It is hard to believe the Lumber Jills are getting ready to play the last bout of their first full season. I never expected how much roller derby would impact my life since its inception in 2010. At first, a group of friends and I would drive to Vermont to watch the Green Mountain Derby Dames play roller derby at the Champlain Expo Center. We were inspired by these women and knew soon after that we needed to make a home for roller derby in Plattsburgh.
The first year I was voted president and co-captain of the North Country Lumber Jills. I was honored to have been chosen to lead our team. In the beginning we had our ups and downs. We had women who could not commit to the demanding practice schedule, suffered broken bones and ultimately needed to find a home in which to practice and compete. In time, the broken bones healed, skaters rearranged their schedules and the Plattsburgh Recreation Center became our home.
During that first year as president I learned a lot about hard work, communication, being an athlete and my personal limits. A typical day would start with an eight hour shift at my day job, then spending at least two hours focusing on the business end of the team and on certain days end with a two hour practice. During the first year I was able to build family with the skaters, referees and volunteers. As president I felt that my life revolved around roller derby and the success of the organization.
The following year I stepped down from the presidency and took a break from roller derby. This break helped me reprioritize my life and reconnect with family, friends, and my personal projects. After several months, I knew it was time to return. During my time away the team had progressed by leaps and bounds. The Lumber Jills began to compete publicly, built a good name in our community as well as building a name in the derby community.
Currently I am a skater and member of the advertising committee. You can often find me with a stack of fliers and a roll of tape promoting the upcoming bout. Roller derby has afforded me the ability to get into the best shape of my life, taught me more about myself than I would have ever imagined all while doing something that I enjoy. The community of Plattsburgh and our amazing fans have made all of this possible and I could not be more thankful for their support.
(a.k.a Salvadora Brawli)