How did you decide to start playing roller derby?
It was back in early 2006 and I was a mess after a bad breakup. I had watched the A&E show “Rollergirls” and found a league about an hour from where I lived. I went to a game, and even skated during their “open skate” after the game was over. I hadn’t skated in years! I then searched for a league closer to home and found one that had just started. I went to my first practice and I was hooked. This version of the sport was brand new, still finding itself, and it was perfect for me. Roller derby was the first thing I had attempted to do by myself, without friends or a partner to tag along with. It completely changed my life.
After 9 ½ years, 3 leagues, countless games, bad knees and more fun than most people experience in a lifetime, here I am!
What roles do you fill in the league?
I coach the Munecas Muertas, our WFTDA charter team, and I am the head of Bout Production which means I also serve on our Board of Directors. I bench coach the Dooms Dames now that the home teams are back!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received about roller derby?
I haven’t received much advice, as I tend to be the one giving it. This is my tenth year being involved in roller derby. There aren’t many things I haven’t done or seen first-hand, so people tend to come to me with questions. In the beginning, we were all just winging it, seeing what works, sometimes failing miserably. Now everything you need to know is available online.
One thing I wish to tell anyone involved in roller derby is that you get out of it what you put into it. If you do the bare minimum, that’s what you’ll get back from the sport. But if you do the extra practices, the cross training, the committee work, roller derby becomes so much more.
And take care of yourself! Once you get serious about roller derby, it feels like there is a clock ticking behind you, reminding you that you can’t do this forever. Sometimes this leads to us making poor choices about injuries and recovery or taking a mental health break if needed. Take the time to heal, or recenter your mind, and then come back. Having to stop skating due to chronic injuries, pain or being burnt out really sucks. This is supposed to be fun, and if you make good choices, you can be a part of it for a very long time.
What do you do in your non-derby life?
As a transplant from the Jersey Shore, my social life revolves around roller derby and my friends on the league. Luckily my girlfriend Amy is super supportive. I am pretty sure my friends like her better than me most of the time! She’s pretty much the funniest person I know so I can’t blame them.
To pay the bills, I work as an insurance account manager, specializing in business insurance. I enjoy working with different kinds of businesses and learning a little about what they do.
When I’m not working or at the track, I love to travel with my girlfriend and our English Bulldogs, Lulu and Suzi. I also love to cook and read, and I really love the local craft beer scene here in Albuquerque.
I am so incredibly proud of the work we’ve done this year at Duke City Roller Derby. The beginning of the year saw some major changes and our leadership responded in the most professional manner possible. We’ve revolutionized our training program, which has lead to the growth of our numbers and the return of home teams. We’ve incorporated as a non-profit. The Munecas are playing like a true team, and not just a group of talented individuals sharing the track. The entire DCRD organization has really stepped up to make this a successful and fun season so far. I am really looking forward to the rest of this season and next year.