Introducing #171 Audrey Rugburn

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If you were to tell me five years ago that I would be on a roller derby team someday, I would’ve never believed you. In school, I thought I would give soccer a try, only to wind up picking grass on the field and doing my best to avoid contact with other players while I was “on defense.” I tried tennis and track, but something about sports culture always rubbed me the wrong way. I got excited when recess was rained out. I was the anti-athlete, an indoor kid through and through.

Today, I’ve found my greatest source of inspiration and strength in… a sport. But roller derby is so much more than that. When I found the Outfit, I was fairly new to Chicago, feeling pretty stuck, and looking for an outlet. I had been to a few bouts before and always wondered if derby was something I could be capable of doing, but was never brave enough to try.

I was scrolling through my Facebook timeline last summer and I saw an ad for the Outfit’s bootcamp and decided to check it out on an impulse. It only took me about five minutes after walking into Fleetwood to fall in love. Once I had borrowed a full set of gear from another generous skater, put on the skates, and took my first few strides, I felt immediately at home and empowered by the incredible, strong, and supportive group of skaters who make up the Outfit. I knew I had come to the right place.

About five months in, I still get nervous about trying new skills and jumping into contact drills every time I go to practice. But I feel stronger and more confident each day, on and off skates.

#171 Audrey Rugburn