Archive for the ‘Fresh Meat’ Category

Roller Derby Family

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2016 CDD Season

The 2016 season with CDD was full of challenging and exciting times.  I was asked to write about our trip to Portland, Oregon for WFTDA D2 Championships, but I think that part is kind of boring.  I, personally, don’t play roller derby so I can fly around the country and win a medal with my team.  I play roller derby so I can be part of a community.  A roller derby league is a big, crazy, family full of character and characters (and you don’t even have to roller skate to be a part of it).

The nurturers.  Every family has one, and every league has at least one as well.  There’s someone who notices when you are sick and tells you what to eat (Maid Carrion), a person who sets up the “Take Them a Meal” calendar when someone is injured (Crashiopeia), and someone who is extra kind to the youngest ones in the family (Stone Wallup with the Fresh Meat skaters).  Of course, you can’t have a nurturer without that relative that is a bit strict.

The disciplinarians.  There is a time for silliness and a time for seriousness.  These types will always let you know which time it is (Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang’s Bang).  The disciplinarians can also be tiger moms, questioning why your A- isn’t an A+ (Luna Impact and skating form).  A part of this group is also the one who is always trying to toughen up the younger ones in the family, like the uncle who will throw the kids in the pool knowing they don’t know how to swim yet (admittedly, this was probably me as a Fresh Meat trainer).

Everyone else.  CDD is a big family with a lot of oddballs.  There’s the brother with the cool dance moves, the pessimistic sister, the sister you tell your secrets to, the hyper little brother, the grumpy grandma, the dirty grandpa, the goofy grandpa, the belching grandma, the gaseous uncle, the creepy uncle, the overly positive aunt, the drunk aunt, the kissing cousin, the cat lady and the hypochondriac, just to name a few.  I’m not going to tell you who these people are in CDD.  I’m hoping you’ll visit this crazy family and find them for yourself.


This large group of relatives has helped me become a better athlete and a better person.  We work hard to keep the family together and sometimes cool things happen, like when that aunt gets a pool (or like winning a 3rd place WFTDA championship medal in your division).  Even though people grow up and sometimes have to move away, they’ll always be related and connected somehow.  In other words, 2016 was full of roller derby but, most importantly, it was full of family.  

-Love, Revenga d’Nerd

2015 CDD Year in Review

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It may seem a little late for a “Year in Review” type post, but as today is the first day of Charlottesville Derby Dames’ 2016 season, I think it is an appropriate time to reflect on last year while  looking forward to the upcoming season. 2015 was a great year for the Dames! Both teams, the All Stars and the Belmont Bruisers, had winning seasons and while they each lost some games, those were catalysts for working harder, adjusting strategies, and overall improving our game.

 

The All Stars started the season ranked #73 and ended ranked #34. They ended the season with a 12-6 record. 4 of those games were at CDD’s first ever post-season tournament, the 2015 D1 Playoffs in Jacksonville, FL. CDD went in as the 10 seed and, after winning their first game, finished as the #8 seed. The Belmont Bruisers also had a winning year going 7-3, with many of their opponents being the WFTDA charter team for their leagues.

 

While roller derby requires hard work and practices on the track, that is only part of the effort that goes into making us a successful league. In 2015 we had an estimated 109 meetings lasting for around 144 hours. To contrast that, there were about 364 practices totalling 936 hours. (That doesn’t include our Junior Derby program either! Those young Dames have just begun their derby journey, and thus far have had 22 practices for 44 hours, with 4 meetings totaling 6 hours. I’m so excited for them in this fresh stage of derby love!)

 

In 2015, 75 people tried Fresh Meat at CDD, and so far we have gained 12 new members from that number. We have one of the smaller population centers for leagues with a D1 WFTDA team, but we are still adding new members every year! (With Open Recruitment periods in February, May, August, and November, 2016 could be the year that you join!)

 

With the games already scheduled for both the All Stars and the Belmont Bruisers, it is shaping up to be another exciting season of roller derby for CDD! As always, 2016 will hold so many practices, scrimmages, FUNdraisers, volunteering opportunities, and of course social opportunities (both parties and meetings), and we are looking forward to every minute of it! Check out our schedule of events to make plans to come watch some great derby, support your local roller derby league at one of our awesome FUNdraisers, or to get more details about Fresh Meat Open Recruitment!

 

Oh, one last thing! Wherever you go and whatever you do, remember my most important rule: if you aren’t having fun, then you aren’t doing it right.

