April 24, 2014

My Weight Loss Journey

So why did you join roller derby? This is usually one of the first questions someone asks me when they find out I joined the sport. I respond to that question similarly to most of the things in my life- I did it on a whim. After all, I had never attended a bout. I knew little, if anything, about the sport and after years of broken bones, sprains, and injuries from riding horses, the idea of getting back into a full contact hobby was a little daunting- yet here I was, investing a small fortune into tights, knee-high socks, and glitter. Yes, it was a whim, but there was another, larger force at work.

Instead of being thin and lithe growing up, I was built more like a Mustang horse...short and hardy. Since humor was something that came naturally, it was easy to be the chubby, witty girl in a group of friends. Even though I knew I was overweight, I still had a positive self-image and a voracious appetite for food and life. Over the years, the weight had crept up and instead of getting things under control, I told jokes. Then I stopped going out with friends. Then I rarely stopped moving my body from the couch or bed unless it was for work.

"Got fat." There it was- two words jumping out at me when I accidentally glanced down at my audition sheet for a community theater production in 2011. "Egads" was one of the words that ran through my head followed by a series of swear words. The director of the show was not attempting to be mean or rude; in fact, the audition sheet is solely for the use of the director and was not meant to be seen by yours truly. Nevertheless, words were written and inadvertently seen by me, proving the hard truth that I had deliberately been ignoring for the past few years. In all actuality, it didn't hurt when I read what someone else saw when they looked at me. Instead it helped me become resolved.

I joined Weight Watchers the day after the audition. I was cast in the show, ironically named, "Eat Your Heart Out" and told the director that by the time the show opened that I would be 20 pounds lighter. Nine weeks later, I was 19.6 pounds lighter. In less than a year, I had shed 60 pounds and began to find a smaller me within.

But this is not a story focused on Weight Watchers or the power one has to rise up from the ashes of couchdom. This is my secret reason for joining roller derby that I have rarely divulged...until now. The reason I joined roller derby is because I need to be the healthiest I can be. This doesn't translate to a dress size 2 for me, but it does translate to muscle tone and finding my collarbone without digging my fingers into my neck, and eventually making that mile jog in less than 10 minutes. Intentionally or unintentionally, my teammates hold me accountable to keep attending practice and keep me moving. At 25 years old I was borderline diabetic and my cholesterol numbers had doctors discussing medications that I had only heard about on commercials. Whether they know it or not, my Foco Girls Gone Derby league-mates have helped me keep those numbers beaten back with a well-wielded stick...of quad skates. Will roller derby help you lose weight? I can't really say, but considering the health risks I could face by going back to my stagnant lifestyle, roller derby is help saving my life.

Dyer's Eve

April 17, 2014

Get Low - The Emotional Timeline

Even before I got on skates, "get low" was the anthem I learned when starting my journey with FocoGirlsGoneDerby. My first day of training I was an exact representation of what a baby dear on ice looks like, where I was simply told by the coach to "get low." Not heeding her advice, I continued to spend the majority of my practices on the floor not being able to stabilize myself, or do any of the exercises. The lingering phrase "get low" was told to me once again. Feeling defeated, and like a failure I almost wanted to throw in the towel.

I suddenly decided that giving up was not an option. I spent the days I didn't have practice in front of my house and at Rollerland practicing squatting on skates and skating as low as I could possibly muster. When we began to learn hits and blocking, I found that I needed to be even lower than I had anticipated, so I started squatting while doing the dishes, brushing my teeth, even at work if I could sneak it in. What I came to learn as I was being hip-checked to the ground is that the lower you skate, the easier it is to not only take hits but to do anything in roller derby. It was a whole new world as I finally started to have fun and improve. So, new recruits, when you feel like you're going to give up or that you made a mistake starting derby, just get low!  -Ginger SnapHer

Free this Saturday? Even if you're not, cancel them plans and head on over to watch our kick-ass Punchy Brewsters take on the High City Derby Dames! Traveling all the way from Aurora, these ladies are eager for to win, so this bout should be an intense firefight! Come to Qdoba Event Center at 218 Smokey St. in Fort Collins in order to experience the food, beer, crowd, and fun we have in store for you. The bout starts at 7pm, but the doors open at 6:30 so you can make sure to snag your favorite seat in the booty zone! Come and support your favorite roller derby league and we'll make sure you'll have a great time! Tickets can be purchased here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/610896

See you track-side!

