Rolling with Axel – A personal account of derby life after spawn by Pixiematosis.

First off, this isn’t a blog about what to do after producing offspring or strict recommendations for returning to derby, it’s just my story. The main reason for not writing a “how to” is that if there is one thing I have learnt it’s that there is no “right way” to do things when it comes to a new baby. Every tiny human is different in their needs and mum’s recovery may be totally different to mine.

Axel was born on Boxing Day at around 1 in the afternoon. He was 3145g and 51cm long. Delivered via Mighty Vac (yep that’s exactly what it sounds like) and I was given a recovery time around 4-6 weeks. In that first week after spawn, I started to assess myself for getting back to my derby fitness. Everything had gone squishy, my tummy felt like jelly and I was struggling to open jars and stuff, so I was thinking I had a fair bit of work ahead of me. There was also the other thing, stitches, ick. That had a healing time of up to 4-weeks. So I’d determined not to think about my fitness again until Axel was 4-weeks old.

20141227_145201_resized_1 Look at the cute. Look at it! 

That was probably for the best, any fluid from around my tummy was disappearing and my core wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. With some more settled sleeping patterns I was feeling stronger too. Whenever possible I got Axel in the stroller and went for a walk around the block and this seemed to do both of us plenty of good. TIP #1 BE PAITENT, LET YOUR BODY RECOVER IN ITS OWN TIME.

In that first month I started to really question my ability to go back to derby. Axel seemed to need to feed constantly. I felt like I was trapped on the couch with no hope of getting up for sandwich let alone a few hours of training time. If Axel wasn’t feeding, he was screaming and I definitely felt like a bit of a failure at this mum thing. But things seemed to level out a bit and we were slowly getting into a routine. TIP #2 PERSERVERE, A ROUTINE WILL COME.

20150111_141914_resized_1 Awwwww, tiny baby sleeping Axel.

My first big derby test was attending a committee meeting in week 3. I tried expressing for a bottle feed for the first time. Oh my glob! FREEDOM!!! Not only could I keep Axel happily fed in the middle of a meeting I could actually hand over the reins to someone else (Dobie you’re my hero). TIP #3 BOTTLES ARE FANTASTIC, LET SOMEONE ELSE FEED BUBS AND ENJOY SOME GROWN UP TIME.

I got a chance to head to a team social at the beginning of week 4. I turned up looking totally frazzled and I kind of desperately asked my fellow mummy teammates for advice. I must have sounded so pathetic “Is this normal?” “Why won’t he do …?” “How long did your babies feed for?” I got a fair few knowing smiles and also plenty of hints and tips. Things didn’t seem so terrible after all. Soon after I’d figured out my offspring had dairy and egg protein sensitivity and it was causing him plenty of gas pains and I also got him soothing himself with a dummy. Hallelujah. TIP #4 MUM WISDOM IS PRICELESS. SERISOUSLY, JUST HEAR EVERYONE OUT AND SEE IF IT HELPS.

In our 5th week together I thought it was time to start thinking about strapping on skates. I’d been cautioned by fellow derby mumma Leese Lightning to take it easy when returning to training. She warned me about the relaxin hormone that takes months to leave your body after pregnancy. Sure it allows your body to give birth, but it also increases your risk of sprains and injuries so that is something to think about, lest you end your derby career before you even get back to it. TIP #5 RELAXIN, IT’S A THING. GOOGLE IT BEFORE HEADING BACK TO DERBY.

20150128_175618_resized Shhhh, the Pixie is sleeping.

First I thought I would check out my core strength. I started off doing sit-ups, push-ups, planks and squats in small reps at first and then slowly building up. I found I could do the minimum skill level before too long, but it certainly wasn’t as easy as it used to be. Seeing as I could get to minimum endurance, I wanted to go to the next step. Skating. I decided to start back with our fresh meat

group. There was no pressure from my trainers to do this, I just wanted to because I didn’t feel stable or strong enough to jump into full contact training. Yet.

