There will be lipstick and smelly wrist guards; shattered doors and jail time; balloon animals and short-shorts; butterscotch bitches and magic pants, the apocalypse and the rapture . Think I’m kidding? I’m not. I’m not sure if this is typical of a derby bout, but it is the reality of this thrilling day of our first home bout of the Iron Range Maidens.
We called it “Red, White & Bruised” because today also happens to be Armed Forces Day (doesn’t make as big of headlines as The Rapture). We set out to plan our home bout always knowing that we wanted to somehow pay tribute to the place where we had all fallen in love with this new passion of ours, roller derby. The Grand Rapids National Guard Armory is where we have been practicing, 3 times a week since October. We’ve fallen, gotten hurt, cried, screamed and hugged in this place as well as learned how to can opener, fall small and skate 25 laps in 5 minutes. But more than the place, we wanted to support the National Guard men that have been supporting us all along the way. I doubt they even realize how their quiet support has given us so much confidence to get out on the floor and work hard as a team.
At tonight’s bout we’ll have a color guard and also celebrate all the military and veterans in our audience. Part of our proceeds go to Operation Minnesota Nice – an organization that provides support and comfort to those serving in our armed forces. Stop by their table at our bout, and feel free to bring something to donate for the care packages – see their website for info on what they need.
If you are wondering what to do this weekend or are waiting around to see the world end, I suggest you do something outside your comfort zone. Come to “Red, White and Bruised” tonight, in Grand Rapids at the IRA Civic Center. Doors open at at 5:45. Look for me, I’ll be the one with the slightly askew helmet, ponytails and sturdy, black lace legs poking out of my skirt and the Butterscotch Bitch on my back.
p.s. To my fellow Iron Range Maidens teammates and refs and volunteers: thank you for your friendship and support and determination. Though this thing called roller derby looks kind of silly from the outside, it is character building. I have seen each and every one of us become better than we were before. And not just at hitting each other or getting around on eight wheels. Much love from Butterscotch!