Cincinnati Rollergirl Jillian Dollaz was a CRG fan for years before she decided to try out. Here’s her story in her own words.
I have a thing or two in common with border collies. I get a little nutty when I don’t have enough to do. I suppose that’s how I ended up strapping on a pair of skates and competing with some of the most amazing people on the planet.
See, as a kid, I was constantly on the move. In college, I was a division 1 rower and a full-time DAAPer (you UC people know what I’mtalking about). The training schedule was tough and yes, I did spend an obscene amount of time on the Ohio River at 5 a.m. with the barges and the detritus.
After four years of multiple practices a day, regattas most weekends, and winter and spring training camps, peppered with classes, all-nighters, and a paltry social life, I graduated with two wrecked knees and a degree in fine arts, neither of which would ever work for me again. In those first years I worked a 9 to 5, I battled with stairs and standing for too long, and I gnawed on the furniture (metaphorically).
Another six years (and we’ll say about 30 pounds) after graduation, my knee pain lessened. So, I began light gym workouts, I hit the pool, I tried some 5ks…everything was frustrating, and I’ll tell you why. As an adult, it’s tough to find a group of people who want to play a game sport that isn’t a beer league. I was caught in this limbo of not having enough skill or ability to play with all the other post-collegiate athletes, but too competitive to play for funsies.
Enter roller derby.
This is not your grandmother’s roller derby. This brand of derby is decidedly void of fake hits and theatrics and this is the derby I found I wanted to play.
I busted my ass, literally, to learn to roller skate at 30 years old, because roller derby is frickin’ cool. I persisted through three tryouts and the accompanying bruised ego, because CRG is frickin’ cool. I rolled with the Flock Ewes, I actually blocked a jammer with the Violent Lambs, I made my first Black Sheep roster, and had a 10-year-old girl ask for my autograph, because, it turns out, I’m frickin’ cool too.
I love competing with the Cincinnati Rollergirls because we exist in that place between a beer league and the Olympics. All of my teammates are here to compete, we take this sport seriously, we train to win. I would not have stayed otherwise. So, here I am, my knees don’t hurt so much, little kids think I’m cool, and I’ve stopped gnawing the furniture…for now.