Roller Derby My New Life

The Journey

Today I reflect on the time I had with my Dad who is now in heaven watching over us.  I was so very lucky to have a strong and loving man in my life.  He taught me things that I didn’t even know I had learned until years later.  I was also spoiled and very much loved at the same time.  My children have a strong influence with my husband and I am thankful to have him in my life as well. This journey of life would not be the same without him.

I am so very thankful for everything that I have had in this life and everything that is come.  The journey has been hard at times, we have faced many difficulties and set backs and disappointments but we are still here by the grace of God.  Some of the challenges are hard to accept and can be a daily struggle but I think about my grand children and am so lucky in so many other ways.  My family and my chosen family are the most important thing in my life, all the noise that surrounds us is insignificant and I have learned to focus my attention on the blessings.

We got to see our kids minus one who we hope to be reunited with one day, and the grands.  I live for the look in my husbands eyes when he sees the grandchildren.  It fills my heart with such love and joy.  We spent most of the time tag teaming them and following the toddler around the house that is not toddler proof!  Watching cartoon movies and planning a trip soon to see more family and celebrate some milestone birthdays.

Today we rest and get ready for the week coming up.  Today I remember my dad, celebrate my husband, son in law, brother and all the dads out there doing what they do.

Reflection is part of the journey of life and I love to spend some time doing this, meditating and thanking God for all I have been given.  HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to all!  Be blessed and enjoy your day!

Until next time


Roller Derby My New Life

Life Changes

Oh where to begin, I worked for the same company for 34 years. That however never mattered when it came down to the company “cutting costs”. I grew up in a time when companies and employees had an actual relationship, loyalty on both sides. Today we live in a world of ever changing jobs.

Now I have the opportunity to look for work, or pursue early retirement. It was unexpected and sudden but just another aspect of the changing economy. A part of me wanted to retire from the company I spent my whole career at but I have had that taken away. Accpeting another major life changing event can be intimidateing and scary but I am ready to embrace this new challenge, and see where things go from here.

Taking some time to look at where I am and where I want to go is a luxery that I have not been able to do. I was embracing change at work all the time, but this is very different. Not having a routine and trying to figure out a routine that I want to establish is challenging. So much of my time was dictated by my job and the hours I worked, now I have all this time and not a clue what to do with it.

I am so fortunate to have a good package that allows me to take my time and look at different things that I can pursue. Thankfully, I still have 2 jobs to keep up with for my Roller Derby Team which does help me schedule my time. And I admit that I have had trouble with motivation, from a bit of depression and missing the people I worked with and just plain missing the routine of going to work every day.

I am doing a lot of thinking, reflecting and meditating. I have skills and I am still very capable of contributing and I like the money I make, but I also want to enjoy my grand children. Help out my children and husband and maybe do something I never thought of doing before. How cool would that be, something new and scary. Being an accountant by trade, I am ultra concervative and taking chances and risk are totally foriegn to me so that will take some thought and overcoming fear of failure and success.

I sort of knew this would be like going through the stages of grief but it was surprising to me how much it felt like grieving. Loosing my father in law and my dad were the closest people to me and this has been almost as difficult. I honestly don’t miss the work, I am more agitated that the decision was not mine to make. Not taking it personal is the hardest thing I have had to accept. It is almost like I need someone to blame, not an entitiy or circumstances or the economy. It is disconcerting to realize that you are totally replaceable.

I have also been on the other side of these circumstances. I have survived countless layoffs over all the years that I have worked so I am thankful that it came at time when it is not hardship and I can still pay my bills. In the end all will be provided for and that is not a worry so, my short term goal is to embrace the time off, do things I said I would do if I didn’t have to work and live life to the fullest!!

Peace Out!

Roller Derby My New Life


Disappointments are a fact of life.  You will have them, everyone has them, everyone hates them.  So what do you do about them?  I am reminded of this watching my Granddaughter Katelynn, navigate her way through seemingly constant disappointments.  Everything from not getting the food she wanted to Nana and Gramps leaving, to being told no for good reasons.  Some of us can shake them off, learn from them and move forward.  Others, throw fits, get down on themselves and get stuck in rut.  Which of these are you?  Be honest.  I am throw a fit, hate the world and everyone in it kind.  At least I was most of my life.

Becoming an adult and having to do adult things really sucked, but I was determined to be self sufficient.  I had to learn how to deal the disappointments of life.  However, because I hated so much to be disappointed, it stopped me from doing things or pursuing things that I otherwise may have succeeded at.  When I finally got to the root of this it all came down to fear.  I was afraid of succeeding as much as failing maybe more so.

At least as a grandmother, I can hopefully help my grandchildren navigate this aspect of life better than I did, although Gramps is the best at it and he knows how to do that.  As for me, sadly Roller Derby taught me more about this than I was willing to learn through other experiences in life.  But, I am so very glad that I did figure it out and in the process found something that I am completely passionate about.  I love to put my knowledge and learning out there for others to learn from and to be a part of something that I never thought I would be.

