How did you get into derby?
It’s a long story, kind of, but basically I took a year off of competitive sports my sophomore year of college after skating with the OSU Women’s Club Hockey Team my freshman year, and relapsed really badly with eating disorder and mental health stuff. I have always played competitive sports and been on teams, and that was the first year of my life that I can remember that I didn’t have a team keeping me accountable. It was a really bad year. As I was fighting my way out of that bad place, tooth and nail, I happened upon roller derby and decided to go out for a Wanna-Be Clinic. A handful of folks encouraged me to attend tryouts for the actual team a mere two months later (shout out to Kenny Phixer for lighting that fire under my ass). I didn’t really feel like I had any place being at those tryouts because I had seen one roller derby game and I didn’t know any of the rules, but I made the team (thank the Universe for 15+ years of skating experience) and the rest is history.
What is the story behind your derby name?
I was doing a fair amount of environmental activism at the time of my derby birth.
I’m not involved with that work anymore on any grand scale, but I think that we can all be activists in our lives, if we choose to live intentionally and live our truths. I think activism comes in a lot of forms.
I needed some time to get back to myself and heal and do some self-work, but I am getting back into activism these days from a human rights angle and it’s felt really good.
What is your favorite position to play on the track?
I was going to instinctually say “jammer”, because that’s what I do. But I wish you could all feel the sheer elation that I get when coach hands me a pivot panty and lets me block.
Any honors you have received while being with OHRG?
I’ve gotten a handful of very nice awards. The one that really meant a lot to me was the “Great Motivator” at last season’s awards banquet.
How do you prepare for a bout?
For the two days before the bout I really tighten up my food intake and water intake (at least a gallon a day). I always have to have my ipod and I have to be able to have time and space to myself before a game to get focused and get myself pumped. I’m finally at a really good place with my mental game, so I just kind of suit up mentally, the hour or two before we start doing warm-up stuff, in a way where I can go into the game thinking “This is going to rule. No matter what happens, I’ll do my best and I’ll learn. I’ll skate hard and I’ll have fun.” That kind of attitude is really important to me.
Do you have any signature moves?
Not really. I spin a lot.
Do you have any hobbies?
I play a lot of music. Mostly on my own, but I’m also in the hardcore band of my teenage dreams called, Teenage Strangers. And I recently got asked to play a solo show featuring some of the stuff I’ve written recently, so that will be a thing, even if it’s short term.
I like to skate aggressive quad/vert and do that with teammates on occasion when we haven’t just played 6 games in 3 weekends.
I don’t know that I’d consider it a hobby, because I schedule my training stuff according to derby season and peak performance goals, but I am also a gym rat.
Rumor has it that you have a pretty sweet skate shop? What is that like for you?
The rumors are true. I opened Next Level Skate Shop back in November of 2014. I wanted a way to be able to just have all derby all the time and have more flexibility for my derby travel, travel training, and league jobs. Turns out owning a business takes a lot of time and attention. Haha. I love it, though. It feels like a really important resource and a way to hold space for a community that has given me so much. It’s a way that I can give back and offer resources to my league and the derby community at large. Plus it’s been really fun working with junior derby players and their families and seeing how recreational quad skating seems to be growing in Columbus.
Is there any derby gear that you can’t live without?
My 1st generation Antik AR-1 boots. I have yet to find another skate boot that comes anywhere close to being as awesome. The new Antik AR-1s are a very close second. I also went Arius (powerdyne plate), and I don’t expect to ever go back to anything else. Annnnd my Reckless Morph wheels are pretty much the best wheel I’ve ever been on and I don’t intend to ever roll on anything else.
What is your favorite color?
Purple. Most definitely.
Lastly, what is some advice for those that are interested in skating or trying out?
I hear a lot of people say, “I can’t even skate” or “I’m not tough enough”. I guess I can understand why it would be scary and intimidating to try something new, but also, either you want it or you don’t, as with all things in life. Make space for yourself. Make space for trying new things. Make space for making mistakes and looking like a ding dong. The worst thing that happens is you end up with a good story to tell your friends about how you went to a Wanna-Be clinic (or an open skate, or whatever) and you fell down a lot. Hopefully you can learn to laugh about that stuff. ‘Cause fallin’ down is a part of life, so you might as well.
Photographs by: Joe Mac
Article By: BerMurder Triangle