#97 Gnarles Fanson

Number of years playing derby
I have participated in Rec League since mid 2015 and made the league in November 2016.

How did you get into derby?
I skated a lot as a kid. I grew up in Zanesville, Ohio and they would give us free passes to the Lind Arena to skate on days we didn’t have school. As an adult I hardly skated at all. I went a couple of times and was blown away by the moves people were putting out there. I’m not talking the derby moves but those badass dance skaters at the rink!! I wanted to get better on my feet and needed some skates of my own. I went to Next Level Skate Shop to get a pair for recreational purposes only. I was determined to get better and I started going to the skating rink anytime I could! While being fitted someone at the shop asked me if I had ever considered playing derby. I had but never seriously. I didn’t think I could ever do something like that. That question made me think about it more and I ended up at a wannabe clinic and got my butt kicked! I was so out of shape and it was hard but something about it made we want to do it again! I tried out for Rec League and didn’t make it the first cut so I went again. After three wannabe clinics I got a pass to participate in the OHRL and I was soooo excited! I skated in Rec League on and off for about a year and a half before deciding I wanted to try out.
Do you have any other hobbies?

Do you have any other hobbies?
I love to go camping! I considered camping for an entire summer once. I should have done it!!

Who inspires you?
My team! They have provided me with endless amounts of knowledge and critiques that have helped me along this journey. I am always learning from ALL of them and trying to be better. Their drive and dedication makes me want to succeed even more. They have accepted me and I cant wait to grow with them.

What is your sports background?
I played softball in my elementary / middle school days of life but other than that there isn’t much to my athletic background. This process has been EXTREMELY challenging as I am having to strengthen my core and my body to perform a full-contact sport but I am dedicated and motivated and with that one can do great things.

How/Why did you pick your derby name?
Soooooo….I like Hanson. Yes that Hanson. The teeny-bopper band that got insta-famous in 1997 (hence #97) for that song Mmmbop. They have been my favorite band since age 12 and today they still hold a soft spot in my heart. The truth is that they are incredibly talented musicians that STILL make music and I am STILL a huge fan!! Fanson is what Hanson fans are often called with Gnarles Fanson obviously being a play on Charles Manson.

Do you have any pre or post bout rituals?
Im a rookie! I’ll let you know when I get to play in a bout. :)

Do you have a favorite or signature derby move?
Not yet but give it some time and this will change. Currently Im trying to focus on ALL the moves being thrown my way. Gotta get my fancy feet in order and make it past this challenging rookie year!! Time will tell!!

How has derby impacted your life?
In SOOO many ways in such a short amount of time. It has made me more aware of my body and what Im doing to it. I eat better, I exercise regularly and I care about it when I mess up!!

I have also suffered from bouts of anxiety and depression for most of my life. Derby has given me that push that I never had. It has given my mind something to focus on and allowed me a safe place to let my stresses go.

Annnnnd I have a whole new gigantic family that I’ve NEVER had which is pretty wonderful in itself.

Any other fun facts about yourself?
Im a mama bear to two small humans! Outside of work and derby they consume me and I wouldn’t have it any other way. <3<3

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