To explain this, at the age of 5 I lost the hearing in my left ear.  I do not currently remember what it was like to hear with both ears, but I do know how much I do not hear give this handicap.  In school when I tried to play sports, I could not hear the players, coaches or anyone trying to give me instruction during the heat of the game.  The background noise would drown out any voices to the point that I only heard a bunch of garbled noise.  Needless to say, I did not do well at any sport I tried.  I was not be able to find a way to compensate for my hearing loss, and therefore I stopped trying to play sports.

This was also a time when girls were not encouraged to play competitive sports, unless it was tennis or something like that, so I had noone to encourage me to keep trying and find a way around the handicap.  So this became my excuse for not participating.  It was a difficult thing to deal with as a young child and as an adult. (Imagine large meetings and trying to hear everyone on the wrong side of me talk).

I did eventually learn to tell people about my hearing difficulty and unlike in schoool most are genuinely willing to accomodate this problem. I never realized that it could be this way. I was afraid of being ridiculed or made fun of or laughed at. The type of damage I have cannot be helped by hearing aids, so it was up to me to figure out how to best deal with this. I have learned much and I greatly appreciate the Refs in Roller Derby that make sure I see them when I have a penalty and are totally not judgemental. It is better to let someone know then to pretend. Remember you are always who you are and it is ok to be who you are!!

Lots of derby love and hip checks to all!

Roller Derby My New Life


So the year is off to an awesome start!  Our team trainers have been working hard to plan our practices and help everyone get back into shape.  And wow after practice I am so sore from the off skate portion, I am walking very slowly!  It is awesome though because I have been off for so long and had a hard time finding the motivation to work on my own.  I know I am not the only one.  Some people get to the gym and do their workouts and stick to it.  I am not one of those people.  I will go to every single practice and some extra training but actually going to a gym is very sporadic for me.

A full-time job, grown up responsibilities and grandchildren make it impossible for me to be committed like that.  I do have a goal to get better at this and be more consistent with my other workouts.  I would like to add maybe once a week yoga, so now I have to figure out how to make myself leave my desk at lunch.

On the good side, I have been able to up my level by paying attention to my recovery from my workouts.  Heavy exercise breaks downs your muscles and recovery builds them up.  When I started roller derby, I was going once a week and spending the next 2 days on the couch in pain from muscle soreness.  Next I started skating twice a week.  Not quite as bad as I was getting more workouts but still having a problem with energy after.  That is not to say that I didn’t feel better, it was just I felt old and unable to keep up.  It took my body longer to recover from intense training.

I was introduced to AdvoCare and Spark after complaining to someone that I just could not go all out in 2 hour practices.  This kind person gave me a Spark and introduced me to the world of athletic nutrition.

Because I am a closet nerd, I had to study this and do my research and I found that I was neglecting my nutrition and my recovery.  I now have a regimen for before, during and after our training.  It has made a world of difference in how I feel, and most importantly, how I perform.  I strive to put the best products in my body and my research has led me to invest solely in the AdvoCare products.  That doesn’t mean there isn’t good alternatives but I also like the company.

Here are things that you should be paying attention to, especially as you get older:

  1. Rest – This is the most important thing you can do for your body and your mind. I believe in 8 hours of good sleep and I relax and rest watching some tv, reading and meditation.
  2. Nutrition and Hydration – I was a junk food junkie, even though I like food that is good for you, I hate to cook and I am lazy, just ask Mr. Kool.  I did long ago stop drinking soda’s and now I drink water, coffee and water.  Coffee is my vice I won’t give up.  I don’t need it as I use Spark for energy and mental focus but I like it so I drink it!  As for nutrition, I have embarked on setting myself up for a lean and healthy retirement.  Everything we do as young’uns will catch up with you. (the 24 Day Challenge teaches you how to eat properly)
  3. Cool down and stretches – This is awesome for helping your body to recover from strenuous activity.  We don’t do enough of this, that reminds me to bring this up in the next training meeting!
  4. Massage – These feel awesome and help put you into a good relaxed mood.  Take advantage!

Currently using AdvoCare products, this is my regimen;

Pre-Practice – I eat a meal that will fuel me without making me sick early enough to not be full at practice.  I take 02 Gold, Catalyst, and muscle fuel with a little bit of spark or rehydrate.  Then I drink plenty of water.

During – Currently have been getting by with drinking plenty of water, during games I would drink rehydrate mixed with biocharge and plain water

After Practice – depending on how late it is, I have a Pro20 and nighttime recovery, or post workout shake and nighttime recovery.

