#1993 Bratislava Bruiser

How did you get into derby?

A friend from work played, so I went to watch one of her bouts. After watching our first bout one of my fellow spectating friends suggested we try out. So after testing out my skate skills at the local rinks, I tried out and much to my surprise I made it. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but I quickly fell in love and dedicated myself to the league, to the sport and to becoming the best derby player I can be.

Do you have any other hobbies?

I am sure I had a lot before derby took over my life.  I suppose I like traveling (exploring other cities, or camping hiking etc.), cooking, working out, doing political things, making fancy cocktails, reading (when there is time), spending time with friends and family (again when there is time), I like trying new things (without derby I would probably be taking a lot of classes.

Who inspires you?

Everyone. There is something to be learned about yourself and the world from every person. It’s those small everyday things that can be the biggest motivators and can inspire all kinds of things.

What is your sports background?

As a kid I played organized sports: basketball, volleyball and soccer. I also took dance for 12 years and played a lot of unorganized sports. I continued to play soccer through high school and rugby in college. Once out of college other than derby I have played recreational soccer and a very little recreational softball.

How/why did you pick your derby name?

Argh, It is sort of a long story. I originally picked the name “Bruisin’ B. Anthony” and I skated under that name for my first season. A problem arose as there was some confusion on the name registry and they revoked the approval I had received for that name. So in order to make it easier on the folks who all were already calling me Bruisin’ I opted for something with a similar nickname. I happen to be 50% Slovak so I decided on Bratislava Bruiser. I chose the number 1993 because it signifies the year Czechoslovakia split into Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

Do you have any pre or post bout rituals?

Mostly I just try to get a good night of sleep and make sure I am properly fueled and hydrated. There is no magic game day routine, I make sure I am working and training hard so that on game day I am prepared to execute. I don’t like having a specific ritual because I think that having a certain really specific routine, which can easily get thrown off with travel, etc., just sets one up to be negatively effected when inevitably their “ritual” is compromised. I like to be ready for anything.

After games I am usually hungry, so I eat and hydrate, I probably should stretch more.  I supposed my post game routine also varies depending on whether I have another game that day or the next. If no game, it may involve a whiskey.

Do you have a favorite or signature move?

I suppose my signature move might be what is called the “hip pop”. This is when I do this weird thing where I sort of reach with only my hip as sort of the last ditch hit attempt (It looks like a sort of pelvic thrust to one side, there is really no good way to describe it).

It certainly does not look cool, however if I am able hit a person in the right place at the right time it can cause them to wipe out (sometimes there is almost a delayed reaction). That is my move because I am not sure I have every really seen any one else doing that quite the same way…

How has derby impacted your life?

Obviously it has made it better, but busier. Really it has made a huge difference in my life in so many ways. I have found an amazing community of people around the world to share this awesome passion with. It has brought out in me a a desire for competition I am not sure I realized I even had. I have learned so much about myself through derby.

The hard work has paid off in so many ways, I’ve loved earning (and I mean earning) the trust and respect of my teammates. The positive effect that seeing our hard work pay off has had has been rewarding and motivating. I have learned to treat myself better and healthier (training, being more conscious of how to fuel my body).

I learn new skills all the time in working on and off the track. I love the culture on my team where sportswomanship and respect are not only highly valued but a requirement. Maintaining those attitudes and high standards along with recognizing how important teamwork is translates to all aspects of my life.

It certainly has made my calendar much fuller and I am sure all those folks who don’t get to see me as much as they would like are impacted by how busy my life is. Those outside of this thing can often have a tough time understanding the commitment we make to ourselves and our team, but ultimately I know they see the positive impact derby has had. They know I am doing what I love.

Basically I am married to derby and it is a pretty good marriage.

Copyright 2013 Ohio Roller Girls // Photos by Dorn Byg, Earl Sod, Joe Mac, & Candace Moser-Stafford // All Rights Reserved