Charlie Bronson

Hannah Trujillo (member since Spring ’11) a.k.a. Charlie Bronson:

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The first time I ever encountered roller derby was in the spring of 2011 at an Ark Valley High Roller fundraiser in Buena Vista. I was invited along by a new friend after having just moved to town, and the memory of that introduction still makes my heart thump. The derby community was a surprise to me, I had the impression it was no sport but a cheap form of rigged entertainment.

 That night and the months following were proof that this new international sport was not only highly competitive but those participating were inspiring and serious go-getters with a powerful community orientation. A pair of skates shortly found their way onto my feet and although I only vaguely knew what I was doing, by late fall that year I had my début as a rookie roller girl.

A little more than a year later I have experienced many joyful challenges of derby including commitment. It is easy to let derby consume you, (because it’s absolutely awesome) but it allows me to explore my boundaries and recognize what is most important. I continue to skate for the challenge. Do I dare quote Rocky and say: “It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward.” I’ve realized that enduring the challenges of day-to-day living and unstoppable transitions are a mirror of the constant adaptations we must make on the track. As my preferred position of jammer, maneuvering my way through a pack is essentially like stepping my way through life. It sounds a little cheesy, but every practice I get my butt kicked, and I’m forced to find new ways of getting around those blockers. No matter how difficult the situation, I’m taking the hits and finding the holes to pass through.

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When perspective skaters ask me about the benefits of playing derby, I tell them if they haven’t already, to come watch a practice or a bout and get a good visual of how much fun we have working out, strategizing and team-building. From there I’d emphasize FUN and express that derby has taught me no matter how strong a barrier seems, mentally or physically, we can avoid imposing limits on our dreams.