Fun fact: the first time I tried roller derby, I got my mouthguard stuck in my mouth. To this day, I have absolutely no idea how it happened – it must have been too small or something – but I remember driving home looking like I had exceptionally white teeth.

I first entertained the idea of roller derby about a year ago while I was living in Maine. The winters were long, and most of our neighbors had fled down to Florida.  Instead of hunkering down and trying my hand at writing the next Great American Novel, I sought out a local group of awesome girls who were part of the regional derby league. Fast forward a few months – and I was just about to finish their Fresh Meat program when I received a job opportunity down in Virginia.

As soon as the dust settled from the move, I wanted to find a similarly awesome group of women to finish the job that I started in Maine – and I feel like I found that and more. My fresh meat cohorts – whom I now call my teammates – were some of the most positive and encouraging women I’ve ever met. Sure, during the process there was some frustration, some bruises, and some tears (curse you hockey swerves!) – but I feel like I’m a stronger person (and perhaps, may even possess an iota of athletic ability) after the program!

So yea – I still am that awkward girl who gets her mouthguard stuck or trips over her own skates from time to time, but now I have wonderful teammates to support me and help me back up.

– Slam-dra Day O’Connor

Come see Slam and the Vineyard Vixens play the  Metro Misfits on Saturday in NRD’s PreSeason at the Michael & Sons Sportsplex in Sterling.  Doors open at 3:30pm, and first whistle is at 4:00pm, and admission is $5 at the door.  

Historically, new recruits to roller derby were often referred to as “Fresh Meat.”  The Meat Locker series will include personal stories from our latest class of graduates from boot camp who just played in their first bout and drafted to home teams last weekend.  Please check back for the next edition, and if you’re interested in trying roller derby, we have a 3-hour skating session session coming up on 7/24 and will also have some gear to lend out, so that you can try it before full commitment.  This event allows you to strap on some skates and learn the basics of roller derby in a low-pressure and fun environment.  If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact us at