Posts Tagged ‘Roller Derby


Tired Robot

The best of us get tired- even robots.  Other than the moniker ‘squirrel monkey’, every so often at academy I’m called “Robot”- perhaps because I’ve traveled back in time to warn my fellow classmates of their imminent destruction, or more likely a reference to my energy- which seems to have no limits.  Oh, but it does.  

This week Robot Smackhouse was tired.  The combination of academy, CrossFit, trying to be a good friend and wife, and roller derby practices had me beat with not altogether perfect timing- as Wednesday was a preliminary physical fitness test at academy. I improved my initial scores, but felt tired the entire day:

 Scores: February/April

Situps (1 minute): 50/55

Pushups (no time limit): 61/75

300 m run: 54 sec/52

1.5 mile run: 10:40/10:14

Pullups (dead-hang): 8/8

Flexibility: 21/23.75”

Vertical Jump: 15in/19.5”

 I’m questioning my ability to “do it all”, and wondering if the skates might need to collect dust for a little while.  The feisty/determined Sookie wants to do everything, but practical Sookie thinks being healthy needs to incorporate balance. Physically, I think I could handle “doing it all”, but I want to do it with my typical spunk- and the spunk was funk this week. 

I wish I was a robot.  Robo Sookie would have dinner fixed by now, and I’d be in the company of the great robots who have come before me:


All I really need to know I learned in Roller Derby

Last weekend was the Naptown Roller Girl’s final home bout of the season, and our special guest was Indy’s Mayor Greg Ballard, who we dubbed “Power Ballard”.  I shook his hand at the 7th IMPD Recruit Class academy swearing in, but this time I met him as Sookie Smackhouse.  You can read about Power Ballard’s roller derby debut in the Indy Star.

I now have a season of roller derby under my skates, and in at least one aspect of my life I’m not quite so fresh meat. After spending over 500 hours of the last year on wheels, I would hope I’ve learned a few things.  In no particular order, Sookie’s list of “All I really need to know I learned in Roller Derby”:

  1. Don’t be intimidated- Dive in.  I’m not a very fearful person, but when I first started derby I had the heeby jeebies every time I stepped on the pivot or jammer line.  Diving in (literally) with my body overcame those feelings pretty quickly. There’s always the risk you’ll get hurt with most things in life, either emotionally or physically, but derby has reminded me to never be intimidated by anything or anyone.  
  2. Teamwork– The Naptown Warning Belles remained undefeated this season because we play as a team- as a pack. You can be an amazing individual skater, but you can’t block a damn thing by yourself. Thank you roller derby for teaching me again and again to work with others, and to skate my best because others are relying on me.
  3. Keep moving- I never stop moving my feet in derby. When I fall down (and it does happen often), I bounce back up.  To keep moving, you have to be motivated by something. In derby the motivation is usually kicking ass, in life I’m prompted by faith, hope and love. 
  4. Have a flexible plan– As a pivot, you call the play for the jam. That plan can pretty quickly go to pot- so you have to be flexible.
  5. Play with class– You can kick ass in roller derby and still be classy about it. I’m proud the Naptown Roller Girls is a family affair and that we generally treat our competition with respect. Officer Smackhouse plans on keeping it classy on the streets of Naptown too.



Steak and Flowers

Friday WOD

10 SDLHP (65#)

10 Ring Dips

7 rounds- 7:10

Yesterday Mr. Smackhouse said he had 2 surprises for me after academy.  Surprise number one was a bouquet of flowers.  Surprise number two was a top sirloin steak from the grocery store. Which do you think I was more excited about?  Of course: the steak.  Replace the flowers with some dark chocolate, and that’s a damn near perfect way to end a week of academy.

Another near perfect combination? Star Wars and roller derby.  Last weekend the Naptown Roller Girls defeated the Sioux Falls Roller Dollz in our annual “Scar Wars” bout. You can check out more pics here.

Scar Wars 013 by tomklubens.

Other wonderful combinations in store for Smackhouse this weekend: sleep + no 5 am wake up call, medication + less phlegm in my throat, BOUT day! + road trip with some awesome roller ladies. 

All to be followed up by Bad Combination Monday:  chemical spray + eyeballs.


This is Bruiseopoly!

The Smackhouses have invented a new game since the inception of my police academy training. Pat Sajak and Alex Trebek have nothing on us (except for a well-groomed mustache).  I’d like to introduce you to “Bruiseopoly”.

Before we play, you’ll need a little background information. First- I’m a klutz.  I’ve clearly established grounds for this assertion in an earlier post.  Secondly, part of my police academy training includes combatives and defense tactics.  This class incorporates two weekly sessions that are 4-5 hours each.  This is not your community center’s self defense class.  The combatives instructors demonstrate offensive and defensive moves that recruits then “practice” on each other in combat scenarios.  This will eventually lead to a 2 minute and 4 minute  fight as part of our testing.  Thirdly, my skin is a tough little cookie. I don’t bruise easily, which sometimes frustrates me regarding roller derby because I never have impressive war wounds.  The first notable bruise I received as a Naptown Roller Girl resulted from my own clumsiness, not a hit on the track (I was in the bathroom at practice, and the holy fear of JRoller (our coach) and missing any part of our scrimmage left me in such a hurry that I slipped on my skates and hit my leg and head on the toilet.  I can’t exactly brag about a bruise resulting from the loo.)

