Friday, September 30, 2011

Skating with Big Easy Rollergirls

Earlier this week I was fortunate enough to travel to New Orleans for a work conference. Ever obsessed with skating as much as possible, I contacted the Big Easy Rollergirls before I left. The hope was to join in on one of their practices.

I was afraid I wouldn't be able to carry on my entire skate bag, so I was prepared to check that and carry on just my skates in a backpack. One of the few things that went better than expected—the trip was full of craziness—was that I was able to carry it all on after all.

I also took my usual practice gear. The evening turned out to be a clinic for prospective Fresh Meat, so I felt a little out of place as neither a skater or a new girl. However, that's how I've been in my home league for a while now, so it wasn't that unusual.

These girls were too super-sweet. I'd love to skate with them again.

The clinic was a welcome chance to skate while out of town, but I don't have anything too noteworthy to report. As a parting thought, I do need to share this sticker found in the rink's bathroom.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

An Hour in KC's River Market

 Who knew you could buy bat poo in Kansas City? Not me.

 Even though I was having dinner with a friend at Blue Nile in half an hour, I was starving, so I decided to check out Baby Cakes.

This cupcake is not as pretty as Cupcake a la Mode's

I didn't get a fork, so I figured I'd try to make it into a gob (aka whoopie pie). 

That didn't quite work out, so I ate it in halves. 

My take on the River Market? Delightful. A little on the scary side to be walking around alone, but cute little shops and restaurants that smelled very good. Blue Nile was delicious. But that cupcake? Total disappointment, and I hate to say that about a local business. It's Cupcake a la Mode Stuffed French Toast cupcakes for me until the day I die of sugar overdose.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fall Tea Time Reviews

Somehow last week I stumbled on Tea Time - What I Have Been Sipping On. My immediate email to The Other Kelly: "WE GO TO WORLD MARKET TOMORROW!"

Does this sound melodramatic? It is. And I am. And we did go.

Not long before, I finished my tin of Republic of Tea Good Hope Vanilla Red Tea. My Stash and Trader Joe's teas just weren't satisfying my tea cravings. Around Valentine's Day I had some Strawberry-Chocolate tea I loved, so I was sure the Red Velvet would be equally delightful. To my disappointment, it's only all right. I'll slowly drink it all, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

I almost bought some Chocolate-Coconut as well, but was afraid of too much chocolate in my tea repertoire. Halfway to the register, I swapped that for some Zhena's Gypsy Tea in Caramel Chai. Not until hours later did I realize that this was the other tea MissMuffcake blogged about.

My take on the Caramel Chai? Not disappointing. This tea smells and tastes like walking around the University of Kansas campus in jeans and a t-shirt as leaves cover the Fraser Hall lawn. It's walking from Miller Scholarship Hall to Battenfeld for our annual Thanksgiving dinner. Basically, it's everything I could want in a fall-flavored tea.

I'm not a bourbon fan, but I'm convinced some could fall in this and be delightful. You just didn't hear it from me.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Happy First Week of Fall!

Okay, last Friday was the first day of Fall 2011. And I missed it. But this is the first full week of fall, and that's got to count for something.

What's the best part of fall? It's not the cooler weather. It's not even the pretty leaves. And it's definitely not the ragweed that plagues so many of my friends and prevents them from playing outside with me.

The answer to "What's the best part of fall?" is absolutely "Pumpkin spice lattes!" Obviously. Unless you don't like coffee, in which case I'm surprised you want to read what I have to write anyway.

Coffee = <3
Pumpkin Spice Latte = Autumn <3

Two weeks ago The Other Kelly brought me a pumpkin latte from Crossroads Coffeehouse. That Kelly knows the key to my heart. In order to save money, I know I must make my own pumpkin lattes at home. In case you've forgotten, here's the Money-Save Coffee Math. Last week I picked up some Pumpkin Spice Latte Syrup from Williams-Sonoma. Had I looked at the price tag, I would not have bought it. But it was a little bottle presumably of pumpkin goodness, so I didn't tell the cashier to put it back when she rang it up at $12.95. *choke*

I'm trying to cut down on sugar right now anyway, so I'm going to make this syrup last. It really is quite delicious. But once it's gone, I'm going to try to make my own.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sock Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to Crystal Crawford-Luzynski for winning last week's randomly selected sock giveaway.

