My Secret Love...

Remember these?
I have this secret love. (Actually, I've got two secret loves but I've put the erotica aside for now.) *grinning* This other love involves wheels, speed, flippant humor, body art and irreverent fashion.

Its called Roller Derby. 

When I was eight skating is what I was good at. Now. Um... not so much. My friends could all do perfect cartwheels, back handsprings and side splits. I was lucky if I could do a somersault. But, I could skate. Usually without falling down (too much.)

Its funny how my memories of skating are inexplicably linked to the clothing I was wearing at the time. Like what I wore while I skated was all that important, which it wasn't. But for some reason when I think about skating as a kid I'm reminded of the terry cloth rainbow trim short shorts and bubble text tees with unicorns and rainbows on then. Then there were the "Dittos" saddle seamed stitched bell bottom jeans in various colors (which I think was more of a West Coast fashion trend). And the skates themselves with white leather boots, rainbow laces and pink wheels. But my favorite pair of skates back then was the Adidas tennis shoe style skates. I guess they would have been the "minimal" version with zero drop heels. No wonder they were my favorite.

I've only been a spectator of Roller Derby. I've never played. I don't think I would last very long on the rink before I got broken. I've only been seriously broken once in my life (too much fun on the monkey bars in first grade) and I'm pretty happy with my recent injury-free status so I'll stay clear of the rink for now. 

I've been to a few bouts at my local rink to see the Sacred City Derby Girls play. I also checked out the nationals competition at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium a few years back. Some of the best flat track roller derby was played that weekend. Those girls were so fun to watch!

There's a lot of reasons why I love roller derby.

Its a fun sport to watch and easy to understand. (Roller Derby isn't all that complicated. 

Watching Roller Derby is like watching badass art on wheels. Tattoos and body paint are the norm for uniforms. There's some seriously fun and creative stuff out on the rink.

Roller Derby embraces every athlete. Big, small, young, old... as long as you can stay upright on eight wheels and be part of a team, you're good.

Its one of the best places to people watch. Roller derby attracts some interesting spectators. This passionate crowd tends to be a loyal, loud and lots of fun.

Roller Derby can be unpredictable. Sometimes things can get a little dicey and the refs won't be the only ones showing up in black and white.  

I love the player names. Each player has her own character name that describes her. The names are often sarcastic, over-the-top, illustrative puns and play on words. Check out these names: Knee High Ninja, Pink Tatillac, Shock and Auburn, Virgenocide, Tactical Nuclear Penguin, Glitter Hitter, and Sugar Rocket. 

Even though you might see more scowls than smiles on the track, this is one sport that, although competitive and serious at times, really embraces the spirit of fun. Most of us choose our sport because we enjoy participating in our passion. Its easy to inject a little humor and fun into a sport when you're truly having a good time. But once you get overly caught up in the seriousness of "winning", PRs and the like, the humor is lost and the sport loses its sparkle. I saw that happening at some of the road races I participated in. People were WAY too serious and as a direct result the race was WAY too boring. Consequently, I haven't ran those races since. 

Roller Derby is dripping with excitement. Its not a boring sport by any means. Flippant humor is rampant on the rink. Where else are you going to see saucy girls with painted zombie faces wearing gold lamé booty shorts hip slamming each other to the floor? Yeah. My advice: Don't sit too close to the taped lines.

Here's a thought... wouldn't it be cool if running were more like Roller Derby? I'm not talking all elbows, smackdowns and "Eat dirt, bitch!!" as you sprint like hell past your fellow runner (see Jason Robillard's recent post on running etiquette.) But what if it had a little more edge? A little irreverent humor? A little personality? Kind of like these folks.

The Robillards.
Better known as Super Wine Girl and Beer Man.

Frankly, I'm sick of pink florals and boring matchy matchy polyester running fashion. What about inbuing a little wearable badass into women's running gear? A torn cotton tee, some fishnets and some florescent booty shorts might not be for every runner, but what about a Roller Derby inspired running tee? 

What's that you say? HELL YEAH!?

So in an effort to pump a little fun into our boring little running fashion sphere and inspire every runner to find their inner Derby Girl or (inner Derby Referee Guy - yeah - there are guys on the rink from time to time) I've decided to make a series of tees dedicated to my love for Roller Derby. Pick your personality and number and wear it with pride on the trails. I have some great ideas for names and have gotten lots of great feedback through facebook. If you have name ideas you think are worth sharing, comment here or post it to the Zaps Threads Facebook Page and I'll definitely consider it for the shirt series. Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming designs and hopefully I'll have sold enough shirts by then to have another giveaway.

Until then...

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  1. OMG!! !I loved my dittos jeans!! I had baby blue and yellow and would wear them to Foothill Skate on Auburn blvd with my new "Shoe skates"..! Such good memories!

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