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Published on August 19th, 2011 | by Hot Quad

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Meat So Fresh It’s Practically Mooing

This column is a play-by-play on my foray into roller derby – the results of which remain to be seen. Will there be success, glory, and tough glamor or just a whole lot of angst and bruises?

My journey starts like this: I spent most of last winter stuck in a rather deep malaise that didn’t lift with spring – or summer, for that matter. I was vaguely aware that the sun was out, the birds were singing and the air was full of the scent of newly growing grass and heavy dew, but it appears that most of the first part of this year was destined to be a time to worry about work while lying in bed staring at the ceiling with the shades drawn. My best moments were spent in front of the television. Not that I’ve ever heard another opinion of it, but depression really sucks. Once it sets in you just start to lose time. Moments turn into years while the world turns quiet and moves very far away.

For this there seemed to be only one solution: Fuck it. Let’s go skating.

At some point about a year ago I was having a conversation with a co-worker (Abby) and our COO (Eric) dropped in and suddenly we were talking about roller derby, something previously unknown to me. Both Eric and Abby professed a great enthusiasm for the sport and we all decided to go to a bout when the season started the following calendar year.

March came around and we organized an office event. For the record, nothing is better than sitting with a bunch of financial professionals at a roller derby bout drinking PBR in a haze of excitement and generalized confusion regarding the rules of the game. At some point during the bout I said, “I don’t think I could ever be aggressive enough to play derby,” which elicited a stare of disbelief from my boss. I forget that sometimes people find me a little intimidating.

At any rate, the issue of whether I would actually play the game seemed to be moot. After all, I was always the kid at Shady Lane Roller Rink in Evergreen, Montana, most familiar with the large numbers painted on the walls and floor. My skating technique as a child consisted mostly of figuring out how much time I could spend off the floor without being too much apart from the group.

That I would ever find myself in a skate shop discussing the relative benefits of cushions versus loosening trucks would have sounded like some weird alternate universe to me at the age of ten. Had it not been for the persistent efforts of my co-worker Abby, I wouldn’t have given it a second thought. However, she finally succeeded in dragging me out to an adult skate night, and after that… let’s just say I don’t do moderation well.

Now my evenings are full of adult skate nights with flashing lights and disco balls. Weekend practices resound with “Get low!” and “Drop your ass!” My bedroom is filled with the heady aromas of Icy Hot and stinky pads misted with vodka and water. In my dreams I skate so well I can almost fly. But reality is full of aching thighs and epic bruises. I still reserve the right to eat it at any time for no reason, and as far as I’ve come in a short period of time, there is still so much to learn.

Will roller derby saved my soul, as the song suggests? I don’t know. I suppose it depends on what exactly you mean by “soul,” and I’m not very fond of the idea of being saved, whether by roller derby or any other means. Still, the allure of short skirts, blood and bruises remains…

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