August 30, 2012

Ready, Set, When am I going to Bout Already!?

When I started this roller derby "thing" I had to overcome a few hangups both emotional and physical. One of them is that I will never know what it feels like to have the long, graceful legs of a dancer and I can barely Macarena without putting an eye out. I know this sport is competitive but right now I am only competing with myself. I want to be better, stronger, and faster of course but what does that mean and how will it look for me?

Because I am still in new recruit training, I rely heavily on my trainers to tell me where my areas of improvement are. One measure of development I can see on a regular basis is my peer group and it's difficult not to compare myself to them. Everyone from my "class" has either dropped out or started bouting already so if I use them as a yardstick I am not doing great, but I haven't quit yet. Can I call that a victory? I guess the only thing I can do for now that is remind myself that my process is my own and continue to move forward.

Goals are important for school, work, as well as self discovery and development but there are things to remember when setting them. I would love to have speed like Slim Skatey, stability like Purdey Dirty, and hits like Suzy Muffincrusher but they didn't get they way over night. If I want to skate like the women I admire I have to stop trying to be like them and start trying to be like me. There is an art to goal setting and it takes a lot of thoughtful effort and self examination. 

There are many methods for goal setting, but here are some questions I have found useful in figuring out how I am going to achieve my desired outcome. I ask myself "How am I going to know when I have met my goal?", "Is this something that I can achieve?", and "How long should it take me to meet this?". Regular dialog with my trainers and peers is going to provide me with the ongoing feedback that I require to answer those questions.

I KNOW want to be bouting by October and I am going to make that happen. To achieve this, I must be specific in what I am asking of myself.  Today, I make this contract with my future self:

I, Mollytov Maguire, do solemnly pledge to strengthen my body and mind in the following ways:
  1. Gain stronger rule knowledge
  2. Condition my body to have endurance to play in a whole bout
  3. Have better accuracy in my hits for both timing and placement
When the afformentioned goals have been met to the satisfaction of my future captains, I may be eligible to begin bouting.

Mollytov Maguire
"Roller Derby Phenom in the Making"
FoCo Girls Gone Derby
August 30, 2012

There. Consider it done.

When I do meet these goals, my trainers and I feel that I will be in a good position to be bouting in October.  This is doable. Right? Right. Because my goal is time-bound in it's definition, I know when I have to complete it. But hey, that is just a reminder to live my life better, isn't it? This goal is just one thing in a long line of stuff that is going to make me better for the long haul. This one goal is only the first stop of the journey, a layover really, but it isn't the destination. It's meant to be accomplished and left in the dust. Let's say October comes, I play in my first bout, and IT IS GLORIOUS. What then? I don't know yet... That is a bridge I will only be able to cross when I get to it.

Derby love,
Mollytov Maguire

August 23, 2012

This Aint My Grandma's Derby

Last year, I was at my cousin's baby shower when I told my Grandma Weezie I was doing roller derby. Because I have been known to crack a joke here and there, she laughed, patted my knee, and ate more lemon-poppy seed cake before she realized I wasn't joking. She looked at me and said "What? Really??... Oh." and while I understood that roller derby was rough, I couldn't get over her response. The baby shower was lovely, the cake was delicious. As I recall I ate more than a couple chocolate covered strawberries, drank pink lemonade, and steeped in wonder over my Grandma's reaction.

A few weeks later at Thanksgiving I told my Grandpa I was doing roller derby. This was the other side of my family and some of them hadn't heard the good news. Grandpa was giving me a hard time about not being married yet and in my annoyance with his prodding in that area I asked him if he thought I would meet at lot of men at the roller derby because I was going to start skating in it. I admit, I was hoping for the same reaction I received from Grandma but didn't get it. He seemed excited and said he couldn't wait to see me skate. He asked in rapid succession "Was I already on the team? Did I like it? Was it as violent as it looked 40 years ago? Was I going to shave my head?" What? No! I just wanted you to leave me alone about not being married...

This was getting confusing. Just strange responses to my news. Would they act like this if I had joined a volleyball league? Pretty sure they wouldn't... What was going on? My parents seemed fine with it, sure they rolled their eyes when I told them, but I was used to that. They do that pretty consistently with the things I say and do. My friends fell mostly into 2 categories: asking me either if I knew that those women HIT each other or telling me it was a brilliant idea. 

The lesson here is that there are a lot of preconceived notions about roller derby. People seem to know something, but what they think they know  can be way off base. Maybe they watched the San Francisco Bay Bombers and the Brooklyn Red Devils on TV in the 70's and saw that crazy, theatrical, heavily  choreographed production that was roller derby. Those people are going to look at you like you grew a third arm right in front of them or laugh hysterically and hand you a Luchadore's mask.

