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Fit4Life Champ
Skating Her Way to Fitness








“I hate traditional exercise,” says NDTS Manager Courtney Fiess (pictured at left – she’s number 17 in the center). How many of you can empathize with that? Courtney is living proof that you don’t have to slug it out on a treadmill at the gym to stay fit.


When she began skating in a local roller derby league two years ago, Courtney wasn’t looking for a way to start exercising – it just sounded like fun. She soon learned it was not only incredibly fun, but also an amazing workout and stress release. (For more fun workout ideas in your area, see the Community Events section below.)


In roller derby, two teams skate the same direction around a track. Each team’s designated “jammers” attempt to lap the opposing team members, while the “blockers” attempt to prevent the jammers from passing.


“It’s a great workout and it’s really physical,” says Courtney, who plays the blocker position in the South Side Roller Derby League, Houston’s only banked track league.


Before joining the roller derby league, Courtney wasn’t exercising at all. Now, she skates four to six hours every week. The league hosts two boot camps, open to anyone interested, and one skirmish each week. Boot camp involves lots of skating, including skating squats and lunges, and mastering different techniques for jumps, falls and stops. Even if you’re not interested in the physical aspect of an actual roller derby bout, Courtney says you may enjoy trying boot camp to practice skating.


If you want to see what roller derby is all about, come out to the Pasadena Convention Center on Saturday, July 7, to watch the South Side Roller Derby League. Visit for info.


Have you been motivated by a Fit4Life activity or previous Fit4Life Champ to make healthy changes? Do you have your own Fit4Life story to tell to encourage someone else? Email with your story. If you are making a commitment to living a healthier lifestyle, we want to hear about it!

SMACKDOWN: Roller Derby rolls on