Category Archives: Derby Love

Can You say Jinxed? The Aftermath of Being Open

1229866_679413595444380_1549999999_nI definitely do not have the luck of the Irish, and I think I may have jinxed myself after breaking my silence. Three days after my post about recovering from breaking my left fibula last February, I dislocated my right ankle, breaking the tibia twice and fibula once.  The fancy name is trimalleolar fracture. This break was way worse than the first one. 😦 Again, it was a freak fall, with my foot coming down in an awkward position with all my weight in totally the wrong place. I yelled last time as I went down, this time I screamed. Leaguemates say it raised the hairs on their necks, transmitting pain and terror all at once. I guess I really scared a lot of people.  As I lay on the floor, I couldn’t think about anything but the pain. Derby sisters are an amazing group. It happened at scrimmage, right in front of the penalty box, where my captain/ER nurse happened to be sitting. She moved so fast that I think my foot was in her hand as it hit the floor. Another league mate, a police officer in her real life, had my head in her lap before I knew it, helping me to focus on my breathing. ‘Cause this time, that’s what it was about – breathing through the pain. And, I’m not going to lie – terror that it  had happened not only again, but worse. There was no car ride to the hospital this time – I couldn’t even imagine getting off the ground on my own. I told my captain to call for an ambulance.

2014 after copy

  At the ER, the doc told me they’d have to “reduce” my ankle, which meant putting my foot back where it was supposed to be, before they could x-ray. It wasn’t painless, but I had a great doc and she was quick about it. You’ll notice that there’s a splint in my x-ray, to hold everything in place. A few days later I was back in my ortho’s office, discussing more surgery, more incisions, more plates. I really am going to be Robo Gracie!

A week later I had my surgery. I was lucky, I hadn’t ruptured the ligament that connects the tibia and fibula. That means six weeks of no weight bearing instead of ten. That was good news! Hello friendly recliner, we’re old friends. I’m not sure how long my recovery time will be this time around, or when I’ll be able to work again. Breaking the right ankle makes it much harder to get back to driving. No driving = no working. I at least had the XSI Sports Insurance in place this time, and have actually already received my first check from them to pay the ER bill. However, no income makes it really hard to pay the bills. My husband is working sporadically, which makes our situation harder financially.  My captain has set up a Go Fund Me account ( any amount you can donate is appreciated!! If this link does not work, go to and search for Gracie O’Malice. My link should be first on the list.

go fund me

My derby family and students have been amazing! One of my derby sisters organized a dinner calendar, and my husband and I had dinners for more than two weeks! So much food. A student installed a safety bar in our bathroom to make it safer. We’ve moved since I broke my other leg, and our previous bathrooms had great safety bars. I miss them! We also live in an apartment now, so the dog walkers have been much appreciated.

The first time around, most people asked if I would return to playing. I get that question less this time around. Many have told me that they assume I’m done. How can I risk this again? Two breaks in less than a year. So much pressure on my husband, as now he has to work, take care of our place, and take care of me. Lot’s of financial stress. As much as I love this sport, I don’t think I can do this again. I actually said that to my husband as I was being loaded into the ambulance. He said, “Babe, you don’t have a choice”. He’s right. However, the risk has become too much. How do I feel about it? Truthfully? I feel robbed. Like a thief in the night snuck in and stole my derby future. I had goals, aspirations. I wasn’t done. My body decided differently for me. I’m not 20 anymore. I have to work. These are life’s realities, and they suck. It’s hard to be positive.

Will I continue to coach? Hopefully. Frankly, I’m not sure how I’ll handle just coaching, with out being a player. My boot camps will definitely continue, I really like working with our newbies. And yes, this break also coincided with a Cherry City recruitment. I can’t do as much this time around, and I remember how tired I was last year, so I recruited some other coaches/skaters to lead to workout portions. That was hard, since I’m such a control freak. I am still giving the clinic presentations, and running the forward fall clinic. We’ll see what the future holds. My first goal is gaining range of motion back at the ankle. I’ll keep you posted this time around.


Derby Boot Camp!

March marks the addition of a new crop of derby girls for Cherry City. We love newbies!! For many reasons, derby leagues are revolving doors, so we are always so excited for new faces. For me, it means it’s time for derby boot camp. Derby In Motion sponsors two weeks, or six nights of off skates boot camp for Cherry City. The new girls are taught how to warm up, cool down, and proper exercise form. Each night includes a kick ass boot camp work out. The work outs are varied to give boot campers a taste of different types of workouts, including circuit training, resistance training, and interval training. Boot Camp also includes four clinics: Derby Science, Sports Nutrition, Forward Falls and Basic Skate Maintenance. That last clinic is provided by Alixher, owner of Hit This! Derby Gear. Check her out at

This time around, we are welcoming 31 new skaters! Quite a large group! Normally Derby In Motion also includes a night of functional movement assessments. Since the group is so large, we’ll still offer them, but outside of boot camp. These assessments are a great way for skaters to find out if they have muscle imbalances, tightness, or other movement issues. Becoming aware of these issues and working to correct them helps skaters prevent injuries as they are learning to play roller derby.

This will be the third recruitment that includes the Derby In Motion boot camp. Since its inception, Cherry City’s Level 1 coaches have seen a decrease in injuries in new skaters. We believe that teaching proper warm-ups, stretching and exercise form helps skaters avoid common derby strains and sprains. This is crucial, as derby is a full contact sport, and some type of injury, from minor to major, is common. Derby In Motion looks to minimize injuries to those that are accidents. Let’s prevent the injuries that we can!

Interested in boot camps for your newbies? Contact Derby In Motion today!

Why do I Love to Play Roller Derby?

Why do I love to play roller derby?

That’s me in the red!

Derby is my stress relief.  When I play, everything else goes away.  It has helped get me through a crazy couple of years – my mom had a heart attack, my dad died unexpectedly, I had a cancer scare, and finally, I got the courage to leave a career I hated.  When I started practicing with a new league this year, the comment I heard was, “Who is she?  We love having her here because she always has a smile on her face!”.  Derby has helped me find my true calling.  I want to be fit and help others be fit.  So last fall I decided to become a personal trainer/strength and conditioning coach.  I’m currently going to school in Portland, Oregon, and will graduate in June 2012.

I know some girls hate the movie, but yes, I was turned on to roller derby by “Whip It”.  I love that movie.  Not so much for the roller derby in it, but for the moral of the story –  figure out what you love and go for it, no matter what anyone else thinks.  I want to help derby leagues (especially new ones!) create injury prevention programs.  We participate in a sport that some don’t want to see as a “sport”.  Many of our newbies were never athletic, never played sports – like me!  We can’t take these girls and “whip them into shape” without taking this into consideration, especially in smaller leagues where everyone gets to play, and the definition of “minimum skills” is very different from a more established, larger league.  I want to ensure that these girls have a positive introduction to our sport and don’t get hurt in the process.  I love introducing women to this sport, and want to help do it in a way that makes them healthier, not broken.

This season, derby has come full circle for me.  Thanks to my new career focus and better fitness, I am more focused when I play derby.  As a lifelong skater, the minimum skills were not a challenge for me.  Pulling them all together with strategy and consistency was my struggle.  I finally feel like the pieces are falling into place, and played my best bout yet a couple weeks ago.  I’m looking forward to starting my own derby business while maintaining my own fitness and helping others achieve theirs!

Panty Raider Dance Off!!