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