May 16 is my anniversary with my fiance. This last year was our ninth. His response was, "Sorry for wasting your life". We have that kind of relationship. Think Al & Peg Bundy, but with 7 dogs. Since I am very much a no-frills kind of girl, we really hadn't made any big plans. That afternoon, some of my friends came by the store and asked if we wanted to go to the roller derby bout that night.
My response, "Hell yes!"
Seriously, what better way to celebrate your epic romance than by getting drunk and watching girls beat the shit out of each other? I was sold!
That night we watched Birmingham's own Tragic City Rollers whip each other around the track, dodging blockers, and seriously kicking ass. I turned to my fiance and said, "I want to do that!" So in July, I bought some skates and started practicing. I still suck, but I'm getting better.
Rollergirl is the story of how modern flat-track roller derby started in Austin, TX with the Texas Rollergirls. Roller derby in the '70s was run by men, for men. The modern derby revolution was by the skaters, for the skaters. In today's leagues, the skaters do all of the jobs. The skaters do the promotions, advertising, set up the bouts, recruit new skaters, set up insurance, and a thousand other jobs. Nobody gets paid. In fact, most skaters pay dues on top of buying and maintaining their equipment.
Rollergirl also stresses the importance of creating a derby persona with an accompanying alias. It's no fun for me to skate as Blake Surrock. Ick! How boring! Instead, I am Boldly Going to Kick Your Ass as Commander Strikeher, #7of9! Plus, if I get too out of control, I get to say, "That wasn't Blake that knocked her down, that was Strikeher!" It's a great way to work out aggression.
If you are interested in roller derby, you will probably enjoy this book. If you want to become interested in roller derby, you will probably enjoy this book. If you don't give a shit, then you will not find this book interesting at all. That's OK, I wouldn't want to read a book about football.