September 27, 2012

A Real Housewife of Ft. Collins

I am a desperate housewife. I wear my robe when I walk to the end of the driveway to pick up the paper each morning. I BBQ with my neighbors and I try to keep my suburban landscaping tidy. I have five children ranging from pre-school to high school. My husband and I have been happily married for seventeen years. At first, I chose not to share these defining details of my life with my derby girls. It was my dirty little housewife secret.

When I joined FoCo Girls Gone Derby, my youngest daughter was only a year old and I needed the FRICK out of the house! (My derby friends without children would substitute a more colorful word for ‘FRICK’). I wanted an interesting sport that was for women only because I just don’t have an inner need to compete against men. And I wanted something that gave me a sense of adventure. I needed some space to be someone other than ‘Mom’. My plan worked perfectly. I may be the oldest person on the team (I’m self conscious enough that I’m not fully investigating that possibility) and likely older than the average derby girl by, oh, more than a decade? This summer at New West Fest, a woman stopped at our booth and when I tried to recruit her, she claimed she was too old. When I told her my real age (camouflaged by a tu-tu and ponytails) she claimed that she thought I was in my twenties! I almost kissed her. As flattering as that was, I needed her to know that playing roller derby isn’t age-specific; it’s only heart-specific. When derby girls are on the floor in full gear -- sweating like beasts, learning to fall, hit, and skate -- age and background have absolutely nothing to do with it.

We are one. We are FoCo.

We sweat and bleed together. We laugh and cheer each other. We are the buoy for each others’ lives. Everyone has things going on that are heavy or stressful, and we need that time away. I would be a rich woman if I had a nickel for every time I heard a derby girl say, “Thank goodness for derby.” I know I’m lucky that I don’t have to juggle a work schedule to make practices, and that my husband will take over for me on the nights I’m away from home. I used to feel guilty as I handed him a sippy-cup and picked up my gear bag, but not any more. I enjoy derby too much for any guilt.

At a recent bout I was helping a girl who was having a minor wardrobe malfunction. A friend who attended the bout teased me by saying, “You’re such a mom.” That perfectly innocent comment, even taken as a compliment, irritated me. Not here, buddy. Not here.

I am a desperate housewife.

But you can call me Starrmageddon.

September 20, 2012

Waiting for my Marching Orders

This is what I expected from the captains, but isn't what happened thankfully
Last week was my first scrimmage with the team and guess what? I made it through. I know they were taking it easy on me, but still. Apparently I didn't look like the terrified rabbit I felt like, so that was good news. But the first scrimmage is behind me and it was AWESOME.

For most of the scrimmage I wasn't really sure what I was supposed to be doing or where I should be, but I just stayed with my "buddy" (thanks Spice Cadet and Inner Demon!) as best I could and that was that. Once my legs stopped shaking, I was actually able to take a few hits, I did a little bit of booty blocking, and there was even a moment where I withheld being rode out for like 1/2 the track! No kidding, it was a victory for me.

It felt good to be out there. Confusing, but good. The shouting of my teammates and the other team, the whoosh of skates around me, flash of colors and glitter. It was like nothing I could ever compare it to. Right now, sitting in the comfort of my living room, scrimmage seems like a BRILLIANT idea. But I wonder if the nerves are going to be back? I am sure they will continue well past my first bout, but I have face them and continue forward. This week's mantra is "Be a good soldier and march forward without hesitation." A seize the day sort of thing, yes?

Now that I have officially scrimmaged, I am just waiting to be put on a home team and invited to join those lovely Punchy Brewsters and a home team.Can't wait! Derby is in my blood now and I have been waiting for another scrimmage since the last one. How could I have ever lived a life that didn't have this in it I wonder??

Derby Love
Mollytov Maguire

September 13, 2012

Keep Calm and Continue Skating

I hope that in a few months I can look back on my first scrimmage practice with the light-hearted reminiscence of a veteran. I will sit back with my team mates and begin stories with "Remember when..?". That will be nice. But right now I am hitting a panic button about it. I have been saying for weeks that I feel ready to scrimmage but now that it is time, now that other people think I am ready, I am really questioning it. Can I seriously do this? How ON EARTH am I going to absorb a hit from iOna Switchblade later tonight?

