Thursday, April 25, 2013

Just talking to myself...but I need some help

I'm trying to get into derby.  In actual fact, I am totally into derby!
I'm just not IN derby, in the official sense.

As luck would have it, one day, while lurking around Facebook, I noticed some odd posts between a couple girl friends of mine.  Posts I had somehow missed (so much goes on while I'm at work, between 3 a.m. and noon:30)!  I butted in, and got myself invited into their group of aspiring 'Salty Dolls'...the first team of the up-coming Cape Cod Roller Derby League!

Cape Cod is a great place to live...beaches, mostly quiet fall, winter, and spring, bike trails, nice restaurants, and people who love their communities.  We have little to DO around here, though.  I think there are some senior leagues for baseball and basketball, some soccer leagues, and a bunch of parks with tennis courts.  There are bars to meet up with people and the usual small-town-life stuff.

But, we girls want more!
We want a sport all our own...we want to show the world (well, our little world of Cape Cod, at the very least) that we are strong women.  Sure, some of us have kids...babies, even!  Some of us work 2-3 jobs to make ends meet.  Some of us have never played organized sports and just want to see what it's like.  And, some of us (most of us...actually, probably ALL of us!) have just been so wrapped up in our lives that we have forgotten that it is important, even especially as adults, to get out and play.

When two of my friends founded this idea and started recruiting people...well, I just couldn't believe it.  By the time I saw what was going on, they already had 18 girls who were interested.  I think I was 19, girl #20 was added quickly after that, and then they capped it off.  So much interest!!  Since that day, most of my thoughts have floated towards roller derby!

Sure, I have other stuff going on in my life.  Of course I have other interests.  And, quite frankly, thinking of the day we are actually out there playing scares the crap out of me!  But none of that matters!

What does matter is that this is going to be huge.  Cape Cod is known for many things, but soon it's going to add 'home of the Cape Cod Roller Derby League' to that list.

The problem?
We don't really have anywhere to skate, for the most part.  Since our first meeting, and the girls have gathered up their gear and gotten into their skates, we've all been fighting for time on the basketball or tennis courts at local parks or schools.  We've been doing what drills we can in the nooks and crannies of our basements and kitchens.
'Our' rink is opening up for us in just a few days.  The Hyannis Youth and Community Center (which has two NHL sized ice hockey rinks) will be melting one of their rinks for roller skating...for us to practice and play roller derby.  For a few months during the summer.
What happens after that?  
Well, we'll need to find another space we can rent.
Roller derby is paid for by the players.  Game officials are volunteers.  Sponsors are a huge asset to this sport...with out them and the generosity of the community, this sport could not thrive the way it does all over the world.

A solution?
YOU!  
The league has a page set up to try to raise some start-up funds.  We are all paying our dues to keep the rink for the summer, but we'll need help beyond that time.
So, if anyone is reading this...we'd be super grateful if you could spare even a couple dollars! ($50 gets you a 'free' t-shirt!)
So...if you want to be a part of Cape Cod history, please follow this link and help some Salty Dolls get their feet wet and their wheels rolling!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Waiting forever

At least, that is what it feels like.

I joined a small group of girls about 2 months ago, when I heard they were starting the Cape Cod Roller Derby League.  I noticed some odd comments on facebook walls and had to find out what was going on.  So, I got nosy, and got myself invited to join in.

At that same time I had just enrolled in a Basic Auto Repair class.  I was already pretty strapped for cash (who isn't, these days, right?).  But, like a lot of girls I know, roller derby is one of those bad ass things that I feel drawn to.  I'm getting up there in age...if not now, when?  So how could I let a little thing like money stand in my way?  And, this class would be over in 8 weeks...by the time things really got rolling, class would be over, and I could easily fit derby into my schedule.  

