Friday, February 24, 2012

I love it when a plan comes together...

As most leagues that have been around for a while know is that it's not easy to organize a bout. Like winning a bout, it takes a team to make it into a success!

One day before our very first home bout and the first ever live Roller Derby bout in the Netherlands, I'm getting a happy kind of nervous and super freaking excited. As president of our league I cannot be anything more then so incredibly proud of our league and all the people involved making sure this is going to be an event of epic proportions to never forget.
And to give all our girls the credit they deserve I want to dedicate this blog to all the members of our great league that have put so much effort in to this.

There is so much work that goes into planning and organizing a home bout. And in our league we have a committee structure, so all the different committees have been responsible for different tasks.
If I look at how things went a year (or so) ago, there were only a handful of committees really active and functioning properly. If it would come down to organizing something it would usually come down to just a few people working their asses off. This time this was not the case at all!
All the different people in the committees have really taken on their tasks and made sure they were done they way that should be.
Of course certain committees had a lot more work then others. But still the work load of the organization as a whole has really been spread out over all these different people of our great league.
And this just makes this day before our big day so much more relaxed.
Knowing that everything is taken care of.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. Well let me tell you, it takes a derby community to hold a bout!
No less then 100 people are involved in some way to make sure that this bout will be a success.
From skaters to Refs and NSO's. From Medics to Security. From Volunteers to Photographers. So many different people are involved. And we all know and realize we would not be able to play this great sport of ours without all these people.
You can have 100 skaters if you want, but without an officials crew you can't have a bout.
And without all our volunteers we as skaters would have to work the register, the merch table and all those other jobs and skate too. Which would be pretty stressful to say the least.
I guess I don't just want to dedicate my blog today to all members of our league, but to EVERYBODY involved in making this happen. Without all of you there wouldn't be Roller Derby!

I cannot begin to state or name all the people that have been involved in working so hard to make this happen, because it's so many of us. But I can state a few things that I am very impressed with.

Our design committee.... Oh my gosh. They have worked miracles with everything that needed to be designed for the bout. Starting with our bout poster, which is just amazing. They took the theme and made sure it all comes together in every little aspect, from the passes for the volunteers to the decorations. In one word: Incredible.

The PR and communications committee worked really well together in making sure the world knows we are here and having this bout. On the website, Facebook and twitter we have been more then visable! And this was also due to all our members, friends and family reposting everything! Thanks for that.
This past week they also showed it's not impossible to work the media to your benefit. On Tuesday night we were featured on national television at BNN - De week van filemon.

(View it here online - starts around 14.55).

And on Thursday two of our members were featured on a radio show.

But also a very important (and a lot of times forgotten) committee like the finance committee has worked miracles. Keeping track of our budget and pre bout ticket sales. Don't forget all the work involved with the ticket sales... Lists that need checking and updating and making sure people that pay through bank accounts actually pay, and kicking their asses if they don't. A lot of work!! But it was worth it, because to top it off on Monday at midnight we closed our pre sale for the bout, with 425 tickets sold!! With 500 tickets available this is pretty impressive for our first hone bout.

As I said it's to much to name. So I won't go on. But I am just so proud of everybody! I can't even believe the day is almost there....I just love it when a plan comes together!!

- Furrrocious

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Everybody can be a hero in Roller Derby

Like loads of us 'newer' derby girls, we'd seen Whip it! and got enthusiastic about the sport.
The one message in Whip it! that stuck by me, is "You can be your own hero!".
That message combined with the main character going from hardly being able to skate to be an actual Roller Derby girl was the reason that I thought "fuck it, maybe I can do this too! Maybe I can be my own hero.."
When I started looking in to Roller Derby, I saw that girls from all shapes and sizes played this wonderful sport. For me that was the push I needed to think I could actually do this, or at least give it a shot!