With those facts in mind, let’s move on to the game. In “Bruiseopoly” you must correctly identify if the origin of the bruise (depicted in the photo) resulted from:

a.) roller derby

b.) police academy

c.) my own clumsiness

d.) an attack from a rabid animal

Let’s play!

If you guessed B, you are correct! These bruises resulted after day two of combatives training when I was paired with one of the boniest recruits in our class. It’s all fun and games until a 90 lb recruit officer stabs you with his elbow. Let’s move on to photo #2

Did you answer A? Good job! This is what is affectionately known as “rink rash” in roller derby world.  It’s the burn a skater gets on her skin after falling on a skating surface, and this is a fairly mild case.  The next photo isn’t actually a bruise, a  mere flesh wound, but let’s see if you can guess the origin:

If you said B again, you are correct sir! This minor mark resulted from our first handcuffing class at police academy.  My partner underestimated the thickness of my wrists and cuffed me a little too tight, pinching the skin.

And the answer is C.  This resulted from an incident with a sink while hopping around in the early morning hours trying to put on pants.  I have more at-home accidents while trying to put on pants than any other endeavor (for most other Americans it’s tripping over their pets-which causes over 86,000 injuries a year, resulting in over 240 trips to the emergency room every day. Lesson learned: watch out for that goldfish.) Let’s move on to your final opportunity:

Did you guess D?  Incorrect, I did not face a rabid squirrel this week. The answer is B.  This resulted from partnering with a 300 lb recruit officer during another combatives training. He just looked at me and I bruised up, or maybe it was the time he pressed his entire body mass on me after a double leg takedown.

Congratulations! You’ve now played your first game of “Bruiseopoly”. You successfully identified the origin of my bruises without killing your oxen or dying of dysentery. As the weeks progress, we’ll play again. You can look forward to guest appearances by Bob Barker, Wayne Brady, Regis Philbin, Darrell Hammond as Sean Connery, and if SNL doesn’t pan out for Betty White, I’ve offered her the co-hosting position. Until next time..


Golly Gee, this is a swell blog!

In my last post, I referenced roller girls being concocted from 1 tsp sugar + 1 T spice + 1 cup of everything nice (and don’t forget the 2 lbs of intensity). I would also say the same for the CrossFitters I’ve met. While this may be true, they also don’t have a problem perfecting cussing to an artform.

I myself enjoy a good WTF moment. (But Sookie, you’re so cute and little and innocent! True, true. Do short people not swear? Does cuteness void blasphemy?) I could even agree with this journalist in his article “In Praise of Cussing”:

There are many great pleasures in life: Good friends, a beautiful sunrise, a job well done – and the right cuss word.

There’s something about a failed squat snatch attempt that doesn’t make me want to yell “Gee whiz!” It’s so much more satisfying to drop an f-bomb or flip off the kipping pull up.  Ahh, the pleasure of profanity. I can just imagine getting a solid hit from Sweet C at derby practice, while I lay there writhing in pain on the track, pronouncing with my last breath, “Well golly gee that hurt.”  CrossFit and roller derby are two of my worlds where toughness and swearing are associated.  Police academy has further enlightened my dictionary of colorful language.

While I enjoy implementing a well-placed R-rated dagnabit, my blog expression also makes me think of Melissa Urban’s post “A public apology to my Mom”:

I always thought of this blog as my own personal area of free speech. I get to write about what I want, how I want, and express things in a way that I normally can’t. But every day, more people in the CrossFit community – people I look up to and admire – are checking out my blog. And a lot of those people are getting their first impressions of me as a CrossFitter and trainer through my web postings. I started thinking about how I would feel if someone like Lis Darsh or Maureen Martone read some of these posts. I mean, what if my MOM read some of these posts? I have to ask myself, is this really the first impression I want these people to have of me?

Since considering her first impression with people on her blog, Melissa has implemented the “Maureen Martone Rule” to her blog:

The MMR is enforced as follows: If I write a questionable sentence or use a potentially offensive word, I say to myself, “Would I be comfortable with Maureen Martone reading this?”

Keeping in mind my mom just asked for this link last week- it might be the perfect timing to consider my act on The Fresh Meat Beat. For now, dear blog readers, I’ll try to keep it as clean as possible- but are there really replacements for “ass-kickery” and “Kick her in the cooter” ?


