February Spotlight: Swearin'Marie

Duke City Roller Derby is back for the 2017 season! To kick off our year, meet our February spotlight member, Swearin'Marie. You've probably seen her jamming, blocking, and dancing as one of our favorite HoBots at our home bouts. Swearin'Marie also skates with our all-star travel team, the Muñecas Muertas.

How did you come to roller derby?

Photo credit: Zak Rutledge

Photo credit: Zak Rutledge

I was helping my boyfriend Zak (now husband) with a local Zine that was doing a story on Duke City Derby. I shot the photos at a scrimmage and fell in love with the sport.

Can you tell us about your name?

I have always had a potty mouth and one day I was in the car with Zak cussing up a storm at traffic. He looked at me and said, "You should be Swearin'Marie instead of Aaron Marie!" And that's how I got my name.

How long have you been skating?

Since 2009

You've been with DCRD for a long time! Can you tell us about the work you've done with the league?

I have been the art director for DCRD since I passed skills in 2010. Zak and I revamped many of the logos we use for the league today. In 2013 we re-branded the league with a new logo and website.

One of the many wonderful posters Swearin'Marie has created for the league. Credit: Aaron Marie Rutledge

One of the many wonderful posters Swearin'Marie has created for the league.
Credit: Aaron Marie Rutledge

Do you have any pre-bout rituals?

I get up super early and go for a walk.

What does your life outside of roller derby look like?

I am an artist, mother, wife and shift leader at Rebel Donut.

You are a very strong all around player - seemingly switching between jamming and blocking with ease. Do you feel an affinity for one role more than another?

I love to jam but I feel like I am better at blocking (...but I really love to jam.) I guess my best position is pivot. I do pretty well at that role because I get a chance to jam in emergency situations.  

Photo credit: Zak Rutledge

Photo credit: Zak Rutledge

What is your favorite derby story?

Any story that involves Leddy. But one of my favs is when she threw up at Dust Devil 2013. She stashed a barf bag in her boobs for the rest of the tournament. Priceless. 

What advice do you have - not just for new skaters, but also skaters who have been around for awhile and are looking to up their level of play?

Keep an open mind because this game is constantly in flux. Learn new things whenever you can.

Posted on February 2, 2017 .

Off-Season in the Duke City.

We all know that playing roller derby isn't always JUST about skatin' and hittin'. There are a lot of little nuts and bolts that are required to make practices and bouts happen. That can be tiring - especially when you consider that the skaters do all the work themselves, in addition to training and their normal "Day Jobs" and family lives.

"Our season is 10 months long, and I've just finished my 7th season. This means that for 7 years I have spent an average of 3 days each week at practice, 44 weeks per year. During the season, I spend at minimum 25 hours a month on league work, 20 hours at practice, 16 hours commuting, and 15 hours cross-training." - Leigh Featherstone, Muñecas Muertas captain.

Kell's Inferno rakes a mess of leaves; it's much more of a workout than you think!

Kell's Inferno rakes a mess of leaves; it's much more of a workout than you think!

A lot of skaters look forward to off-season for this very reason - a chance to sit for a few weeks and not have to drive any further than the nearest grocery store. Whether it's families that miss us, illness, or just straight up fatigue, November is always greeted with a sort of sigh of relief.

"The first week or so I take a complete break from exercise. I'm always amazed at how much inflammation goes down during this time."
 - Leigh Featherstone

Some skaters just don't stop: "I change things up by focusing on strength training, specifically during off season." - Harley Darlin'

A number of skaters also look to this time of the year to recuperate their bodies and prepare for the next season.

Leigh Featherstone killin' it with a strong clean.

Leigh Featherstone killin' it with a strong clean.

"I get to work on strength training because it's harder to build muscle during the season. I make it to an Olympic lifting gym 3 or 4 days per week and follow the program designed by my weightlifting coach. I also spend time to make sure my muscles are working correctly, especially with pre-hab exercises for my ankles and glutes." - Leigh Featherstone

Gwynn the Gremlin, a skater who joined DCRD mid-season, says, "I've been going to the gym consistently. Building some [strength to my arms and legs] and core. Also doing cardio. It should help me at least get contact cleared early in the new year if anything."

