GUEST POST: Roller derby from a testosterone POV

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Dear readers: By popular demand, may I present my first guest blogger Jeremessiah. (Pictured left, with one of our other LRDG refs, Hugh Johnson.) I asked Jeremessiah to give his point of view of the testosterone side of roller derby… It’s true! Dudes are welcome!

Not only does he know his derby, he has the best t-shirt collection in the world. Make sure you say hi when you see him at our next game or after-party.

To find out more about joining our league, as a ref or skater, email iwanttoderby@yahoo.ca, or get in touch with your local league for more info!

Like many people, my first memories of roller derby are of the 80’s TV show “Rollergames.” I used to watch the hell out of that show when I was kid, staying up late and everything. Alligator pit, the wall of death, a figure-8 track?! If you’ve never seen this, get on it.

Then I figured the derby disappeared until, like most people, they made a movie about modern derby and put some cute girls in it. When I watched that movie, I saw the coach and thought to myself, “That guy’s got it made.” The only guy on a team full of derby girls? The stuff of dreams. Too bad they don’t have roller derby teams everywhere….

What’s that? They DO have roller derby teams everywhere and as a matter of fact there’s one starting in Lethbridge and they need refs? Fantastic. So through a stroke of luck I ran into Medi Lizious and she told me I had to come check it out.

I came to watch a couple practices and I was hooked, what a good time! Roller skating is fun; people just have fun on roller skates plain and simple. I bought myself a pair and came to find out I was a lot better at roller skating than I ever expected to be. Derby girls are notoriously (and sometimes forcefully) friendly; getting to know everyone was easy and no one hesitates to help a new skater out in any way they can.

For me, skating with the Dames has had a lot of benefits but my main goals when joining was to get some exercise and to do it some way that would allow me to socialize and meet people.

Mission accomplished.

The physical aspect of derby suits anyone who is just starting to get more active or for those who are looking for an advanced challenge. There’s no previous experience or talent required because everyone looks like Bambi on ice the first time they strap on skates. You’ll be surprised how fast you pick it up. It’s as challenging as you choose to make it and there’s always tons of encouragement from your derbymates.

My derby friends are the most fun group of people I’ve ever met. With such a wide variety of people from a variety of backgrounds coming together for a team sport, you can’t help but enjoy these people both on the flat track or on the dance floor. Roller derby brings out the best people and brings the best out of people. Hula hoop making, skate cleaning, sparkle shopping, trips to roller discos and out-of-town games… you name it, there’s always something to get in on (and yes you can opt out of sparkle shopping).

As a referee, it’s been an extra challenge to me because there’s a lot to learn about derby. And it’s confusing. And it happens quickly. And sometimes derby girls get right sideways on you if they think you made a bad call.

But everyone is learning together and the game starts to slow down for you and you get more instinctive with your whistle. Anyone with a desire to learn something new can get involved, there’s many different roles for a ref to play in a scrimmage or a bout and you can quickly learn one job and get practised at that.

All in all, roller derby is the best idea I’ve ever had. I highly recommend it to everyone.

Thanks for reading, Jeremessiah

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