Did you ever have a day in your life when you couldn’t believe what was happening? A day when you seriously thought you were an actor in an awesome movie? Yeah, me either. Until the day I got engaged.
So, I am borderline unhealthily obsessed with playing roller derby for the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls. I’ve actually been playing derby for them longer than I have owned my photography business. When I started, I didn’t have any expectations about where it would take me and what would happen with the derby, but, it infiltrated my life and I can honestly say that it changed me for the better and I wouldn’t be where I am today without having been a part of this wonderful league. It is so captivating that even some of my former brides have been intrigued and came out to play themselves.
The little back-story: I began skating with the league when I was just a wee 22 year old finishing up my last semester of art school as a photo major at Metro State. Shortly after I started skating, I met my boyfriend (later dubbed Da Jewce) and eventually roped him into becoming an announcer for the league. He’s been my derby sidekick and best friend ever since. Rocky Mountain had some wins and a hell of a lot of losses and we just kept skating our butts off, turning left, and having the time of our lives.
Fast-forward about 6 years – 2009 and 2010 saw some exponential growth in our A squad’s roster and skill. We gained some very talented transfers and really started to gel as a team. We broke the Oly Rollers (Olympia, WA) 22 game winning streak, and then moved on to play at the Championship tournament in Chicago where we were prepared to give it our all and try to make a run for #1 in the world. (Yes, I said world. Roller Derby is now international!).
We managed to beat the best skaters from Baltimore and then took on the Gotham Girls from New York City – who have undoubtedly been at the top of the heap since the very beginning – then we had another match-up with the Oly Rollers again. I know that I am biased when I say that this was the BEST GAME OF ROLLER DERBY EVER PLAYED. They make movies about teams who are down in the very last seconds of the game and somehow manage to squeak out a 1 point win. It’s a cliche, but that’s exactly what happened in Chicago and I am so incredibly proud to have been a part of the team and league that made it a reality.
AND, as if that wasn’t incredible enough, after the top 3 teams from the tournament had been introduced and applauded and after all of the crying had finally stopped and we had some dry eyes in the arena, Jewce called me out by my real name (not my Derby name!).
My heart stopped when he got down on one knee in front of 3,000 people at the UIC pavilion and about 3,000 other people watching live at home and asked me to marry him (later I heard stories about how he made grown men weep).
April a wedding photographer and finally the wedding photographer finally gets to plan her own wedding! Check out her portfolio here. Photographer and Artist Jay Vollmar captured the image from the proposal above! And of course… here’s the ring!!!