This past weekend I volunteered at the Midwest Brewhaha, a regional tournament for women’s roller derby (If you’re not familiar with Milwaukee’s own roller girls, the Brewcity Bruisers, I must insist you check them out).
The two-day tournament, held at the Milwaukee County Sports Complex in Franklin, drew derby teams from Minnesota, Illinois, Ohio, and even teams in La Crosse and Madison.
It got me thinking about how roller derby relates to life in general.
Basics of Roller Derby
Two teams go head to head on a flat track (we’re talking roller skates). The goal is to score the most points. One skater on each team is the “jammer” - they are the ones who score points by circling the track and passing the other teams' skaters. The rest of the skaters try to block the opposing team’s “jammer” from scoring while helping their own team’s “jammer.”
- Don’t make assumptions! You can’t tell who these girls really are by their derby names (Minnie Krush, Latina Heat, Lady Pulverizer for example) or their outfits (usually hot pants) and the most unassuming girl is usually a killer on the track. You don’t know people until you take the time to connect with them. Don’t rule someone out before you see what they can do.
- Sometimes you gotta be tough! Roller girls are notorious for being tough. Sometimes you have to push your way though certain situations to come out ahead. Go ahead, channel your inner roller girl! Personally, I’m considering Tawdry Hepburn or Punky Bruiser for my roller girl persona.
- Surround yourself with allies! The “jammer” can’t score without her teammates watching out for her. Everyone needs those people in their lives. Put yourself in the middle of positive and supportive people.
- Engage in your community! The Brewcity Bruisers give away free tickets to each bout to local nonprofits. They also raise money for charity. Make sure you’re connected to the community you live/work in, we don’t exist in a vacuum.
- Be confident in yourself! I have never seen so many hot pants in my life (I know - again with the hot pants) and not one girl looked the same. Find what makes you unique and embrace it. Pay attention to when you’re at your most confident and find ways to duplicate that feeling everyday.
For more on your local roller girls, check out the Brewcity Bruisers' website.