Roller Derby In My 40’s? Hell Yeah!


Roller derby is a beautiful sport. If you have the determination to handle a sport so mentally and physically challenging, you should try out and see about making it in a league. You can be at your prime at 22 years old, and even well into your 50’s. Women internationally participate in this sport, and for various reasons. Some are athletic and want to participate because of the love of the game. Others join because they want to pursue something dare-devilish. There are also those that get into roller derby to meet people, make new friends and grow into a community of a bunch of great people. 

As of this week, I will be (goodness gracious) 44 years old. My journey started last year at 43. I am not, nor have I ever been considered an athlete. I am and always have been more of a late bloomer. Pursuing roller derby in my 40’s was a way of pursuing my love of skating, but in a not so conventional way. Also, I wanted to show my son that you should embrace your passions in life. Mine has always been the passion of those kick ass women on quads. 

There is a group of 40-year-old plus women in the Brewcity Bruisers. These fine women come from different walks of life, and have their own reason as to why they are in roller derby. I received great feedback from Beat Around The Bush of the Rushin’ Rollettes, Spazzle Dazzle of the Shevil Knevils, Melissa Mayhem of Maiden Milwaukee and 5 year vet skater Fidela Castrate of the Crazy 8’s:

Beat Around The Bush of the Rushin’ Rollettes

Q:  How old were you when you started derby? 

A: I was 40 when I started newbie training. I’m currently 42.

Q: Why did you get into roller derby? 

A: My husband and I moved from Alaska to Milwaukee. I had no friends in this new city, and I thought skating would be a great way to meet people. Plus when I turned 40, I made a promise to myself that I would try to grow more as a person in all ways— Mental & Physical. I think roller derby has been the perfect fit to me being “mental” and trying to be more physical.

Melissa Mayhem of Maiden Milwaukee

Q: How old were you when you started roller derby? 

A: 40, turning 41 while a newbie

Q: How long can you see yourself doing such a physically and mentally tough sport?

A: Honestly, it feels like it takes longer to heal than it did when I was younger.  The bruises stay around a little longer, and the aches and pains hang on longer.  But I think that as long as I love it and am passionate about playing roller derby, I can keep on going strong!

Spazzle Dazzle of Shevil Knevils

Q: How old were you when you started roller derby?  

A: 42 years old.

Q: Is there anyone in the league, or in the land of roller derby that you aspire to be like? 

A: I love watching Servin’ Justice.  She is so nimble; able to do anything and make it look so much easier than it actually is.  I am always watching her littlest movements to try to figure out how she did that so I can become a better skater.

I love Hacksaw and how she can muscle her way through any situation on the track.  For such a sweet person, she is so tough!

I love the personal growth and mental toughness of Becky the Butcher.  She really is the prime example of how this sport and this league is a product of skater perseverance.

I could go on and on. Derby players out there deserve kudos for getting outside of the normal comfort zones of the average human and putting themselves in this hazardous game.  I can look at any of the other people on the track, both opponents and teammates, and be inspired.

Fidela Castrate of the Crazy 8’s

Q: How old were you when you started roller derby? 

A: I was 35, and been doing this for 5 years. 

Q: Do you have any advice to those wanting to do derby in their 40’s?   

A: Well I started before I was 40, so I had a head start. I would say that developing leg and core strength is very important. Doing dead lifts and benching are awesome for this. I never was this active and never played sports, but if I can do this, you can too! As we age our body doesn’t heal as quickly, so taking care of it is important. Take glucosamine! Most importantly though is to be mentally strong.  We can defeat ourselves mentally even before we go on the track.

If you are one that aspires to be in roller derby, get your butt moving and get your skates and gear ready. This sport does not have an age, a shape, or a size. It embodies all women of all abilities and strengths. Can’t’ should not be a word in your vocabulary. Go outside your comfort zone. Put yourself out there and prove to yourself that you are a can. 

Beers, bruises and bloggin’,

ZeZe Rider

#511 Shevil Knevils

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