Derby Love Knows No Bounds (or How to Hit Your Kid and Get Away with It)

I never thought I’d love anything more than playing roller derby…

Like most derby players I didn’t just join a league and skate. I fell in love. Hard. Like any relationship we had our ups and downs. There was the heartbreak of not making the team my first try out. Later there was the highlight of finally breaking through a pack and becoming lead jammer. I would go to sleep and dream derby. I’d wake up early and skate. Non-derby friends and family would lament that I never shut up about it. I was infatuated. I stalked my favorite teams on Facebook. I researched the best skates, wheels, and pads. The hours I spent researching derby makeup would make a Hollywood starlet blush. I had matching boutfits. I looked so cute at practice. Then like any relationship, roller derby and I got comfortable with each other. It was work to keep the spark alive. I still loved roller derby, but it was the little things that started to slip. My socks no longer matched. I didn’t wash my pads as frequently. But come game day – my heart skipped a beat - all over again.

And then it happened…

Matt and Matt's Mom (formerly Annie Lockbrakes).

Matt and Matt's Mom (formerly Annie Lockbrakes).

I found something I loved even more than playing Roller derby! My son, Matt, asked for a rookie skate package for his 18th birthday. He was toying of the idea of refereeing for my WFTDA league, Bux-Mont Roller Derby Dolls, and wanted to learn to skate. So that September I took him to the Orientation and Assessments at Penn Jersey Roller Derby, thinking it would be helpful for him to learn; he signed up for the rookie program on the spot. I watched him go from an awkward Bambi on skates to a skilled derby player. Suddenly, just playing roller derby seemed like being the married, older friend at the singles bar. Sure I was out and I was having fun but not nearly as much fun as the single girls were. Look, I fully admit I was the most embarrassing mom on the planet. I would make signs using his face, dress in costume and seriously scream my face off all game long. Everyone knew Matt Rushmore’s biggest fan was Matt’s Mom. Watching him skate was my new passion. I would tell friends, family, strangers, anyone who would listen really, of his grand new feats! I would post videos of his glorious (to me at least) progress.

Matt Rushmore gets acquainted with the banked track!

Matt Rushmore gets acquainted with the banked track!

There was no way that I could be more in love with anything than watching my kid skate until….

One day I dropped in to skate with my kid at PJRD. We were paired together in a basic blocking drill. No big deal really– I had 30lbs and a year's experience on this kid. I was not worried at all...until he knocked me on my ass! In that beautiful moment I realized that we had moved from a mother/son dynamic to one of true competitors and it was glorious!!! As fate would have it my Bux-Mont's season had just finished and I was able to transfer over to PJRD. I saw the good work their coaches do and opted to skate their entire rookie program. Let me tell you, skating with my kid is the best feeling in the world! The pride I feel for him when he is holding his own while I dish out my hardest hits is indescribable. The joy I feel holding him back when he tries to break through on a jam is so intense! Last month we scrimmaged together on the same team. I finally had the opportunity to team up with him. There is a distinct advantage playing with someone who you know so well. We were able to work more effectively because I knew his non verbal cues. I took the plunge, I fully committed to Penn Jersey and playing with my kid. I even changed my derby name to MattsMom for Pete’s sake!! This Saturday, April 25th is the PJRD Demolition Derby and I’ll be able to play with my son. Even though we are on opposite teams I can promise you this, win or lose, I’m going home feeling like a million bucks!!!!

Who will reign supreme at the Derby Demolition...Matt Rushmore or Matts Mom??

Who will reign supreme at the Derby Demolition...Matt Rushmore or Matts Mom??

For more information on Orientation and Assessments, visit our Facebook event page:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1558613611088986/