Derby love is unlike any other, and there's PLENTY of it to go around. We have funny ways of expressing it, and if you aren't apart of the roller derby girl culture you have no idea what you're in for. Luckily, I have included this step by step Guide to the Derby Galaxy that will answer all of your questions (and possibly fulfill your fantasies) so you don't wander into the derby life without a proper map. First...
The Derby Sister
Starting in this sport can be daunting. It's slightly overwhelming to walk into a room surrounded by a bunch of women who are totally badass. You slide in quietly with your skates and soon realize you have a lot to learn if you’re gonna rumble with these ladies. Having a derby sister is instantly having someone who will stand up for you, give you pointers, and encourage you to keep pushing. She helps you assimilate to the culture of the league, make new friends, and teaches you the ABC's of derby all the way from skate maintenance to bout day rituals. It means a lot to have a big sis looking out for you, and the role of a derby sister is not one to be overlooked. If you have the privilege to be a big sis, make sure you don't forget the most important part of all; simply being a friend. Having someone in your corner on the first day of school makes you love derby even more.
The Derby Crush
Remember back in 4th grade when you sat across from that really cute guy or girl that made your heart go pitter-patter? They would look at you, ask for a pencil, and you suddenly found yourself soaring through the clouds on a magic carpet made of rainbows? This. This is what it feels like to have a derby crush.
We are apart of an incredible sport that challenges us every day. It's tiring, exciting, satisfying, and sometimes even heartbreaking. Every once in a while another player comes along that is just fabulous. They are strong, confident, skilled, exciting, and they can do all the things you can't do. Their body moves in way that is unparalleled to anyone else-and they look GREAT doing it. You can't stop staring, your mouth drops open, and you find that you have that familiar feeling of soaring on a rainbow.
Now the very best thing about a derby crush is that they aren't Beyonce, 3,000 miles away, completely unreachable, and surrounded by enough security personnel to occupy a subway train. Derby is such a grass roots, local phenomenon that your new derby crush is usually 10 feet away from you and you if you so dare...you can actually TALK to her. I actually ambushed Addy Rawl at The Riviera pool that last summer and she was so nice to me I almost died.
But the derby crush is not just someone to gawk at, they are the close-up hero that inspires you to train harder, learn more, and go the extra lap. If you can emulate you're derby crush by working hard, then who knows? Someone might get all weak in the knees talking to you one day:)
The Derby Wife
Although "Derby Wife" sounds silly to those outside of the sport, it's no laughing matter. Close friendships develop while playing this high intensity sport and when you find that special someone you’re like two peas in a pod. Your derby wife is in short; your derby soul mate. This girl came out of the womb with a destiny to skate with you. You both healthily compete with each other but greatly appreciate the others talents and skills. Judgements never come from your derby wife because she is always there for you; from bad calls on the track to bad calls at the after-party, and when you’re throwing up in the bathroom after too much party, she's the one who holds your hair back.
Derby wives have often been described as, "she's the first to bail you out of jail, but she also might be the one that got you there in the first place."
So although you can’t file your taxes together, this girl will always have your back. Now I know what question you’re going to ask and the answer is YES. Derby girls can have multiple derby wives but it’s not considered taboo, or that you’re cheating on each other. Derby love goes all around, so before you judge someone for being a derby polygamist, just realize that we all do this in the name of love:)
The Original Skankster