I still feel the soreness from hard workouts but I can get up at 5am after a practice that lasts until 11 and still function.  I use a foam roller to roll out the kinks the next night and I am ready for more!  Listen to your body, it will tell you what you need. Mental training is just as important so don’t neglect your mental health either!

I was long winded this time around, thanks for staying with it and please feel free to offer me feedback or let me know if you like what you read

Until next time

Hip Checks and chest bumps!

Roller Derby My New Life

Back on the Track

Happy New Year!  I have finally returned to the track and low and behold not just as a skater but as our Rose Bud Trainer (what we named our Fresh Meat).  Since this is a new year with new trainers and after a break we have gone back to basics.  This means that I have had the opportunity to run basic skills training for our league.  So far it has been a blast for me, and I hope for everyone else too.

I spent my recovery from surgery reading, researching and learning everything I could about roller derby, drills, coaching and I am putting all that to work on the track.  I have specific goals for myself this year and for our team.  We are now a WFTDA Apprentice League and that is a game changer for us.  We have more rules to follow and we hope to become full WFTDA league in the future.

That being said, I plan to to do some serious weight lifting and off the track work outs.  I want to improve my agility skills and up my endurance.  Since I will be planning practices and such when we have new skaters join us I have a plan in writing that I will hold myself accountable to.  I would like to see everyone on our team write down their goals and share them so we can help each other meet and exceed these goals. 

Running a team and league takes every single person to do some part and be willing to learn all aspects of the game from NSO to reffereeing.  The more you learn about all the pieces the better you will be as a player.  I also encourage everyone to take advantage of other training opportunities such as speed, and open scrimages.  The more you play, the better you get and the more you learn.

I have been so blessed to get to skate with some truly awesome people and look forward to a great year of learning and playing.  Another goal is to write my blog more often this year.  I am working on all aspects of my life.  Until next time, skate hard and learn things!

Roller Derby My New Life

Injury Recovery-The Long Road Back

I am 8 weeks out from my shoulder surgery.  I have to say it has been just as hard as they told me it would be.  I am still having to manage pain and do all the exercises.  My physical therapist shows me what to do and I push myself to do it, but it is still slow going.  I am elated at being able to use my right hand to feed myself and type again.  I still cannot open doors and I am maybe 3/4ths of the way to full range of motion and that is being generous.

Every athelete that gets injured knows what is like to go through the recovery process and it totally sucks.  My surgeon assures me that I will be much happier on the other side of this.

Set backs are all a part of life and there are so many other things that are worse or more important than my injury and recovery, that I am still thankful to have my health and the ability to recover.  Team mates have been supportive and I know how hard it is to know what to say to someone who is off the track and struggling to get better so they can be back out there with everyone.  We have had our share of injuries this year.

It has made me do some research on preventing injury.  There is such a thing.  Extra protection gear is one way to help, I wear padded shorts and shin guards which are not required.  But I think that especially for fresh meat learning how to skate it is advisable.  Tailbone injuries can end your strive to be a derby girl and the shins getting kicked is just common sense.  Not everyone is going to be the same and some accomodations have to be made to focus on what is good for you and your body.

The coaches shout about our form and yet, 90% of even the most experienced on the team do not have good derby stance form, however all of them think that they do.  I had some newbies argue with me that they were in good form so I had them do their skating around the track and I filmed them, then I showed them.  It was an eye opener.  We need more sprints and squats while on the track, and sprints are not a race in which you sacrifice form to beat a team mate.  And when the someone tells you are you not low enough, believe them and work harder to get lower.  Remember that training is just that, you are not competing with your team mates, you are competing with yourself and the track and the drills.  You must work on the things you do not do well and not concentrate on doing what you already know how to do. 

We are just about to end our season with our last bout and take a quick break for holidays and then it is back at it to get ready for the next season.  I have had a very long break and am so ready to get back on the track with my team mates.  Hopefully, try outs will go well and I will be able to try out when we have them.

Watching from sidelines, I have seen our girls progress and the training intensify and it is an awesome sight to behold.  I am suppose to have all my range of motion back in 4 more weeks and my therapist and I will be working hard to get there.  In therapy, pain really does mean gain.  I have had to learn that the pain I have now is not injury pain it is healing pain.  But I will be back stronger than ever, there is some serious weight lifting in my future!!

Until next time – Love you guys!

Roller Derby My New Life

Elation to Deflation

I did it, I skated in the bout uh game, I will never get used to that change, on Saturday. I was in 28 jams, wow, that was the most awesome time of my life. I had a some penalties that I would like to not get but having been out there so much I was able to get some real game experience.

Sore shoulder and all I am so glad to have that opportunity to skate with the YRDG Killer Bees and to bring in a win. We have worked hard to get where we are and have set our sights on just growing more and more in experience.

I will be watching my Bees play on Sep 7th as I did find out that I have a tear in my rotator cuff that I am going to see a surgeon about on Sep 10th. And that is the deflation part of this blog, I am so disheartened to have to stop and deal with an injury. I know it comes with the territory but it is still very hard to accept and deal with.

