Talk Derby… with Sass!


Sass E. Phrass, photo by Chris Switzer

I never thought, in a million years, that I could be a “derby girl”! I was not athletic. I was not thin. I was definitely not tough. Most of all, I was NOT a skater! I had roller-skated only a handful of times in my entire life. All of these times were at birthday parties and all of those times I was about 9 years old! All of these things were stacked against me…all of these things were in my 34 year old brain telling me that I could not do this.

My fist few times skating were as I had expected. I was surgically attached to the wall, slowly inching my way around the rink. I knew I wouldn’t be great to begin with, however, I had no idea that I would be that bad! I almost gave up. I told myself that this was not for me; that I was too slow, that I was too old, that I was too fat… I had a hundred excuses in my head about why derby was not for me.

Then, one day at practice, I did a T-stop… one perfect stop. My body did everything it was supposed to, my foot was in the right place, the pressure was good…it was perfect! And I stopped! And I didn’t fall! It may seem like a little thing to do to other people who have been skating for years, but to me it was HUGE! I realized that maybe, with a lot of practice and some faith in myself, I could totally be “a derby girl”.