My Life

Derby Lite

Yesterday, I went with my friend, Amy, to Derby Lite’s “Get in Gear” Day.

I used to skate when I was younger. As a girl, I was at the North Ave. Roller Rink as often as possible from the ages of 8-12 (I had a girlhood crush on Pete, one of the skate-guards). Then I got a pair of roller blades and I was outside on those whenever the weather was nice enough through my early teen years. Then by the time I was 15 or 16, what happened? I was too cool to skate anymore? Believe me, I was not cool. Anyway, I grew up, and I hadn’t skated since. Until yesterday.

Amy and I took turns skating and watching August (he’s still exclusively breastfeeding, so I had to bring him with). I wondered if I would still be a good skater. Answer: no. Would I still enjoy it? Yes. Do I want to sign up for the beginner level? Emphatically, yes. Amy was left wondering “where should I buy some suitable workout pants?”, whereas I was wondering “where do they find those awesome hot pants?“. I mean, if I’m gonna do it, I might as well do it right.

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  • Riley
    March 14, 2011 at 11:12 am

    could you be any more endearing? I DON’T THINK SO… i love this post

  • erica
    March 14, 2011 at 11:14 am

    YAY! glad you came out and skated! great to meet you! hope you have fun with DL. i love it.

  • bungalowbliss
    March 14, 2011 at 11:26 am

    As you should!

    We love our Naptown Roller Girls, and my friend from high school just joined the Lansing roller derby (Mitten Mamas, I believe). I’m super impressed–not surprising, given everything else you do that I’m just in awe of! I say, go for it!

  • DemMom
    March 14, 2011 at 11:30 am

    That’s a great idea! Maybe your next step will be roller derby. I’m nowhere near that cool (or brave), but several friends of mine here in Richmond are. Check out

  • tanya
    March 14, 2011 at 11:40 am

    seriously derby is the best workout on the planet! when i first started my thighs said “just exactly do you think you’re doing here, missy?!?” while my derriere loved me for it. it burned all my post-baby fat right off! i cannot say enough about what an amazing athletic experience roller derby was for me never mind building friendships with a group of confident women athletes whom i never would’ve met without derby! you definitely should do it!
    good luck,
    tanya aka eden mydust

    ps. for hot shorts you should try here: they have this pair called “lift and separate” that will make anyone’s butt look ah-MAY-zing!

  • Chloe
    March 14, 2011 at 11:44 am

    So glad you liked it! I <3 Derby Lite! And here is where you can get those hot pants :)

  • Kate
    March 14, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Awesome! I am totally going to google this in my area!

  • Joy
    March 14, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    Heh…after watching “Whip It” I bought an awesome pair of vintage skates and tried skating again…I was REALLY bad…and then got pregnant…sooooo, yeah. Maybe after the baby I’ll try again.

  • havana tantrum
    March 14, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    Hi there! We chatted about your little August. So glad you had fun! Hope to see you on wheels again soon!

  • sam
    March 14, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    Nicole, as someone who’s read your blog since before you had Eleanor, I can safely say that you were made for derby. You’re too cool to NOT play derby. I play for the Peoria Push Derby Dames downstate from you. I, too, started right after I had a baby, and it definitely helped me feel a LOT better about my post-baby body.

    Beyond that though, it has been an incredible experience getting to know myself better in lots of ways. Not to mention the awesome bonding with other awesome women. I could literally gush for hours, but I’ll stop. I’m excited to see if you take the next steps! Go derby! :)

  • Melissa
    March 14, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    Hot pants for sure! Good for you.

  • cd
    March 14, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    High-five on EBF! Maybe someday it will go without saying that a lady would have her baby with her for nearly all errands and events . . . frankly, regardless of whether someone is BF-ing or not-BF-ing, it shouldn’t be weird to have babies around wherever moms are…..

  • Adrienne
    March 14, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    So awesome! I have been wanting to try roller skating again. It’s been about 25 years since I became “too cool” for it – when I was about 12 years old (ahh junior high).

    I learned on a TV show (embarrassed to admit Larry the Cable Guy’s show on HistoryChannel)that all of the roller derby gal’s names are registered in an official list, and there can be no two alike.

    How fun would it be to think up a name? And yes, you’ve gotta go for the hotpants.

