Talkin’ derby with Nisfit Hussy

Pic by Steve Cooremans

Before May 2nd, if you’d tell me: chocolate, I’d say Belgium. If you’d tell me: fruit, I’d answer green apples. If you’d tell me: car, I’d tell you Mustangs; but, if you’d tell me: roller derby… I’d answer you with a ”what the f*ck are you talking about?!”

Just a week and so before May 2nd, a friend sent me a link of a documentary about girls provocatively skating on quads. At first, their outer appearance appealed to me a lot: tattoos and piercings everywhere, dyed hair, rock’n’roll theme… in brief, the sexiness AND toughness a woman can give – I loved it! Then, as the documentary went on, I got more and more interested about the rules of the game, then gradually focused on HOW the derby girls moved on skates with agility and studied the tactics they used to flow across the pack in 2 seconds tops! By the end, I found myself googling and YouTube’ing everything related to roller derby! In only one afternoon, I managed to learn everything about it! I was hypnotized by this re-newed sport that I wasn’t even sure was practiced in Belgium, let alone EUROPE! Unfortunately, I’m known to ba stubborn b***h when I truly want something :).

So, I searched for ‘Belgium roller derby’ on my facebook, and BAM! First I checked out the Gent Go Go Roller Girls (since they had more fans than the One Love Roller Dolls); however, they seemed to me so experienced already… and besides, the OLRD were brand new and looked in a way more friendly! After sending an e-mail to Lolli Chop, and immediately receiving a sweet reply from her, I found myself on my way to Antwerp to attend the freshmeat day, which was on April 25th.

Once at the station, I was lost: where is Deurne and how am i supposed to get there??? And the fact that the information girl made it seem as if it was miles away from where I was with her: ”Oh dear, it’s a so far you have to take a cab!” didn’t motivate me much… Seeing it was already 15:00 and I was still at my starting point, I made my way back to Brussels thinking I had miss my unique shot at experiencing roller derby.

Once home, I sent an apology e-mail to Lolli Chop (yeah… i’m quite polite…) who surprised me with another invitation to their next practice: Sunday 2 May.

In Antwerp AGAIN, I wasn’t to give up this time; even if it meant I had to walk all the way there! And this is how, tramway 10 Deurne became my favorite ride in the world.

I was there at roundabouts 18:00, I didn’t know what to expect, but definitely not a bunch of people figure skating on squads!!! (which was the case due to a contest that took place on the court). I thought I wouldn’t recognize the dolls, but then, there they were: beers in hands, and laughing along. Instantly, all my stomach-butterflies flew away: ”Hello! I’m the fresh meat!’

Truth? I fell 4 times in the cabin just trying to stand up with the rollers on… and even more on the court itself! But, contrary to what my physique looks like, I’m tough. And so, every fall I had, increased my love for roller derby.

Pic by Steve Cooremans

Roller derby-ing with OLRD, since then, grew from a sport I performed with strangers, to a life-style I share with derby-sisters.

Language is not an issue, we talk derby. Where you live is not an issue either, because the only distance that counts is the progress you do on track. Who you are is not a problem because, to me, roller derby is defined bit by bit by different derby-girls.

After May 2nd, if you’d tell me again: chocolate, I’d say: ROLLER DERBY. If you’d tell me: fruit, I’d answer: ROLLER DERBY. If you’d tell me: car, I’d tell you ROLLER DERBY. But, if you’d tell me: roller derby, I’d say back: bring it on b*tch!

Xxo Nisfit Hussy

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