Roller girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice

I’ve realized in the last week I’ve had four people ask me the same question about roller derby.  Not “Are the hits real Sookie?”, not “Can you introduce me to one of your hot roller girl friends Sookie?”, and not even “Can I have your autograph Sookie?”  But- “Are the roller girls nice Sookie?”  (Answers to #1: Yes, with the bruises to prove it, #2: No, I want them all to myself, #3: For $10-Yes)

Hmmm, what exactly are people expecting? That we roller girls beat orphans and puppies in our spare time? In fact, roller girls are some of the sweetest girls I’ve ever come across.  Not only do they devote countless hours to becoming the finest athletes I’ve known, they also care selflessly for one another.

But I still answer, “No, in fact they eat little children like you for breakfast every morning and then swig down your pet guinea pig with rum and whiskey.” (The whiskey for breakfast bit might not be far off.  And personally I prefer hamsters over guinea pigs- a little more tender).

Just a few weeks ago a sister of one of our roller girls broke several bones while skating. She was considering trying out for the team, but now won’t be able to. Not only did our girls make meals for her and her family, they drove to Bloomington to clean her house while she was incapacitated. All this for someone they didn’t even know. In another instance a roller girl had her purse stolen while at an NRG event.  The girls on the team chipped in money to replace what she lost. (There are so many moments like this I can’t even begin to list them all: whether it’s skating equipment, furniture, car, money- if you need something, or if your great uncle’s cousin’s sister’s friend needs something- roller girls will make it happen.)

Last week two of our roller girls acted as escorts for guests entering a Planned Parenthood 80’s prom night.  They faced protesters calling them whores, racists, skanks, nazis, sluts, murderers and prostitutes.  Funny how my fishnetted friends were the classier act that night and didn’t reply with what I know is their extensive verbal abuse vocabulary. Not a cooter was kicked, no nary a one.

Does this girl look nice to you? NRG's own Katya Lookin

I don’t love everything about derby (I can’t list my dislikes or I’ll be offed the by the roller derby mafia), but I will say this: It is a family.  Most people in this world are looking to belong somewhere, to be part of a community where you look around and see ‘your people’- the people that “get” you, where everybody knows your name. Whether it’s at work, the gym, the bar, church, your World of Warcraft group, wherever.

For roller derby girls, they’ve found that home in a stinky practice lair, surrounded by girls who will knock you to your butt at practice, slap you on the butt for your birthday and grab your butt at the bout after party. It ain’t perfect, because life with 50+ girls never is, but it’s genuine. (Trust me- the derby stink is genuine, as are the hits, as are the friendships.)

So, next time someone asks me, “Are they nice?”  I’ll say, “Yeah, they really are. They’re take the shirt off my back kind of people. And if someone forces you to do 15 pushups, they’ll go with you 20.” (Biblical references and roller derby?? Yes! I’ve always said Paul was a Holy Roller derby boy:“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; struck down, but not destroyed.” I’m thinking he probably traveled through Corinth by skate, he seems like a four on the floor kind of guy to me. )

But you know what? They probably won’t believe me, and with derby names like Ima Hurchu, Eve Elle, Dear Stabby and Malicious Mela- I might not believe me either.

Hugs + Bruises, Sookie Smackhouse

(Hard fought bout this weekend against the Grand Raggidy Roller Girls. The Warning Belles came away with a win (87-55), while the Tornado Sirens lost (85-95)


You’re so vain, I bet you think this blog post is about you

Wednesday’s WOD

Max squat reps-Rx at 135#

7 Box Burpees

8:37, 105#, 45 reps

Ok, Stop- read this blog post:

I’ll be the first to admit that I can be vain. I love knowing that CrossFit, roller derby, running and primal eating are increasing my overall health- allowing me more energy during my day, the ability to accomplish challenging physical tasks, hopefully greater agility and safety as a future police officer and responsible stewardship of my body. However, I do like the way it makes me look too. Does that make me vain? Other than my zombie-face in this photo, I like that my legs look strong and that I have definition in my arms. My fitness pursuits aren’t based on looking good, but I do like that side-effect of becoming a better functioning human being, and I’m proud of the work and discipline I put in to get those results.

I also realize there’s more to life than fitness goals, and I try to balance my physical pursuits with other activities- like learning to play the harmonica (I just discovered my 55 yr old mother is taking a harmonica class. I’m tempted to join her. I’m pretty sure we’d be the coolest mom and daughter harmonica playing duo in existence). Did I mention I also want to try an aerial dance class, oh and that thing called marriage that (aghast!) actually takes time, commitment and work. Here’s a breakdown of my week:

Overall, my fitness regime isn’t about obtaining a beautiful body (ok, ok, sometimes not eating a cookie is about wanting to look good naked. You’re welcome Mr. Smackhouse). So- why are you working out? Hopefully a nice a*s isn’t your sole motivation. As one blogger commented, “I have always said that a beautiful physique comes as a by-product of excellent health and fitness, and I’m sticking by my guns – no pun intended.”


I train at:

I spread derby love with

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