People who have seen modern derby usually have a different reaction and most of them think it is AWESOME. They know about the athleticism and the skill required or they may have heard about the after parties. There have been instances of these conversations where I felt like a roller derby queen and I can't wait to show them what I can do on the track.

In my last post, I talked about how the community of support your derby family can provide is so important, but you also have one outside of derby and they are instrumental. It feels good to know your family and friends are looking out for you and are proud. I am glad that I am going to be able to provide them with some good, old fashioned, roller skatin' fun. I can't wait for my first bout when I see them all in the crowd and don the ""Mollytov Maguire" jersey for the first time. I think they're going to be pretty impressed and if they're not, well, I know how to hit people now so I think that will take care if itself.

Derby Love,
Mollytov Maguire

August 16, 2012

Confessions of a New Girl

Hi everyone, my name is Mollytov Maguire and I am a new girl. ("Welcome Molly!") I am about to confess some of my derby struggles. I know they're not new, and I know that many women and men have faced and overcome them before I could even find the Pivot Line. But they're new to me, so please listen up.

Confession 1. Derby is hard

I don't know if you know that, but it is. This is the first time in my whole life I have worked hard for something. I am almost 30 years old and stuff that was hard, historically, I have quit. Until now. People have asked me why I keep going, through injury and self-doubt, to practice after practice where sometimes I have literally been beat down. The only answer I can give is that I want to BE a derby girl. I want to earn my fishnets and booty shorts. I want to see my family and friends wearing the name I chose on the back of their shirts. I want to know I completed something really difficult and I want to be my own role model for it. 

Confession 2. I have never been an athlete

I was a figure skater growing up, and don't get me wrong, I am NOT saying it isn't a sport, but I am saying that the lazy, half-assed, social hour way I did it made it not so sporty for me. This really piggy backs off Confession 1, but when you're really out of shape like I was/am, you will feel like you were in a car accident a few days a week for several months. When Texas Chainsaw Mascara hits you over and over (and over) for 2 hours that is just going to be a reality of your life. When Double Destruction says "30 more seconds!" one more time and you think you can't do it, the biggest surprise of your life will be that can. 

Confession 3. It's the little things that matter

I can remember some practices where I seriously considered walking out and the thing that kept me going was the community. When Missling Dixie shouted "You can do it! Faster Molly!" it became possible that I really could do it. Or when I hurt myself and, in my pain and delirium, thought I had ruined my knee, my peers took a knee for me. They clapped for me when I got up. They helped me limp off the track, and no one made me feel small for it. I have memories of that moment which still echo in my little derby heart and I know those ladies have my back. During a really hard practice it can be other things that make the difference; the sound my wheels make when I do an awesome snow plough, or the swiftness and grace I feel in my feet when I do crossovers, sometimes (and for me this is becoming a little more regular) a well placed and timed hit can mean victory on the night for me.

I used to tell people "I come from a scattered tribe" meaning my friends, the family that I chose, were no longer in the same state as me. They were in Wyoming and Massachusetts, Texas and California, but when I came to Derby, I had a new tribe. They are a vibrant, beautiful, multi-talented group of women and men who want to see me succeed. Um, excuse me? There are a whole bunch of women who want to get together and not talk about feelings, but we can hit each other and they're happy about it? Yes. Sign me up. Right now, and everyday after.

For those of you who are thinking about joining derby, I think you should do it. Your trainers will give you the tools you need to succeed but it's the community that you build here that will keep you active. It's hard, and you're going to want to quit sometimes, but it's worth it. There is a recruiting meeting Tuesday, Aug 21st at 8:30pm. Rollerland. Be there. I know I will.

Derby Love,
Mollytov Maguire

August 9, 2012

Lessons from RollerCon, Part 2

Tips for a RollerCon-er

This year was my second RollerCon experience, and although I felt prepared for it this year, I was wrong. I was completely unprepared and wished there was a check sheet with tips that I could print out. So, I decided to take it upon myself to make one after my second RollerCon.
  • Start saving. Now. You are going to spend way too much money, and it will never be enough.
  • Buy your pass on Black Friday; it’s the cheapest they will ever be.
  • Bring a rolling bag, but not one that’s big. It should be JUST large enough to fit your gear.
  • Bring or be prepared to buy a Fanny Pack. Useful and hip as shit in the derby world right now.
  • Get lots of tattoos and dye/cut your hair crazy. I have tattoos and an alternative haircut and still felt tame.
  • Chest tattoos are the new tramp stamp. Don’t get one of those.

Figure out what kind of planner you are.