 

Derby love,

Maid Carrion and the Charlottesville Derby Dames

2015CDDLeaguephoto

Change your life: Try Roller Derby!

Advice, Random thoughts and encouragement from Lamp and B

When I attended my first Fresh Meat practice, I hadn’t been on skates in about 15 years. I was pretty much scared out of my mind, not knowing if the other newbies would actually be former professional figure skaters or marathon runners or unicyclists or anything that would accentuate my absolute lack of athletic skill. Thankfully, I was going with my friend and fellow grad student, B (pro tip #1: bring a friend — it makes starting out a lot less scary), who, though more athletic than I [B here: Lamp means I visited a gym once or twice], hadn’t worn skates since they looked like Legos and were made by Fisher-Price.

When we got to the gym, what we found instead was myriad women, young and old…er, most of whom were as rusty as we were. Our first first lesson started with the most elementary of basics, like how to not put your helmet on backwards, how to prevent yourself from rolling into the bleachers upon standing upright on eight wheels, and how to breathe through your mouth when rifling through the wonderfully free-to-use yet decidedly un-fresh Fresh Meat gear (pro tip #2: if you think you’re gonna stick with derby for even a little bit, it’s a great idea to invest in an intro pad kit. They’re inexpensive and don’t smell like the sweat of a thousand butt-kicking derby girls).

Within just a few Fresh Meat practices (thanks to so many uber-patient and helpful derby veterans), we were zipping around the track, learning about pack work, practicing agility drills, and falling to the floor safely (if only moderately gracefully). We learned so much, so quickly; every Sunday we’d marvel at our own progress (“Dude, I didn’t fall today!”) and that of our soon-to-be teammates (“Sick T-stop!”), and together we’d all celebrate that evening’s work with well-earned nachos (pro tip #3: you always deserve nachos after practice). Our time as Fresh Meat got us addicted to the Derby Life. We’ve recently celebrated our Derby-versary (one year since our first Fresh Meat practice!) and don’t plan on quitting any time soon.

It’s hard to think of a good reason not to try derby. So, if you’re thinking about trying a practice out but are on the fence, here is a sampling of some of the benefits of joining:

FRIENDSHIPS: Maybe you’ve noticed, but making new friends when you’re an adult is hard. Unless you’re in college, you’re probably not around a new, dynamically changing group of people on a regular basis. The Dames are just that — an all-inclusive bunch of everything. They’re probably cooler than your co-workers, and they’re friendly, funny, and smart on top of that.

REPLACE YOUR FAMILY: Well, okay, not literally. But in derby culture, we have derby sisters. Generally, this is when a more advanced skater asks a newer skater to be their little sister. With this come all the benefits of siblinghood — someone to get advice from, to call when you need help (whether it’s related to derby or not), someone to generally have your back — all without the drama of, you know, actually being related to someone! There are also derby wives (and mistresses, too!) who provide all the spice that comes from having a committed derby bestie by your side, at practice and away. Did you never get your dream proposal? Now’s your chance!

COOL FACTOR: Do you know how many people, after telling them we do roller derby, have said, “Wow, that’s super lame. You must be a big ol’ pansy. Give me your lunch money!”? Aside from the fact that that would just be a weird thing to say, the answer is NO ONE. NO ONE EVER. The most common response, perhaps after, “What’s roller derby?,” is, “WOW! THAT IS SO COOL! YOU MUST BE SUPER TOUGH!!!” (unless they are someone who is familiar enough with us to know that we’re actually big ol’ pansies). Point being, if you tell someone you do roller derby, you pretty much automatically gain, like, a thousand cool points, even if you still look like a newborn fawn every time you put on skates. And eventually, if you stick with it long enough, you will reach a point where you start to agree with them.

MUSCLES: We are both one of those people who happens to be genetically predisposed to have chunky thighs. We could do cardio eight hours a day and eat nothing but salads and our thighs would still flap wildly when the breeze hits them. This is a fact that we’ve managed to accept, even embrace. But that hasn’t stopped us from noticing the emergence of some SWEET muscles, muscles in places we didn’t even know we had muscles. We can feel our legs getting stronger, whether it’s by our newfound adeptness at bounding up stairs or the ease with which we can hover over gas station toilets. It is a rewarding and hard-earned kind of strength.