Her answer: "I'm not in Derby but it looks like fun. I'd be Cherry Smash."

Heck yeah, it's fun! And a very cute name.

Keeping in mind that I have no sponsors and am doing this as a one-woman show (with some very kind guest bloggers), let me know what you'd like to see as giveaways in the future. Or better yet, contact me to sponsor a giveaway!

Friday, September 23, 2011

New Skates FTW

I have a friend who for the longest time thought FTW meant "F*** The Weather." It does not. Rather, it stands for "For The Win," a gamer term.

New skates. I have them. They rock. Say hello to my Riedell 265 leather boots.

To save money, I kept my Atom Juke 88a "pusher wheels."

And my Atom Stroker 98.5 wheels.

New Sunlite plates, a lovely upgrade from the slightly cracked older ones on my Sure-Grip Rebels.

For now they've got my old toe covers because I haven't decided what to pay for from the lady on Etsy.

This right here is happiness to a derby girl.

For anyone who might care, here's how I staggered my wheels. It may or may not be advisable; I'm quite happy with the arrangement.

What's almost as awesome is that I was able to put outdoor wheels on my old Rebels, tape up the toes, and now I have outdoor skates!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Always Be Prepared: Stocking Your Derby Bag

You know the mom who carries everything you'd ever need in her purse? I try to be that person with my skate bag, while keeping it as light as possible. I use an old duffel-style suitcase for now. If you need a cheap bag, I'd recommend searching your closets or basement for something you already have that would work.

Essentials For Your Bag
Skates with toe covers
Knee pads
Elbow pads
Wrist guards
Febreeze or spray bottle with alcohol

Highly Recommended
Skate tool
Extra pair of socks
Extra set of shoelaces
Duct tape
Reusable water bottle

I Also Have
Low-sugar, high-protein packaged granola bars
A pair of shorts in case I need to go somewhere practice
Extra mouthguard (I've lost two already)
Knee gaskets (I'd call these essential if you have bad knees)
Bearing tool (if your skate tool doesn't have one)
Hearing aid covers to keep them dry
Extra insole inserts

You Might Consider
Bearing lube
Feminine hygiene products
Spare bearings
Spare wheels
Bag freshener
A couple $1s or quarters

What do you keep in your bag?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Peanut Butter Granola Bars

I've been buying CLIF granola bars. They're delicious, and I'm picky/snobby about my granola bars, so I don't like anything Price Chopper carries except Odwalla, which are kinda pricey.

A friend of mine mentioned that she took my strawberry-almond granola bar recipe and swapped out the strawberry jam for peanut butter and chocolate chips. I thought I'd try leaving out the chocolate chips to make them healthier.

They tasted okay, but were dry, crumbly and missing something. The next day I picked up a bag of chocolate chips from Walmart and dumped them over the not-so-great pan of granola.

Then I microwaved it all to soften the chocolate.

Layered goodness. Definitely dessert, and not a healthy snack like I'd hoped. Next time I'll just put in the chocolate chips from the start.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pivot Toes and Derby Bruises

My feet, they're gross. So I got a pedicure this weekend. My grand master plan was to get stars on my big toes so I could have "jammer toes," but that didn't work out. Instead, I have pivot toes!

I also am bruised. It's self-inflicted by accidentally kicking myself with my own skate, but it looks impressive nonetheless.

My apologies to anyone who is freaked out by feet.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sock it to You: A Batty Giveaway

Mondays suck. What would make today suck less? Free stuff!

So let me ask you a question: how awesome are these socks?

They're soft, stretchy and knee-high. Perfect for derby, Halloween or a Monday at the office. Don't you wish they were yours?

I was lucky enough to win these socks from Stripped Gears Roller Derby Boutique a month ago. They're hilarious. Or precious. Or butt-kicking. And Stripped Gears does a great job of stocking socks that fit a wide range of calf sizes.

They're just not really "me." So who wants to give them a good home? They're brand-new, never opened.

Here's all you have to do:
Step 1: Click here and "like" Cooking On Skates on Facebook.
Step 2: Comment below with your ideal derby name. This can be your actual derby name, something you'd use if Two Evils didn't reject it, or what you'd go by if you played.
Step 3: Include your real name (that I can find you on Facebook with) in the comment.