When you start Roller Derby with absolutely no athletic background, its not easy. You find out you have muscles you have never used before, or let alone even knew excised. And its hard, at first, you will have ups and downs, moments where you think you will never get better.
But the cool thing about derby is that that you have a team around you, to motivate you, to push you when you need it, and to hug you when you feel like you can't do it anymore.
I have definitely struggled to get where I am now, and I am not even it the maximum of my abilities. I cried on the track out of pain and utter frustration, but in the end I kept going, because I have had amazing girls around me to support me when I needed it.

I am a big girl, and playing Roller Derby did not make me any smaller. I gained more muscles, got stronger, tighter and fitter, but no smaller, and no lighter either! In stead of feeling down about my size and weight I embraced the fact that my body type could be of use in this sport (just as any body type has its place in Roller Derby). I became proud of my body and all it brought to my skills in Roller Derby, so I made my number my weight, #105kg (230lbs) I found out that it wasn't just good for myself, but it also works as a great scare tactic! ;)  

The reason I am writing this blog today is because about a week or so ago a saw this post on Facebook of a Nike commercial. I reposted it, because I loved the text that goes with it, I could have written that myself.
 My BUTT is big
and round like a letter C
And ten thousand lunges 
Has made it rounder
But not smaller
And thats just fine.
Its a space heater
For my side of the bed
It's my embassador
to those who walk behind me
Its a border collie
That herds skinny women
away from the best deals
at clothing sales
My butt is big and that's just fine
And those who might scorn it
Are invented to kiss it

The only thing was that the picture didn't fit for me...
So I made a new one:
I made this because I am proud of myself, especially when I am surrounded by Derby people. They give me the feeling that it's okay to be me and that I have a body I can be proud of. Something society does not tell you with the commercials we see everyday. I deal with trying to fit in to jeans all the time, because my body type is not standard (not in Holland anyways) and because clothing designers and store focus on the small sizes instead of bigger ones.
I felt like showing the world that having an actual big butt is something I can be proud off. As a Roller Derby girl and as a woman.

I was hoping people would like it as much as I did myself but little did I know people would like it so much that they would share this with their friends. No less then 79 people liked my picture, that alone is pretty insane!
But then it started to get shared by different people. Even people I didn't know.
It also got shared by a league called Stone Cold Foxes Roller Derby from Junction City KS, and their founder and coach Jersey Vicious re-posted it, with a messaged that I related to very well, she pretty much grasped the idea of it the whole picture:

The fact that she called me one of her "derby heroes" was very touching. I can't believe anybody would see me as a hero at all. And it is in no way my goal to be anybodies hero, derby or otherwise.
So I wrote this, because even though I don't have to be a hero, I love to share my story in which I am my own Roller Derby hero and let everybody know that we can all be our own heroes! I have come a long way from stumbling and falling over on skates, to playing bouts and having the best time in my life with this sport.
So put on those skates and work hard, because you can be your own hero!!

- Furrrocious 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Back on track...

Holymoly its been a while since my last blog!
It's bad but the blog has just not been on my priority list with everything going on.
However I am back now, and I will try to get back on track with blogging.

So much has happened since my last blog. I will do my best to update you a little.

ADD's Monthly Mixed Scrimmages
The Amsterdam Derby Dames have started organizing monthly mixed scrimmage open to all. The first few weren't that crowed, but they have turned out to be super busy and successful! The last two mixed scrimmages there were at least 7/8 different leagues present from all over Holland.
It's been a great experience to skate with all of these different skaters from all these different leagues. You learn so much from skating with different people. I think it has also been a very good learning experience for all the different Dutch Leagues. We, as a country, are so new to Roller Derby and all the leagues are dealing with not always having enough players to scrimmage. These monthly scrimmages give everybody a chance to scrimmage on a full size track with a full officials crew.
Which is another reason why these monthly scrimmages are so amazing. The officials get an opportunity to practice reffing and nso'ing at a full scrimmage. As some refs skate for leagues that don't have weekly scrimmages. So they don't always get the chance to practice. This way everybody wins!
Here are a few pictures of the mixed scrimmages we've had.

