April 25, 2013

Come join our Cult!

Roller Derby has such an interesting culture.  And by culture I mean we're a mafia of awesome.  We're very protective of our own much like a family.  We look out for each other, keep each other safe, and if someone messes with one of us, they get all of us.  You would think that a set up like this would be very inclusive, but in fact we're always trying to get others to drink the derby kool-aid.  Last week, a cute little button if a girl showed up to our Thursday warm up/workout session.  Ken Minifield (our fitness trainer) brought her over to me and said, "Skank, this is Jessica.  Take care of her tonight."  This girl knew no one.  She hadn't come because her friend told her to or because she saw "Whip It", she came because she saw how this sport had affected us and she wanted to see that change in herself.

I brought her over to the rest of the girls and announced, "Hey ladies, this is Jessica.  She came to our bout last Friday and is thinking of joining our league."  I was met with clapping, cheering, and smiles from everyone in the league.  I felt so proud to be in a league where instead of being inclusive and wanting to stick with the familiar, we welcomed someone we didn't know because we knew how much derby had changed our lives.

This is the kind of attitude that needs to bleed out of us.  Instead of being shy to our co-workers about the sport that we play, or feeling like we're inconveniencing our friends whenever we ask them to come to a bout, instead we should just welcome them to something that makes us so happy.  "Hey, this has changed my life.  Come and enjoy this with me and we'll share this together."  When people see you truly immersed and happy about something, they can't help but want to know what it is. 

Many people I've invited to my bouts have fallen in love with roller derby.  My husband brings cowbells to every bout and is constantly trying to be the loudest fan in the whole place.  Some of my friends have bought season passes and shirts from my fan club.  My parents come simply because they love me.  Whatever your involvement is with roller derby, invite others to share in your happiness.  They might not fall head over heels in love with it like you did, but sharing this sport with others is one of the reasons it's so special to us.  They will mourn your losses with you and celebrate your victories, and who knows?  Maybe one day they'll strap on a pair of skates and join you on the track.


The Original Skankster

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