LEVELING UP: In most people’s lives, the only time they get to experience the singular satisfaction of leveling up is in a video game. In derby, however, you get the opportunity to fulfill that glorious, primal desire. Every month in Fresh Meat practice, there is a test on the skills you’ve been working on. If you pass, you become a LEVEL ONE SKATER, which, besides feeling like an epic accomplishment, gives you the privilege of attending Level One practices. What’s the difference? Well, for one, they’re harder — you will be working on advanced skills and more derby-relevant techniques, as well as learning the rules of the game. Perhaps more tantalizing, at Level One practices you can actually HIT each other! And what better way to let out the stress of a long work day than by hip checking your friends?

NON-BOUTING: Whether you’re just starting or you’ve been a member for a while, there are varied opportunities for all skill levels. In other words, if a year into it you’re starting to think you don’t want to bout but still want to be a Derby Dame, you can continue going to practices, and there are plenty of roles you can fill as a non-bouting member. You can volunteer at bouts, become a non-skating official, be a trainer, and participate in our committees. The Dames are more than just athletes — we also volunteer widely in the community.

BOUTING: With time, you can advance to a much-vaunted Level Two skater. Along with this comes access to even more challenging practices, as well as the opportunity to join a team and participate in a bout. By then, you will have picked your own name, number, and persona, gotten your personalized jersey, and decided what you want your battle socks/tights to look like. Your first bout will be a terrifying, adrenaline-filled experience, and one you will never forget.

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Being a Derby Dame is fulfilling on so many levels — you grow strong and confident, you gain friends, you aid the Charlottesville community. If you have a free Sunday evening this month, you owe it yourself to try a free Fresh Meat practice. It could change your life.

Lamp and B

Overcoming a Fear of Wheels by Le Bruise

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happybruise

Remember when you were a kid and a friend would send you a birthday party invitation to a local roller rink? Did you get excited? Because I didn’t. I’d look at my mother, pleading with her not to go, no matter how good the friend, because I was in fear. Fear of wheels. As a wheel-o-phobe, I delayed getting my driver’s license, never learned how to ride a bike, and banished the idea of roller skates to a hell of embarrassing childhood memories I never wanted to resurface. So, in the summer of 2011, my decision to join roller derby was, in fact, earth shattering (or, the more likely outcome, face shattering).

I had moved to Charlottesville that January, knowing vaguely of one person, Claire and Present Danger, then the chair of CDD’s Productions Committee in charge of putting on the bouts. Danger spoke so enthusiastically of the Derby Dames, I had to check them out. I was looking to get a taste of C’ville off-Grounds from my University work-life, and I was somewhat interested in getting in shape. After one bout during which I was drafted as a non-skating official (with no idea of the rules or what the heck was going on), I was intrigued. Danger turned three of us that summer into derby lovers, and it changed all of our lives forever.

So there I was, July 2011, sitting on a bench with these things called skates strapped on my feet. Danger was sitting on one side of me, B-One Bomber on the other. Other Fresh Meat were up and whipping around the track ready to learn basic skills of a full contact sport. I was just hoping to avoid my face’s full contact with the floor. I was petrified. The nightmares of skating rink parties came back, and the only physical shape I was in could be equated to a blobby amoeba.

“Well, drive your force straight down into the floor and stand up,” drilled Danger. I thought about this for a while, drawing force diagrams in my mind, and when I was satisfied that I could understand a world is which the forces would be balanced and I wouldn’t fall over, I stood up.

“OK, good. Now go forward.” Forward? That’s a good goal, but I couldn’t make sense of it. I looked back at them and asked, “How do you propel?” Half an hour later, I was ungracefully zombie shuffling my way forward. Danger screamed after me, “Bend your knees or I’ll bend them for you!” I always knew she had my back.

Looking back, I was also in fear of joining an athletic team. After some pretty terrible team social experiences in middle school and high school, I decided that with a full-figured, short shape, team sports were not for me. But at that first Fresh Meat practice, I changed my thoughts completely. The Derby Dames embrace everyone for who they are, no matter what shape, background, or beliefs they have. (And literally embrace, too. Every time I shuffled to and from the wall, Crashiopeia would give me a hug and tell me to do it again.) I have never seen a more supportive group of people, and because of the way they open their arms to all of us Freshies, I kept coming back for more.

I spent 18 months in Fresh Meat hoping to test to Level 1. Though I became “seasoned meat,” not once did anyone discourage me from continuing. Our Fresh Meat Butcher at the time, War N Peas, would make the main group do long exercises while coming over to give me tips to practice. My derby wife, the lovely Venom Assassin, pushed me to practice hard, even though she had what we call one of the “nine-month injuries” (pregnancy) during that time. In January of 2013, we both passed our Level 1 test. There were tears, and not of the kind after smashing your face into the floor. Thank goodness.

