I know for many of the Red Rock N Roller Derby Association members, we were all glued to our computers to keep up-to-date with Billie the Shiv and the Lumbersmacks in the Mayday Mayhem tournament in Colorado.
It was extremely exciting that a team from the Maritimes was playing in this WFTDA tournament (one of two Canadian teams playing), with members many of us have had the pleasure of knowing personally and have played against before, but the fact that OUR Billie the Shiv from PEI was playing with them made it incredible!!
I know people say you can’t read tone on the computer, but you sure could feel the excitement through that screen. Watching the games live and having members post cheering her on was amazing. It was a real show of team spirit and support for our fellow derby sister and Maritime league.
And now to hear from Billie!
Mayday Mayhem.… Before I talk about my Colorado tournament experience, I feel I need to talk a little about where I started with derby. I started back in 2011 because I thought it would be super cool to wear roller skates and hit people. Shortly after joining I had a pretty big setback, I had torn my PCL in my right knee and with that happening I had to take time off skates to heal and go through a lot of physiotherapy. I skated with a HUGE knee brace for two years, which I didn’t mind at all because I was finally able to skate again.
Billie the Shiv 2013
When I got back on skates… I was TERRIBLE. I could barely get my 25 laps in 5 minutes and when I did I was certainly not a great player on the track. I sat out when we had penalties or when we needed more points, some would call it a bench warmer, or a bubble player. I have never wanted to be good at something like I do with derby. I watched derby, traveled to watch games in person, I started to go to the gym, everything I could do to get better I did. One of the teams I looked up to most was the Lumbersmacks. They were the best of the best. I remember watching one of their games and thinking “ I want to be like that”, and it’s so amazing to say that I am.
Being asked by Burn to help them out with a few games last season was such an honor to be able to finally say that I did it. All of the hard work I did to get where I was worked. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t see what they saw in me and it still blows my mind that I am a Lumbersmack. The fact that they have faith in me means so much and I would do anything for them. When it comes to traveling so much to play competitively comes not only hard work but also a support system. I am so lucky to have so many people behind me. From my Husband spRAWkit always telling me to work harder and to EVERYONE cheering me on, I don’t think could do it without everyones help.
So now to Colorado. WHOA… it was CRAZY! Going into the tournament because we had only one WFTDA bout under our belts we were ranked last. The other teams didn’t think anything of us when we arrived Friday morning, their thoughts quickly changed. Coming from a region where we train and play at sea level, going to an area in the mountains where we are a mile high, certainly made a difference. Not going to lie there where times where I was almost sick because my body had to work so much harder to play and breath. We played our hearts out, everything we worked on in practice we put to use and BAM we won and then we won a few more and next thing you know we are in the CHAMPIONSHIP game. During the final game we played so well together we wanted it bad, but so did Rage City Rollers. They were an amazing team after playing us and losing to us in the first bout of the weekend, they knew what they needed to do to win. We got penalties, they got penalties, I fouled out of my first ever game. Fouling out and having to watch from the sidelines was in my books the hardest part of the weekend, but what happens happens and it will serve as a learning experience to say the least. One of my most favorite memories of the weekend was when we played Winnipeg who was the only other Canadian team in the tournament. Right before we were about to line up we all gathered together in a circle and sang O’Canada together. Derby is an amazing sport, it brings people together, no matter what you do for a living, where you come from – we are all there for each other.
Thank you everyone once again for your support through the tournament weekend. Myself and the team really felt the love and support coming from home, it made the weekend so much more memorable, knowing that you all were watching and cheering us on.
– Billie the Shiv