Mixed scrimmage 7-1-2012  (picture by Kees Rijken)

Captains talking (Picture by Wolf Schouten)

Team Black mixed scrimmage 4-2-2012 (picture by Dennis Stempher)

Megabyte going for Vegan! (picture by Wolf Schouten)

Our girl Jamakaze had the best Derby bruise ever!

Cork City Firebirds vs Amsterdam Derby Dames
So after our first amazing bout against the Devil Dolls Essen, we played our second bout against the Cork City Firebirds in Cork, Ireland. Oh can I explain how freaking awesome it was... It was mind blowing! First of all to pick up 16 derby girls and putting them in a plane, is pretty much an experience all together. :p  We did a ref dance in the boarding area, but except for that I guess we behaved pretty well!
Unfortunately when we arrived in Cork my bag wasn't there. Luckily I brought my skates and all my gear except my helmet and knee gaskets on the plain with me. So when we got to Cork I had to go shopping for a bout outfit (which was also in my bag that they conveniently left in A'dam) and some knee gaskets. I could luckily borrow a helmet from the Firebirds.
The bout it self was amazing! It was super exciting and there was not one dull moment. We didn't know much about CCF before we played them, as they play in Ireland, it wasn't like we had been able to skate together before. This was a very new and exciting experience. We lost with a pretty big loss. But we kept fighting till the end and to be honest I didn't realize we were as behind as we were cause the game was so exciting!!
Poster of the bout

The Cork ladies were the greatest hosts. They made sure were taken care off and all had the sweeties hosts to stay with. At the after party the girls introduced us to Thigh Wrestling and I LOVED that!! I pretty much kicked everybody's ass at thigh wrestling, so I had a great sense of accomplishment at the end of the day! :p
I also got voted best blocker by the Cork girls, which made me feel very special! Especially because I know we have a lot of amazing blockers and I wouldn't say I am the best one. But the other team decides. So I'll take the complement. :)
Here are some pictures of our Cork adventure:

Skate out
Photography by Marcin Lewandowski at
My wonderful derby wifey was our Bench Coach
Photography by Marcin Lewandowski at

Vix rocking as Jammer
Photography by Marcin Lewandowski at

Me and Crow Jane right after the Bout! <3
Photography by Marcin Lewandowski at

Derby hurts...
If you have been following me on my blog for a while you will know I have been hurting a lot while skating. Well they finally found out what the problem was. After more then two years of 'not knowing' they finally figured it out: Chronic Compartment Syndrome. 
I could try and explain it in my own words, but this website does a great job:
a tough tissued called a fascia surrounds the different muscle groups. This fascia is a small compartment that holds the muscles, blood vessels and nerves. It has limited flexibility so if the muscle swells beyond the fascia's ability to stretch it puts pressure is felt on the nerves and blood vessels in the small space. If swelling continues blood flow to the muscles will decrease, nerves get compressed and it can cause numbness or tingling in the feet and lower legs.
 So basically this is what had been causing me all this pain. And kept me from skating to my full potential.
In December I finally got tested for it, which they do by letting you run and then poke needles in to your muscles, very enjoyable...let me tell you...
But it turned out the pressure values were very high, and therefore and operation would probably be useful.
On the 17th of January it was my turn. I got operated on both the side of my leg and the front on both legs.
It looked pretty horrible at first when they were done.
In the hospital after my surgery
Right after my surgery I had to start walking, to make sure the fascia wouldn't stick back together.
It was really painful at first, and I was so incredibly slow. The day after my surgery I had to start a training schedule that they normally give to Military people who have this surgery.
It basically said I had to walk three times a day for 30 min for four weeks, and then start a running schedule were I will be running 3 times a day for 30 min. I am starting running this Tuesday. I have not ran for more then to catch a train or something since High School, so I am not looking forward to it. But my friend Asa Spades will be coming over tomorrow to show me how its done. We will see how it goes....

