As much as I beat myself up for the dozens of mistakes I make during every roller derby practice, the truth is that I've come a long way. But there's still (atleast) one, glaring thing that I haven't mastered yet, though: my derby name.
Originally I told myself I couldn't pick a derby name until I learned to do a crossover. That milestone came and went, so then I told myself that I wouldn't pick a name until I "sucked less." It was a suitably nebulous goal that allowed me to avoid having to come up with something cute, cool, and unique.
And then Sunday happened. Once a month, the primer group (that's the lowest level - focused on basic skills, not yet allowed to scrimmage, and where I currently reside) has a speed test. When I started roller derby, I got 15 laps in 5 minutes. 3 weeks ago, I did 18 laps - definite progress, but not the 19 laps required to move up to the next level of rec league. My goal for Sunday was 19 laps, and I genuinely surprised myself when I got 20.5.
This is great. It means I've improved my speed by more than 33% since I started in January. More importantly, it means that, provided I pass a skills test in June (something I think I can do), I can move up to the next level and start scrimmaging in July.
It also means that I officially "suck less" and have to come up with a name.
I have Roller Derby Name Block. It feels like everyone else has a great derby name that suits her personality on and off the track. There's Anita Beaver, Sig Sauer-puss, Me Shove You Long Time, Sweethurt, Betty Cracker, Scoldilocks, Sandy Ravage, Full Frontal Jewdity, and Abita Blackenblue. And me: Erin.
I've come up with a few names, each with its pros and cons. First there was Wilhelmina Cut-a-Bitch, which I liked because it starts out all prim and proper and then, out of nowhere - BAM! - gets all mean and nasty. But what if I turn out not to be a very aggressive player and the name doesn't fit me at all? Then came Stella Stiletto, an homage to my great-grandma Stella, who I like to think would be proud of my independence and roller derbying. But that name is already taken by some roller derby woman in Michigan, and I'd hate to be seen as a copycat. Then I started looking for cool female villains as inspiration and came across Diamond Annie, head of the notorious London all-female shoplifting gang the Forty Elephants in the early 1900s (bonus: I could make "40 Elephants" my number!). And most recently, Hot Mess (or Haute Mess, if you like), which really does seem quite appropriate given how ridiculously sweaty I get during practice, but isn't very interesting otherwise. And, on top of everything else, I have to consider the nickname my teammates will use while I'm skating: Willie? Stella? Diamond? Mess?
I need your help. I'm wide open. I'd love to have something that represents my personality, but also something that fits with the motifs most other derby names use: toughness, speed, sexiness, and/or plays on words. Pop culture and historical references rock too.
So, hit me with your best shot. But if even one of you thinks of suggesting Erin-Go-Braughless, I will cut you. Just so you know.