Edge of a Secret
Ok, I feel like I am comfortable enough to let you all in on a little secret. In fact, it is so secret, I haven’t even shared it with Mike yet. You’ll be hearing it first, right here in this blog.
Here it is…I want to be a Roller Girl. I don’t mean just a skater. I want to be a full fledged, all out, Roller Derby Queen. I want to rule the flat track. I wanna be mean. Let me give you the 411 of how this seed was planted, so, hang with me for a few minutes.
A couple of months ago I went with my sister to get her hair done. She has the coolest hair stylist ever. You know how it is at the salon. Girls talk, gossip, share ideas and secrets. Sandy, (the stylist) just threw it out there in the middle of our conversation about working out. “I’ve joined a Roller Derby Team!”
I did a double take and asked her to repeat what she’d just said. I had no idea Roller Derby was still a popular sport and I couldn’t believe this 5ft. 5 in. super cute redhead was into pushing other people around. I wanted to know more and I couldn’t wait to get the inside scoop on what the Gate City Roller Girls (her roller derby team) was all about. I was also intrigued with learning more about the Roller Derby sport because after all, Frayed Edge Concepts is all about capturing moments outside the ordinary. I couldn’t wait to photograph these girls because to me, they are living a frayed edge experience.
So, I stalked (not really, I was invited) them at the Greensboro Downtown Shindig on May 2nd of this year. They were there promoting their team and connecting with the community. One of the group shots we took from that event appeared in “Go Triad” magazine (see pic below). Holla!
Since spending a few hours talking to these girls and photographing them in action, I have decided I want to be them. In fact, I want to be them so badly, I spent two hours this week with these high spirited girls while they participated in one of their four weekly workouts. Don’t worry, I didn’t don my skates and push my way onto the team. Mike photographed while I chatted and got to know a few of the girls a little better.
– I learned that Aubrey aka “Molly Flogger” (her Roller Derby name) started the Gate City team. She also writes about the team on their Facebook site.
-I learned Roller Derby girls have really cool Roller Derby names like Smaxle Rose, Jess the Ripper, Eristhrottle, Super Scar and Myrtle Biotch.
-I also learned that being a Gate City Roller Girl can be very dangerous. I mean, if you have to wear a helmet, knee pads, elbow pads and a mouth guard, it’s pretty apparent there is a degree of danger there.
-I also learned that these girls are very athletic. They spend a considerable amount of time warming up with sneakers before they ever put on a pair of skates. They do sit-ups, push-ups, and lots of stretching. Once the skates go on they spend time maneuvering in and out of small orange cones and even partner toss a shoe back and forth while skating side to side.
-I learned being a Roller Girl isn’t easy. It requires passing a Skills Assessment test before you can compete. Those skills include learning to fall correctly because falling the wrong way can be a hazard to oneself and others on the track.
-Thanks to Safia aka “Veto Power” I learned a few of the rules and etiquette of the sport like what a “jammer” is and elbowing is a bad thing.
-I learned that these girls who now call themselves the best of friends vary in ages, culture, ethnicity, occupations, you name it! As far as careers go, they have everything from small business owners to professors on their team. Impressive!
But, most importantly, I learned that the Gate City Roller Girls are all about camaraderie. They are into building relationships not just on their team, but with the community. August 21, they will be holding a Dance Party fundraiser in support of their team and Often Awesome.
Lindsay aka “School Ya Childs” shared that she had moved to Greensboro sometime ago and really hadn’t felt connected until she joined the Gate City Roller Girls. She said her time practicing and hanging out with the girls has been a social outlet which has made Greensboro feel more like home. “This is a great workout time, kick someone’s ass time, build team skills and challenge ourselves time. It’s also been a way to learn how to build a business from scratch with my friends.”
Two other team members had this to say about what they’ve gained from being on the team:
Carly, aka “Addie Van Cynic” –“Anger management!”
Jessica aka “Jess the Ripper” –“It’s a great workout with forty of your best friends and it channels aggression.”
One would think a team composed of forty girls would become a breeding ground for drama of Housewives of Orange County proportions, but these girls agree that the drama is non-existent. These are girls who are completely self aware and self-confident. Just a few more reasons to join.
So, as soon as I publish this post I am headed off to our local video store to rent “Whip It.” As I watch it, I will imagine I am Smashley Simpson or Babe Ruthless and maybe the movie will give me the edge I need to “put on my skates and be my own hero!” (quote from “Whip It”)