Derby love at first sight
Have you ever heard the phrase “love at first sight?” I always thought that phrase was hilariously untrue. How would you know if you loved someone without knowing them?
And then I joined derby (love at first skate) and met my derby wife (love at first sight). For those of who might not know: a derby wife is your derby best friend. It’s more than just a normal best friend relationship though; being derby married means that you’ve made the decision to support each other through anything and everything: through good practices and lost bouts, through bad relationships and silly work drama, through not making a roster or finally making the All Star team; your derby wife will pick up the phone when you call and will be there for you, no matter what.
My derby wife, HooliGunz or Gunz, and I look alike, which is why we first started talking during my very first Fresh Meat practice back in November of 2013. We’re both short and solid, with light brownish hair, and rather large assets (which is a good thing in derby). It was like it was meant to be! We even still get confused by our teammates (or at least, I still get called Gunz fairly often). Shank and Gunz just has a good ring to it, doesn’t it? We started hanging out during Fresh Meat practice and both leveled up to L1 around the same time, so we even got to start practicing our hits on each other and learning how to transition (turn around on your skates) together.
I proposed to her with a plastic straw in the middle of South Street on January 19, 2014 (we just celebrated our two year derbyversary about a month ago!). Now if you asked me when my current boyfriend and I made it official, I have no clue (he doesn’t either so don’t worry) but my calendar dings every year when my derbyversary with Gunz occurs.
I leveled up to a L2 before she did and started bouting before she did. It sucked to not have my first bout with her, especially since I had so many other firsts with her on the track, although she was my biggest fan on the sidelines. We did finally bout together against Southern Delaware at the end of the 2014 season (we lost to them again!!). It was awesome to be part of her first bout and I remember when I pulled my first track cut on the opposing jammer as a blocker, she totally saw it and hugged me hard when I skated back to the bench after the jam was whistled done. I remember yelling at her “did you see it?!?” and she said “YES!” PS we did finally beat SoDel in 2015 with Gunz and myself on the roster!
Gunz is still my biggest supporter on the team, although I now have many close friends in derby. She always emails me my good action pics after bouts since she knows I don’t get to see them as I don’t have Facebook. She always texts me these long novels about her life and gives me good advice when I’m not sure what to do in my personal or work life. She’s the second person I called after I totalled my car last December (after I called my boyfriend to pick me up). She offered to drop EVERYTHING to come get me, which I appreciated, even if I didn’t end up needing it. And while she hasn’t been on the track as much recently as she has been in the past (due to personal reasons), she’s always there to cheer me on and give me a hug after each bout!
I have the BEST DERBY WIFE EVER and I love her very much. She is the blocker to my jammer, she is the bearings on my wheels, she pushes me to be a better person and a better teammate, and she can tease me out of any bad mood or help re-focus me when I’m in my head out on the track.
I do want to give a shout-out to my derby mistress*, Swift Jesstice, who constantly pushes me to try harder and skate better on the track. She has also been a great friend and teammate over the past year and I am VERY glad she is on MY team because I hate trying to get past her hips in scrimmage!
*A derby mistress is not your official wife/best friend/everything but she’s one of your biggest supports on the track. She’s still one of your closest friends but she might be someone you got to know later in derby or someone you really enjoy skating with on a regular basis. Fortunately, my derby wife approves of my derby mistress!