Yama's Stolen Gear

One of the worst nights I've had to go through happened after derby practice, when my car was broken into and my derby gear was stolen. Now being that I am from Chicago, it should be no surprise that cars are broken into. It’s actually more of a common occurrence than I would want it to be... but it’s heartbreaking for a derby girl to lose her gear.

I was just getting back into derby as I had taken some time off to get some things in my life straightened out, practice was a ton of fun and I was dropped of at a bar to see my boyfriend DJ. He had driven my car to the bar, so when I got there I grabbed my keys and locked my bags of derby gear in the car because I thought it would be safer than leaving them in the bar.  (And also probably less offensive in smell as well.)

The bar closed down and my boy and I headed out to go home when we noticed the back passenger widow of my car was smashed in. Now, the feeling of having a window broken in is bad enough, and I was already going into shock but then I looked in though the broken window and noticed that my bags of gear were gone and I started going weak in the knees. My gear! GONE!

I’m not sure if every derby girl is as crazy as I am with my gear, but I feel a sense of loyalty to mine. Sure my skates are a little too big for my feet, my laces are broken and tied in weird spots to keep them together, my helmet padding is falling apart and my safety pads reek like last week's garbage, but it’s all a piece of me when I skate. Without my gear, I’m just a girl. Also, I don’t have funds to constantly upgrade my gear, so I create a pretty close bond to it as I try to make it all last as long as possible. My gears been with me from the start, or has been donated to me by some of my amazing league mates and to have it disappear from my life out of nowhere was a very scary thought.

Now, I don’t want to lead on the story to make you think that I had to by new gear, that’s not true. I found mine! It seams when most people steal derby gear they think it’s a bunch of crap. (And smelly crap as well.) But there were a lot of small details into making this a great ending.

The first thing I did was call the cops to let the know of the break in, fill out the report over the phone and let them know what was missing. My boyfriend did a quick scan around the block to see if it was dropped off right after the break in, but no luck. My boy and I then went home and I called up my insurance company who told me my gear would not be covered under my car insurance, but rather under my renters insurance which has a very, very large deductible. I cried a little. I admit it.

The end seemed dark, and I thought I would have to give up going back to derby because I just didn’t have the funds to replace all my gear, but I was determined to look for my gear the next morning. After a few hours of sleep I was ready to go out and search. The day itself was cool and drizzling, I went back to the area of the break in and then set up a plan to cover all side streets and alleys. Then only a few hours of searching, and 2 miles later I did come across my gear on the side of the road.

Everything was rummaged though, but nothing was taken because they must have not realized how awesome my derby gear was! Nothing could have taken the smile off my face at that moment. So remember, if your derby gear is stolen or if you hear a girls derby gear is stolen, keep an eye out for it, because most people will not see the value of what it is.

See, a happy ending.

But another thing that went on during the time of this whole story was the girls on the Outfit heard I had lost my gear in a car break in, and they were actually trying to find me replacement gear. Not after a few hours of the information breaking did they have a post circulating on their message board asking around for large skates to fit my huge feet. And because of that, I am truly honored to be a member of this league.

We may fall hard when playing derby, but being out the Outfit helps soften the falls in life.

-Yama #3E