Monday, April 27, 2009

Our Secret Weapon

It has been said that the quiet ones are the ones you had better watch out for. Such is the case with this enigmatic Roller Rebel. You won't hear her coming, but you will surely feel her presence. She skates with the grace of a swan gliding across water, rolling just inches from the ground and at times, on only one leg, yet she will surely outdo you in a beef jerky eating contest. She is a classic, feminine, beauty, possessing the silhouette of a pin up, yet she will not hesitate to knock you to the floor while she's blocking. While distracting you with her ladylike charm, she will quickly transition into the blocker/jammer you wish you didn't know. These admirable contradictions are just a part of what makes up this multi-talented roller girl. She is a former dancer, who is extremely flexible and while on skates, can easily work her body into positions most humans cannot form on foot. The Einstein of jamming, her undeniable intelligence, is just one of the many strong qualities she has that enable her to strategize the best way through the pack. Never knowing what to expect from this roller girl is what makes her the Roller Rebels' very own secret weapon. Read on to see why you may want to keep your shades closed at night and have nose plugs ready on the start line.

Derby Name: Regine Bull
Derby #: 8 seconds
Position: blocker, jammer, pivot
Worst derby injury:
ripped the skin off my knee. I was just handing out flyers at the balloon festival so I can't even brag about it. No broken bones; I drink too much milk for that.
Describe roller derby in one word: expletive
If you could invite anyone to play derby with you, who would it be?

I think any contortionist would be a pretty interesting/useful teammate. I'll take one from Cirque du Soleil
Favorite derby memory:
The road trips are what make it! All of them. Getting drafted to the Wheelers was a good moment too!
Tell me something about you that would surprise people: If I were to lose my arms, I would probably have no problem due to the extreme dexterity of my feet
Tell me something that everyone knows about you: I looooove beef jerky.

The way a real lady eats a hotdog

Always: wear all your gear even (and especially) when you think you can't get hurt.
Never: eat a burrito right before you skate...I think we've all learned that by now
A great skater: always has more to learn
Before a bout: I have terrible gas. Useful on the start line
When I am not playing derby: I am peeping into your windows

Regine Bull, top row, second from left, posing with some of teammates

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sure Bets

On Saturday, April 25th, we, The Roller Rebels drove South to compete against the Jersey Shore Roller Girls. It was a beautiful, windy day at the shore, and the classic architecture of Asbury Park Convention Hall made the bout all the more interesting. When we got there, the track lines had been set and taped on the arena marble (at least that's what it looked like) floor. Humidity caused the floor to become wet and a crew worked hard to mop it all up for safe playing. Regularly skating on sportcourt and wood, this new surface was something the players all needed to adapt to. Nothing seems to hold the Roller Rebels down and that being the case, they quickly adjusted to the new terrain. Our travel team played hard, with some of the skaters bouting for the first time and although Jersey Shore won, the Rebels played with all of their hearts from the first jam, up until the very last. There were a few injuries, some worse than others, but unfortunately getting hurt is a risk we always take. As Head Coach of my team, I can tell you that my skaters exemplified a group of strong women, fighting and playing hard for an entire hour. No one stopped, no one whined and everyone worked above and beyond my expectations. There are usually the sure bet players, the ones you can pretty much rely on to do well, but in this case, I felt that all of the skaters were sure bets. Some of them were out there bouting for the first time, but you would never know that by watching them play. We ran into some problems, the floor becoming moist again, a couple of ejections (one for our team, one for the other), but nothing held us down. We of course would have liked to win, but giving it our all and staying strong is just as important and that's exactly how it went down on Saturday night. One last thing, I'd like to thank the Morristown Madams for showing up to support us. We love you girls!

Some more picutres from the night

Monday, April 20, 2009

Face the Facts

The Roller Rebels have got a saucy new skater on their side who has agreed to take time out of her busy schedule and also join the team of Rebel Yellers here on the blog. Muscles Marinara will be serving you up with a derby fact each month. Where did it all start? What's it all about? Roller derby is a sport with some history behind it and she's here to tell you all about it! Read on and learn how and where it all began!

Marinara dishes out some derby history......
Back in 1935 is when it all began....Derby's debut took place in Chicago, IL but was considered a "Marathon Race" with both male and female players. The staff and skaters worked FULL time on these races....and one competition would last several months! What's most interesting is that this "Marathon Race" did not involve two packs or a jammer...rather the goal was to race against time and endurance. Later that year, derby took to the road and began the transformation into the sport we know today (now it involved two packs and a jammer). By the early 1940's it was a live spectator sport - it was then aired on TV starting in the 40s and through the 50s.
Derby was an overnight sensation!!

