If I were 20 years younger! Roller derby me….

HomeI don’t have a lot of regrets in life. There aren’t a lot of things about which I find myself thinking, “Wow, I would have loved to do that. If only I weren’t so old!”

Mostly I don’t feel the least bit old and there’s not a lot I don’t do for reasons of age.

I’ve told people on this blog that age is a silly excuse not to race. I wrote: “Don’t be ridiculous. It’s like saying that sex is for the young.  We’ve only got one kick at the can, one try at this life, and if something would have been fun when you were young, it’s probably still fun now. (Like sex.)”

But I do have a few regrets.  I’ve noted here that team sports, in particular rugby, is a a bit of a regret.

And  here’s something I would do if I were 20 years younger but that I won’t do now: Roller Derby.

I’d love to be Slamantha! (Do you have a derby name picked out? What is it?)

Last night I went and watched The Forest City Derby Girls.

At the end of the night it was Thames Fatales vs Luscious Lunch Ladies 218-119 for the Lunchies and Forest City Derby Girls Timber Rollers vs Tri-City Roller Girls Plan B 222 to 181 for the Timber Rollers.

They played at the agriplex where just hours earlier I’d been playing indoor soccer.  As much as I enjoy indoor soccer, it sort of pales in comparison.

I love the speed, the grace, the power of the derby girls. The sheer physicality of it, the contact, looks fun. I also like the look. All ink and bright colours  and even skeleton tights. (I want some!) Roller derby and prom dress rugby have a shared aesthetic appeal.

When I was riding track at the Forest City Velodrome some of the derby girls tried to recruit me (they practiced in the infield later in the evening). They recognized my fitness and my fearlessness but I didn’t bite.  I’ve got the cardio fitness and some martial arts skills that would do me well in derby, I think, but a)I don’t roller skate (major obstacle!) and b)I’m scared.

My fears? Well, injury is the main one and that would ruin everything else I love. I take longer to heal these days and feel hard done by by enforced periods of inactivity. My twelve weeks of training lost due to stress fractures hurt and these days it takes longer to regain fitness lost. So my “fittest by fifty” campaign won’t include roller derby…

In the meantime, I love to go and watch. You should come too. The schedule is here, http://www.forestcityderbygirls.com/schedule.

I think I’ll just satisfy my derby urges aesthetically. Maybe it’s time for snazzy skeleton tights and a new tattoo.

About Sam B

Philosopher, feminist, parent, and cyclist!

13 thoughts on “If I were 20 years younger! Roller derby me….

  1. Christine says:

    Loved this post Slamantha! Thanks for coming out and supporting us!
    - Grisly Blaire

  2. Andi Slamberg says:

    You can get my skeleton tights I was wearing at blackmilk.com! Loved this post, and you are never to old for derby! We have girls that come out to fresh meat nights, and skate just for the exercise, they don’t hit! Thanks for the support we’ll see you at the next game! :)

  3. Samantha, don’t let fear hold you back! Roller derby is the single greatest thing I have done for myself in a whole lot of years! Not skating is not an excuse. That’s what training is for. And injuries? Yes, they can happen. But they can happen in any sport. I’ve hurt myself far worse participating in some of the activiites you do than I have in derby where, even after sustaining “the nebulae”, I got up immediately afterward and kept skating.

  4. anya face says:

    LOVE THIS!!! you should totally come out and skate with us. or maybe we can get you started in jeerleading.. can you do cartwheels???
    Thanks so much for checking us out!

  5. Tracy I says:

    I don’t know about roller derby (let me be a spectator first), but I can’t believe I lived this long without knowing about blackmilkclothing.com. I want that muscle and bone catsuit http://blackmilkclothing.com/collections/catsuits/products/muscle-and-bone-catsuit and those mermaid leggings! http://blackmilkclothing.com/collections/leggings/products/mermaid-leggings Slamantha, maybe some skating at fresh meat night should be on our fittest by fifty goal list. Sounds like more fun than crossfit (to me).

  6. Caitlin says:

    The husband, who is on the other side of 50, has told me quite a bit about how his recovery times tend to be a lot longer now that he’s older, so I can totally understand your reluctance. I also am reluctant to try derby (or rugby!) even though I am fascinated by them for the simple fact that I would hate to get injured and have it screw up my triathlon/running stuff. If only it were possible to do everything!

    BTW if I were a derby lady my name would totally be Eleanor Bruisevelt.

  7. WAh! Just discovered your blog yesterday and i LOVE it – and now I see you like derby!
    Roller derby is honestly amazing and from what I can see on your blog, there is really nothing to stop you from trying it! Give it a shot! We have women your age who play on our team!

    I also really relate to what you say about giving team sports a shot – I never played team sports at school so it was a totally new experience for me – but such a positive one.
    Give it a shot!

  8. [...] I’m going to talk from my own experience here though I’m certain there are examples from sports I haven’t tried. Sigh rugby. Sigh roller derby. [...]

  9. [...] quite frankly, like my friend Samantha Brennan says in her blog Fit, Feminist, and (almost) Fifty, I’m too old to get hurt like that. But I love the fact that derby exists, and I love the fact that derby provides a space where [...]

  10. […] discover my athletic self until well into my adult life. Read more about that here and also here. And so when I did start to learn to run, ride a bike, lift weights etc that was really my first […]

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