I have been working toward this for so long and now that I am staring it in the face, mere hours from the first time I hit the track to scrimmage, I am in a frenzy. Something I have been reminding myself of since the warm-fuzzy feelings of success, of progress, were so rudely replaced with self doubt this morning is that my trainers have done this before. They have done this with many dozens of ladies before me. They can see my skills in a big picture view that is currently eclipsed to me. Without further adieu, here is today's mantra: "Breathe Molly. Trust your trainers and trust your feet. They know what to do."

My feet aren't hard to convince. I can do crossovers and transitions, toe stop turn-arounds and weave throughs. But it's the mind I am worried about tonight. Can my eyes see the game? Can they find the Jammer in time? I know that is something I am only going to get better on, but that doesn't help me right now! Can I please just borrow from a skater who doesn't need to think about it for a few hours tonight? Slim Skatey, I beg you, please just loan me some of your speed! Krunchy, you're the head ref for FoCo, I need to know what you do about the rules ASAP!

Today, I am asking the arrogant jerk alter ego of mine named Mollytov Maguire why on earth she thought she could play roller derby. The answer she keeps giving me is "Because it's fun. Stop being a party pooper and live in the moment!" And you know what? She is right. This is going to be AWESOME and even if (when?) I suck a whole bunch tonight, at least I only have to have a first scrimmage this one time. After that, it's old news. But right now, it feels like the first day of school only I don't have my mom to dress me a make a lunch. I know I have been chosen for a reason and I am never going to grow into a more rewarding role if I don't do this. But growing sucks. What was it that I said about it being "about the journey, not the destination" or some hippie nonsense like that recently? Don't remind me. My better judgement isn't talking to me today.
THIS guy would tell me "It's about the journey, man!"
Derby love,
Mollytov Maguire

September 6, 2012

Love, Loss, and Roller Derby

I can pinpoint the moment that I became a full fledged derby girl in my own mind. I had a really crap summer, I lost my grandfather and my uncle within about a month of one another. It wasn't a surprise but that doesn't actually make it easier when something like that happens. My normal response to moments like that is to close all the blinds in my house, turn off my phone, and check out for days or weeks at a time. But this time it was different. This time I had derby.

This is how cozy my house looks
in cases like this, only there are
more empty jars of Nutella involved.
I did my usual "darkness + alone time cures all ills" business for the entire derby break (for new recruits this was 2 weeks) talking to no one, just waiting for Tuesday's practice with a combination of anxiety and excitement. Finally, the big day rolled around and I had been holding it together pretty well at work and with friends/family. I walked into practice, marched up to Double Destruction (our trainer that evening) and told her what was going on with me emotionally. I only had one request, I wanted to hate her more than my life for 2 hours and I needed to forget about everything outside of our practice. She complied. She kicked the crap out of me and it felt good. I remember taking all my gear off, laughing with the ladies, and then it hit me that I didn't actually think about the world off the track for two complete hours.

Before that practice, the only thing that made me come to some practices was the obscene amount of money I spent on gear and skates. Needless to say, my dedication was spotty. After that practice, I was a derby girl. I became an athlete. I found that losing myself on the track was more emotionally productive than and combination of talking to my friends and family, hiding in my house alone, or anything else I tried up to that point.

Richard Simmons knows how to
get happy in his work outs!
People have talked about how working out makes you feel better, happier or something. I learned from Elle Woods in the movie Legally Blonde that "Exercise releases endorphins and endorphins make you happy" but this had never been the case for me. Exercise made me miserable. This was because of some undiagnosed health issues, but still, I always associated working out with pain and misery so it hasn't been my go-to response in times of emotional need until very recently. I am learning that my crutch doesn't have to be locking myself in the house with a brand new box of wine and every episode of Hoarders ever made. Yes, there can be some of that, BUT, what might also help is getting my butt on the track and knockin' some women around. This cataclysmic shift occurred for me on Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at about 10:45 PM.  It was a grand moment which put a smile on my face that hadn't made an appearance in weeks.

Derby love,
Mollytov Maguire

FoCo Girls Gone Derby Doubleheader
MicroBruisers vs.
Castle Rock ‘N’ Rollers Greatest Hits
Punchy Brewsters vs.
Boulder County Bombers
7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22
Qdoba Events Center, 218 Smokey Street,
Fort Collins

FoCo Girls Gone Derby’s nationally ranked travel team the MicroBruisers will face off against the Castle Rock ‘N’ Rollers Greatest Hits, while sister team the Punchy Brewsters trades hip checks with the Boulder County Bombers at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, at the Qdoba Events Center, 218 Smokey Street in Fort Collins.

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 from any FoCo derby skater or online at