"I am doing off season strength training.  Mondays I meet with a trainer and we do arms. Tuesday and Thursday nights I do an hour long boot camp that involves strength training as well as endurance. Wednesday I am back with my trainer doing leg work.  He actually has me put my skates on the last 15 minutes and he has me do a variety of pushing & hitting drills.  Finally there is a Saturday am boot camp." - Harley Darlin'

Skela-Laur engaging beast mode.

Skela-Laur engaging beast mode.

Some of us have things we're looking for specifically. SkelaLaur, who is entering her fourth season, has a workout with the goal of building overall strength and muscle mass. She achieves this by "...lifting heavy; doing squats, cleans, and bench, adding other weightlifting to complement these lifts, like back (upper and lower), triceps, biceps, and hamstring work. I lift like this 2-3 times per week."

There is an amazing group of newer skaters who spend every spare moment hitting Bosque trails with their skates, the local skating rink, and just generally chatting about how to retain everything they learned this year and carry it over into the next.

TermiSkater takes a breather on a long trail skate.

TermiSkater takes a breather on a long trail skate.

"I like lifting heavy but I tried to focus on doing less weight and more reps. I've also been working on balance by incorporating plyometric-like exercises between lifting reps." - Black Mamba

Tylina LaCochina and Black Mamba getting ready to crush the gym.

Tylina LaCochina and Black Mamba getting ready to crush the gym.

Black Mamba and Marie Furie also state that they've been doing plenty of wall sits during every day activities like brushing teeth, planks, and enjoying time at the local skate park.

Whatever you do - even if that's nothing at all - we at Duke City hope you are enjoying your off-season and have caught up on Gilmore Girls.

"The best part of the off-season? I binge watch movies and television I haven't had time for in months. " - Leigh Featherstone.

Posted on December 23, 2016 .

October Spotlight: Ima Hazard

Meet Duke City Roller Derby’s October spotlight member, Ima Hazard! Hazard has been with DCRD for two seasons. You may have seen her playing on the Hobots home team (or subbing in for the Dooms Dames!), running Saturday afternoon newbie practice, or hooking up DCRD with community projects! 

Posted on October 21, 2016 .

August Spotlight: Fowl Play

Meet Duke City Roller Derby's August spotlight member, Fowl Play! You've probably seen Fowl Play jam reffing at Duke City bouts and helping out at junior and newbie practices. You may also know him as spouse of Duke City's well-known skater, ref, and coach, and August '15 spotlight member, Doom Dee Doom.

Posted on August 26, 2016 .

June Spotlight: David Reed

Meet Duke City Roller Derby’s June Spotlight Member, David Reed! David is our league Head Official, and just celebrated his first derby-versary. You can usually find him officiating in a pink NSO shirt at bouts, or wrangling new volunteers at our weekly scrimmages.

Posted on June 21, 2016 .

May 28 Doubleheader Preview

Duke City’s second home event of the year is this Saturday, May 28 at the Heights Community Center. This is an outdoor event, so be sure to bring your sunscreen! The vendor village will feature a number of local businesses including Gatos Y Galletas and Sister Bar. Food truck TFK Smokehouse will be on site, and junior derby skaters from The Marionettes will host a bake sale.

Posted on May 25, 2016 .

May Spotlight: Hearno Evil

How did you get involved with roller derby? 

I came to know roller derby while I was directing a camp for deaf/hard of hearing children through the Lions Club and my co-director was actually starting up roller derby in Las Cruces with her best friend. She encouraged me to come and watch a practice. I went and watched their practices, immediately fell in love, and began saving up to buy my first pair of skates.

Posted on May 20, 2016 .

March Spotlight: Pelvis Chestly

DCRD's league spotlight member for the month of March is our beloved Pelvis Chestly! Pelvis Chestly is from right here in Albuquerque and has been a part of roller derby and DCRD for just over a year. 

Pelvis Chestly at Albuquerque Comic Con 2016.

Pelvis Chestly at Albuquerque Comic Con 2016.

