Why do I love to play roller derby?
Derby is my stress relief. When I play, everything else goes away. It has helped get me through a crazy couple of years – my mom had a heart attack, my dad died unexpectedly, I had a cancer scare, and finally, I got the courage to leave a career I hated. When I started practicing with a new league this year, the comment I heard was, “Who is she? We love having her here because she always has a smile on her face!”. Derby has helped me find my true calling. I want to be fit and help others be fit. So last fall I decided to become a personal trainer/strength and conditioning coach. I’m currently going to school in Portland, Oregon, and will graduate in June 2012.
I know some girls hate the movie, but yes, I was turned on to roller derby by “Whip It”. I love that movie. Not so much for the roller derby in it, but for the moral of the story – figure out what you love and go for it, no matter what anyone else thinks. I want to help derby leagues (especially new ones!) create injury prevention programs. We participate in a sport that some don’t want to see as a “sport”. Many of our newbies were never athletic, never played sports – like me! We can’t take these girls and “whip them into shape” without taking this into consideration, especially in smaller leagues where everyone gets to play, and the definition of “minimum skills” is very different from a more established, larger league. I want to ensure that these girls have a positive introduction to our sport and don’t get hurt in the process. I love introducing women to this sport, and want to help do it in a way that makes them healthier, not broken.
This season, derby has come full circle for me. Thanks to my new career focus and better fitness, I am more focused when I play derby. As a lifelong skater, the minimum skills were not a challenge for me. Pulling them all together with strategy and consistency was my struggle. I finally feel like the pieces are falling into place, and played my best bout yet a couple weeks ago. I’m looking forward to starting my own derby business while maintaining my own fitness and helping others achieve theirs!