Category: Member of the Month

Member of the Month: Lilo & Stitches

Article by Sylvia’s Wrath. Photo credit Jay Vollmar. 

Have you ever seen the movie Lilo & Stitch? NO? Ok, well let me give you a quick summary:

Lilo is a little Hawaiian girl who adopts a “dog” that turns out to be an extraterrestrial. Stitch is said dog. But really, Stitch is a “genetic experiment who has escaped from an alien planet and crash-landed on Earth” (Thank you Google). June’s Member of the Month is none other than Lilo & Stitches, or “Stitches” for short.

Much like her mischievous namesake,  Stitches appeared one day from outer space, crash landing at the doorstep of the Rollerdome.  Ok, maybe she didn’t really come from outer space. She transferred from CoMo Roller Derby in Columbia, Missouri. And maybe she didn’t crash land; I’m pretty sure she safely arrived in a car. But other than that, their stories are completely interchangeable: Alien creature finds family, saves lives. 

No really, if you’ve seen her skate, you would not doubt her alien lineage. She is one of the most fearless, dedicated jammers in our league, and can contort her body in ways that no human should be able to. She fits herself through non-existent holes in ways that can only be described as otherworldly, and has even been known to levitate on occasion. Give her an inch on the outside and she will shapeshift right past you with her “bean dip” maneuver. In the movie, Stitch was designed to destroy; in roller derby, Stitches destroys walls. 

All of these attributes made her a welcome addition and popular draft choice when she joined Rocky last June (happy one-year anniversary!) Being the savvy team that they are, the Sugars quickly snatched her up. Her jamming skills, as well as her life-of-the-afterparty shenanigans, made her a great fit for this party team! She quickly stepped up to leadership and filled the open captain position for the Sugars, cementing her as one of their own. In addition to her spot on the most fun home team, Stitches was invited to join Rocky’s B-team, the Contenders, and skated with them briefly before moving up to the charter, 5280 Fight Club, at the end of last year. In addition to her role with Rocky, Stitches is also an active voice and member of Jewish Roller Derby, who provide a nation of Jewish skaters with a common national team. Additionally, she is a passionate and enthusiastic member of Team Crop-top, regularly eschewing as much clothing as she legally can. (I think she might be allergic to full-length pants, too.)

We all enjoy skating with and against Stitches, but she brings more than skating talent to our league. Recognizing some needs in the area of safety, Stitches became our safety officer and could often be found volunteering as a medic for games. In that role, she developed our current concussion protocol, keeping skaters and their brains safe. Stitches also joined the league’s training committee, and recently took over as head of that group, working to ensure that skaters at every level were being challenged and able to grow. Since we have been on hiatus, her hard work has not stopped. She continues to plan dynamic and engaging virtual practices, offering on and off skate training as we wait until we can return to normal play. 

In the movie “Lilo & Stitch,” Stitch ends up on a strange planet.  He has to navigate his way through this new world, all the while being chased down by other aliens. Stitches, on the other hand, found herself in the new world of Rocky Mountain, navigating her way around the track, all the while being chased down by other skaters. Stitch found a home and a family with Lilo, and we are proud that Stitches found a home and family with us here at Rocky.

Congratulations, Stitches, our June Member of the Month.

Member of the Month: Motorbutt

by Sylvia’s Wrath

I’d like to say that we are spotlighting this month’s skater because of the alliterative allure; just think of the headline: May Member of the Month is…Motorbutt!! Mmmm….This fun figurative language adds literary luster to any written record. It’s a candy-coating on a conversation. An upgrade to an utterance. A….well, you get the point. 

But…we didn’t choose Motorbutt because of her conveniently lettered moniker, though we do love it! It’s actually about her work ethic, her tireless positivity, and her willingness to go above and beyond for her league and her teammates, that caused us to take this moment to offer an overwhelmingly heartfelt thank you. 

Thank you, Motor, for all of your hard work. For never taking the easy route, and for never stepping down from even the most difficult challenges. 

I had the opportunity to speak about Motor earlier this year when we introduced her as a 2020 Fight Club captain (Meet the Captains). You might think that a captain’s duties would be lessened by the disruption to the competitive season, but Motor is not one to take a break just because she “can.” Since we have been staying at home, she has continued to be a motivating force for our team, running virtual practices to keep us skating, and checking in with everyone to see how we are doing. 

This is Motor’s second time as Rocky Mountain’s Member of the Month, and with good reason. She has dedicated herself completely to this league since joining in 2013, giving her time and energy to volunteering, fundraising, playing, and just being an all-around amazing person. 

So…I’m just going to recap all that is awesome about this skater. Well, not “all,” because that would be a novel, and ain’t nobody got time for that! Here are a few highlights:

Motor served on the B.O.D of the league for 3 years. This is a time-consuming, conflict-ridden challenge at best, and a soul-sucking, thankless job at worst, and she did it. For THREE years! 

She has been captain of every team she has played on over the course of her derby career: the Red Riding Hoods, Project Mayhem, the Contenders, and most recently, Fight Club. And she does it well. 