  • val
    March 14, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    what an awesome program!!! I tried the roller derby thing myself, and loved the skating part… what i didn’t like so much was getting hurt. often. but something like this seems to offer the best of derby without the hits (for pansies like myself). I wish they offered something like this in my area!

    • Flash Nordin
      March 14, 2011 at 3:05 pm

      Derby Lite is wanting to branch out across America! If you go to our website, you can click the link I Want Derby Lite In My Town, and we will come!

      Click here and let us know where you are :)

      Flash –

      • val
        March 15, 2011 at 7:56 pm

        Thanks! I’ll check it out :)

    • Kim
      March 14, 2011 at 6:07 pm

      I’m in the same boat! I loved skating but wasn’t so fond of the injuries involved… I’m going to check out DL!

  • Julia
    March 14, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    If you haven’t already, you have to check out the movie Whip It! Total chick flick directed by Drew Barrymore and features the rapper Eve, Juliette Lewis and that girl from Juno. I loved it & it made me totally want to go out and roller skate.

  • Lauren D
    March 14, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Oh that sounds awesome! I wanted to join the derby league in my area then found out I was preggers. She is now four guess I should get rollin’!

  • Emily
    March 14, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    So fun, wondering if there’s something similar in my metro Detroit?

  • Carla
    March 14, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    Wow! I couldn’t even take a really long walk when I had a one month old, you ROCK! I’ve always wanted to join my local roller derby league now I feel extra inspired.

  • ChaChi
    March 14, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    I started playing derby when my baby was 3 months old and still nursing. When I first started I was terrible, in horrible shape but I lost nearly 40lbs before my baby was a year old. And I had a 12lb baby. A lot of teams will let you join and not scrimmage/hit/bout but just do the workouts on skates (at least until you are ready). I have met some of the greatest people on EARTH thru roller derby.

  • Cindy
    March 14, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    I’ve been going to see the Boston Derby Dames lately, but I would love something like this for fitness. The skater’s have the best names – personal favorite is Badonkey Kong!

  • Carrie254
    March 14, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    I used to be a Windy City Roller with Queen B, if she is still running Derby Lite you should totally sign up. She’s from Oak Park and has two kids as well. She would definitely understand what it’s like to get back in to skating shape after baby, and good for you for going so soon after baby. My advise would be padded bike shorts, a balance board, and great knee pads. Tearing your ACL, MCL or PCL in derby is very common. The pads will help with all of your early falls & the balance board will help prevent them. Also invest in some Distilled White Vinegar, it will get all of the stink out of your gear.

    Have a great time, or just keep skating for fun, it’s great fun exercise

  • Flash Nordin
    March 14, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    I am so glad you came out with your friend! Derby Lite is wonderful – and the most fun way to exercise and get fit! I hope to see you in some sparkly booty shorts soon!
    Flash Nordin

  • Erika
    March 14, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    That sounds awesome! Fun and great exercise, too.

  • Sarah
    March 14, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Oh, I love to roller skate, my husband thinks it is the funniest thing ever. When we watched Whip It, I told him I wanted to try roller derby, and he said he thought I was too sensitive for it.

    I think I need to go out there and kick some ass and prove him wrong!

  • Karma
    March 14, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    So glad you’ve discovered DL and Queen B’s crew–they are a bunch of fabulous ladies! I’ve been reading since Elanor was wee, and also thought you’d make a great derbygirl–I hope you have a delightful time (no pun intended)!

    PS Target tights are a great (and cheap) way to minimize rinkrash and add some attitude, and it’s better if you cut the feet off of them and just wear regular socks in your skates. Keep your feet happy!

  • amy purple
    March 14, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    Nicole – You did a great job being on skates for the first time in x years! I had the best time sunday and everyone was so nice! And i got to hold August which was equally sweet. I am really looking forward to the session starting.

  • Michelle
    March 14, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Hi Nicole! I’ve been a long-time reader of your blog, but have never posted a comment. I thought today would be a great time to come out of lurker mode.

    I’ve been playing roller derby for nearly 2 years and it is such a fabulous sport. It is a great workout and I love all the ladies I play/train with.

    Good luck with your derby adventure. I’m sure you will love it and I can’t wait to see if you decide to join a league after going through the Derby Lite session.

