Saturday, May 30, 2009
I went to my first rollerderby. My coworker and friend Holly was on the first league in the Cleveland area, the Burning River Rollergirls. I hadn't made it to a bout until recently despite the fact that I felt I practically knew most of the players already from hearing stories from Holly.
Doctors, dentists, teachers, scientists, and yes, even a few librarians all get together, lace up their skates, strap on their helmets, adjust their mouthguards and hit the track, ready for battle.
Despite the cute uniforms, fishnets and pigtails, they're not gentle with each other - bones can get broken, rink rash is common and bruises are badges of honor.
It's a spectacle all right, and great fun to watch once you know the rules, but all I could think was, "Wow. Here's a bunch of professional, accomplished women, some with tattoos and piercings, skating in miniskirts, crashing into each other, listening to rock and roll and being celebrated for it...because they can, because we're free. Is this a great country or what?"
I feel lucky everyday to have been born here and now.