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.