After 13 years playing roller derby, Carmen Getsome hesitates to pick a favorite memory of her career.
Is it the time she and Vito Ramon, her husband and fellow skater, both lined up on the jam line to skate against one another? Maybe it was all the traveling and coaching she has done all over the world. Starting a banked track league? Skating with Team USA? Perhaps, it was the time she almost chose Malibu Scarbie as her derby name.
There are so many, she says.
But she’ll take the memories with her as she ends her roller derby career this year. Season 15 was her last with Rat City Roller Derby, and the All Star Program has retired number 12 in her honor.
In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past two decades, Getsome (outside of derby, she’s known as Lacey Ramon) is a world-renowned, powerhouse derby player. Her accomplishments are as numerous as her memories. She was a Roller Derby Team USA chartered athlete from 2014 to 2018, and she and the team won two World Cup gold medals in 2014 and 2018. She has captained the Rat City All Stars, and started the bank track league Team Legit in order to compete at Battle of the Bank. She’s also won countless league awards for her adeptness at playing the positions of jammer, pivot and blocker.
Her parents quickly became just as devoted as she was to roller derby and Rat City. They took photos and videos of bouts, and made sure to volunteer at all events.
“Their lives are changing big time, too,” she said.
Of course, it wasn’t always like that. Before Getsome joined Rat City in 2006, she had only been on skates three times. She was bored athletically, because she was no longer playing collegiate soccer, and running half marathons wasn’t doing it.
Then, a client at the physical therapy office where she worked invited her to a Rat City game. She showed up to tryouts and joined Rat City’s home team Grave Danger. The captains gave her one week to choose a derby name.
“I asked everyone I knew for input and was really nervous as I was 24 and didn’t know anyone on any roller derby team,” Getsome said, recalling that when it was time to share the name, she told the team she was Malibu Scarbie. Danger Captain “Basket Casey gave me the ‘uh, that name isn’t really you’ look, and one of the skaters shouted, ‘What about Carmen Getsome?’”
The rest is history.
Now, Getsome is leaving behind a legacy as she hangs up her skates.
“It was time,” she said. “I’ve been playing…long enough that children who were in kindergarten my first year of derby have now graduated high school. I am prepared to pass the torch to amazing and capable new athletes that will take this thing so much further than I was able to.”
One of those aged-up juniors is Alora Green, primary jammer on the Rat City All Stars.
“Having the opportunity to skate with Lacey after having her as a coach has been one of the most inspiring parts of my adult derby career this far,” Green said. “She pushes you to work harder on and off the track and to never become complacent with where you’re at.”
As for Getsome, she’ll stay busy.
She’ll coach Seattle Derby Brats’ Galaxy Girls with her husband, as well as mother-son duo Holly and Dylan Botts. She will also coach middle school cross country, volleyball and track and field. Six years ago, Getsome also started Snohomish Fitness Center and Parkinson’s Wellness Place and plans to grow her programs, including a boxing program she started for people with Parkinson’s disease. (You can follow her journey with this on Twitter at @SnohomishFitness and @RockSteadyBoxingPNW). And, yes, she’ll still be strapping on her skates from time to time.
“I am ready for new things, to tackle new obstacles and grow new organizations,” she said. “Not sure what exactly, but something will find its way into my heart.”
Written by Mollytov Cocktail, November 2019