Crazy Eyeris – why I want to be a roller derby roller

SufferJets Ithaca, by Shatterbug11

SufferJets Ithaca, by Shatterbug11

That’s my Derby alter-ego. If I make the team.

I’m trying out next year. Going to train and soak in as much Derby as I can in the meantime. I am beyond excited. Scared. Overwhelmed.

Overwhelmed with the support that my family has shown. I thought it was something I would want to do, but oh man, the time commitment with a young family? I don’t know. When we went to our first bout, my husband and son both looked at me and said, in some sort of version, “you need to do this!”

My mother, bless her heart, said, “You need to do this. It’s the OLD YOU!” And so she is buying me my first pair of skates.

And it is the old me. I used to be an athlete. Soccer in the fall. Basketball in the winter. Track in the spring. All the swimming and bike riding possible in the summer, not to mention sports camps.

I was never great at any one sport. Good, but not great. But I was proud of me, proud of what my body could do. I was not afraid of pain (physical or emotional) and I was not afraid to get hurt. Diving, sliding, hitting balls with my body, hitting people with my body, giving me the cuts, bruises, and floor burn to prove it.

But then life happened. And now I’m a different person, but the same person, desperately ready to reclaim a part of me that many people don’t know anymore. Someone they never knew, but that I would like for them to love. A woman who’s strength my son can admire. A woman who’s strength my daughter can also achieve.

And then there is me with this very real need to move this body and feel better. So what better way to¬† be super motivated but the prospect of trying out for our local Derby league. Listen people, I am not capable of being a person who could just go try out without number one being in super-shape, and number two not being able to skate circles around the other “fresh meat” wannabes. Nothing personal if you not afraid to do that. In fact, I respect your fearlessness. I just can’t go in not ready to roll.

Next week is right around the corner. The fitness plan is being formulated. And the only thing that will make my heart happier than training and dreaming and soaking in the support of my family and friends is being known as Crazy Eyeris next year.

Do you have a huge goal set for next year? Is there a part of yourself you want to reclaim and have the people in your life know?

About Laine

Elaine GriffinElaine Griffin (a.k.a. Laine) is a freelance WordPress designer, content creator, and speaker. She brings her background as a sociologist, advocate, and educator, to her work and her writing, which has been featured on BlogHer and The SITS Girls. On The Laine List she spills her guts about life, motherhood, and balancing work and family. She also sprinkles in some fun recipe and cocktail posts. On Elaine Griffin Designs, she writes easy to follow tutorials about WordPress, social media, SEO, and blogging.
Working from her home office in Finger Lakes Region of NY, Elaine, a wine lover, also enjoys the beauty of living in wine country!

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  1. says

    I do have a list of little things that I want to achieve but we will see how it goes :)

    I have a friend who is in Roller Derby! She made the team on her first try-out and loves it! It’s really great sport and in some ways she has become a very different person. You can see her old self shine through…I hope you enjoy every minute of it!

    • Laine says

      Thank you so much for the support Denise! I will do it!! And my husband came up with the name because when I’m really mad I have crazy eyes. I couldn’t think of a better name – I think it’s perfect!

  2. Kandi Koated says

    I’m Melissa’s Derby friend in Alaska.

    DO. IT. Do it now, do it for you, for your heart, soul and danity. Do it for your fitness, do it for your children, do it for your man.

    My family has been 100% behind me in this latest adventure. My daughters were skeptical at first but have fully embraced the Derby me. My husband is happy that I have something that is MINE that I am passionate about. He’s even begun to read and learn about the sport on his own. My parents and in-laws have kept the kids for me when I needed help so I could make it to practices. I will never forget my father saying, “Get ’em, Baby Girl” to me before my first public expo scrimmage.

    My league is getting large enough now that we’ll soon be splitting into to teams. This amazing group of hardcore, gritty, tenderhearted, beautiful women has my back just like I have theirs. Derby Girls rally and circle our wagons at the slightest distress. We push each other and ourselves to be stronger, to skate harder, to endure more physical and mental pain than we think we can…but we CAN, because we know everybody else hurts too. When you’re down and hurt and feel like you can’t get up, by God you’ve got to because you. are. derby. and people are watching. And you get up and hopefully don’t cry until you get home.

    There will be nights you don’t want to go to practice. Go anyway. You’ll be glad you did.

    There will be times you want to quit. Don’t. You’ll get through it.

    There will be detractors. Ignore them.

    Do it. Find yourself again. Hugs and shoves!

    ~Kandi Koated, #A51, Denali Destroyer Dolls

    • Laine says

      Kandi! Thank you so much for reading and writing!
      One of the things that draws me to Derby is that obvious acceptance and love for other rollers. I’ve thought of joining soccer or basketball leagues, but they all seem exclusive. Plus the following and community support here is totally amazing!
      We have two teams in our league here in Ithaca, NY. Our league is the Ithaca League of Women’s Rollers, with the teams The Ithaca SufferJets and The Ithaca BlueStockings. I’m so excited for your league to be growing!
      BTW, is it okay if I email you?

  3. Kandi Koated says

    Bloody typos.

    “danity” = sanity

    “to” = two

    This box is not big enough for proofreading. And I was too excited!

  4. says

    Shared on Facebook.
    Gave me goosebumps.
    Gave me ideas.
    Let’s hope that it gave me enough motivation to dig deep and face my fears like you are facing yours.

    • Laine says

      Thank you for sharing and I’m so glad that you are inspired to dig deep. This is why I blog! To share and give and receive personal power! :)

  5. Kandi Koated says

    Oh, and being called a badass Jammer by a skater you very much admire will make your whole frigging WEEK. Seriously. Go sign up. DOOOO IIIITTTTT.

    (Guess who had a kickass practice tonight!)

    • Laine says

      Roll on with your kick-ass practice!!! Does your league have a website with any video or anything? I would love to check it out!

  6. says

    YAY! This is fantastic! I’ve got two friends who are in Derby – one of them also has her daughter on the junior league – and they both love it! You’re going to be just great, I know it!

  7. Kandi Koated says

    Howdy! I finally found the link again. Absolutely, a thousand times, YES! Feel free to email me. I gave Melissa the best e-addy for you to use to get me quickly.
    We are on facebook and our website is It’s been undergoing a total overhaul, so patience may be required. No video yet, but keep your eyeballs peeled! Great things are happening in our little town.


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