#52 HardKore Lena

Number of years playing derby:
7 (since March 2012)

How did you get into derby?
Tale as old as time: Friend sees recruitment poster for local team in bar bathroom. Friend decides to check out a practice and asks me to tag along for moral support. Equally terrified and intrigued, I go back the next weekend, rent skates, borrow gear, and spend two hours clinging to a wall and falling down every time someone breathes near me. I fall head over wheels in love, buy skates a week after that, and casually rearrange my entire life around roller derby (while still hugging walls and falling down, naturally). It was one of the most out of character things I’d ever done and one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Do you have any other hobbies?
Vegetarian/vegan cooking, gaming (both tabletop and video), writing, kayaking, birdwatching, and many crafty endeavors.

What is your sports background?
Repeated failed attempts at soccer, basketball, volleyball, and gym class as a kid. I also ran cross country in junior high & high school, but was always one of the slowest runners.

Do you have any pre or post bout rituals?
Pre: eat a lot of food.
Post: eat a lot of food and go to sleep.

Do you have a favorite or signature derby move?
I love putting an opponent in my pocket, and I’ve been told that I have sneaky superpowers as a jammer.

How has derby impacted your life?
Seven years in, there’s really no part it hasn’t affected. I had long since given up on playing sports and stuck to the non-athletic things I knew I was good at. Derby is the first thing in my life that I’ve been absolutely terrible at and kept doing anyway, and it’s incredibly empowering. It’s completely changed the way I see myself, and when I started thinking of myself as an athlete, it allowed me to discover a side of myself I didn’t think existed. Off skates, I get to use my talents in ways that benefit OHRD and also learn new skills I’d never imagined (event planning! forum management! sports writing!). Derby has provided a sense of community, given me opportunities to travel to new places, and taught me how to face my fears and challenge my limits, while giving me some of the best friends a person could have. 10/10, would recommend.

Any other fun facts about yourself?
I was adopted by a one-eyed stray cat and everyone loves my banana bread.

Copyright 2018 Ohio Roller Derby // Photos by Dorn Byg, Earl Sod, Joe Mac, Candace Moser-Stafford, & Others Where Credited // All Rights Reserved