MDJ | Introducing: Pussy Foot


In my daily life, people call me Beth. When I'm on wheels, my name is Pussy Foot. I’m the mother of three adult children, mother-in-law to one fabulous young lady, and grandmother to a precious baby girl. I live in Pittsfield with my cat, Honey, who recently came into my life thanks to a derby friend. 


Last September, right around my 55th birthday, I saw an article about KVRD in the newspaper. I thought, “What better way to celebrate becoming a senior citizen than to join roller derby?” It didn’t matter that I hadn’t been on roller skates in almost 40 years, or that I didn’t know much about roller derby. I’m an athlete - I’ve been doing crossfit for about 6 years, and I occasionally run - so I figured I was in good enough shape to give it a try. I signed up for skate school. 


A couple friends and I carpooled to the armory for skate school and talked about how excited we were to join derby. I walked into the building with my bag full of shiny new gear and no expectations. I was terrified. 


It didn’t take long for my terror to disappear. Everyone was so nice and helpful and supportive. There were women of all different ages, body types, and athletic abilities. Veteran skaters were there to help the ‘fresh meat.” Newbies helped newbies. We picked each other up and cheered each other on. The atmosphere in the armory that night was intense and energizing. I experienced an incredible range of emotions: fear, confidence, surprise, courage, trepidation, frustration, and pure joy.  Skate school left me physically and mentally exhausted.


I think we all walked out that first night feeling proud of ourselves for doing things that we told ourselves we couldn’t do. The next morning, when we woke up with sore muscles and bruises and tired bodies, we remembered what we had accomplished the night before and thought, “I can’t wait to do it again.”


It’s been almost four months since that night. I finished skate school, took the assessment, and didn’t pass. The second round of skate school is nearly half over, and I’ve only made it to the first class. I’m pretty sure I won’t pass the next assessment, either, but that’s ok. I’ll brush up on my skills and practice and put in the extra work. Sooner or later it will all come together and I’ll pass my assessment. I’m looking forward to seeing how much everyone has progressed since I last saw them, and I know they’ll pick me up when I fall. 


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Pussy Foot

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