Keep Going


– steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.


Pursue & PersevereI began a journey last April to become a Derby Girl, I’m not there yet, but I’m closer.  I started with only a passion to do something different … something where I would make some amazing new friends, and something that would definitely challenge me physically.  I started with some very basic skating skills.  But I didn’t let that stop me, I kept coming back for more punishment.

When I say basic skills, I mean I haven’t really skated since elementary school at Great Skate in Phoenix!  Now 20 some years later, I was like Bambi on ice.  But luckily I found a wonderful new skating family that gladly took me in.  It took them several months to teach me sticky skating, plow stop, t-stop, single knee falls, double knee falls, six point falls, 180 knee falls, and finally my crossovers.  Those crossovers were the hardest for me, being a larger girl it’s sometimes difficult to cross my legs when I’m sitting down!  And that was all before I started learning how to take a hit.

Slowly, after many sore muscles, bruises, and a broken tailbone, I grew into my name: RickieBrickhouse.  Thanks to repeated reminders to stay in “derby position,” I have a fairly solid center of gravity which is difficult to knock down.  In fact, at our last scrimmage, one of the jammers tried to knock me off-balance to get around me at the line and didn’t budge me.  He actually bounced off, then decided he’d try to get through our great wall somewhere else.  Even though I’m not fast on my feet yet, it’s encouraging to know that I can still be an asset for our walls.


Despite my lack of skills, they still have patience for me and encourage me to keep learning.  But what I love even more, is that my new family loves me back.  I was never really one to get along with girls…I always had more guy friends than girl friends.  But this unique group of ladies (and guys too) are amazing.  Not only do they persevere in their derby training, but they also persevere in their friendships with each other.

Skaters come from all walks of life: different types of careers, education levels, marital statuses, ages, religious preferences, sexual preferences, and skating skills.  Yet all are welcomed.  And that is a very beautiful thing.  However, with all those different personalities mixing together you are bound to have drama.  And that’s why I love my derby family…we work hard for our friendships.

Life easily takes its toll on friendships.  People are busy, schedules don’t line up to spend time together, commitments and responsibilities are pulling us in 5,000 directions.  You have to take the initiative and be steadfast in your friendships.  It’s easy to get busy and let one day after another slip by without a phone call, a text message, or a Facebook message.

Pack Brat & Me, at my first derby bout.
Pack Brat & Me, at my first derby bout.

Friendships are not always pretty, and everyone doesn’t always completely love everyone.  But on our team we work to resolve those differences and mend those relationships…with many thanks to my wonderful Derby Big, Pack Brat, our team liaison.

I am thankful for this lesson in perseverance they are giving me, and the distraction that derby gives me from other difficulties.  But it makes me wonder what friendships outside the world of derby I need to be better at pursuing.

Do you have a friendship that you have let slip, for what ever reason?  Maybe it’s time to restore that, make an effort today to get in touch with that friend.


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