Anne Parks (member since 2010) a.k.a. Danger Jane:
I first encountered local derby when my best friend disappeared several nights a week. Soon enough, I was encouraged to check out a practice and see what she had been up to. It was so great to watch 12-15 ladies trying to tap into skills long since forgotten. Surely, I thought, I could remember my youthful roller rink days (decades earlier) and join in as the very basics of skating were re-taught. Rather than borrow skates and test my repressed ability, I jumped headfirst into the deep end and bought skates and protective gear.
While I consider myself fit, I do not consider myself coordinated. Re-learning to skate took some time. But having the companionship and support of the other wanna-be skaters fueled the desire to pick myself up off the floor, dust off and keep going. Skating is a skill, and derby is a game. Some girls were good skaters, but knew little about derby. Others were learning to skate, but passionate about derby. Together we combined our talents and obtained a shared level of skill and passion for the game.
The transition from beginning skater to derby team member was sprinkled with some bruises, tears, and worse, a broken arm. While giving up might have crossed my mind, the encouragement of my teammates inspired me, and I am grateful for that support. Regardless of skill level, every person on the team plays a contributing role, and we recognize the talents of one another and together we form a team.
We evolved from a group of girls skating in a circle to a non-profit, WFTDA recognized league, playing sanctioned bouts throughout the state. I enjoy the commitment to each other and to the goals of the league. My life is scheduled around derby; practice, games, meetings, fundraisers, community events. And derby expenditures take priority in my fun fund: dues, insurance, new pads, helmet, jersey, new skates. I am okay with all that, because it is such a great feeling to be a member of a professional, yet fun organization, and to, every once in a while, pull off the perfect play.