Entries are due by tomorrow (Tuesday) at midnight. I'll use a random number generator to pick a winner from the comments. Then I'll check Facebook to make sure you really "liked" me. The winner will have these 100%-pure-awesome socks in their hands within a week. If I see you, I'll deliver. If you don't leave in the KC metro, I'll ship to you!

Gimme some love and I'll give you some socks. Happy Monday!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Better Breakfast Burrito

One of my goals for this derby season is to eat like an athlete. These were not helping me accomplish this goal.

Stupid easy delicious packaged blueberry bagels. I bought one package on a whim. Mr. CookingOnSkates and I devoured them and I thought I was safe. Then he bought more. And I tried putting Nutella on one. I'm doomed.

Yesterday morning, I made breakfast with a single local whole-wheat tortilla, one no-hormone free-range egg, a little sharp cheddar cheese and a bit of hot chunky salsa.

By mid-morning I needed a snack, but I felt good and nourished by the protein. Now if only I can wake up the couple minutes early during the week to make this a healthy habit.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cake or Death? Becky Sue Cakes, Please

How beautiful are these cakes? Dead Girl Derby's Cold<3ed Cupcake made them for her own business, Becky Sue's Cakes!

Want her to make you a cake? Contact her for pricing and planning at Becky Sue's Cakes. I <3 "Cupcake."

And if you don't get the Eddie Izzard reference in the headline, remedy that now.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Bruisetique: Custom Derby Skirts

Allow me to introduce a new friend to many Dead Girl Derby skaters, Bruisetique.

Seriously, how adorable are these custom-made skirts?

Edith MyFist snagged this one. 

She takes special orders, will ship and is very reasonably priced in my opinion. Check out the Facebook page at

This is not a paid advertisement. I just like to help promote derby girls and our supporters.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Skills/Goals Update

Sometimes it feels like I skate and skate, only to stay in the same place skills-wise. I can see the other new girls improving, but can't view myself in third-person to see the same. So I thought I'd revisit my goals for next season that I posted just a couple weeks ago.

1. Train like an athlete. I've been skating five days a week, walking my dog on off-days and doing yoga a couple times a month, but I want to add some cross-training like more jogging or weightlifting.
Not happening yet...

2. Fuel my body (aka eat) like an athlete. Too often I excuse indulgences in cupcakes or beer because I've been skating a lot and "deserve" it. To get my body ready for next season, I need to more consistently feed it good things. I wouldn't put old cooking oil in a sports car, even though it could run on that for a while.
I think I'm eating a little healthier and cutting out some sugar but need to do an even better job of this.

3. Learn T-stops on the left side. My right-side stops are decent, but I want to even out. So while some people are learning T-stops for the first time, I'm going to try to join in on the opposite leg.
Holy crap, I can do this! They're not perfect, but they're consistently capable.

4. Participate in most fundraisers. For the 2011 season, I wasn't sure how I fit into the league as an injured skater, ref or Horde. Now I have no excuse not to give it my all. I don't know yet if I'll skate one season or many, but I know I can do my best this year.
I've worked one RenFest shift already and will do at least two more.

5. Say yes to social events. Whenever someone asks me if I want to go out for a beer or sushi after practice, I say no. I always intend to attend after-parties but wimp out at the last moment. Occasionally, I need to say yes and get to know people off the track.
Does asking a fellow new skater to lunch count? Probably not. My hope is to get myself to at least one of the upcoming parties I've RSVPed "maybe" to on Facebook.

6. Learn hockey stops. These look so cool. I want to do them.
Yeah, not happening.

7. Jam or pivot by midseason. I want my skating and other skills to be strong enough that I can be the one scoring for my team.

8. Learn all the MADE rules really well. As a ref, I felt shaky on my rule knowledge and I never liked that. This is something I should have done sooner for OSDA, but better late than never, right?
There's no excuse for having not started this.

9. Keep focusing on my non-derby life. Sadly, derby can't last forever. I need to make sure not to neglect my other family or friends now.
I've made a point to make plans with non-derby friends twice in the last week, so that's a plus. However, I did not go to a family event that I should have because I was too busy.

10. Know when to say no. For some people, "sorry" is the hardest word. For me, that's "no." While I do want to say "yes" to things I'm unsure about sometimes, I'm still learning to listen to my own body and know when I need to step back and take some time off, whether mentally or physically.
Just last week I amended and postponed plans for the sake of my sanity twice. I feel selfish when I do it, but it's really best for everyone in the long run.

