Blades of (In)glory


Anybody throws me against the boards I’m gonna piss all over myself. ~from “Slap Shot”

I’m at a certain age right now. It’s the age where I carefully pluck silver hairs from my temples and forehead, apply liberal amounts of Tiger Balm to my back after an hour at the Y, and listen to the pops and creaks of my bad left knee the way one would a vintage recording of Beethoven. Yes, my friends, I’m approaching 40.

You’re surely scoffing. “Hell, Heather,” you might say, “you’re not old.” I’m the same age, in fact, as pro superstars Drew Brees, Ryan Howard, and Ron “World Peace” Artest. Even though I’ve absorbed only a fraction of the wear and tear a professional athlete does, I’m starting to feel it. Anybody who’s ever worked a job that mostly involves being on one’s feet will know what I mean here. When I get home at night, I think mostly about Mr. Bayer, not to mention Messrs. Beam and Daniels, as potential sugar daddies.

And yet…I still feel there’s life in these oft-injured legs. Which is why I’m thinking of doing something entirely crazy.

I’m thinking of joining a competitive league. More specifically, trying out for the local Roller Derby squad.

Roller derby, for those with only a casual acquaintance, is a full-contact sport. It uniquely combines the speed of ice hockey, the physical power of American football, and the agility of soccer. Oh, and it also throws in the over-the-top costuming of WWE wresting. It has its own governing body and legions of die-hard fans. Did I mention this is also a women’s-only sport?

I really must have a death wish. I’ve been to some of the local bouts, and I gotta say, those girls are good. I’m no pansy when it comes to full-contact sports (I did, after all, play in a guys’ junior hockey league with loutish Russians and Czechs when I lived abroad in Germany) and Roller Derby scares the crap out of me. But it’s also exhilarating just to watch. Sure, I could be saving my money to jump out of an airplane, say, or take a Bungee jump off a perfectly nice bridge. But I want to at least try Roller Derby before I die.

There’s two main reasons the sport appeals to me. It’s one of the only women’s sports where players can be either small and willowy or else big and broad-shouldered (like me) and still succeed. It’s becoming more mainstream all the time, though it still mostly appeals to the Alternative crowd. Unlike my aborted attempt to join the local women’s pro football team a few years ago, I feel I have the necessary skills this time. That, and my knee feels as healthy as it ever will.

And I have to hand it to the Roller girls and their fans…it’s purely over-the-top stuff. Before I hit the big 4-0, I’d like to say I was a part of something wild and crazy. You know, be like Paul Newman’s character in Slap Shot after he met the Hansons. Since I won’t be going to any Megadeth shows or dying my hair pink any time soon, this seems to be my best bet. Plus, I’d get to pick out a really cool moniker. Rollergirls, like wrestlers, usually go by a showy pseudonym.

So, my faithful P&Q Rangers, I’ll be sure to let you know how my tryout goes, whether I get a spot or else tear my ACL yet again. I can’t say it won’t be fun.

Coming next on another exciting edition of P&Q: Part 1 of my pre-Oscars spectacular (33 Films in 33 Years)! Hint: there will be prizes and audience participation for this one. Also, the long-awaited answers to Your Burning Questions! More love! More giant robots! More exploding helicopters!

As always…if you enjoyed this post, be sure to click “Like” and add P&Q to your subscription and blogroll lists.

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~ by Howlin' Mad Heather on February 22, 2012.

8 Responses to “Blades of (In)glory”

  1. DAWN KARNAGE!!!

    And you must have a skull and crossbones somewhere on your uniform done like the one on his plane!!!!

    Skip Megadeth! Go see Destruction!

  2. Lucretia Boards Ya, for suresies! Love it!

  3. Good luck! This is gonna be awesome! I can’t wait to read about it.

    I’ve never been to a Roller Derby before, but I’m going to watch my first one on March 10 in Baltimore. I’m excited.

  4. I really DIG the roller derby clothes. Ripped fishnets and short skirts rule! If only you could wear them around without being kicked in the shins by steel-booted devil women out to take your life or ball.

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