Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Well, last night marked my first practice since I injured myself back in May that I skated without any braces or supports on my left ankle. That was originally the plan anyway, but I figured I would give it a couple more weeks since I took my little derby vacation. As it turns out, I forgot the brace at home, and I wasn't about to miss practice for it, so off I went...

Anyway, it didn't bother me at all. In fact, I forgot about it altogether until someone pointed it out to me toward the end of the night. Aside from the scar, that was my last reminder of the injury and everything that went with it. Awesome.

Last night's practice was not easy. Skating-wise, it was no problem. I kept up with my jammers quite well, but I am eventually hoping to spend some time practicing my pack reffing. On the other hand, the core/off skates portion of the evening? That just about killed me. Lots of ab work and the like. That hurts a big guy like me. Remember that "get in better shape" goal? Yeah...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Neglected blog is neglected...

Yeah. I haven't posted here anywhere near as much as I had planned when I started. I do feel bad about that, but let's face it - sometimes life just gets in the way.

Anyway, what's been up with Brad and the Socialites? Don't really know. I've been on a skatecation since the last bout on October 30. The reasons for that are many and varied, but it's since come to an end. I started back at practice last week and reffed a short scrimmage/demo last night. It was a lot of fun.

So, as we enter the sophomore season with your beloved Mr. Religion, what are my goals?

1. Double digit bouts. I want to ref somewhere north of ten this season. The more experience I can gain, the better I will be. This will require a time commitment and plenty of travel, but I'm willing to do both.

2. Ref/NSO at tournaments. This is a great way to see plenty of refs in action as well as pick up a ton of experience over the course of a single weekend.

3. Improve my skating. I'm already miles ahead of where I was in my skating, but I've got a ton of room for improvement. Once upon a time, I would have settled for "good enough to do my job," but now I'm looking for top-notch skills, and I'll need 'em for the next goal...

4. Work on WFTDA certification. I don't really completely understand this process or how long it generally takes once it's started, so I may or may not get this one done during the season. However, I'd like to get a significant portion of it done and be ready for the next one if I can.

5. Lose weight/improve my physical conditioning. This make take more time and effort than any of the rest. After practice my lower back is killing me, and it's a good thing that jams are only a max of two minutes, because my cardio is crap. I'm working toward this goal already - though I probably should have gone to practice today instead of typing this. The diet is already cleaning up and exercise outside of practice will begin sooner rather than later.

I think that about covers it - and believe me, that's enough to fit in to a single derby season. Hang out and watch for more posts as I work my way toward these goals over the next few months.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

No time tonight for a full post-practice post... But, remember this (via one of my ref heroes, Jessticular Fortitude): The Referees ALWAYS win. More coming tomorrow!

Where to start?

Well, let's see. I should probably get the basics out of the way first. Hi! For the purposes of what you're reading here, you can call me Brad Religion. I'm a husband, a father, a guitarist for a punk band and the head referee for a flat track roller derby league in Indianapolis, IN called the Circle City Socialites.

Before my wife joined that league and I decided to be a referee, I hadn't been on roller skates since the fourth grade. I'm 33 now, so it's been a while. I decided that too much fun/amazing/completely weird stuff happens to me during my derby time for it to go undocumented, so here we are.

I'm almost done with my first season as a referee. To say that there were ups and downs would be an understatement...

I was so happy and proud of myself when the league let me know that they trusted me enough to be their head referee - the "ultimate authority" in a bout. I worked HARD to learn the rules and figure out how to skate. A true high point.

The low? That's easy. A week or so after they gave me my new job, I was rolling around on the track in the middle of a scrimmage clutching my lower left leg. Less than two weeks after that, I was sporting seven screws and a long metal plate over my fibula. Yep, I got broke off. Ref-on-ref violence is never pretty.

The good news is that my reffing really never missed a beat. Sure, I wasn't able to skate - but I worked my ass off to be a good ref anyway. And now that I'm back on wheels? Watch out, world. Watch out.