As far as the color-coding seems to suggest, I've made measurable progress. The cheers for moving in the right direction!

How are your goals coming along?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Memoirs of a (Retired) Derby Girl: Part 2


In life we all make mistakes. We all make promises that can't be kept. Promises mean something different to everyone, including me. I had the best intentions when I promised Mr. Fuzz—when I decided to stay another season with Dead Girl Derby—that I would be home more, just make it to the minimum required attendances, no drinking and staying out late afterwards, no more being out all the time with all my new friends, make more time for the family. Well when life threw us a curve ball, it was hard to keep hold of that promise.

I was really focused at the beginning of the new season. Change was happening. We were allowed to take off September during the transition of starting the league at a new rink, trying to clear the mess of the business that was not exactly ran properly, and creating a new system. My biggest goal for the season was to really focus on skill and technique; I wanted to be a bad ass on skates, not only as a blocker, but as a jammer and pivot. My small goals were to really try and be a better person to everyone, and not let every little negative remark about me or my playing get to me. I wanted to connect with more people; I felt at the end of the season, that even though we were a close-knit family, I was still distanced from everyone. I wanted to gain more personal relationships that would last a lifetime, rather than a business/professional relationship that would only last until my roller derby days were over. I wanted to be a mentor to the new girls that were coming as Newly Dead recruits. These were the goals. Well, I don't know exactly how many of these goals were accomplished.

I didn't take the month off. September was our biggest fundraiser at the Renaissance Festival in Bonner Springs, Kan., as many of us would be working as beer wenches to raise money. I signed up and worked one day per weekend. We also had practices that were optional. When I got wind that we were going to be having teams and to be drafted to those teams you had to pass the skills testing approved by the Old School Derby Association (OSDA), I decided to kick it up a notch in September. I pushed myself at every practice, did everything without stopping. I would ask questions, make sure I did things right, etc. I would even stay a bit late and practice quicksteps around the track just to get faster. I knew that we would be recruiting, that some of these girls could be as good or better than me, that I may not meet the goal of becoming jammer or pivot this season or be drafted to a team that would not fit my personality and needs or wants.

When October rolled around, the balance in my personal life and derby life were going well. It may not have seemed like it, because I was gone still a lot with derby, but I stopped going out. I was home as soon as practice was over and stayed home on weekends, mostly because I worked the weekends and got out of work so late and wanted to be rested. The new recruits were somewhat panning out. We had a lot of them drop like flies due to financial issues, timing, etc. I looked at all the girls and really, to be quite honest, wasn't that intimidated by any them. I was sorely mistaken, as I learned once the games began. But in October, I wasn't and that was a bad thing. I got a bit cocky, especially when skills testing began. The season before, there was no skills testing, which was the one thing that stopped me from going to KCRW last season. But this season I was ready. OSDA and Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) skills testing were similar but not exactly the same. I had to do many things as basic skating, falls, balance and agility, skating with others, blocking, and knowing the rules of the game. If you would like further information on what testing looks like you can go to

When I said I was ready, I was. I ended up taking my Endurance and Speed tests on quad rentals from the rink because one of my skate's broke and had to be repaired, and I made good time on both. People were surprised. I was surprised. Have you ever gone from wearing rental skates to your very own skates and then to have resort back to those dingy, nasty skates? Well, in my opinion, only a skillful skater could. They are horrible. I passed everything else with flying colors—except, I'll admit, I had to redo my squats. If you haven't seen me, I'm about 5'10" off-skates so adding another four inches makes me pretty tall. That is why in our first season, I was not so good; I still didn't have my balance or agility where it needed to be so I looked like an Amazon baby giraffe. Squatting is not my forte, but I ended up doing it and passing. The waiting began for the draft.

Testing took longer than it should. We all understood, or those of the previous season, that with all the changes that took place, we were pretty much a new league, starting all over again. Also, some of the things we set as goals didn't get accomplished as we would have liked because we were still learning. However, instead of six weeks of testing, it was more at your own pace. This wasn't necessarily a good thing or bad thing, it just was. We were all just anxious to be drafted to know who wanted us. The captains (who were chosen by the league) and their co-captains (who were picked by the captains) got to make the decision with the Board of Directors (BOD) on whom went first. I was drafted by the Royal Pains (at this time we did not have a name but we were "Team Purple"). I was so excited when I found out I was drafted to that team. I had some very awesome "veterans" with me (BOD chose to have each team draft the veterans first, then the new recruits) that I was somewhat close to or really wanted to be close to, and I was ready to build onto those relationships.

