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Fierce and Derby: A Derby Doll Retires


A Proof of Fierce ID by Lucy Ball-Breaker

The end is near.

This month, I celebrate my 5-year anniversary with the L.A. Derby Dolls.

Five years! I never thought I’d last this long. What started out as curiosity about whether I could still roller skate, turned into a new passion, a new attitude and whole new me. Along with learning how to fall, block, rail spin, and stop, I started learning how to stand up for myself.

Within months, my best friend told me, “You’re different now that you’re in derby. You never used to argue with me — ever. Now you don’t hesitate to tell me I’m wrong. I kind of like it.”

Sure enough, pretty soon I was confronting my boss about a promised raise (I didn’t get the raise, but I did make her cry) and calling out my mother for her passive-aggressive comments (I didn’t make her cry thankfully), and in one of my prouder moments, I caused a little not-so-subtle pain to a groper in a nightclub (I hope I made him cry).

I don’t mean to say that I suddenly turned into an asshole. There was just an emerging self-confidence that I’d never felt before. As the hits I gave and received in derby added up, the taller I stood. See this bruise here? That’s from knocking Juana Beatn’ on her ass. See this scrape here? That’s from getting flattened by Broadzilla. Didn’t matter; they both felt great!

There’s some sort of growth when you get your ass kicked by derby girls. And I’m not talking about the gnarly knobs on my feet. You not only learn that you can take it, but you can dish out a little ass kicking yourself. You? The girl who never participated in a team sport? The girl who never spoke up in class? The girl who dutifully listened to her mother when she was told to be quiet, be polite and be nice? Yes, it’s true!

I don’t have the time to go into the rest of it: the amazing women I’ve met, the friendships I’ve won, the rad DIY spirit and community service involved with this league. You can see it on our faces: we love what we’re doing, and it’s spreading!

My team, the Tough Cookies, has finally made it to the championships after three attempts. (Cookies ’08!) On November 8th, we will play last year’s champions, the Sirens.

It will be my last game as a skater as I plan to hang up my skates and start living like a respectable 35-year-old. Well, maybe respectable isn’t the right word. Let’s just say that I feel the need to start being a little kinder to my body. Although I’ve been lucky enough to skate away with no major injuries (knock on wood), I want to explore activities that have a little less impact on my bones. (I’m thinking pole dancing or trapeze arts!) Besides, it’s time to move on and let the fresh meat come in to do a better job in half the time. I have no doubt there will be someone younger, stronger, faster and meaner to take my place, and I will be happy to step aside and watch her kick ass.

At the very least, you’ll see me in the crowd, screaming my head off: “Go Tough Cookies! Get her! Hit her! Get up! Holy shit, did you see that?!” Sigh … it’s going to be tough not being out there. But I can always pull a Brett Favre, right?

My name is Lucy Ball-Breaker. I am a Tough Cookie.

Want in on the biggest game of the season and Lucy’s last? Go to and get your tickets for one or all of the next three games happening before the year is over!


This blog makes you want to become a Derby Doll, right? Contact


And you know we love the future Derby Dolls. If you have a daughter, age 8 to 17, sign her up for the Derby Dolls Junior League!