Stay tuned...I'll be refilling your bowls with more history next month...
Muscles Marinara

Friday, April 10, 2009

A Friend Can Keep You Rolling

Sometimes in life, you're lucky enough to find a friend who, for no particular reason, does something to let you know they care about you. Such as, appearing before you with a box containing these:Thank you for a most unexpected and much appreciated surprise!!


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Hit The Pavement

April is off to a busy, yet exciting start. We got together for our weekly Thursday practice on the 2nd. As always, it was adrenaline filled, complete with high endurance drills followed by some scrimmaging. Prior to that, the coaching committee met up to go over their agenda, which included forming teams for our home exhibition bout on May 16th as well as discussions about who the new members of our travel team might be. Friday, we took a break and Saturday, April 4th we were back in action for our travel team tryouts. Announcements were made, questions were asked, schedules were verified, drills were conducted and a travel team was formed. New skaters will soon be out and about traveling with Roller Rebel veterans up and down the East coast to bout against other leagues. More bouts mean more practicing for us, which brings me to the next item on our list, "taking it to the streets".

Finally nice weather is here and I'm hoping to be in the clear of starting off another post stating how horribly cold it is. Nice weather means more outdoor practices. A fresh change of scenery is inspiring and skating on new terrain helps work out some of the muscles that have been at rest. Starting this month, we will find ourselves at parks and outdoor rinks across Long Island and a third practice per week will be added for the members of the travel team.

As if, meetings and extra practices aren't keeping us busy enough, we've already skated in a parade this month, we'll have a scrimmage against Lehigh Valley next Saturday and our second away bout of the year, Long Island Roller Rebels vs. Jersey Shore Roller Girls will take place on Saturday, the 25th.

There's probably a lot more to come that I either haven't heard about yet, or just isn't on the schedule, but I'm ok with that, because for now, we've got our hands full!


Friday, April 3, 2009

Pairs of Pairs

Practice was tough on Tuesday night last week, but fun nonetheless. Lots of endurance and some scrimmaging drills too. At one point we each paired up with a partner to perform pushing, pulling and whipping drills. When we started the drills, someone noticed that each couple had the same socks on! Pink stripes were matched with pink stripes, black with black and so on. A funny coincidence that looked intentional and choreographed. This sock match up got me to thinking about all of the wonderful fashion in the derby world. This I find is a somewhat controversial subject, as some girls feel that the fashion aspect of derby takes away from the athleticism of it. I admit that I have come across girls who wanted to play the part of a derby girl more so than they wanted to skate, though that finding has been a rarity. Most of the girls are in it to skate, play and just so happen to also look good while doing so. What players decide to wear simply enhances their appearance on the track and allows them to show off their individuality.

My strong interest in fashion from a young age led me to major in the subject in college, which then led to jobs in the industry. And so I of course love to see what everyone around me is wearing. I people-watch while I walk from the train to the studio where I work. On the way, I pass one of the FIT dorms and catch the latest trends and styles on each girl that walks in and out of the doors of the building. I check out the people on the streets and in line at the deli. I subscribe to way too many fashion magazines and surf various blogs on the web that are geared towards style. My point being, I engulf myself in fashion enough to confidently say that derby girls have some of the most fashion-forward, original and artistic style ideas I've seen. From striped socks over fishnets, to petticoats over ruffled panties. From painted faces to inked up skin, pink leather skates to cherry red sparkled helmets, these girls definitely know how to express themselves. I've toyed with the idea of a fashion column on here and I've even gone as far to imagine a completely separate blog just for fashion. My mind wonders, is this something that my readers would be interested in? Would it take away from the core of what derby is to you, to me, to leagues? or would it simply enhance it? I throw these questions out and they are up for grabs to answer. It is true that we all must abide by WFTDA rules and wear the required safety gear, but ultimately we need to clothe ourselves when we play. We wear uniforms to not only represent the team we play for, but also to enable our spectators to see who is on which team.

I've thought about this topic a lot and I think that derby is one of the few sports where you can have fun showing off your personality, your artistic talents and your uniqueness while still showing that you're part of a team. My mulling over this subject has lead me to put up a new poll. Take a second and vote (it's anonymous). Your opinions matter to me.