While I was doing all of this with derby, I was also trying to keep that promise to Mr. Fuzz. October, as you can tell, was pretty busy with testing, drafting, Renaissance Festival and new recruits. I also was given the position of Committee Head for the Administration Committee. That’s a lot to deal with, along with Mr. Fuzz and I still working on our stuff, and I was working a part-time job in October.We had a good run for about two months, and then the straw that broke the camel’s back occurred: out of the blue his daughters moved in with us. This was a fast change and transition for all of us. I barely held on and of course, I relapsed.

Oops. I did it again.

To be continued soon in Chapter 3: Big Blocks.

Part 1 of Memoirs of a (Retired) Derby Girl began Sept. 6, 2011. Read it here:

Friday, September 9, 2011

Meatless Manicotti

Thanks to Liz Manley (aka Dead Girl Derby's former Notorious L.I.Z.) for today's post. Check out Liz's blog, Her Manleyness, for tales of child-rearing and more delicious recipes!

I love noodles. They are yummy, can go in just about everything, and they are cheap. It's too bad that they are so loaded in carbs, or I just might eat them every day! I like my meat too, but am fond of food no matter what, especially when I'm not the one who cooked it. My husband however, feels that a meal is not complete without meat. So it is quite a feat when I come across a dish that is meatless and that is yummy enough to satisfy my meat-eater spouse.

Hence, Meatless Manicotti. It is yummy, and for those very strict vegetarians, it won't fly with you, but for those that still include dairy and eggs, you'll love it ... I hope. :)

Meatless Manicotti
(serves 3-4)

9 manicotti shells (I typically cook 10 in case one spilts open on me)
1 egg, beaten
1 cup chopped broccoli, frozen or fresh
1/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs (I cop out and use store-bought Italian bread crumbs)
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 cups shredded Colby Jack cheese
1 10.75-oz can cream of mushroom soup (you can use any cream of ____ soup)
1/2 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cook manicotti according to package directions; drain.
3. For filling, in a bowl, combine egg, broccoli, bread crumbs, green onion, salt and pepper. Add 1 cup cheese; toss to mix.
4. Spoon (I use fingers, it's easier) filling into manicotti shells.
5. Arrange manicotti in 8x8 baking dish.
6. In bowl, stir together soup and milk; pour over manicotti. Cover with foil.
7. Bake 30-35 min or until heated through.
8. Remove foil; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake another 5 min or until cheese is melted.
9. Let stand 5 min before serving, if you don't want to burn your mouth :)

I like this recipe, and hope you will too, at least you should if you like noodles and food like I do. :)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Practice Fuel: Quick and Easy Pre-Workout Foods

Have you ever enjoyed a meal of three pieces of stuffed-crust pizza, a beer and several fresh chocolate chip cookies before derby practice? If you have, you know that's a terrible idea. If not, don't try. Real life tip: I almost vomited on the rink. Don't be like me. I'll never do this again.

Food is fuel. We all know this but sometimes forget this. Commercials and marketing focus solely on taste and it's easy to lose sight of the fact that we need to feed our bodies good fuels that it can burn to let us skate harder and block better.

So what makes for a good pre-practice meal?

If you must have pizza: Croissant Pizza
This is smaller and lighter than what I'd end up indulging in if I let myself order in. Not ideal, but sometimes food desires are too strong to pass up entirely.

Craving Mexican: Vegan Lentil Tacos
Go light on the beans for your teammates' sake. Even if you're not vegetarian, lentils don't have the grease the hamburger does, so these tacos sit well on the stomach.

Better than Chinese takeout: Veggie Fried Rice
If you're going to eat Chinese anyway, make it yourself at home and save a lot of the oil that can only upset your tummy after skating 20 laps in four minutes. And if you make your own, you won't be tempted by crab rangoons.

Light snack: Banana granola bars
You can make these on a weekend and eat them pre-practice all week long. Of all the things I've made for gameday fuel, this is my favorite so far.

