ACRD’s Captain Prymal Instynct was recently featured in a video by Tony Curtis.
Stitch up your skates. You must trust them
without thinking twice. Breathe in the stink
of your sweat-fried padding & give thanks
for the way it holds your bones intact.
Hit the rink. If your wheels strike the tile
with the clean sound of a well-greased cog
whirring in a machine, set your breath to it.
Ball your hands into fists. Once, Bunny fell
with her fingers out & they were smashed
like soft roots under another girl’s wheels.
I want to try and capture the weird place I am in with skating roller derby. I’ll call it ‘The Intermediate Skater’, not yet on the team, but skating with the team, desperately trying to keep up. It was a huge step for me just signing up for the first “fresh meat” class where I learned to skate in June. Now I find myself in the middle of a sport that is so much more than a sport. It is a culture. It is a sisterhood. It becomes part of who you are and what you do every day even when you’re not on the track. Some days it is like falling in love – amazing, empowering, fulfilling. Other days it is like drowning – frustrating, desparaging, defeating. Either way – an obsession.
Every skater has an origin story. I fell in love with roller derby a little over a year ago, when I went with a friend to see Assault City play in a local bout. Even though the venue and audience were small, the game was electric to watch. The leaping and dodging, the teammates who flung one another across the track, the strange and exciting sight of women’s bodies smashing into one another at high speeds—it clicked with me in a fundamental, primal way.
“Maybe I’ll try out,” I said, half-joking, on the car ride back.