I was truly blessed to be able to play that last game and to play more than I ever have so I will take that elation with me into the abyss of injury and recovery. I hope to able to come back full force for next season and that will be my goal for this off-season.

Another goal is to stay in shape and continue to eat properly, it is so very easy to give into the depression and comfort eating, that I will have to fight this very hard. One really good way is to continue to go to practices and help as I can or work on my BOD duties.  It is important to stay connected to the team and be right there with them while you recover.

I am now 4 weeks since surgery and have been back to practices as a spectator several times now. It is very ha hard to just watch. I’m unable to do much south my arm yet so it is hard to help, not to mention the pain that I still have. PT is going good so I am taking it one day at a time.

Recovery is hard but I am hanging in there. Until next time!

Roller Derby My New Life

Life Just Happens!

WOW! It is August and I have been so busy I have not taken even a moment to write. And where to start, oh my. The number one life event is becoming a grandmother again. My 2nd grandchild was born on July 6, 2014, Justin Alexander Shipley. What a joy what a blessing.

He has an older sister who is now 3 and smart as a whip and loves her Justin! My husband and I are so very, very blessed and Life could not be better.

I was honored to get to skate with the Yellow Rose Derby Girls All Stars for the first part of this first season and also with the Killer Bees. I am currently skating for the Killer Bees since mid-season try outs and I am thrilled to get to skate. Our next bout is August 23rd and I will be out there working hard for my team!

I have had some set backs with an injured shoulder but I plan to skate out the season and then do what needs to be done to fix it. After October I will be only training and staying in shape to get ready for next season and next try outs. Since I have stayed away from contact so I can play in the games, I have had the pleasure of teaching our newbies, who we lovingly refer to as Rose Buds. LipStick asked me to help her out and I have had a blast doing it. It is exciting and fun to watch the Rose Buds learn and develop over the first 6 weeks. I have gotten so much out doing this that I am seriously considering studying coaching so that I may contribute to my league when I have to retire from competition. Make no mistake, I will go into retirement from competition as a skater, kicking and screaming NO I’M NOT READY YET!!

That being said, I know that day will come and when it does, I will want to teach as many people as possible to skate and compete in this sport.  I have watched so many changes and so much growth in the short time that I have been invloved with roller derby, it has been overwhelming at times.  My hope is that it continues to grow and everyone gets an opportunity to participate in a team sport and truly learn what it means to be a TEAM.

Roller Derby My New Life

New Year, New Season

The year is off to a fabulous start. YRDG had try outs and now have an A and B team. We have an awesome group of women on both of these teams. A year ago we were only a glimmer in the eyes of our founders, Kari and Marion.

Last February, I found out about a new roller derby league starting up and it was in my back yard. A good number of ladies showed up at meet and greets and a new league was born.

I could not pass up becoming a founding member of the greatest sport I have had the pleasure to participate in. We have grown and thrived this last year training long and hard for this season, or first and the first for many of us.

Roller Derby My New Life

Derby Life Balance

My Life

Not long ago I did a post about Work Life Balance and with the start-up a new team and the commitments I have made to Roller Derby, it occurred to me that I needed to think about my derby life balance as well.  Learning to balance all the things in my life that I enjoy doing with those obligations that I need to do is always a very big challenge.  Family time is very important, and doing things that we love to do is necessary.  Roller Derby is time-consuming and very demanding.  Just like we have vacation days given to us from work, we need a vacation from our hobbies at times also.  For me this may or may not mean a break from skating, but more likely a break from business side as well.  I have  a hard time thinking about not skating for any length of time but if you are struggling with the idea of practice every time and finding that you are not rejuvenated after said practice, it might be time to take a break.

Some times those breaks are forced upon us by circumstances, obligations, or injury but even healthy skaters need some time off to regroup, recharge and evaluate their personal goals and how it is affecting other aspects of their lives.

Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with wanting to be a recreational skater and being satisfied with that is all good too.  Having been a recreational skater that supported a very large league for several years and volunteering for that league, burn out can occur here as well.  We always need to set realistic expectations of our team members, volunteers and everyone else that works to support our league.

All that being said, everyone that is part of the league should be sure to support their league with volunteer time, serving on committees actively because the more people who do that, the easier the jobs are and a handful of members are not going to burn out so fast.  It takes lots of work, planning and dedication to run a league and we are not just the athletes, we are management too.  So get involved and do you part, find something you like and take it on.  Give your team-mate a break if needed and work together for the benefit of the team!

The picture above is my heart and soul, my grand-daughter and my husband.  I breath and live to be a part of their lives and the other members of my family doing things together and without their support, derby would not be a an option for me.  Because of them I am here doing what I love.

Derby Love!