I immediately began researching skates, pads, roller derby videos, WFTDA rules, 'boutfits'...I googled pretty much everything derby.  
I picked out the skates I wanted (Riedell 265) and the skates I could afford (a Riedell R3 derby package).
I went from site to site, scoping out the best deal.  I read reviews and blogs.  I measured and re-measured and measured again to make sure the stuff I was ordering would fit the first time.
Girls would post questions on our facebook page, and because every waking minute I wasn't at work, in class, or in my car, I was researching...I became known as the 'gear guru'.  Happy to help, and happy to do the research, I've accepted the nickname with pride.

But, even after 2 months of having roller derby in my life...it's all just 'on paper'.  It's just out there.  
Skating time is extremely limited out here.  There is no indoor rink, year round; and, the one we will ultimately be using is only for the summer months.  All the girls I've been able to skate with have gotten outdoor wheels, but we are forced to fight for space.  We can use the basketball or tennis courts at a few parks in the area, but of course we must give them up for people who actually want to play basketball or tennis.  And, it's Spring.  Spring generally means rain.

We've had an opportunity to attend a non-contact skills clinic with the Providence Roller Derby League.  That was so amazing.  A real eye-opener for a few of us (myself included).  We booked an indoor rink for a birthday party.  Also amazing, but left us all really wanting a regular indoor place to skate.  Wouldn't it also be great to have a place we didn't have to pay 10-15 bucks a pop to use!!??

Last night was supposed to be our second meeting and very first official practice in our indoor space.
It was pushed to the following Monday.  I can barely stand the wait!
The longer I wait, the more researching I do.  The more bouts I watch.  The more stuff I want to buy!
While this all seems like the way to go (keeping derby on my mind), I just want to skate!  I want to feel comfortable on 8 wheels, but the less time I'm on skates + the more I watch the awesomeness of those roller girls = the more nervous I get to start.  That's not a great way to start!
Don't get me wrong...I'm way more confident than the very first day I skated, all geared up.  But, I have a long way to go to get to the skill level I really need to be at.

But, that is what this is all about.  This is my journey.  Possibly my mid-life crisis.  We'll see how it all goes down.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

With a memory like mine...

...I've decided I need to start chronicling everything.  That includes this jump into the life of a Cape Cod Roller Derby Doll.

My first pair of derby skates!
I did tons of research.  I chose my skate, wheels, toe stop, and protective gear after reading review after review after review.
Our team chose to get matching helmets...Triple 8 sweatsaver.  Black rubber with blue liner.  (Love it!)
I got gumball toe stops b/c I read that they are the be all to end all toe stops.  I love them.  They make me feel safe, and at my age and where I'm starting...well, I need to feel safe, since ultimately, am I really ever 'safe' if I'm playing roller derby?? Let's be honest, here!

I got 187 Killer Fly knee pads.  I had read, for the most part, that they offer great protection without the bulk of the next level up (187 Killer Derby Pro).  Price was a factor in all my gear decisions.  The Derby Pro was nearly twice the cost of the Fly!

Most of what I read said that, while elbow pads are a necessity, you don't tend to fall on your elbows like you do on your knees.  Most elbow pads seem to be the same price range and protection level.  I didn't find a whole lot of variety/difference from company to company.

Wrist guards tend to be pretty run-of-the-mill, too.  Based on what you like: fingerless, larger palm plate, that sort of thing.  Also, price-wise, there's not a huge range.

The mouth guard is definitely where I went wrong.  I got the Shock Dr. Gel Max.  I had to try several times to get it right, and ultimately ended up getting a second one to try to get it right, since they are just $10.  Now, having seen the Protech Dent mouth guard in person, I wish I'd put the $20 I wasted on Gel Max towards the $25 Protech.  Live and learn.

Another bit of advice, just get outdoor wheels straight away.  If you have any place to skate out doors you'll want to do it constantly, and outdoor wheels with their own set of bearings will be very important.

This is just a starter page...I'm planning on doing more exciting posts in the future...I hope.  I just want to savor this experience.
So stayed tuned for the evolution of the Cape Cod Roller Derby League!