O Captain, my Captain!

It's 2 months away from our debut bout. My team looks beautiful. I've achieved the low skate stance I've been working for, which makes me harder to knock down, but it also makes me prone to getting elbowed in the face. I'm sore, battered, and worried about my nose.

And on Thursday I resigned as captain. Not easy, but the position had become so bureaucratic that I had no time to help my teammates or learn how to skate better. I'll be able do more for my team now without being tied up in paperwork and political bickering all the time. And that's what's important, no matter how cool it was to say "Captain Polly." I'm excited to be just a skater again.

But I'm even more excited about the league taking on domestic violence as one of its causes. A few months in to this I discovered that a high number of roller girls have a history of sexual violence or abuse, as I do. It turns out that the combination of girly-ness, sexuality, female camaraderie, and physical strength unique to roller derby makes it an extraordinarily empowering activity for us, like nothing else. It's remarkable how so many have been drawn to it for this reason, even if we didn't know it at first. I'd been looking for a way to support women like me, as soon as I figured it out I knew this is why I'd come.

Our first project is collecting a donation for the Life Haven women's shelter. I'm really looking forward to delivering it later this month, and seeing where this new turn takes me.

Photo: Wender, Nelly, Slim and I at the Providence vs New York bout.