BuzzFeedYellow, now known as Boldly, invited four women to give banked-track roller derby a try for one month under the tutelage of the LA Derby Dolls. The four invitees — Dani, Jazzmyne, Morgan, and Amber — having little to no prior knowledge of the sport, entered the experiment with some amount of trepidation.
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In the end, each of the four overcame early fears, and felt empowered by their foray into roller derby.
[fusion_title size=”4″]LA DERBY DOLLS[/fusion_title]
Think you might be interested in giving roller derby a whirl? In an interview with NeuH Magazine, Rebecca Ninburg, who co-founded the LA Derby Dolls in 2003, broke down the rules and some of the motivations for playing derby.
I skate because it makes me feel whole. Roller derby has helped me overcome a lot of my fears and has helped me accept and address my depression and anxiety. When I’m skating I never wish I was anywhere else, I always feel like I am exactly where I belong. It’s nice to know you share those same feelings with everyone around you and helps you not feel so alone when life hits a rough patch. It’s more than just a sport or a hobby – it really is a community, family, and support system for like-minded misfits. —Sly Foxx
I skate to reclaim what was lost. In my school days I was a determined athlete who overcame many challenges to compete. Being an athlete was an integral part of my identity; I designed my future around sports. In 2002 I was diagnosed with a chronic illness and it was like I had died. I felt as though everything I once was I could no longer be. I got tired of fighting so hard to do every day things that I did something I never did before – I gave up when things got hard. It was small things at first but once I started to give up, it became easier to give up the next time. Skating has helped me begin to break that habit. Again, it was small things at first; I fall down, I get back up. I get pushed, I push back. Now I am frequently challenging myself to conquer new skills, to be faster, to hit harder and be a better teammate. This willingness to be challenged bleeds into my life outside of skating, allowing me to reclaim what was lost and rebuild. —Frida Beararms
Roller derby is a place where I NEVER have to apologize for who I am; I can embrace the parts of me that intimidate people in “the real world.” Let’s be real. I have a STRONG personality and I’m not everyone’s cup of tea! Knowing this I live with a little voice inside me, frequently asking annoying questions like, “Did I come on too strong? Did I take that too far? Should I have just not said anything?” On the track, all of that goes away. I can be as aggressive, competitive, sassy, loud, and fierce as I want to be! And that’s pretty close to perfect, if you ask me. Getting to be my authentic self. —Amelia BigDealia