Young Love

There's nothing quite like the rush of new love! This last post in our Outfit Love series features new Outfit skaters sharing their feels for the team and each other.

L. On Wheels, Fox Force and Scarlett Bruiser volunteer in Evanston.

It’s St. Valentine’s Day and I’m in love. I’m in love with a whole  group of girls and the organization that they recently, so bewilderingly,  allowed me to become a part of. Roller derby is a sport to which all manner of misnomers can be accredited: the players wear sexy outfits and clothesline one another over railings; it’s all for show like the WWF; the girls involved are angry bee-otches, etc. Having come of derby-age within the warm, loving arms of the Derby Lite organization, I suspected this last rumor to be false, but upon taking the bold step of actually trying out for a real team, I had my fears. Here I was, a 40-year old mom, a member of the local school board, only having just started skating 15 months prior, with the audacity to think I might be anywhere near the same level as this amazing group of athletes who were scary-good at what they do. It was intimidating, to say the least. Astonishingly, I made it. I was accepted to the team. At the very least, The Outfit’s coaching committee thought that I had the potential to get to bout-ready levels. This first month, I’ve had my doubts. I seem to be on the floor as much as I am upright, atop it. I often feel that I must have a thought bubble above my head, visible to all but me, that says, “Hit this girl hard; she needs to learn”. But the thing is, I do need to learn, and every time I’m feeling defeated, and exhausted, and just plain old-ass, one of my teammates lifts me up. Not physically - this girl needs to pick her own ass up and get better. Mentally. Someone will always say, we all felt like that at first – I was terrified (thanks, Red), or, I didn’t go to scrimmage for a month after I was approved, but then someone told me that I could only get better if I get in there and try (thanks, Fox), or, good job tonight; you worked your ass off (thanks, Joan), and I feel a little more like I might actually be able to do this. I hope I’m not dispelling a myth the team wants to hold fast to, but here’s the thing; these ass-kicking, tatted-up, intimidating broads are a supportive, kind, and downright jovial bunch. They, I mean we, work hard but also know how to play hard and love hard too. So this Valentine’s Day, my heart belongs to my new family – I love you, Outfit!

- L. On Wheels

D. Ride gets knocked down, but she gets up again. (You're never gonna keep her down.)

Being new to the land of Derby it is easy to be in love with basically everything about the Outfit. I am totally in the honeymoon stage of this relationship, where everything is perfect, especially the seven blisters I have on each foot from breaking in my new skates. Not knowing anything about roller derby, I first questioned whether or not I could actually do it. Two things I always keep in mind whenever I start to doubt myself: you gotta werk and its OKAY to fall! I feel like I did not choose to skate with the Outfit, rather than I was meant to play on a team and meet all these extraordinary athletes. I think what I love the most is the leadership. The coaches and captains are not only extremely knowledgeable about the sport but are helpful. I have never once been made to feel stupid by asking a question and I get super giddy when a captain compliments me on a job well done (even something as small as an effective stop - small victories!). I also love how dedicated everyone is. There are a good majority of women in this league who joined the team and have stayed with it, for like 5+ years/seasons! These aren’t people who are just trying out and then leaving. This has created a supportive, family bond between members that I really cannot explain. Sometimes I feel that I can be pretty annoying with how obsessed I am with this team, but it is comforting to know that each member is just as obsessed as I am. I cannot wait to strengthen bonds that are just forming between me and every other member, I cannot wait to totally freak out when it is time for my first bout, and I cannot express how excited I am to start this journey in roller derby almost as much as the journey I am just beginning with the Chicago Outfit.

- D. Ride or Die

My derby love, is my derby wife Kimtastrophy. She has been by my side for the last eight years. We started playing derby on a recreational league a year ago. We have progressed and trained together - from a lot of open skate nights with our six kids to boot camps and the Outfit tryouts. It is always easier when I know that she is there with me. The part I love about her the most is her honesty. She has no problem telling me when my skating is off or that I did not play well that night.  But she will also be there to help me figure out how to fix it, even if it takes talking derby until two in the morning. I am excited to see where our first year at the Outfit is going to take us.
- Pitbull Princess

Pitbull and Kimtastophy, a derby love story eight years in the making.

UPDATE - the derby wife responds!

My name is Kim'tastrophy, I have been playing derby for about a year and a half. I absolutely love it. I love everything about derby, the workout, the friendships, and the team work that is involved. Derby, to me, is a mental workout as well as a physical workout. It clears my mind and I know my team has my back, which brings me to my derby wife and one of my bests friends! I know she always has my back. I can count on her in every situation. I can go to her with any type of problem, especially if I am struggling with derby. Julie is a dedicated, hardworking and playing derby girl. I am proud to be married to her. I hope I can always continue to make new friends and keep the old: one is silver and the other's gold.

- Kimtastrophy