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Published on July 17th, 2011 | by Miss Moxxxie

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When The Good Times Stop Rolling

All my friends are dead.

Okay, not really, but it goes without saying that if you play derby and your buddies don’t skate, they might as well be pushing up daisies. You know how it is. You see your teammates four to five days a week, which leaves very little time for your significant other, your dog, or your civilian pals. Like so many of you, I am involved in many different aspects of the derbs. I skate, coach, announce when I’m able, and run a semi-monthly derby lifestyle ‘zine. All this work on top of an inclination toward poor time management (sad, but true) means my BFFs are subjected to monthly, urgent-sounding “HELLARAD Meeting” invites, which are really just a poorly disguised attempt to get everyone I like to hang out with me at the bar.

The fucking tragic part is that things weren’t always like this. I started roller derby to hang out with my friends. My home team, the San Francisco ShEvil Dead*, once boasted the names of nearly every single person I love most in the derby world. As you can imagine, on a team full of my best friends, going to practice was pretty magical. Road trips for away games were nothing short of epic. The Force was strong with us and we reveled in it, during Sunday after-prax beer sessions at Zeitgeist, canoe trips and impromptu dance parties in Motley Cruz’s living room. It didn’t matter much that our uniforms were hideous and that we lost, like, every game we played; WE LOVED EACH OTHER.

Hellarad Good Times 3_0.jpgThe Dead’s awesomenocity was infectious, and naturally carried over to the All-Star team when it formed. We spent four solid seasons performing feats of strength in hotel hallways, trying to out-ridiculous each other with afterparty gear, and basically adopting a pretty intimidating gang mentality (old lady wigs being our weapon of choice). Man, but those were the times!

Seemingly while I was sleeping off a particularly gnarly hangover, the derby world became so competitive that it’s hard to believe there was ever a time when we shotgunned beers before a bout. Girls are now eating healthy (don’t even talk to me about the fucking Paleo diet), working out off-skates like crazy people and (this kills me) taking it SERIOUSLY. Roller derby isn’t just a fun pastime anymore. It’s a full-fledged legitimate sport, full of athletes and strategy buffs and nutjob fans (thank God for you, nutjob fans!). Like all good things, damn. I should have seen it coming. But I guess, like the chick who slammed one too many cans of Sparks, dancing by herself in the kitchen after everyone else has gone home, I just didn’t want to admit that the party was over.

Hellarad Good Times 2_0.jpgThis one goes out to all the assholes I love who moved away (Morty and Terra), opened a dumb skate shop that hogs all your time (Motley and Block) or just had to quit the team (Skato and Taxi). I will never forgive you, but I will let you buy me a bloody mary. And though times may be a-changin’, my love for this revolutionary sport will never die. I’ll continue to give everything I have to making it even more awesome, having faith that along the way I’ll be rewarded by meeting a few more diamonds in the rough; the folks who make derby so rad. As they say, make new friends, but keep the old; one is silver and the other Gold.

*Still the greatest home team in the history of derby

Photos: Mister Moxxxie

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