When it's cold outside: Sweet potato chili
Sweet potatoes are a godsend. This recipe is vegan and full of fruits, veggies and lean protein. It's so win-win, I'm calling this a Tiger Blood recipe. If the word "vegan" freaks you out, add some cooked ground turkey for extra protein.

Lunch before an early practice: Apple peanut butter cheddar sandwich
When I practice on Sunday mornings, I've been known to come home ravenous and make one of these for lunch. What you eat all the time affects your body, so this is always a good lunch.

For tofu lovers: Easy weeknight tofu dinner
Soy gives some people some "trouble"... That is, trouble similar to eating too many beans. If that's you, maybe don't make this pre-practice. But I love that it's pure protein and veggies. The recipe works with meat, too.

Worth cleaning the rice cooker for: Last-minute stir-fry

Veggies and brown rice for dinner? Filling and non-greasy. I love it.

In a pinch: Kashi frozen meals or an Amy's frozen burrito
As a rule, I try to avoid pre-packaged foods. But sometimes we're all so busy with work, workouts, families, pets, children and life in general that we just don't have time to cook. If you're all out of leftovers and need a meal, these are great. I try to keep one in my freezer at all times. Don't go to practice starving!

What's the pattern here? Go for some good low-fat protein. Lean chicken or beef works great. If you're vegetarian, lentils, black beans, nut butters and soy (tofu, seitan) will give you sufficient protein as well. I love non-fat Greek yogurt any time of day. Also, my purse and skate bag always have at least one pre-packaged natural high-protein low-sugar granola bar in it—when you're burning a lot of calories, you never know when you'll need one.

Add your favorite pre-practice food below!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Apple-Cinnamon Scones: How I got my husband to eat cooked fruit

This recipe is modified from Grandma Johnson's Scones. I first made these back in February, thought about blogging them, and didn't. No wonder I can't seem to find it when I want to pass it on to people.

This recipe makes a lot, but they never last long in my house. You can also divide the dough and make a couple different types of scones.

Apple-Cinnamon Scones
(makes 12 large scones)

1 cup plain yogurt
1 tsp baking soda
4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp salt
1 cup butter
1 egg
1 apple, minced
2 tsp cinnamon

1. In a small bowl, blend the sour cream and baking soda. Set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3. Lightly grease a large baking sheet.
4. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, cream of tartar, cinnamon and salt. Cut in the butter. Stir the sour cream mixture, egg and apple into the flour mixture until just moistened.
5. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead briefly.
6. Roll or pat dough into a 3/4 inch thick round. Cut into 12 wedges, and place them 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
7. Bake 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown on the bottom.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Memoirs of a (Retired) Derby Girl: Part 1

Please welcome Haute Fuzz, who graciously requested to guest blog for me. When she asked, she had no idea where to go with this. But she already knew what the title would be, as it's a title she would like to publish a book with. (Please DO NOT steal it from her!)

I am not your normal Jane Doe. As the title perceives, I am a derby girl. Every roller derby girl has a story to be told and this one is mine. My name is Haute Fuzz #38C, and I played for Dead Girl Derby in Riverside, Mo., for the Royal Pains. I am an original member of this league, which started in Liberty, Mo., in July 2009, and I retired after our last game on August 21, 2011. Most of you may think, "Well shoot, she's not a derby girl anymore if she's not playing." Well let me tell you, in my heart and mind, I am and always will be a derby girl and and no one can change that.

I began my roller derby journey many ways and the story is never the same when asked because, truth be told, it's a bit embarrassing how I got into it. Remember MySpace? Well I was intrigued by this league in town called Kansas City Roller Warriors. I decided to add them as a friend back in 2006. It took me three years to go to one of their games. Why, you ask? I'll tell you.

I was a stay-at-home mom for seven years. I never got out. I was secluded in my 20's to the house by personal and family reasons. When my son finally reached 1st grade and the roller skating parties began, I finally got to breathe life again. I know, I make staying at home sound horrible, but for me it was. I am a sociable person. I crave interaction with others and if I don't have it, I feel alone and sad. So I was more than happy to get out on the rink with him.

