The Darlings of Derby Ink

You would think the students of Penn State would be used to my ice packs by now.

My small, polka-dotted cooler (which is usually filled with Herbalife goodies and greek yogurt) is stocked today with ice packs which I am rotating between my two knees as I blog in the coffee shop before my Advanced PR meeting. You know my mood is killer when I’m swinging my shoulders to a disco tune that’s playing on the radio.

My team mates and I have dubbed this the “Rogue High”. It is the inexplicable joy that is radiating through 16 women who got to be part of Team Rogue at the Derby Ink Invitational tournament this past weekend.

Derby Ink

The weekend was highly anticipated by the entire derby world. Could a small MADE league out of Philadelphia transport a bank track to Harrisburg, coordinate a men’s AND women’s tournament while also juggling merchants, a tattoo convention, an indoor skate park, bands and more?

Rogue was a mish mash team that took on many incarnations since this past January. Meeting up at Love City’s track, we learned the rules of the Modern Athletic Derby Endeavor (MADE) while fighting the physics of a bank track and conquering the fear of the rail, slope and edge of the track. You may have seen previous posts about this!

The first breakthrough of team work and awareness came Easter weekend when Rogue invaded Penn Jersey’s warehouse in a sketchy part of Philadelphia to test our mettle against some MADE all stars as well as the Penn Jersey Hooligan’s.

We were skating together for fun. All of us would have these huge smiles on our faces as we went up and down on the bank track – even when the boys were kicking our butts.

Team rogueee

So we arrive at Derby Ink. Here is our roster:

Renegade Raven (retired) & Skate Edge (HARD) – Bench Coaching
Russian Bayou – Dutchland
Treasure Chest – Dutchland
Jocelyn Bassler – Dutchland
Merry Khaos – Dutchland
Bam Bam Brawler – Rocktown
Rainbow’s Revenge – Harrisburg
Neve Cannibal – Harrisburg
Buster Skull – Salisbury
Raven Darkhold –River City
Spry Icicle – Maine
Grim D Mise – Maine
Damage Dahl – Philly
Ally McKill – Steel City
Nash Villain – Retired

We knew we had a strong line-up. We knew we had a team that could get things done on a bank track. We didn’t realize that we were going to all click during the first half of the first game. This was the first time we had all been on the track together. This was some kind of magic. We were all happy, excited to be there and our first bout was against the MADE All-Stars … a great place to really test what we were made of.

Our team work: awesome. Our communication: spot on. Our awareness: top notch. Our joy: through the roof.

The advantage to not being super familiar with a rule set is that you cannot get angry when called off on a penalty, since you honestly don’t know whether you did it or not. Same with when the other team ISN’T called on a penalty!

Something magic happened during that bout….The entire crowd fell in love with us.

I do not know how or why. Maybe it was because we were a bunch of flat track skaters that seemed to exude happiness just at the opportunity to play roller derby in a new setting and with our friends. Maybe it was our adorable cluelessness as we went to the box for touching people. Maybe it was just because the talent level and moves of our jammers and pivots and blockers were undeniably entertaining.

From Thursday to Sunday, there was a lot of frustration at the Derby Ink Invitational. Scattered between the debacles, however, were wonderful games and athletic feats. All the skaters were showing off the battle wounds of the track (new Masonite and a splintered edge to the track made for a lot of scars) and talking about the amazing moves they made against some of their derby heroes.

Photo by JPaden Photography. AMAZING.
Photo by JPaden Photography. AMAZING.

I’m going to skirt over the controversy and bad feelings that came up during the weekend, but let me just say that the tournament heads were not very well equipped to deal with a team being mad about the seeding situation. Team Rogue had won both of our games in the prelims by a margin of +266 … And were seeded #1. This made the other flat track super teams (overall) very unhappy.

At the end of the argument, we got our #1 seeding.

WE WERE SEEDED OVER TEAM BIONIC. JOY. Unbelievable. A team of misfit flat trackers who are having the time of their life actually was top of the pile. What?? Amazing!!

PS I would not have made it through this weekend without my supply of Hydrate, LiftOff and protein bars. Holla.

So on Sunday we went on to beat Penn Jersey in the semi-finals. Those ladies hit HAAAARRRD….even though the score was very heavy in Rogue’s favor do not think that Penn Jersey (or any of the MADE teams) did not try. They were brutal competitors. And instead of high fives – we got hugs at the end of the bout!

We made it to the finals of this tournament. At that point we had dubbed ourselves winners. Even before playing that game, every one of us in a Rogue shirt had been approached by fans, refs and other skaters – each of them telling us that they love us and that they’re cheering for us.

Rogue had become the Darlings of the Derby Ink tournament. The group that came in as the underdogs had won the hearts of the crowd and the other teams.

Ok, so it goes without saying that we got our butts WHOOPED in the final by Team Bionic, but I’m ok with that. It was amazing seeing the smiles of my team mates as they skated the track. It was amazing to hear our friends cheer on the sidelines. We each came back to the benches with little victories and new bruises to show off.

Joc v Rangeon

Thanks to Kimberly Bassler for the Bionic photos!
Thanks to Kimberly Bassler for the Bionic photos!

For me? Successfully holding back Bonnie Thunders for half a pass. Taking Sandrine Rangeon to the rail. Pushing Stella Italiano off the track to end the jam. Outrunning Fifi Nomenon and Psychobabble to maintain control of the front of the pack. Offensively, and successfully, blocking Sexy Slaydie so that Buster Skull could break the pack. Little victories!

Other moments I won’t forget?

The look on Stella’s face when Russian Bayou broke the pack as pivot directly behind her for the third time. Jocelyn Bassler getting lead over Rangeon AND scoring three points. Damage Dahl taking out Hockey Honey.

