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Published on December 19th, 2011 | by DerbyLife


The Grass Isn’t Always Greener: RMRG Finds a Home

by Shakin’ Booty Syndrome

When my girls first started derby with the Rollerpunks, RMRG was in a warehouse with no temperature control, no bathrooms, no running water. If you had to go to the bathroom, you had to navigate down cement stairs to the tilted port-a-potties.

In shoes, it wasn’t so bad. In skates, it just wasn’t good. You had to brace yourself as you pulled up your shorts so you didn’t roll out the door, flashing more than your ruffled panties to unsuspecting souls outside.

Then there was the smell.

Dear god…the smell.

The warehouse was located near a Purina Puppy Chow plant. During the summer, the odor was the worst. Imagine your stinkiest wrist guard moment and add beef food product to it to give you an idea.

The announcement about the relocation to a new warehouse came shortly after RMRG became World Champions. We were told how wonderful the new space would be with its modern conveniences of fancy inside flush toilets and heat. And it all sounded like a dream.

The March move was a huge undertaking. Boxes to be packed, sports court tiles to be separated, sponsor banners to be rolled up. One of the last things to do was painting over the travel and home teams’ logos that marked the walls. The beautiful derby chick sitting on a star was covered in long strokes by a nondescript industrial white. I watched as many league members paused and gathered arm in arm to witness this end of an era.

The next day, we drove to the new warehouse. My girls chatted excitedly about being able to skate during the winter and be comfortable in the summer. We walked in through the dock entry and I felt a blast of heat. I looked around the huge space and became teary. I turned so my girls wouldn’t worry about why I was crying, immediately excusing myself so I could pee, flush AND wash my hands. It was a beautiful moment of bonding between me and the new place.

It was a magical honeymoon period for several months. We had so much room to play in and, frankly, we were spoiled.

Unfortunately, as with most things, the grass was not greener. Actually, that is not exactly true. The grass at this building was unnaturally green and inexplicably showed up inside the warehouse one day, positioned next to our blue skating track.

An indoor soccer league now called a big portion of the wonderful new warehouse home. We no longer had the building to ourselves and their artificial turf was off limits.

Adjusting to new neighbors who listen to different loud music than your own loud music is never easy. Whistles blown on either side can make things confusing. However, each group is getting accustomed to the other as problems are negotiated.

We aren’t quite to the point where we can feel comfortable borrowing a neighborly cup of sugar from each other, but we are getting there. Maybe someday we can have a joint function, like “Bearings & Balls,” a double-header event kind of thing. Then there will be peace and harmony in our warehouse on Smith Road…until, of course, a shot-put crew moves in and really screws things up.

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