Suzy Hotrod on Being in ESPN Mag's The Body Issue
On Thursday night I will be attending the launch party for ESPN Magazine’s The Body Issue. Because, breathe, breathe, I AM GOING TO BE IN IT! This is the first time I will see the photo too. This much-anticipated annual issue celebrates the athletic form and I will be alongside of Professional Athletes and Olympians. I am absolutely tremendously honored to have been chosen to represent not just Gotham Girls Roller Derby from New York, NY, but the entire sport of roller derby worldwide.
I had better be on my best behavior because I have a lot of you to represent. I laugh a little because I was just planning on taking the subway to get there. But they asked me if I needed a car to pick me up...uhhhh..YES...I think I do...?! Do I feel some hobo urge to stuff my handbag with things all night long? Staying till the end of the night to see if anyone leaves behind a gift bag? This makes me think of David Cross’s spoken word bit where he says he feels like every time he rides in first class, it looks like he doesn’t belong there and people must be assuming he’s the sick person from Make a Wish Foundation. Well, don’t worry roller derby world, I will not steal anything, tweet a dirty photo of myself, or arrive with firearms in my purse. I will celebrate the fact that I, and we, have earned it! And we earned it through good behavior and hard work.
I am an athlete just like the rest of the people in the magazine. Yes, I play the SPORT of roller derby. I’m a female athlete who has a lot of networking to do and people to meet. I may not have an agent or a publicist but I am ready to attend this fancy pants event and be the agent for our sport for the night. I’ve done research on all of the other athletes in the magazine so I can act cool when I beg them to take a photo with me. (Top of my list being Apollo Ohno so I can tell him he’s the reason we jump up 1000’s of stairs) I have done research on how many roller derby leagues are in WFTDA, and how many countries derby is played in all over the world. I’m going to tell everyone about roller derby and what we’ve created.
The roller derby revolution started for me in a small roller rink in the South Bronx in 2004, while 10 girls in full protective gear and helmets learned to skate in between the local jam skaters. If you told me back then that I’d be in ESPN Magazine in a mere 7 years, I would have spit my mouth guard out laughing.
This revolution has summoned the inner athletes in women of all ages from all over the world to play a full contact sport in roller skates just for the love of it. That sounds almost too crazy to be true. It has changed our lives. We are fearless and dedicated to something that is our own.
I have given up everything for this sport. Ask my loved ones. EVERYTHING is second to roller derby. I skate 4 days a week and make my best effort to get hot yoga in there on Tuesdays. Also I’m running, and I hate running. Then I ride my bike to work every day while I maintain a full time day job, which I love because it allows me to maintain my roller derby career through the health insurance and flexible time-off benefits.
Everyone remembers that Olympics commercial where Home Depot declares that they employ the most American Olympians. I think made the average TV viewer realize, "Oh wait, these people have to work? But they’re in the Olympics....?" So I’ll be going in to work Friday morning after the big ESPN launch party. Then Saturday morning, I’ll be up moving the sport court to set up the game for the Manhattan Mayhem and Bronx Gridlock’s home team game for Gotham Girls. A naked model’s job is never done! But I will be wearing some pants while hauling floor. Sorry to disappoint.
Me after getting my hair and makeup done at the shoot in August. To my left is the really nice woman who got to rub me down with shiny stuff in addition to doing my makeup and hair!
Learn more about the ESPN Magazine Body Issue, on newsstands on October 7th.