When the league finally secured a new home, Motor put in countless hours working with contractors, the city, Denver Roller Derby (with whom we share the space), and anyone else involved in that endlessly challenging endeavor. She has been recognized by both leagues for her relentless efforts in making the Rollerdome our home. So much so, that it has been unofficially referred to as the “Kingdome” in her honor (her last name is King.) 

And now, with Covid closures and game/tournament cancellations, our new home is in danger. With no revenue from games, rent money is scarce. But Motor is not going to let her hard work be in vain. She has been behind the scenes since this started, seeking out ways to fund our league and make sure we still have a place to play when all this is over. These are just a few of the reasons that Rocky Mountain Rollergirls wanted to spotlight her this month. 

And I’m going to just add on a personal note here, so pardon me as I descend into fangirl territory…

Motor is so fucking cool. Ok? Like, SO. F**KING. COOL. She is one of the best people to share a hotel room with on travel trips. She is chill and flexible and knows how to have a good time (ask her about Hunk Oasis), but also knows when to reign it in. She says exactly what she thinks, even if it’s not a popular opinion, and somehow manages to make people smile, even when she is in complete disagreement with them. 

She loves the movie Labyrinth. She hits up all kinds of reggae shows. She is the funnest to go camping with. She checks in with you when you have a tough practice, or a bad game. She knows how to read a room. She is understated without being meek. She is someone who is so easy to be with, and makes you feel like you are easy to be with too (and trust me, some of us are not!) She is overall one of the best people I know, and I feel lucky to call her a teammate and a friend. 

So next time you see Motorbutt, give her a “socially distant” air-five and a big CONGRATULATIONS on being Rocky Mountain Rollergirls’ Member of the Month for her second time in the last 2 years! No one deserves it more! 

Member of the Month: Mary Contrary

by Sylvia’s Wrath

COVID-19 has roller derby players the world over are missing our sport. We want to strap on our skates, hit our friends, and high five about it afterwards. Rocky Mountain Rollergirls are no exception; we LOVE roller derby. We love the execution of a well-timed hit, the excitement of learning new strategies and skills, the exhaustion after a tough scrimmage. But for most of us in the derby community, it’s not just about skating. Roller derby is community, its family. We don’t just skate together, we work to keep our league, our family, together and functioning. And the work of running a league is no small feat. It takes the efforts of all of our members to make it happen. Everyone does what they can, contributing their time and talents to keep things going. 

This month, Rocky Mountain Rollergirls would like to acknowledge a member who has given so much of her time and talent to helping Rocky be the amazing league that it is, one who jumped right in with both feet and in a short time, has become an invaluable member, not only of the league, but of 5280 Fight Club as well. Congratulations to Mary Contrary, our April Member of the Month! 

Mary “Contrary.”  She is anything but. We are pretty sure the word “no” is not in her vocabulary. Mary joined Rocky just 6 months ago, but we already can’t imagine not having her and her partner, Crash, on our team. A transfer from Jet City, she has brought energy and an inspiring work ethic to this league, stepping up in countless ways to develop and enhance our community. Even though she had only been with us a short time, Mary took on the daunting task of heading up our New Recruit and Development (NeRD) committee, providing boot camps for brand new skaters to learn the sport, arranging recruiting events, and keeping her fellow NeRDs organized and up-to-date on schedules and opportunities to build up new members. 

On top of that heavy load, Mary also took on the challenge of organizing our 2020 Besterns tournament, (originally scheduled for May, but currently postponed, much like the rest of life). This is a ridiculous amount of work for anyone, and Mary didn’t bat an eye before offering herself as tribute. As a new member, this level of commitment is practically unheard of, yet she didn’t hesitate to volunteer. A job like this can be akin to herding cats, but Mary does it all with a positive attitude and a cheery smile on her face. 

Speaking of herding cats, did we mention she does all of these things, and STILL works full-time as a nanny? Running the recruiting committee and organizing a multi-day tournament would be enough, but this is all on top of being a caregiver to young children. AND…she also coordinated a fundraiser between Rocky Mountain Rollergirls and Girls Inc, working to provide snacks for young ladies participating in that program.At this point, you are probably exhausted just hearing about all the things that Mary does, but have you seen her skate?

From the work that Mary puts in off-skates, it’s pretty clear that she has boundless reserves of energy. Watch her on the track and you’ll know for sure. A teammate calls her a “squirrelly, skilled jammer”. She jukes, she jives, she slips by on the edges. She is one of those tiny jammers that finds the smallest opportunity and slips right by the toughest walls, leaving them walled up and wondering what happened. But she’s no one-trick pony, and you can’t be fooled by her size. When she hits the wall, you WILL feel it. She has shown off these talents with her home team, the United States Pummeling Service, and those well-rounded jamming skills have not gone unnoticed. Mary quickly joined our charter team in January of 2020 and we look forward to the day when we get to see her take the track as a Fight Club jammer in a game.

For now, we will have to settle for her virtual vibes. So, if you have a minute (and really, don’t we all right now?), give Mary a virtual high five and hug and tell her how deserving she is to be Rocky Mountain Rollergirls’ April Member of the Month!