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Bob Lind, Published December 04 2012

Neighbors: Physical therapist used to roll with F-M Derby Girls

Kim Stevens is just your average gal next door.

That is, if the gal next door is a woman who does physical therapy to make people feel better, then plays roller derby and slams people around and has a colorful painting tattooed on her shoulder.

Actually, Kim no longer is a member of the F-M Derby Girls roller derby team. She quit this year because her husband, Aaron, who drives heavy equipment, is gone a lot, meaning she had to get a sitter for their son Brekyn, 3½, too often. So now she’s primarily gone only when she’s working as a physical therapist assistant at Sheyenne Crossings in West Fargo.

Kim and Aaron Stevens live in Fargo. Kim was born in Bismarck, grew up in Rolette, N.D., graduated from Wolford (N.D.) High School, worked in Dickinson, N.D., and then studied physical therapy at Williston (N.D.) State University, graduating in 2007.

Some bruises

Kim had Rollerbladed before, but hadn’t roller skated. Then after moving to Fargo, she spotted an F-M Derby Girls poster promoting a meet-and-greet gathering for potential new team members at Skateland.

“That sounded interesting,” she says, so she went.

They had her put on skates, “but I did so badly I was embarrassed, and I took them off,” she says. “But they talked to me and then they put me on one of the teams, because they took women with different skill levels.”

Thanks to having her in-laws living in Page, N.D., Kim got better at skating. She’d go there, get the keys to the auditorium, and practice for hours all by herself.

She got good enough to make a Derby Girls team for 1½ years, playing both in Fargo and in other area cities.

The Derby Girls practice evenings and play their games, called “bouts,” on Saturdays.

It’s a rough-and-tumble sport, but Kim says she never was badly hurt. “Oh, a bruised tailbone and bruises all over the place, but nothing too bad,” she says nonchalantly.

One reason she liked the sport, she says, is because “if you had a bad day, you could take your aggression out on the other women in it.”

Let it be known, though, that Kim also likes her therapy job. “I like the patients,” she says. “I talk to them, get to know them while making them feel better.”

But she’s not totally done with roller skating. She is one of several former Derby Girls who have joined a recreational league in which women skate for the fun it.

Starry tattoo

If any part of Kim’s shoulder or upper arm is showing, your eyes are going to be drawn to the multi-colored tattoo there.

It’s a copy of a painting titled “Starry Night.” It’s always been her favorite work of art.

She likes her tattoo a lot. Thankfully, so does her husband.

The original painting, by the way, was done by Vincent van Gogh.

That’s why, while she was with the Derby Girls, each of whom were given distinctive names, she carried the name “Vixen van Gogh.”

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107; fax it

to (701) 241-5487; or email blind@forumcomm.com

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