Countess of Monte Fisto - Rocky Mountain Roller Girls
Strength: the quality or state of being strong; bodily or muscular power; vigor. Dictionary. com has a limited view of strength narrowly categorizing physicality of a person. If one is physically capable to lift a car over their head, they are strong. By this logic, being a meat-head means you are the strongest one around. Being vigorous or persistent means strength is held. Forcefulness can sometimes not be the positive trait everyone makes it out to be. Although physical prestige and capability is impressive to simple minds, the strength of roller derby goes past that.
Mental strength is much more impressive and, no, I don’t mean being able to count high enough to calculate the muscles that may or may not be stacked on top of each other on a bulging body. The courage to completely eliminate mental troubles, quandaries or insecurities and get lost in an amazing sport with amazing people is an incredible feat of strength. Command and discipline to recognize faults and then obliterate them on the track is an absolutely beautiful thing to watch. In a bout as difficult as Gotham City vs. Rocky Mountain Roller Girl’s 5280 Fight Club, spectators can see the brawn of both teams and the power the skaters were rolling with. Every skater hit “the wall.” Legs slightly shaking while approaching the jam line, mind foggy trying to focus on getting through the pack completing the initial pass. The derby machine that is Gotham played their style but were challenged with the mentally tenacious players of 5280. Every jam, Gotham skaters were forced tooth and nail to earn their points.
Women of roller derby do not revel in their strengths nearly enough, downplaying them to a humble size. Breaking through the pack and having the highest scoring jam in the bout is no big deal? Wrong. Skating while going through ridiculously tough circumstances at home is nothing to brag about? Wrong. It blows my mind what teammates deal with outside of the warehouse and easily push through after lacing up their skates. Pushing off the bench and onto the track is like coasting away from all the shenanigans, mind becoming more clear and lucid, body loosening and stretching into a familiar balancing act on wheels. Suddenly forcing your legs to sprint around the track 100 times or getting hit in the collarbone with a shoulder repeatedly is not the worst part of the day, it is magically the highlight. Even if being tired is the anchor around a skater’s ankle, the weight disappears. The audience sees it after the skater falls and recovers time and time again. The skater feels it when she tells herself “One more time.”