We know all what tough love is, and sometimes it’s not what we want but it’s what we need. I’ve always been supported by my parents, family and friends and they never pushed me into something that I didn’t want to do. Coming into roller derby, my parents and friends said things like “Hey, that’s great!”, “Good for you”, “I’m proud of you” and “PLEASE DON’T GET HURT!”. You know, supportive and loving comments. Now all I hear is “Just do it!”, “You are ready”, “Stop whining, and just do it!”, “You take forever”, “Get out of your head”. All words from the one and only Bobbi Gore, my derby wife.
Bobbi and I have known each other through mutual friends for give or take 8 years now. I saw her at parties and get-togethers and never struck up conversations with her. To be honest, she kind of scared me [ still does]. I consider myself to be shy at times especially during parties, social events, places with people in general. Bobbi, she’s the life of the party. Talks to everyone, dances, puts herself out there, dances and oh yeah, dances. I didn’t want to embark on this derby journey by myself, see… that’s me being shy, so my boyfriend told me to ask Michelle (Bobbi Gore’s real name — your secret’s out!). She was super excited that I asked her because she had wanted to try out for a while now and already had skates. We got together and went to open skates and that’s when we became inseparable.
I learned from Bobbi. In our early skating escapades, I would watch her skate and do tricks and I’d ask her why I couldn’t do that too? First tough love moment between Bobbi and I, “You need to get out of your head”. Bobbi was right then and is still right to this day. “Stay out of your head, Ovie!” I hear that one a lot. I remember when we were learning to hit and block on skates, oy. I would see her coming towards me and I’d whine “I’m not ready!” and she would yell at me “YES YOU ARE READY! I’M GOING TO HIT YOU!”. She was right, I needed to suck it up and start throwing hits and get hit. I wasn’t going to learn if I didn’t suck it up and just do it. She had a big influence on me with trying out for the Queen City Cherry Bombs too. I didn’t think I was ready for the travel team or thought that I would be able to fit this into my schedule. Bobbi told me to stop making excuses and just try out. She really wasn’t giving me an option either here. She TOLD me that I was trying out. If that isn’t tough love, then I don’t know what is. (BTW, Bobbi and I both made the Cherry Bombs and now are on a team together!)
Bobbi still is telling me to get out of my head, hurry up, stop being a baby and just do it. She would be a great spokeswomen for Nike, let me tell you. She says their slogan enough! She gives me the kick in the ass that I need but sometimes don’t want. Bobbi has been there for me through the good, the bad, the ugly and everything in between. Even when I can’t seem to push myself more, she’s right there telling me to keep pushing. I have learned and keep learning from Bobbi each and every day. I couldn’t be happier and more honored to have a derby wife and now life long friend such as Bobbi Gore. Thanks for the tough love, Bob.
1. Characterized by or tending toward unprovoked offensives, attacks, invasions, or the like; militantly forward or menacing.
2. Making an all-out effort to win or succeed; competitive.
3. Vigorously energetic, especially in the use of initiative and forcefulness
4. Boldly assertive and forward; pushy.
Aggressive is something that I am not. If you looked up aggressive in the dictionary my picture would not be anywhere neat that word and definition. Well, until you skim to the the antonyms..
1. Friendly. 2. Retiring, shy, timid, hesitant. Now, that’s me to a T. So how does one who is a semi-quiet, more reserved person break out of their shell and be aggressive? I haven’t the slightest clue! Please, someone help me!!
Roller derby not only requires physical exertion, it also requires a lot of mental activity. You are constantly pushing yourself physically but you have to really put your game face on. My problem, you ask? I don’t have a game face nor do I know where to get one. When I first started scrimmaging, I was a mess! I never was able to break through the pack. It was bringing me down. I couldn’t figure out why his could be?! Until someone asked me where my aggression was. Good question, WHERE IS MY AGGRESSION?! WHY AM I NOT AGGRESSIVE?!
After a few… more like several scrimmages, I finally found it! I don’t know where this aggression came from but there it was. I was getting through packs! I was surprised with myself. ALL RIGHT! GO ME! I even felt bad for being hard on myself about not getting through and scoring any points at past scrimmages. I mean I’m still Freshmeat going into my rookie season. I’m not going to be a superstar roller derby girl over night. This sport is a lot to take in; trying to soak all this new knowledge in my head and just learning everything you need to know and do. All of this is so new to me, even rollerskating is new to me. Roller derby is a crazy sport and I seriously believe you have to be crazy to play this sport! Crazy and well… aggressive.
Having found this aggression is extremely helpful. Don’t get me wrong though, it is still difficult to break through packs and get your way through, but being aggressive helps for sure. Finally finding my aggressive side has been such an accomplishment for me! I feel like Robin Williams, as Peter Pan in the movie Hook, when he found his happy thought and learned how to fly again (we both wear tights too!). It took me a while to find it but aaah, what a relief. And a little tip for any ladies out there who are planning on learning how to skate to play roller derby, STAY POSITIVE! There are a lot of components to this sport but if you keep with it and put your all into it, you’ll get it! Stay positive and oh yeah, BE AGGRESSIVE… B-E AGGRESSIVE!