What brought you to roller derby?

I've always thought roller derby would be so cool, but I never did it. Then at Albuquerque ComicCon 2015, I talked to Kristin (Betty OOP) and Crystal Styles. They gave me a flier and shot down every excuse I had. "I don't know how to skate!" "We'll teach you!" " I don't have skates!" "We have some you can borrow!" I didn't have a reason not to try it. I went to newbie practice and had skates on for maybe ten minutes, total. I spent eight of those ten minutes making concrete angels, but it was enough for me to decide I really wanted to skate. 

Tell us about your derby name.

I love Elvis Presley. I've always loved Elvis Presley. I knew I had to have a derby name that had to do with Elvis, and puns are the best! It also helps that I have a huge ass and, you know, a pretty decent rack. 

Photo by Ima Hazard.

Photo by Ima Hazard.

What roles do you fill with the the league?

I'm the head of community relations. I find events in our community for the league to participate in, like Albuquerque Pride. I look for events that bring the community together, or that represent our league, like anything to do with athleticism. I also organize the Street Team. We distribute all of the posters and fliers for bouts and events.

Besides athleticism, what do you think are the values of Duke City Roller Derby?

Strength--it's amazing to be surrounded by so many strong women. And friendship--I have amazing derby friends who are uplifting and encouraging. Joining derby is probably the best thing I've ever done for myself. 

Speaking of friendship--you won the 2015 awards for "Friendliest" and "Most League Spirit" at last year's awards ceremony and Derby Prom. What was that like?

It was awesome. I was surprised because I don't ever win anything! It was just nice to be recognized by my friends. 

Did you cry?

Maybe a little.

Pelvis Chestly and derby wife Scara Dee Darkness. Photo by Matt Hayward.

Pelvis Chestly and derby wife Scara Dee Darkness. Photo by Matt Hayward.

Are you especially proud of any of your derby accomplishments? 

It took forever for me to stand up on my skates after a fall--that was a small victory in itself. I'm proud of how I've been progressing in scrimmage. On Monday night, Sara (Scara Dee) was jamming and she just bounced right off my ass and fell on the ground! I was like, "Oh my god that was awesome, but are you okay?" 

Scara Dee is your Derby Wife, right?

Yes. She's been my best friend for twelve years now. When she decided to join derby, and stay, was one of my happiest moments ever! 

You two got derby married at the DCRD Ten-Year Anniversary bout last year. 

Yup. Our dresses were amazing. Mine had cupcakes and hers had hamburgers and hot dogs. She was the main course, and I was dessert! 

Who are your derby role models? 

When I first joined, I wanted a skating buddy, so I asked the people who intimidated me the most: Kell's [Inferno] and [Death] Ro. I figured if they scared me, I could learn a lot from them. I did learn a lot, and I've become pretty good friends with Kell's. She's not really that scary. Don't tell anyone. 

No way, that's totally going on the blog!

Okay, but also say that she's terrifying on the track!

What about Ro? Is she scary in real life? 

Ro is always scary, on the track and off. 

What are your derby goals?

I wanna be a Hobot! I would like to pass skills this year. Completing 27/5 is a big goal. I feel like everything else will fall into place the more I go to practice and the more I push myself. But I'm going to be off skates for a while. 

Tell us about your injury--how did you twist your ankle?

We were scrimmaging Monday night. I was super excited because [Kap'n] Krush was on my team. I did a plow stop for the first time in my life. I was thinking, "Yes! I'm going to plow like a beast!" My foot did a really good job staying planted, but the rest of my body did not. I went down, and that's where I stayed. The doctor says I can skate with an ankle brace in three to four weeks. I probably won't do any contact drills until I build up my strength again. I'll just do a little bit at a time!

Lastly, what is your favorite thing about roller derby?

Photo by Betty OOP. 

Photo by Betty OOP. 

It has made me physically push myself more than I ever have. I'm discovering that I'm capable of things I never thought I could do. Overall, I've become healthier. I quit smoking, I've become more active--derby has improved my entire wellbeing. Skating is like my meditation.  

Posted on March 15, 2016 .