Skate like a girl

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Carlye Sweet
  • 9th Attack Squadron
I love roller skating! My mom always tells people that I was skating before I could even walk. Growing up in the 1980-90s, roller skating on a Friday night with friends was the thing to do. When I saw a flyer in a local coffee shop asking people to join the local roller derby team, I called for information that same day. I was excited to try out my rusty skating skills, but I had no idea what the game of roller derby was all about, boy was I in for a big surprise.

Roller derby is a full contact-sport that requires dedication, skill, strategy and teamwork. The sport dates back to the 1930s as an endurance race. Modern-day roller derby was revolutionized in the 2000s as an all-female sport. Currently, there are over 1,000 teams in more than 20 countries worldwide, and the sport continues to grow at a lightning-fast pace. It is even being considered for the 2020 Olympic Games. Roller derby in Alamogordo, N.M. is no different and continues to reach new milestones.

Alamogordo currently has one roller derby team, Derbal Remedy, that was established in 2011. This year is our first year competing in bouts (games) against teams from around New Mexico and Texas including Taos, Clovis and Dumas. Derbal Remedy currently has 12 active players and is always looking for "fresh meat" (new recruits). Any woman who is at least 18 years old can contact our team page via Facebook for more information. We are also looking for men to get involved as referees. The Holloman Air force base family is well represented on the Alamogordo team. We currently have two active-duty players, two military spouses, a child care provider from the youth center, and two florists from the flower shop at the Base Exchange.

I started skating with Derbal Remedy in January 2013 and haven't looked back since. I have learned so much in the past four months, and I continue to learn something new at every practice. Alamogordo local Carl Smith is our head coach and general manager. He has taught me everything I know about the sport.

On average, we practice eight hours each week. Roller derby has improved my overall fitness tremendously. Not only has my cardiovascular fitness improved, but my arms, legs and core are the strongest they have ever been. Why do I put myself through these eight hours of torture per week? This past weekend answered that question - I skated in my debut bout, and it was an amazing feeling!

On Saturday, two of my teammates and I played as augmentees for the Las Cruses Santas in a bout against the Dirty Curry Prairie Dollz from Clovis, N.M.. It was very rewarding to finally put all of the skills that I had been practicing for the past three and a half months to the test. Practice definitely made perfect for The Santas. After countless laps around the track with almost as many falls, we went on to win the bout with a final score of 223 to 79! I have been on cloud nine ever since Saturday, and I cannot wait to skate in the next bout.

The bottom line is that fitness does not have to be a chore. Find something you love to do and have fun doing it. I dare you to skate like a girl!