How did you decide to start playing roller derby?
This is kind of a long story. ;) My husband and I went Roller Skating on our first date in college, a social event for my honor society. Looking back on it I am honestly surprised he even went, he was a terrible skater! Fast forward to 2007, we were living in Knoxville, TN and went to a park near our house and saw some people roller skating. He suggested we get skates, which I was really shocked by because we had never gone skating together again since that first date! He said he suggested it because he knew how much I loved it. We went and bought skates and told some friends of ours about the purchase. One friend suggested I try roller derby, which I knew nothing about at the time. I looked up the local team, Hard Knox Roller Girls, and saw that there was an upcoming game. My husband and I went to the game with our friend who had suggested it, and I was hooked. I had loved skating as a child and thought it was a sport I could actually do, so I talked with the skaters after the game and they told me to come to the next practice for new skaters the following week. My friend and I planned to go together, but when it came time for practice she couldn’t go. I went anyway. Three leagues and eight roller derby seasons later, I am still going strong!
What roles do you fill in the league?
What roles haven’t I filled? ☺ LOL! Over my eight seasons of derby and three leagues, I have worn many different hats. Just to name a few: Vice President, Merchandise Head, Grievance Committee Member, President, and most recently Interleague Coordinator, Munecas Muertas travel team Captain, and WFTDA Representative. I tend to dabble in a lot of different things. When not playing, I love to bench coach and also have a newfound love for announcing. I am also the unofficial party planner extraordinaire. Officially, I am the league’s new General Manager for 2016.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received about roller derby?
Well in my early days of derby I received lots of advice, but as of late I am one that gets asked for advice. So here are my two cents, some of which is advice I’m sure I received at some point in the early years and some I will give based on my experiences and things I have seen over 8 ½ years. If you want to try derby – just do it. What are you waiting for? Don’t wait for that friend to go with you – if I had waited for my friend who was supposed to go to that first practice with me - I never would have gone. Try all the positions - I have gone from Jammer to Blocker to Pivot and more recently I like to refer to myself as a Blammer! ☺ Trying all the positions also helps you see things that maybe you need to do differently, things that your teammates need from you in your regular position. Try reffing a scrimmage or game – it really gives you a different perspective and appreciation for the difficult job that it is to be a referee. Read all the rules, don’t just learn what you need to know in order to pass the WFTDA rules test. You still won’t really understand some crucial rules, and drive the vets crazy! Try new things and get out of your comfort zone – I used to be scared to jump and now I can jump an apex like a boss (sometimes, ha ha)! Listen during practice when drills are being explained – it is frustrating for everyone when a trainer, coach or captain has to repeat themselves because someone was talking instead of listening - it wastes valuable practice time. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Ask for and accept feedback. If a teammate made a roster or received more play time over you – ask what you can do differently to make the roster or increase your play time for the future. Don’t compare yourself to others, derby comes at a different pace for everyone and jealousy is an ugly thing. Celebrate others’ accomplishments.
What do you do in your non-derby life?
Just as I have worn many hats in roller derby, my non-derby life is no different! My main job is for a Sales and Marketing Company where I do resets for a Smith’s grocery store. This is my second retail job, and I honestly never thought I go back to retail after the first one – but this time it’s very different. I was used to this time of year being super busy for the holidays in retail, but in the role I have now it is considered a blackout time, which means I have a lot of time off in Nov and Dec. I work early weekday hours so I am off most days by 2PM and even have most Fridays off – Kell’s Yeah for 3 day weekends! ☺ I also work part time as a display installer for the movie industry. You know those large cardboard displays advertising upcoming movies? I build those for the Albuquerque theaters. In addition to that, I work part time for Caustic Threads, derby owned and operated by my teammate and friend, Doom Dee Doom. I mainly package orders and help with organizational tasks, but also do whatever else she needs. I have also been a horticulture volunteer for the Albuquerque Biopark for 3 ½ years.
I have been married to a scientist for 12 ½ years, and am mom to three awesome cats! Even people who say they don’t like cats, like my cats (seriously)! Roller derby has consumed my life for what feels like forever now, but I do like doing other things. I love Halloween and dressing up, in fact I am sort of known for getting all decked out when I skate - I am on a 2 year run of winning the league award for best boutfit! I also enjoy doing crafts, playing games (both board and video), doing karaoke, and thoroughly love the ABQ craft beer scene.
It began simply as a fun thing to try, but roller derby has really consumed my life for 8 ½ years now. I have traveled to many cities I may not have otherwise, and made many new and long-time friends from all walks of life that I probably never would have met in other circumstances. This is the most fun I have ever had and I cannot imagine my life without it.