Archive for July, 2009
After the initial rush of finally getting to see the new trailer for October’s roller derby movie, Whip It, wore off, a number of my derby friends started to moan.
“Now we’re going to have to teach our fans all over again that roller derby isn’t…”
Insert your favorite roller derby purist language in there. Fighting? Like the TV show Rollergirls? Elbows and fists?
I feel I’ve been lucky. I’ve had the honor and privilege of skating with banked track and flat track skaters. I’ve skated with men (in fact I skate with male skaters every practice now – I’m not talking referees). I’ve skated against a ranked WFTDA team. I’ve skated with some of the newest and greenest players and leagues around. And everyone, I mean everyone, has his or her own definition of what derby means personally. Its that way because we all have our own stories. It goes without saying that every team and league has its own meaning and its own mission and goals.
In our hearts though, we all have some common reasons why derby is what makes us happy.
- It improves our bodies athletically
- It gives us a team to belong to and contribute to
- It pushes us to confront fears
- It empowers us to set goals (and meet them!)
- It creates an environment of play and fun
- It feels good – physically, spiritually, emotionally
- We have a chance to be a star
There are so many more reasons. I have my own. I know if you’re reading this, you have your own too. When I watch the trailer, I see a formulaic “coming of age” story with a roller derby twist.
I fall in love with lines that ring true to my experience.
“Put some skates on. Be your own hero.”
“The last time I wore skates…”
I had challenges breaking away from my parents a couple decades ago.
I’ve fought for how I love derby against seemingly insurmountable forces.
I could go on and I’m just writing about what I can see in the trailer! What this movie does for us is it helps us realize just how much we all share in this great sport. It doesn’t matter if you’re Renegade, OSDA, MDC, WFTDA-wannabees, or WFTDA. It doesn’t matter if you skate flat or banked. It doesn’t matter if you’re a guy or a gal or somewhere in between!
For those outside of our sport, it will share those same desires and values as well. New fans will come to experience our sport and they won’t have really fallen in love with the fists or the bank. They’ll have fallen in love with derby. Our derby. The derby we share.
To stay updated with the latest on the movie, here’s its official web site:
Whip It official web site
Tags: Whip-it the movie