I was born and raised in a small California town, Coarsegold. I played just about every typical sport but nothing ever stuck for more than a season. I could not wait to get out of the valley heat, so I went to college at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA. There I got into logging sports and competed at the the collegiate and professional level. I graduated from Cal Poly with a B.S. in Environmental Management and Protection and a minor in Geographic Information Systems.
I worked in San Diego and San Francisco for awhile as an Environmental Scientist and then landed in another small California town, Red Bluff. It was a town where I knew nobody else and was in search of a hobby. I saw a flyer that there was a new team looking for athletes; the Red Bluff Derby Girls. I found more than a hobby; I found a great network of people and a new passion. I skated with them for almost a year and half.
Just this last December, my best friend and derby wife, Ruff N Tuff had to move to Dakota City, NE for family. I didn’t have any family or other close friends tying me to Red Bluff and I was looking for a change, so I came east with her.
The Sioux City Roller Dames and roller derby has once again given me a way to make a new set of friends and to be welcomed to a new city and state. Roller derby has been the first sport for me that has stuck for more than a season. It has amplified my competitiveness and pushed me to grow as a person. I have absolutely fell in love with roller derby and those who support it. I am so excited to grow even more with the Dames.
- Lil Pass-a-fist
The Blue Ribbon Tap is adding a new fixture to its vintage decor: the Roller Dames! The bar, which just opened on Pearl Street in May, is the best place in town to knock back $2 cans and draws of PBR, Hamm’s and Keystone (you can also get a bottle of Sierra Nevada or Fat Tire, if you absolutely can’t bear to drink out of aluminum).
Join the Dames after our home bouts in the shag-laden and decidedly old school indoor bar or outside on the patio/smoking lounge.
The Blue Ribbon Tap is located at 415 Pearl Street, with free weekend street parking and a garage right across the street. We’ll see you there!
In roller derby just like any other sport, it is important to incorporate cross training into your workout routine. Just because you can skate for 3 hours straight in a practice does not mean that you are fit or translate into being able to run or swim for 3 hours straight. Each sport and workout works on different muscle groups and that is why it is beneficial to cross train.
It was once believed that if you want to be good at a sport and strong, that you need to focus all of you energy and training on that one sport and activity. This is not the case. Focusing on one activity like skating leaves your body prone to repetitive motion injuries and can leave some muscles weak from inactivity. One common mistake that people do when working out is only focusing on cardio like running, but forget to add in strength training and core workouts or they do the complete opposite and only focus on weight lifting and no cardio. Another common mistake that people often do work one muscle group but forget to work the complementary muscle group (i.e. doing crunches and sit ups, but never working back muscles/ doing bicep curls but not triceps extensions).
Cross training is critical to counteract and prevent these problems. It is important to not only cross train with different cardio workouts but also with different strength training workouts as well. This helps reduce the risk of a plateau in your physical fitness. So you are probably wondering what kind of cross training options would be good for roller derby athletes. There are many options and some of it depends on your interests and access to workout equipment. Cardio cross training can involve swimming or running for good full body workouts, or bicycling and walking are also good cardio workouts. Strength training on the other hand can be weight lifting at a gym (3 sets of 15-20 reps for building lean muscle and 3 sets of 6-8 reps for building bulky muscles) or body weight workouts like sit ups, back extensions, squats, lunges, pushups, dips, etc.
Lastly, core body work (back, abs, obliques) is essential to preventing injury because the core supports the whole entire body. Core workouts can also include stretching recovery workouts or yoga. Your core helps prevent injury when doing everyday tasks, promotes a healthy back, balance and stability, and supports every other muscle group. So don’t forget to mix up your workout routine and add some different types of workouts to help become a fitter and stronger roller derby athlete.
Coming in as a fresh meat or just a newer skater, the question always comes up, “What skates/gear should I get and does it really make a difference in my skating ability?” When I started skating a year ago, I knew nothing about skates, pads, helmets, or much about derby at all. I quickly learned that skates are not just skates and helmets are not only about finding the coolest color or most comfortable one. Getting the right skates and gear is important to your success and safety as a derby player. Now top end skates do not make you a good skater, hard work and dedication can make you a good skater, but having the right skates can help you take that next step and get to the next level in your skating ability.
When I decided to upgrade my skates, I looked into a lot of different options and at first it looked like a lot of gibberish. Every person had their own opinion and preference of boots and plates. The first thing I looked for was a new boot because the one I was on was a teammate’s that was almost 2 sizes too big and formed to her feet not mine. It is important to take care of your feet and so a good boot is essential for skaters. I debated between getting the super light Bont boot or go with an Antik boot. I ended up going with an Antik MG2 boot over a Bont boot because of the higher ankle support and overall padding. The Antik MG2 took some time to figure out the lacing that worked best with my foot, but I had almost no break in time and had no more foot pain while skating. I would recommend changing the laces out on the boot, but otherwise I love the Antik boot.
After I picked my boots out, I started researching plates and soon realized that there is a plethora of information to learn about plates. I knew I wanted a light plate and that I didn’t want a plastic plate, but other than that I had no idea. Currently I was skating on a powerdyne nylon plate with 10 degree metal trucks. I debated whether I should stick with the same angle trucks or move on to a 15 or 45 degree truck. The 10 and 15 degree trucks offer more stability but less ability to cut on the track while the 45 degree trucks flex differently allowing the skater to make sharper turns and cuts. I decided to go with the Avenger magnesium plate that has a 45 degree truck on it because I was looking to improve my cutting and footwork on the track. This plate has been instrumental in improving my skating abilities. The 45 degree angle has helped me more easily and fluidly cut across the track which helps not only for jamming but becoming a better blocker. The allen wrench tightening mechanism also helps keep toe stops locked in and easily adjustable so that you do not lose a toe stop while on the track. The plates also help with overall agility and the ability to do crisp sharp movements while on the track. The plates did take a couple practices for me to get use to because the different angle takes some time to get comfortable with.
I did fall quite a few times when I got my new boots and plates because I had to learn to balance a little differently, but now I feel like they are an extension of my legs and I can’t imagine going back to my old skates. If you are a newer skater, looking to upgrade, or just feel like you skates are limiting you on the track, a plate or boot upgrade can help you become the skater you want to be.