What do Madhava Gosh, Kat Von D’stroya, Velvet Assassin,  Rudie Mental,  GivEmhel Kel, and  Dead Wreckoning all have in common?  Answer: We were all skating at the Roller Derby  last night.

Since my hernia operation I am not supposed to do any lifting until Feb. 7th so a lot of stuff I would normally do around the homestead that has the side effect of being exercise (which is essentially a miracle drug) hasn’t been getting done.   I suffer from chronic fatigue so it isn’t always easy to motivate myself to get out and exercise for exercise sake.

As a living entity, I have a propensity for sense gratification so it’s easier to do something I  enjoy and that is roller skating.  I used to do it a lot but most local rinks have closed up and the one that is still open has a tweens and younger crowd so I don’t feel so comfortable there.

Recently an Adult Skate started up in St. Clairsville so I have gone there a few times.  While it is out of the way a bit, I have been doing some business with Amish guys south of Barnesville  so I meet them on days the skating is scheduled then skate on the way back.

When I heard there was a fund raiser for the  Ohio Valley Roller Girls  right nearby in Moundsville I decided to go.

One thing about roller skaters is it tends to be a clean  crowd because intoxication affects balance and roller skating is all about balance.  This event was, as advertised, a family crowd as it turns out women who are peak ages for the physicality of roller derby (a contact sport) are also in peak child rearing age so there was more kids  than adults.

It was like  New Vrindaban in the 1980s when there was 120 kids in the gurukula and lots more rug rats at home. Nowadays the demographics have shifted heavily to an older crowd here and although there are kids around,  they aren’t as dominant a force as they used to be in the 1980s.  So being around all those kids was a little nostalgic for me.

Roller Derby has a strong punk music influence so many of the ladies were sporting lots of tattoos. Their jerseys are sleeveless and many of them have fully tattooed arms.  I got their names from the back of their jerseys.

One thing different about skating with Roller Derby girls was when one took off sprinting there was no skate guard saying “Slow down” as is the case at most commercial rinks.

As it was the second time I skated this week, I found I regained a lot of smoothness that isn’t there when I skate irregularly.  As Vladamir Horowitz said, “If I don’t practice for a day, I know it. If I don’t practice for two days, my wife knows it. If I don’t practice for three days, the world knows it.” Not practicing for years at a time has a really deleterious effect on skills.

I tried a few moves I used to be able to do but they weren’t there.  For example, I used to be able to do 360 jumps from either a forward or backwards start but the best I was able to manage was a 180 and the landing wasn’t smooth.  I don’t know if that is gone for good or if I can manage to regain it.

FYI, according to their website, Kat Von D’stroya, who was there skating,  was in the movie Whip It with Drew Barrymore.

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