My husband and I enjoyed it. We found that we both were losing weight (I was still on Weight Watchers and had trouble getting off the last few pounds) and gaining muscle by skating so we decided to make it a weekly thing, and we did. Every Saturday we would take Fuzz Jr. to Skate World and we would skate. I was almost just as bad as Fuzz Jr. was at first, which some of you may be surprised by. I loved skating. I was a rink rat myself growing up, but of course, when high school hit I was preoccupied with other things, so I was rusty. Going to the skating rink every week and eventually increasing the skating to two or three times a week, my confidence built up and I started skating pretty well. We made friends with a lot of the regulars and found that some of these regulars were part of KCRW or wanting to be a part of them.

I of course knew of KCRW, but as I mentioned earlier, I never actually saw a game or really knew what roller derby was. Mr. Fuzz didn't either so he went to the library and checked out a book for us to read. The book was titled, Rollergirl: Totally True Tales From the Track by Melissa Joulwan. I fell in love with what I read. I then persuaded him to take me to a bout and he did. We went to our first KCRW game in 2009 and I fell in love. That was the beginning. I began asking how to get into KCRW; I began doing the research, and I felt overwhelmed. I didn't think I had what it took to make KCRW, so thankfully with luck from my friends, I found Dead Girl Derby, another league in town that just started in Liberty, on MySpace. I added them as friends, followed them, and in December 2009 saw that they were still looking for recruits. At this point in my life I was ready for something and my husband thought that I needed something in my life, too. I just finished my Technical Schooling in 2008 and was back to staying at home, doing nothing by 2009, and really needed something for myself. So this opportunity spoke to us and he told me to go for it. Sometimes I think we both regret making that decision.

I sent an e-mail to the person in charge of the MySpace account and started asking questions, or more so, I told her straight-up: "I don't feel comfortable being a skater, I think I would like to ref." I had it set in my mind that this league was going to be like KCRW, and I already saw KCRW skill requirements, and didn't think I could make it there—that's why I was over here. I scared myself out of it. She told me to come to the meet and greet at Crossroads in downtown Kansas City, Mo., where the league would be while supporting The Belated and Nuthatch 47 show. I said sure. I went and had a fabulous time with those ladies. They welcomed me with open arms, were inquisitive, and overall accepted me. When I went to my first practice, it was the same. However, I had a lot of girls ask, "Are you going to skate with us?", and I would retort, "No, I am going to referee for you." I look back and every day I regret starting as a referee. Why? Because to be honest, I didn't know that I was just as good or even better than some of those girls who were actually playing. I also misunderstood the league and how it was for any girl willing to learn and wanting to skate. I refereed for four months. Finally, after a lot of help from my referee friends, I was accepted as one of the girls, got to practice with them, and ended up playing in my very first game in June 2010. I was horrible. It's true.

I almost gave up after that very first season. Mr. Fuzz and I were struggling in our relationship. I was at practices two nights a week, a game a month, a league meeting a month, fundraisers it seemed every other week, it was strenuous. I still loved my family and I still took care of my responsibilities but it was not enough in Mr. Fuzz's eyes. However, he knew how much I loved the game and told me that if I wanted to continue with it I needed to change some things. I had the best intentions of doing that, but as most people know, sometimes it's hard keeping promises.

The story will continue in Chapter 2.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Self-Image and Derby

In the time since I started skating for derby, I've noticed that that my vision of myself has changed quite a bit. Last year, I was particularly self-conscious and felt like a squishy old fat kid. Now I'm still fairly self-conscious, something that will probably never change. But most days, I am dying to show off my legs, which I have toned by skating 10 hours a week. My waist has gone down about five inches—and did you know there are muscles under tummy fat? When I gained weight after college, my bra size went up. Now it's back down, but most of the time I don't care. I'm happy to wear tights, tank tops and buttcheek-baring booty shorts, something I never would have done even when I was 18 years old.

Photo by Shaun Ferguson

What's really great is that it just keeps getting better! In the first few months, I lost about 15 pounds. Now a couple have come back, but I'm in the best shape of my life and I feel really strong for the first time in years. I'm only 5'4" and I'll never be skinny, but I love my curves more and more every day. When someone stopped me to compliment my calves during a break of a derby game, I almost cried out of pride.

My derby sisters and brothers agree, it's not about being anyone's idea of "hot." It's about knowing that we've pushed ourselves and earned these bodies.