  This is what the wounds looked like after a few days. It was very tricky for me though, as the wounds on the outside were so small, but the incisions they made on the inside were over the whole length of my lower leg, on two sides! But because the outside was so small I couldnt always understand why I would hurt so much all over. :p
Luckily I have had a great surgeon who was very helpful in answering my questions when I had them.

After only 2,5 weeks I was back on skates and skated a scrimmage with NO PAIN!!! It was amazing!!
I think I might have been almost as excited as I was when I played our first bout.
I even jammed and got Lead Jammer, and I called it scoring three points before the other jammer could score any. I was so proud of myself. Before my surgery I wasnt able to keep up with the intense skating that comes with Jamming. And all though I am no where near a great jammer, I would love to keep trying and maybe one day I'll get good at it!
Getting lead jammer is the best feeling in the world!! :)   (picture by Branko Colin)

 I am one of the lucky ones though... I realize this every day. Being able to be back on skates after a surgery in such a short time is amazing.
My wifey Lola Rock 'n' Rolla has been injured since the bout in August. She finally found out what it was months later, that she has ripped her posterior cruciate ligament and they will have to operate on it. They will take a piece of something (cant remember what...) from her upper leg and make a new ligament for her knee. Which is a really intense surgery, she wont be able to walk for a long time, then will have to learn how to walk again and she wont be able to skate for 9-12 months. When you are as derby crazed as Lola is, and working your ass off for two and half years, this is pretty much hell. But then again, when she gets back on her skates I know she will kick some ass!! And in the mean time we will make sure to train her for our bench team so she will still be part of the amazing team of ours. 

Another one of our skaters got injured, Nasty Moves, while playing a mixed scrimmage with merby players at a One Love Roller Dolls Bootcamp. She has broken her leg, and wont be skating for a while either. 
She needed to get surgery too. Her recovery time wont be as crazy as Lola's, but it still blows when you have to keep your leg up all the time and can't hardly walk. 
ADD has had some surgery filled months in the beginning of this year.
January: Me  February: Nasty  March: Lola 

Boy oh boy, it better not be a trend for this year...

First home bout (ADD vs RGA)
But there are also up sides on Derby for ADD. We will be playing our very first home bout, and the very first Roller Derby bout in Holland, on the 25th of February. 
We are so freaking excited about this!! We will be playing against the lovely Roller Girls of the Apocalypse (Kaiserslautern, Germany).   
Our locations committee found an amazing hall, the Apollo Hall in Amsterdam, its a hall mostly used for basketball, and is four basketball fields long and has a wooden floor. Amazing... 
It did however cause some concern, when we test the floor we noticed our pads were leaving some serious markings. Luckily we were able to put together a group of our girls for a temp sewing committee that tested different fabrics until they found the right one to use. And then made covers for all of us. Awesomeness! Thanks to Minnie Misschief, Red Peril and all others that helped put this together!
Our crew at work with the covers.  (picture by Dennis Stempher)

It's so great to see the whole league pull together to put this home bout together and pull this off. We have one coordinator Vix Vendetta making sure all the committees are doing what they should be doing. And our head ref Belle Anger is pulling together the officials crew for the bout.
I am so very proud of all our girls putting the time and energy in to make this all work. And so very happy with all the officials coming in to make sure this will be a fair and awesome bout. They will be coming from as far as Malmo Sweden! That's pretty amazing!! 

So on Saturday the 25th of February 2012 at 17.00 I hope to see you all at the Apollohal in Amsterdam for Hollands first ever live Roller Derby Bout. 
You can get your tickets on our website. Let us know you will be coming on our FB event


I cannot wait to finally be able to show all my friends and family what I have been working for all this time. Of course we all ready played before. But not in Holland. So only my brother and my mom have been able to watch me play. 
I hope everybody will be able to make it out and watch and cheer for us!! 

That's all for now!

- Furrrocious