10 reasons why roller derby is like crack.

Not that I’ve ever done crack, but some girls were discussing season 4 the other night. Are we coming back? Is it too soon to start thinking about that? And my brain started reeling. Roller derby is like a hardcore drug. Here are the 10 reasons that I think this is true.

1. It drains your money. Hardcore. Roller derby is an expensive freaking sport, with no monetary return.
2. It’s bad for your body. Broken bones, missing teeth, torn muscles.. injuries that we will still be feeling when we’re 80.
3. You are way more likely to get arrested hanging out with derby girls. We are an aggressive bunch when we’re together, and very much “momma bears”. Guy at the bar annoying a derby sister? He is likely to get punched, and the girl who threw the punch is likely to go to jail. But her fellow skaters are just as likely to bail her out.
4. It’s addictive, the first time you try it. Skate roller derby just one time, and there is likely no going back.
5. You’ll go through withdraw when you try to quit. One minute you’re a derby girl with stuff to do every single night, all this sweaty awesome friends, then you quit and boom! Nothing to do three nights a week, no head rush when you first skate out in front of a crowd… it all makes quitting derby cold turkey almost impossible. That’s why most retired derby girls don’t quit altogether. They ease out of it by doing volunteer work, reffing, or coaching for their teams.
6. Your fashion sense get’s a little bit… strange. While you once looked clean cut and put together, you’re likely to find yourself wearing torn tights, socks that don’t match, wrist warmers, bandannas, and tank tops with strange logos and symbols on them.
7. Rapid weight loss. Crunches, mile long skating sprints, push ups, hours and hours of exercise… the pounds shed during the first few weeks.
8. You’re more likely to try it due to peer pressure. One day, your friend mentions she’s trying out for roller derby. A couple of weeks later, you’re hanging out with her and her new derby friends at the bar. Next thing you know, 10 girls are all asking you, “when are you going to try out? Why haven’t you signed up? Try it! Just this once! One little lap around the rink won’t kill you! What are you chicken?”
9. The come down is a bitch. You’re bouting, and you are on top of the world! The crowd is cheering, you’re knocking girls down over, and over and over again! The bout ends, your team has won, and you’re signing autographs for little girls with “future derby girl” ironed onto their tee shirts. Nothing is better than this. Than the after party where you get free drinks, and your uniform gives you line jumping access to the front of the beer line. Everyone wants their picture taken with you, and you’re dizzy and giddy from all the excitement. Then you go to bed… and wake up.
Your muscles are screaming in pain. Bruises are starting to appear all over your body. Your head hurts, and you wonder if the blurry vision is due to a hangover or a knock on the head. Your feet are literally bloody, and you wonder why you ever, ever thought this was a good idea.
10. You are likely to whore yourself out for your derby fix. The only way your team is going to survive, and you are going to get more derby, is if you get those butts in the seats at the bouts. So calenders, posters, standing on street corners and handing out fliers… it’s all gotta happen, and you have to do it.

There it is. Almost every day I wonder why the hell I do this… swiftly followed by wondering how I could ever live without it. Sitting on the sidelines for the Warning Belles (our JV leagues) first bout was mind blowing. I’ve never actually watched a home bout before. But it did teach me something. I am addicted to playing derby. No matter how much it hurts, how broke I become, I will be strapping on my skates far longer than what is good for me. Because while it’s great to be a fan and cheer your team to victory, it’s much, much more fun to be out there making it happen.