I’M A MELTDOWN! I’M A MELTDOWN! I’M A MELTDOWN! DID A MENTION THAT I’M A MELTDOWN?! I’m proud to be one of the newest skaters of the NHRD Seabrook Meltdowns. The first bout that I went to see was actually a Meltdown bout. I watched the team like a hawk. Maneuvering around their opponents, communicating to one another and just working as a team. I even said to myself “I could never be on that team. I’m not that good at skating”. After a lot of work and dedication, I did! I am a official skater for New Hampshire Roller Derby. Not only that, I’M A SEABROOK MELTDOWN!
It all started with when I took part as a NHRD NSO. After not making the cut back in January 2011, I still wanted to be a part of this amazing league. Woody Yankabitch, one of NHRD’s finest refs, was the one that approached me about taking advantage of this opportunity. I NSOed for a year and had a blast! I learned about penalties, score keeping, and even gained a bit knowledge about how the game is played. I was able to attend all practices too. There I skated on the outside of the track being a little fan girl. I watched and admired every single woman out on that track. Being able to get skating time in, I was able to build my confidence little by little. I just kept telling myself that will be me next year, I can do it!
After a season of NSOing, it was time for FRESHMEAT BOOTCAMP AND TRAINING! I feel that I had an advantage in freshmeat bootcamp. In bootcamp, we focused on basic skating skills. We covered all level 1 skills and were even shown some level 2 skills that night. I was introduced to all this when I tried out last year. I kept all those skills in my regular skating routines. Whenever I attended league/team practices as a NSO, I was on the side lines practicing the skills that I learned back in the 2011 tryouts. Now, freshmeat training.. that’s a different story. Captains and trainers from different teams crammed in as much training as they could into 2 months. It was intense but I loved it. Some practices came easier to me and some were personally tough. All in all partaking in both bootcamp and training were extremely beneficial for my skating career.
A year has come and gone and look at me now! I have NSOing under my belt. I was able to drink in new skating skills, and a few beers. I joined in on 2012 tryouts and MADE IT! This will be my rookie year as a Seabrook Meltdown for NHRD. I still have a lot ahead of me, a lot to learn and a lot to accomplish. I’m super excited for this year and I’m ready for every challenge coming my way. Oh yeah, did you hear the great news?! I’M A MELTDOWN!
I am Game Ovaries, but everyone calls me “Ovie”. I joined NHRD as an NSO (non-skating official) and volunteer in April 2011. Outside of roller derby I am a Visual/Merchandising Associate Manager for a high fashion company. I can work anytime from 5am to mid afternoon, to working overnights from 10pm to 7am. I even have to work weekends (YUCK!). When I’m not working, I’m hanging out with my friends. Going to shows, movies, bowling, just having a good time. I recently rekindled my hobby of painting. Other than hanging out with friends and painting here and there, I have no other hobbies or after-work activities. I’ve tried to be active after work, but that never really went according to plan. I blame reality TV shows and snack foods. So as you can see I needed something to fill my not-so-exciting afternoons up. Roller derby it was!
I became fascinated with the sport after watching the movie “Whip It”. I know, I know… I’m sure this may sound cliche but I was in awe while watching the scenes of these women slamming into each other, speeding and passing by their opponents and just knocking players down. I was hooked. I looked up roller derby videos of real life leagues. I watched videos of bouts, wipe outs and even skating techniques. It was as if my eyes were glued to the screen of my computer. I wanted more! One day I came across the New Hampshire Roller Derby league website. I researched what it took to be a skater and I thought “Hey, I could do this. I want to do this! I can learn to skate and be like these women. I want to play roller derby!”.
I participated in the NHRD tryouts back in January of 2011, and did not advance to Freshmeat Training. Believe me, it was a blessing in disguise! I had only skated maybe all of 4-5 times before tryouts and was truly inexperienced. Even after not making it through the next step of training, I decided that I would continue to skate at local rinks to get more skating experience. Another reason to keep skating was because I had just spent $200 on a skating package. $200 is $200! I couldn’t just let that money go down the drain. I bought the works: skates, helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards and a mouth guard. Where else would I wear all that gear?! I could’ve just left the items to collect dust but I was determined! Determined to learn how to skate… and to become a roller girl!
Some members of the referee and NSO crew, summer 2011
This past year has opened my eyes to a world of opportunities for myself with New Hampshire Roller Derby. Only a year has past by and A LOT has happened for me! I’ve learned how to skate and I’m not to shabby at it! Other than gaining skating experience, I’ve met and became acquainted with the skaters, refs and NSO’s in the league. This year has been a huge stepping stone for me. I’ve overcome a lot of obstacles but have so many more challenges still ahead of me. I will be blogging about my past year as an NSO, the ups and downs of being a freshmeat skater, people who have influenced and pushed me along the way and anything else that comes to my rookie mind!