being called out and girls getting send to the penalty box! :p

Due to lack of time, we didn't skate a full scrimmage, and the fresh meat was able to do a short low contact scrimmage as well. Which was great! Because they finally got to see and experience what they have been training for, for the past months.

The day was abruptly ended, because some hen party had rented the hall after us. And walked in while we were still busy. So we had to kind of rush to get out of the hall.
Luckily everybody worked together to get the hall empty and clean in no time.
It was great seeing all ADD girls work together and make this bootcamp into an amazing day!

Except for the great hit I put on cherry during the scrimmage, I had another great highlight;
I had a run around the track with ChefX, giving each other hits. Well....each other.... It was basically ChefX hitting me! :) And it was awesome!!!! I actually really fell, which to most derby girls might sound strange, cause in derby you fall all the time, right? Well not me, for some reason this #105kg Derby Girl is not hit 'hard' enough to fall. So when ChefX hit me and I dropped straight to the floor I was esthetic! :)
And the best thing, it was captured on film:

All together it was just an amazing day.
I am once again proud to call my self part of this great group of women called the Amsterdam Derby Dames.

- Furrrocious