I couldn’t ask for a more positive team to skate with in a mash up setting. For all the missteps of the tournament organization it was a blast like I can’t even describe.

So here’s to the Derby Ink! Here’s to Team Rogue! Oh, and “Fuck Cancer!!” – Team Rogue donated half of our $2000 second place prize to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Damn, we’re some classy broads.

Now pass me my 24 Restore and Rebuild Strength!! My knees are all kinds of messed up from this weekend. *limp limp limp*


Photo by JPaden Photography
Photo by JPaden Photography

Stepping into Leadership

Many people claim that they want to be a leader. They want to inspire and encourage people. They say that it is their goal to become the person standing in front of the room that has people following in their footsteps to greatness.

What does that really mean though, and for what purpose do you want to lead?

Wanting to be a leader sounds very self-serving when you break it down this way. It’s not the desire to lead people that we need to focus on, it’s the desire to be making positive change in the world, and being able to affect change in others around you.

einstein go further

It should not be the goal to be the person in front of the room because you want the praise and attention. It should be that you are the one in front of the room setting the example for the NEXT person who will be in the front of the room. Your job as a leader should be to take a machete to the jungle. To mow the path and then to lay a lovely road for those who come after you.

Not for the praise, but because it is the right thing to do and it is for a cause you believe in.

I have, in the past, been one who wanted to be at the front of the room. I wanted to be leading people but I didn’t know in what capacity. I have become very clear over the last few days. I want to be leading people into a better life and a healthier lifestyle.

We all know that I’ve been a health coach for a little while now (about 8 months!), and though my mission has always been to help new friends reclaim their health, now I know that it’s more than that. I want to help people become HarderBetterFasterStronger (the name of my Team) and I want to show people that they are capable of achieving greater wealth and happiness than they ever thought possible.

I want to tell everyone that they are able to unlock their own happiness and freedom – it’s in them. I love being able to motivate people to go out there and just do it.

The first step though, is to understand that I have the same capability. Understand … and embrace. So step 1: creating an event. This Saturday will be my first FIT CLUB!! It will be at Koon’s Park in Linglestown. I’m going to scout out a good spot for it amongst the fields and we’ll do basic cardio and strength training that everyone can adjust to their own level.

A Fit Club out in California
A Fit Club out in California

Afterwards, we’ll replenish with some tea and shakes (made out of the back of my station wagon lol) and then I’ll go on my way to my bank track game.

Yes. This weekend is also the Derby Ink Invitational Tournament. I want to show everyone that it is possible to be a full time student, full time health coach, full time athlete and still have a chance to dabble in the things you love. Does life get full sometimes? Yes. Absolutely.

Sunday Practice!
Sunday Practice!

I’m doing what I love though. Can’t really complain about that. My hope is that others see me being successful while doing the things I love and they think to themselves, “I’d love to do that too. I’d love to help people be healthy, get awesome results and integrate it into what I love more than anything.”

Thus, building the next generation of leaders.

Let us lead together and lead wholly. Let us find our passions and live through them. Each day is a sprint to the finish line, but we can either hate the journey or we can embrace it and make it our own.

If you want to be a leader with me, please contact me at and let’s build a healthier world together!

Then and now

A mish mash of mish mosh of Khaos

I’m going to be honest on this one: I’ve been wanting to write a new blog for about a week and there are sometimes where I just don’t feel like typing. Today, I put on my big girl panties and recognized that I have not yet bought voice recognition software, so I must typey typey all my thoughts and tidbits to you.

So what has been going on? What HASN’T been going on!!

First and foremost, the Fit For Summer Online Body Challenge has started … it’s pretty awesome. I have derby and non-derby; local and remote. I have clients new, old and non-clients. I have coaches and those unsure if they want to coach. I have everyone. It’s already been an inspiring and motivational couple of days. We started with the “Gallon/day” challenge as their homework. This is one of my favorites – it really sets up each person with the hydration they need to be successful throughout the whole challenge.

It’s really great to hear everyone moan and cower at the idea of a gallon a day and then three days later they’re singing that their joints don’t hurt. That they had more energy at practice. That they didn’t feel hungry like usual. They may have peed more and they may sweating more than ever … but the benefits far out-weight the temporary side effects.

On a more personal, business front, I have welcomed SIX new VIP clients and coaches in the last two weeks. There are also several others that are interested in becoming a part of my growing team. This all comes out of the push to get my own sponsor to her Millionaire Team cut. We all had our best months ever. We all reached more people than ever before!

With the growth comes a need to grow as a person as well. So in line with that I have decided, finally, on a name for my team… I am leading Team HarderBetterFasterStronger. These are the things I am passionate about helping become. I am passionate about being myself. Plus, the Daft Punk song is a fabulous anthem.

On a personal front, I am partaking in my own fitness challenge. I am going to be focusing on the strength in my legs to support the further recovery of my knee. I’m also going to be concentrating my short burst endurance so that I can keep improving in the jammer spot. We are prepping for our May bouts against Cape Fear, Arch Rival, Chicago Outfit & Kansas City.

I am also personally prepping for the Derby Ink Invitational that will be in Harrisburg April 19-21. I am playing on Team Rogue – a mish mash of flat trackers from Steel City, Dutchland, HARD, Maine, Philly, Rocktown and River City. I am both exceptionally excited … and exceptionally nervous.

And it’s happened yet again. When I blog in pieces it becomes disjointed! So. I guess I should sign off now and do more homework T minus 30 days until graduation. Bring it on.

Oh yea. And this - Rebuild Strength was voted the #1 recovery drink by Triathlete Magazine. Word.
Oh yea. And this – Rebuild Strength was voted the #1 recovery drink by Triathlete Magazine. Word.