Joining Fresh Meat is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It’s for anyone looking to get in shape, develop a new persona, see a different side of C’ville, or meet a new group of really good people. Derby has become something that defines the best of Charlottesville for me, and I can’t wait to meet all of you potential Freshies out there and help you learn to not smash your face into the floor.

Black and blues,
Love, Le Bruise

Le Bruise (center, bottom row) in Fresh Meat.

FRESH MEAT OPEN RECRUITMENT: every Sunday in November

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It’s time to give thanks for roller derby… Come out to the Derby Dames Fresh Meat Open Recruitment every Sunday in November at the Key Recreation Center, Downtown Charlottesville!

Fresh Meat Recruitment Poster

WHERE: Key Center, 800 E. Market St., Charlottesville (right across the street from Guadalajara)
WHEN: Every Sunday in November (11/4, 11/11, 11/18, 11/25) from 6:00-8:00pm

Got questions in the meantime? Send an email to contact@charlottesvillederbydames.com or click ‘Participate‘ link on this page!

FRESH MEAT OPEN RECRUITMENT: Every Sunday in August!

School is back in session…the school of hard knocks, that is! Come out to the Derby Dames Fresh Meat Open Recruitment every Sunday in August at the Key Recreation Center, Downtown Charlottesville!

Fresh Meat Recruitment Poster

WHERE: Key Center, 800 E. Market St., Charlottesville (right across the street from Guadalajara)
WHEN: Every Sunday in August (6/5, 6/12, 6/19, 6/26) from 6:00-8:00pm

Got questions in the meantime? Send an email to contact@charlottesvillederbydames.com or click ‘Participate‘ link on this page!

Charlottesville Derby Dames Open Recruitment – February

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Slacking off on that New Year’s resolution to get in shape/learn something new/kick more rear? Come out to the Derby Dames Fresh Meat Open Recruitment every Sunday in February at the Key Recreation Center, Downtown Charlottesville!

WHERE: Key Center, 800 E. Market St., Charlottesville (right across the street from Guadalajara)
WHEN: Every Sunday in February (2/5, 2/12, 2/19, 2/26) and March 5th and 11th from 6:00-8:00pm

Got questions in the meantime? Send an email to contact@charlottesvillederbydames.com or click ‘Participate‘ link on this page!

Fresh Meat Schedule Change!

Fresh Meat is cancelled for this Sunday (April 24th) due to Easter and the Key Center being closed for the holiday. Therefore, the Open Recruitment period will be extended to May 1st! Bring your friends, sisters, cousins and most importantly yourself to check out roller derby first hand! Click on ‘Participate’ at the top of the page for more details or email us at contact@charlottesvillederbydames.com . We hope you see you there!

Open Skate: Charlottesville Key Center

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Charlottesville may not have its own roller skating rink but we do have a place where you can skate – for free – on the weekends.  Charlottesville Parks and Recreation has opened the downtown Key Center (800 E. Market St.) to skaters on Saturdays from 1-3pm and Sundays from 1-6pm for a free Open Skate!  They supply the skates (if you want protective gear you’ll need to bring that yourself), the music and even some snacks!  This is a great program and it’s open to everyone so we encourage all of our fans, Fresh Meat and followers to go get their skate on at the Key Center.

WHAT:  Free Open Skate

WHERE:  Charlottesville Key Center, 800 E. Market St.   (Map)

WHEN:  Saturdays, 1-3pm; Sundays, 1-6pm*

*These days/times can sometimes change if the Key Center is closed for other events.  We recommend you call the Key Center at (434) 293-8273 to verify they will be open on the day you’d like to skate.

Thanksgiving Holiday Practice Schedule

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–November 17, 2010

DAMES: our last practice before Thanksgiving will be on Sunday night, 5:30 – 7:30 @ the warehouse.

CURRENT FRESH MEAT: Practice is canceled on Wed., 11/24. But we’ll be back with a regular Fresh Meat practice on Wed., 12/1 at 7pm at the National Guard Armory. See you then!!

Not FRESH MEAT but interested in skating with us? We’d love to see you when our next Open Fresh Meat Recruitment period begins in early 2011. For more information, check out the “Participate” tab at the top of this page or click this link: http://www.charlottesvillederbydames.com/about/