Just Another Day at the Office…


Holler, blog-o-sphere!

Beelzebelle here. My turn for an editorial post of sorts up in this here Bruiser Blog. As the resident veteran player on the blog squad, I’ve been racking my brain the past week or so trying to think of things to talk about in this here installment. And then it occurred to me: “I’m hopelessly without a topic? How can that be? IT’S ROLLER DERBY! Roller derby is exciting and amazing and full of fantastic!” And it is, dangnabbit. I wouldn’t still be playing it if it wasn’t. Trust me.

Then, it came to me. It’s like I’m Captain Obvious over here. “There’s my topic!” Boom.

(I know what you’re thinking. “Give us some sort of segue Belle! That makes no sense. You’re a crazy person.”)

Be that as it may, dear reader-friends, here’s your tie in:

I have been playing roller derby since day one. There are few of us left on the league who have. That said, day one or day 200, when you’ve been a part of something for a long long time, it becomes a natural part of your life… a default part of your life, if you will. You don’t overthink it, you just do it. It’s part of your identity. Just another day at the office, right?

Athletes. Artists. Musicians. Anyone who dedicates their life to a sport, a craft, or a pursuit… it’s impressive, really. But for them? Just another day at the office. Marathon runner: “No big deal. Just running my 23rd marathon of the year.” And while we Bruisers may not be “professional” athletes by technical standards, we absolutely and unequivocally take our skating seriously. Way seriously. We’re athletes beyond a shadow of a doubt. This sport is killer. It’s cerebral and it’s wicked tough. That said…

Roller derby practices and bouts? To many veteran players, it can be just another day at the office. Same goes for the refs that know and enforce the rules inside and out. Or even for the beerleaders. It’s normal for them to get their groove on each week to the King of Pop. Weird, huh? Strange, even?

Let me explain.

As I just noted, this sport rocks harder than Blue Oyster Cult’s “Godzilla.” I just think it’s an interesting insight to remember that what is exciting and insane and intense and alternative to so many people also requires regular practices, regular work, regular ups and downs and regular emotions. Regular, measured work. What’s regular is normal in one’s life; but what is normal to some is so not the case for others. So when you hit up a bout and are entranced by what seems crazy to you… for some of us, it’s pretty damn normal. Get up, go to work, eat lunch, work more, come home, go grocery shopping, eat dinner, kick ass. Normal, right?

Sometimes I forget that there are still people that aren’t aware of derby. We’ve grown exponentially here in Milwaukee, and still, there are people just learning of BCB’s existence. I’ve been explaining derby for years — so catch me on an off day, and I couldn’t seem less enthused to talk about the rules of derby with you. And it’s not because I’m not enthused… that’s not the case at all. It’s because for me and for many others, roller derby is just normal. We’re all daughters and some of us are mothers and we all have jobs and these whole lives and are super busy ladies. Me? My job is insane. So catch me at Alterra and ask me about derby, and I may say, “Yeah… I do that.” And at that moment at Alterra, that’s what I may mean; that it’s something I do. But ask me before I hit the track and you’ll get a completely different answer… because all those regular practices and normal — albeit many — hours we put into honing our skills translates into serious, intense, and crazy ass-kicking on bout day.

Is anything really normal, anyways? Isn’t normalcy a construct? Is waxing philosophical really the way to go in the Bruiser Blog?

Okay. Shutting up. I’m just saying. Make dinner, put gas in the car, lace up your skates, and hit your best friends. Just another day at the office.

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