    Michelle aka Veronica Mar

  • julie.
    March 14, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    oh my gosh, great story! I too lived on my skates (quads) from about the ages of 8 to 12. I was so good too! Then I kind of never skated again, until about 3 months ago! We have a local roller rink still (lucky, for small town Michigan), and I was smitten with these pink skates on UO:
    so I gifted them to myself and started going to the rink every Sunday afternoon for fun. I LOVE IT. It took a few weeks to get my skills back (gawd, I was so awful at first), but it’s so awesome and great exercise (esp. when it’s so snowy here). I’m even back to doing crossover turns! Go Nicole!

    March 14, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    This is totally off-topic, but I saw this and thought of you:

  • Barbara "Queen B" Dolan
    March 14, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    I’m so glad you came, and that you had a good time, and that you’re signing up for spring! I <3 your attitude and your blog is pretty darn awesome, too. roller derby is such a great way to enhance both your physical & emotional fitness… happy moms make for happy families. :o)

  • Barbara "Queen B" Dolan
    March 14, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    p.s. YAY PINK & BROWN!

  • Married In Chicago
    March 14, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    oh my! how fun!!! do you ever go to watch the windy city rollers? my husband and I always try to go once or twice a season. Its basically the only sport we like to watch :)

  • Diana Smith
    March 14, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    This looks like sooo much fun!! Would love to get involved in something like this for my part of the woods!

  • Nicole
    March 15, 2011 at 4:50 am

    AMAZING! I bet this is so fun!

  • Michelle B
    March 15, 2011 at 6:22 am

    how fun! I recently went to see my first roller-derby match – it was awesome! I wish they would let us skate too – that would be so much fun! I loved looking at all the girls outfits at the roller-derby. So fun!

  • Dana @ House*Tweaking
    March 15, 2011 at 7:26 am

    Let me get this straight. You delivered a 10-lb baby au naturale then go roller skating a mere two months later…with said baby in tow? You are THAT cool.

    Good luck with all your Derby endeavors!

  • Anna
    March 15, 2011 at 8:33 am

    Here is an awesome alternative to hot pants that would be PERFECT for Derby. I have several of their skirts and love them to death. Litterally, I just had to retire one for being worn out and too large. They are a fantastic company as well.

  • Lisa
    March 15, 2011 at 9:21 am

    I love, love, love, love, love skating. Unfortunately, roller blades and I do not get along. Before I moved from Austin, Texas, I went to the adult skate nights at one of the rinks. It was tons of fun! Sadly, in Norway, nobody understands why anyone would skate in circles on wood. Ice skating, yes. Roller skating, no.

  • Hollyp
    March 15, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    Hurrah for you! I’m the same way about figure skating. Though, I have a few middle-aged friends who joined roller derby leagues. That means not just skating, but funky outfits and tough-chick nicknames like Annie Maim!

  • Santa Martin
    March 15, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    Hmm, there website seems to be down (maybe too much action coming there way from MIL readers?!) But I am going to keep checking as I’d love to get more info and find out if there is anything like this in my area (North Jersey/NYC)..

  • Christina Winters
    March 15, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    American Apparel makes some really cool silver hot pants and work out pants/leggings. Many of the roller girls in RVA favor them!

  • Trina "NY Doll" Bockus
    March 15, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    Yeay! I’m glad you enjoyed Get in Gear Day. I was impressed that you were there with such a little one! And skating love is like that, it comes back with a vengeance once you get back on skates. I look forward to skating with you. And wearing shiny little shorts together!

  • Bunny
    March 15, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    OMG YES!!!!!!!!! I knew it was only a matter of time before you picked up derby, it’s great for your body! Well…minus the bruises. We’ve got a couple of breast feeders on our team too. Congratulations, you’ll love it. Representing the Hub City Derby Dames btw

  • joan
    March 16, 2011 at 12:22 am

    another option if you like skating but prefer fewer injuries is to try out roller (or ice) hockey. i play roller simply because that’s what we have in santa barbara – our closest ice is 30 minutes away. but it is the same fun girl bonding and cheering for each other – but wearing lots of padding which helps when you fall on your tailbone :)

  • Alma
    March 18, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    I’ve done two sessions of DL and they’ve made a convert out of me. Definitely the most fun I’ve EVER had exercising. (And hush, don’t tell, but I just bought my first pair of hot pants.)

  • Sybil Disobedience
    March 18, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    Nicole – I am a longtime reader of your blog and I skated with Derby Lite, though I am on injured reserve right now – It is so much fun and it will kick your ass!

    Enjoy – PS – The shiny booty shorts are called “Derby Skinz”