  • There is a line for everything. Account for that if you’re a planner.
o If you are good at organization, don't like to party, and hate sleeping in;
You are crazy, but you'll be able to take lots of classes. Look at the schedule before you get to RollerCon and make a list/schedule.
o If you are like most people and like to sleep;
DO NOT make a schedule for yourself, you will only feel guilty when you don’t end up making it to classes. Instead, look at the schedule each morning when you get up and see what you feel like doing.
  • No matter what kind of planner you are, you MUST make time to watch the Vagine Regime vs. Caulksuckers bout. It’s the best bout of RollerCon!
  • If you find a class that you really want to take, DO IT! It may be offered multiple times but as RollerCon gets down to the last day people get tired and classes start to get canceled.
  • Don’t be afraid to admit you have a Derby Crush (it WILL happen)
  • Only bring shirts/tanks with your name and number on it. Also, bring a few shirts that say your league affiliation.
  • Only pack derby clothes. You won’t wear anything else. Ok, maybe ONE real outfit.
  • Bring a hoodie. It’s FREEZING indoors.
  • Show up a day early and/ or stay a day later. Gives you a chance to get settled/packed up without having to miss any action.
  • DO attend open scrimmages. They give you a chance to try out the new techniques you learned and play with or against some really great players.
  • Be prepared to take everything you are going to need all day with you when you leave your hotel room in the morning.
  • They hand out tickets for classes 2 hours early, get them then. Do not wait.
  • Lastly, have fun! Attend the parties, even if you want to get to bed early. RollerCon is about skating, but the parties are a great extra!!
Hopefully this helps you on your trip to RollerCon 2013!
Suga Smaxxx

August 8, 2012

Lessons from RollerCon

Derby Crushes- From Rollercon 2012
Derby Crush Definition (according to Suga Smaxx): A skater (usually from another league) that you look up to, want to be, are completely fascinated and/or enamored by. Not specifically romantic but could blossom to become so (if you swing that way). Check out a great article here.
Derby Crushes are an interesting beast. Sometimes they're on skaters you have known about for awhile or could be someone that you have never heard of. RollerCon is a catalyst for a Derby Crush like no other. You watch great skaters play, take classes from those people, and get to know them.

Last RollerCon, I left with one ground shaking, can’t sleep, can’t eat, can’t live without crush:

Smarty Pants
She was 2011’s WFTDA Newbie of the Year although she has skated bank track for quite some time. Smarty Pants is in her second season with TXRD, but previously skated with TXRG (the league credited with the reincarnation of Roller Derby back in 2001, and featured in the movie Whip It) for 8 years. She’s a world renowned trainer and coach, and in her first season on the bank track Smarty and her team took 3rd place at the 2011 WFTDA Championships. Smarty is also a skater for the first ever Team USA. This crush is still cemented in my derby heart, but I will be leaving RollerCon 2012 with so many more. I love them all differently, but with the same fervour.

Jackie Daniels
Plays for Windy City Rollers All Stars, Team Vagine Regime, Team Chupacrabra Peligroso (formerly Team Awesome). Built like a Pit Bull (ALL MUSCLE), a great teacher and rocks white jean shorts like you wouldn’t believe.

Fifi Nomenom
Plays for Angel City, Team Vagine and almost every 3-4 level bout during RollerCon 2012. I didn’t know Fifi before RollerCon, but her sheer determination during one POWER JAM to get some huge dude's last point made my heart go pitter-patter. Fifi is also one of the only openly transgendered skaters on a WFTDA team.

And last, but not least….

Teflon Donna
Skates for the Philadelphia Liberty Belles and Team USA. My derby crush on Teflon Donna was definitely the most intense crush I got at RollerCon. I even gave her my “Hey, you’re my derby crush!” card that came in my welcome kit. Tef is a great teacher, amazing skater with extreme resilience and all around cool person (She took the “Crush” card well). She also had the most adorable poster plastered all over RollerCon. I forgot to get a picture with her, but I got one with the poster!

So, there you have it, the loves of my derby life! Sorry, Mary Poppin’ Caps (my derby wife- that’s a whole other topic). Don’t be afraid to let your derby love blossom!

Live, Love, Skate!
Suga Smaxxx

August 6, 2012


7:30 p.m. Saturday, August 18
Rollerland, 324 S. Link Lane, Fort Collins

FoCo Girls Gone Derby’s home teams will skate down memory lane Saturday, Aug. 18, for a throwback bout as the league’s original home teams, the Deathrow Dolls and Chanel Cartel. Just when you thought you would never again see the teams’ trademark orange jumpsuit dresses and gold booty shorts, they are getting a reprieve from the recesses of the closet for this retro event. Doors open at 7, bout begins at 7:30, at Rollerland.

Tickets are $10 presale and $15 at the door. Students and members of the military receive a reduced rate of $10 with a valid ID. Children 12 and under are admitted free. Tickets can be purchased through the Rollerland Skate Center ticket booth, from any FoCo derby skater or online at or Purchases also can be processed by phone at 800-838-3006.