April 4, 2014

Mollytov Maguire's Top 10 Derby Moments

Sometimes, in derby, conflict happens. This can be between players, between teams, between skaters and refs. Conflict is hard. I am not a fan. I don't like to manage people, I don't want to fight. I mean, I am Irish, so I kinda do but I know that it's not really productive. I like it when everyone does what they need to do and they come to events at their scheduled time or they complete the committee work they were asked to with no additional nudging from me. But alas, this is not the role of a board member. This gal, sometimes has to be the bad guy and that sucks. I am the kind of person who likes to focus on the positive, feel like I have a role in being the change I want to see in others.

So, instead of writing a bunch of crap about how much derby drama sucks, I am going to write a top 10 list. Here are my Top 10 derby moments:

10. That time when my cousin, Smashrodite, joined the league. We have been good friends for most of our lives despite a 10 year age gap. I love the shit outta her and I am SO. FLIPPING. GLAD. that she a) joined derby and b) joined my league. I love having a good friend that is learning how to speak my fave language in the family. No more will I sit awkwardly by myself at family events talking about the weather or whatever. NOW we're a team!

9. That time I did more than just turn left. It took me a while to feel like I was doing anything at all when I was skating. I still have scrimmages and even games where I am pretty sure the only productive thing I did was turn left and stay with the pack. But I can still remember the first time I did something. It was a scrimmage and I was skating with Battle E. Portman and she is a great communicator and I just... did stuff. It was AWESOME!

My poster with Unchained Malady
8.  That time I played with Unchained Malady. Mal is a friend from life. She had wanted to join derby, but didn't want to step on my toes and as soon as she figured out that I would be STOKED to have her in my league, she was all up on that shizz. We've never looked back. I have loved having her there. She is my rock. She has gotten me through, what I consider to be, some if my toughest times with derbs and is one of the main reasons I am still skating. First time we scrimmaged together and I screamed my face off for her when she jammed, I teared up. No joke.

7. That time I got my first jersey. Someone once laughed at me for feeling great about this moment, but I don't care. It meant a lot to me. It still means a lot to me. I wear it to the gyno and the dentist and all the places I don't really want to be because it makes me feel powerful. In a good way. Not like an "I will rain lightning down from the sky!" type of way. Just a general, good, confident, strong woman way.

6. That time that I realized I could skate through the pain. There was a dark moment in my life almost 2 years ago. My grandfather and my uncle passed away in the same month and I went to practice and told Double Destruction (our new recruit trainer at the time) "I want to hate you more than my life tonight. Can we do that?" and she obliged. As I geared down, I realized that I had been too busy to be sad and my grief had lifted for two amazing hours. I knew I could and would be a skater in that moment.

5. That time at my first derby strategic planning retreat when Mudgie talked to me by the fire. There I was, being all awkward and not knowing anyone and she talked with me. She was the first veteran outside of my trainer who made me feel welcome. I will always love her for that kindness. Well, that and many others since then.

4. That time at handbilling last night when Suzy hugged me and Battle E. had just the right words. I've been struggling lately and it was what I needed. It made me feel happy ALL DAMN DAY today. Thanks ladies!

3. That time I bouted for the first time. It was Black and Blue Ball. I had a kick-ass dress. My family made matching "Mollytov" shirts and pretty much everyone in turn three screamed their faces off for me. L.A.'s Finest it me into the booty zone, and I won "Best Dressed." I still have the sash. AND Team Black won the bout!

I know I've used this picture before,
but it's still awesome!
2. That time I learned how to give myself a break and didn't cry after jamming. I don't jam often, but I am working on this. I have still had practices where I didn't live up to my promise to jam at least once, each 1/2 of each scrimmage. I try though. Sometimes, I just don't have the lady-balls. There was this one time, and it was this season, where I jammed, and I didn't cry after. It wasn't that bad!

1. That one time that that I proposed to my derby wives. They're no longer with my league, but I miss them all the time. Femme and Mome are some of the best people I have known. Also, they've both changed their names, but they'll always be my wives, no matter when they're called. They're an inspiration for me still. I don't care that they're skating with other leagues, I love them all the loves!!

Derby Love,

Mollytov Maguire