Hello, I’m a Yankee. There. It’s out in the open. I was born and raised north of the Mason-Dixon Line and never really thought about it until I lived in Tallahassee, Florida’s capital, for three years. Although I had lived in the Sunshine State for three years, it wasn’t until my Tallahassee days that I embraced my Yankee heritage.
Why? Because I never felt more like an outsider than in Tally. I’m not saying this is necessarily a bad thing, it certainly sparked conversation with seventh generation Tallahasseans who peppered me with questions while sipping their sweet tea. I’d be asked,
“Where did your mamma go to school?”
“You moved here for a job?”
“You moved here not knowing anyone?”
Thankfully I met up with a few other Yanks who ended up in Tallahassee and we laughed over similar stories.
A Derby Girl Was Born
“What’s your name?” people asked when I told them I was giving the rough-n-tough sport a try.
Honestly, I hadn’t given it much thought. I was more concerned with passing the skills test (I did, barely) before renaming myself. In retrospect, the day I selected my name was pretty significant. There are very few opportunities in life where we can remake ourselves and be who we really want to be. Roller derby definitely affords that opportunity of being someone else in a campy, kitsch kinda way.
Ideas stumbled in my head. “Auntie Social-Meana” was one of the names (playing on my interest in social media) but I happily settled on “Yankee Tripper” to embrace my Northern heritage and meanness on the rink. (OK, I don’t think I was ever mean on the rink.) Looking back, I wish I went with “Yank-her Trip-her” but I’m happy with my choice. The name now signifies a little bit of my wild side.
I only skated in one bout and although I suffered a nasty knee injury (which I still have issues with) I was involved with the league for 2 additional seasons as an NSO (non-skating official) and with publicity. Living an hour away made attending practices difficult and life eventually got in the way. I truly miss the game (it got me in great shape in little time) and the camaraderie.
Would I consider returning? Absolutely. I felt like a superstar out there having fans cheering me on and little kids asking for autographs. Maybe I’ll be living closer to a skating rink soon.
What would your roller derby name be? Do tell! To assist you, try Mia Psycho’s Roller Derby Name Generator.
Image Source: Courtesy of KeWo Photography
FTC Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link to support my traveling habit.
This post is part of the 2012 Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Check back daily for a different letter!