This entry in The Rollergirl Project is a small glimpse into the life of a derby girl. This entry is by Diamond Dog who skates with the Bleeding Heartland Rollergirls of Bloomington, IN. More pictures of her can be found at Cory's website
I grew up on a quiet cul de sac in Noblesville Indiana with tons of kids. We would put on our roller skates and race down the street, I would tuck one arm behind my back and pretend to be Olympic speed skater Bonnie Blair. My sister would tie pillows to her butt so that she wouldn’t get hurt but I never wore any safety gear. Honestly it is amazing that I survived childhood with no broken bones. I jumped off the top of swing sets and climbed trees all day.
When I reached adulthood, I had become a teen mom to a kick ass set of twin boys. I had made friends with a few derby girls outside of the derby world, I also have a cousin who skates for Grand Raggidy so when my cousins team came down to play BHRG I went to watch a bout. I was in love! I wanted to do it so bad and I decided as a graduation present to myself I would start to play roller derby. I even picked out my derby name Diamond Dog 2 years before I started skating. The name comes from my undying love of my favorite singer David Bowie.
So, in 2011 a few months before I graduated I bought skates and gear and went to a BHRG skills camp. I thought, “I skated as a kid how hard can it be?” Well it took me that first skills camp to learn it was a lot harder than I thought. I realized that I could go forward on skates, but I couldn’t stop or turn really at all. I signed up for the boot camp and my first practice, I messed up a ligament in my knee. That was my first injury. After the boot camp was over, I went to the new skater program the DisOrderlies once a week and learned so much, like “Hey, guess what, I can stop now!” Not only that but I can do many different kinds of stops!
March 2012, I broke my wrist, that was a fun one because I went to a doctor twice in a two week period to be told I had a pinched nerve and finally went to the ER where the doctor told me I had a fracture that went in 3 different directions on my radius. Way to go urgent care clinic who misdiagnosed me.
The biggest critique that I always got from the coaches who watched us was that I needed to work on core more, I kept trying and it seemed like something was wrong so I went to a doctor during the off season and found out that I had a hernia. They did surgery and guess what; there were FOUR hernias, so that explains a lot. Now I’m back again and better than ever, I can do sit ups now when I couldn’t do those before. I’ve learned so much since I started skating. My next goal, besides making the league and a team, is to learn how to be a wrecking ball on the track.
So that is my derby story. You know that obnoxiously catchy song by Chumbawumba, Tub Thumping? That is my derby song, I get knocked down but I get up again, you’re never going to keep me down. Because I’ve gotten knocked down by injury a lot but it will never keep me down because I always get back up and put my skates back on and hit the track.
I love this sport so much, I always joke that I suffer from Derby Distraction Disorder because I think about it so much. My non derby friends don’t understand at all how wonderful derby is. I also love the league BHRG so much, it is the best group of people that I’ve ever met (besides my besties outside of derby ;) ) Everyone in BHRG is so encouraging and wonderful everyone brings their own unique skills to the table and it makes this wonderful organization. I am so glad that I started skating and wish that I had right after that first bout that I went to instead of waiting 2 years. And no matter how many times I get knocked down I will ALWAYS get back up and keep skating.