(Expletive Deleted) #80085: I'm no more self-confident. Just more self-accepting of my awkwardness and louder about my boobs.

Martha ScrewIT #3.14: Derby has made me appreciate my body for what it can do. My thighs aren't too big anymore. They are powerful and help me to skate. My ass isn't too big anymore. It is just the right size for slowing down other skaters. I no longer wish I was the skinny girl. I love every curve that I have. Especially when they are wrapped in fishnets. ;)

Edith MyFist #J9: I used to think I couldn't wear short skirts because of my very large muscular thighs. I thought it made me look fat or something. They are even more muscular now and I will wear skirts that make them pop. Derby has shown me that your body is just that. Your body. You can't measure it against anyone else's because it is different. Every different size has it's purpose and can be extremely sexy. I have never looked at a girl in derby and thought, "Oh no, she shouldn't be wearing that." Nobody thinks that.

Photo by Brandi Wilson, Firebranded Photography

Haute Fuzz #38C: I used to be a very conservative-dressed lady ... dressed like a granny in my 20s. But when I joined derby, that changed. I would not cringe at the thought of putting on things that I would never imagine myself wearing. I would hold my shoulders up, pop the chest out, suck that tummy in, and feel good about what I wore. I feel good about myself and how look because of derby. I have strong legs, and an ass that anyone would want to have or to spank. And the boobs. Can't forget the boobs. Best assets come from the exercise and conditioning that derby gives you. And you are empowered because you are not alone in what you wear or how you dress. You have other women beside you, competing for the best derby garb.

Tobi Feared #27: I am more self-confident than I have ever been because of derby. The feeling you get when you are driving home from practice... or from a game—you are sweaty and amped up! You feel like you can do anything and you thank your body—your body that can do so much more than you ever imagined! Negative thoughts about your body are no more… you are proud of it! That's the best!

Elle Maldito #666: Derby has given me a reason to want to be successful in life, to leave the house, and to have a social life. It has inspired me to become healthy and take care of my body. I have become somewhat competitive, gained ambition, and am slowly becoming the athlete I have always wanted to be. I have become friends with so many wonderful women and men that I might not have known otherwise. I can interact with people and not be so shy. I am confident in myself and my abilities. I wear my clothing with pride. And in general have gained a lust for life. I was in such a bad headspace before, and I didn't really know how to interact with new people or in new situations. All of that has changed. Thanks, derby! Also, because I am exercising more, my hair has become a lot healthier and more amazing!

Sir Rink Pain (Ref): Skating with DGD and the level of encouragement I have gotten from everyone changed things in me I wasn't sure were possible. I used to stand infront of a class full of people I had known for a year to give a presentation and would shake, sweat, stumble and all be an all around nervous wreck. My level of confidence has gone up, and I now, obviously, have little issue in talking infront of a huge group of people. And the weight loss has made me feel better about myself, too,—30 pounds in eight months, just by skating and counting calories.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Imma Be a RenFest Beer Wench

I've been to the Kansas City Renaissance Festival a few times and like it all right. This year I'll be prostituting my boobs there, all in the name of derby. To do so, I have to dress in costume.

I put together an outfit based on some new things and old things.

I bought this brown suede-like long-sleeved shirt for $1 or $2 out of a bin at Arizona Trading Company in Westport.

I thought it was a size 8 and couldn't figure out why it wouldn't go over my head. It's actually a small. Oh well, I was going to cut it up anyway.

Now it's size-less because I cut out the tag. Mwahahaha!

I also cut off the sleeves right outside the seams and cut straight down the center where it was sewn together.

Ta-da! Now it's a vest! I folded down the edges and put a corset-like wide belt over it. The tank top may be too gold-like, denoting royalty, so I may try to turn the "vest" into a tank top instead.

Brown boots on bottom. And I'll be layering a long red skirt under the mid-shin black one. In case you ever need to do it, rolled-up athletic socks add major boobage.

Here's the yellow tank top. I'm sad it's a little shiny and probably won't work.

This was my original outfit. Ignore my closed eyes. I fail at taking photos. I love this corset, but I was told it's all wrong for a beer wench. Crap.

The tank top also had a cute little bow in front. I knew that wasn't RenFest-appropriate.

Come buy drinks from me on September 24 and October 2! My derby league makes money, I get to keep cleavage-tips and I welcome the company.