My first training session back on skates I left Axel with my mummsy and I attempted to complete 1 hour of training. We completed the 5-minute laps, admittedly I took it a bit easy but I only completed 21 laps. I was crushed, I’m no speedster but I hadn’t been that slow since fresh meat. TIP #6 SEE TIP #5. NO SERIOUSLY RELAXIN IS A THING! IT WILL MAKE YOUR LEGS FEEL LIKE JELLY WHILE YOU’RE SKATING. TAKE YOUR TIME AND BE CAREFUL!

For my next training sesh I brought the little guy with me. There were plenty of people just dying for a cuddle from Axel. I’d barely rolled him in the door before he was swaddled, fed, burped and tucked up into his pram for a sleep (Love you Bella). At first I was like “Oh you don’t have to…” but then I saw people really, sincerely, genuinely wanted to help. TIP #7 IT TAKES A VILLAGE OR A ROLLER DERBY LEAGUE TO RAISE A CHILD (JUST GO WITH IT).

1423781542058_resized Axel with his mumma

So that’s pretty much our first 6-weeks. My next blog will be covering up to 12-weeks. I hear 12-weeks is a magical time where babies settle down a bit and learn heaps of new stuff. I wonder if that means he can start changing his own nappies and stuff. That would be most excellent. Until next time, have a good one.


OMG I still don’t have a derby name!!!

It’s been 12 wonderful months since I joined the derby community and now that I’m on the cusp of stepping up and into the bouting world, I’m freaking out a lil about not having a derby name.

As a freshie, the last thing on your mind is choosing a name. Mostly you’re just trying to stay upright and remembering to pick a cheek when you fail to do that.

As time goes on and your legs obey without thinking, you start to get serious and think about upgrading equipment, you’re now committed and in love with the sport. You start to develop a derby persona and focussing on the tests ahead, your motivation moves to the childish excitement of moving up a level and the prospect of hitting your fellow freshies!

Now is the time when the seeds of potential derby names that have been planted throughout the freshie phase, start to ripen and take shape.

When you finally move up a level, the reality that you can do this sport and that you can bout starts to sink in, and (if you haven’t already inherited a name), you begin to get serious about choosing a derby name.

It’s a derby rite of passage we all go through and one that we all enjoy immensely.

But what happens if you can’t find one that fits?

There is always the hope that one of your team mates will help you out and you’ll accidentally find yourself with a derby name.

You might even have a favourite band or song or celebrity name that you want to make derby worthy. Playing with words is a heap of fun – Eddie Van-Nailem, Bitchy and Scratchy – all it takes is a good imagination.

If you’re not so creative or need something to get you started, there are a tonne of derby name generators out there to give you a helping hand.

Here’s a couple to get you started:

And then of course there’s google. Do a search under “roller derby names” and voila! Inspiration galore!

If you happen to be lucky and manage to find a name that fits (you’ll know it when it rolls off your tongue and your heart beat rises in time with the crowd roaring in your head as you are picturing your first skate out) you’ll be crossing all your body parts as you tentatively search the derby name register to make sure it hasn’t been taken. And if it hasn’t I’ll bet you move like lightning to get it registered so it stays that way too. (The register is here btw… )

But when that fails, what happens then?

I’ve been telling myself for months now that I’ve got plenty of time to choose a name. And for many months I’ve been right. But time is running out. Ohhh in case you haven’t realised by now, I’m also the most indecisive person on the planet.

I’ve got a team (Break-hers rock!) and I have sooooooo many ideas for names…



Blocky Horror

Vicious Dell-isous

Delli Llama

She who hath no name….

But nothing seems to fit or rather, each fits, but it depends on the day and the mood I’m in… kinda like choosing clothes, just less nudity involved.

So what do you do when you can’t decide between your 76 split personalities?

I’m still trying to figure it out, but you can always put it to a vote. Jump onto the WSR social page and throw it out there, see what comes back (and there may be some unexpected suggestions thrown into the mix!). You could even put it to your non-derby friends and get their thoughts and opinions on what seems to suit the best.

At the end of the day, you can even go with your own name, more and more people are doing it and there’s no shame in not being able to settle on a name.

But if you’re like me and are looking for something cool and catchy, perhaps patience is all that’s needed… or a kick in the behind to get you on your way 🙂

Derby Love


(AKA She who hath no name…. yet)