How did you get involved in roller derby?
Where I come from, roller derby is not a thing people know about. I first saw derby when I went watch a friend play in a bout here, in the Palouse. While seeing skaters bout, I wondered if I could still skate (I used to figure skate on quads) and told that to the friend I had gone watch play. She invited me to come to one of the practices, and 'just skate around to see if you still can skate'. While I was 'skating around', one of the skaters invited me to join the group, since I was already there. I told myself 'sure, just for this time'. Well, that obviously, and luckily, didn't work.
What was your "ah-ha!" moment - when you realized you wanted to stick with derby?
When I was invited to join the other skaters in my first unexpected practice, I completely fell in love with derby. I don't consider myself a super competitive person, but I do enjoy challenging myself. Derby was just perfect. It was such a balanced combination of game complexity, strategy, technical skills, creativity, athleticism, body awareness and social interactions, that I just couldn't not do it! I don't meditate, but I often think that derby is my meditation activity: when I play or practice, I have to empty my mind to be 100% present and aware, and to be able to have my body do what I train it to do. All that was already there in my first 'practice', and all that hooked me right the way. That, plus the fun!
What's your favorite thing to do on the track? (Like hits, particular defensive or offensive tactics, etc?)
When one-on-one, I really enjoy all those little escorts/drives and recycles. They are very 'democratic': with right form, anybody can do them. They are also very effective and kind of soul crushing for the jammer (sorry...). My heart gets also all happy when I'm part of a strong wall, with on point communication, and owning the jammer for years. But the top of the top is probably being able to sneak some unexpected offense and get our jammer out of the pack.
What is your skate gear of choice?
I skate on Riedells 265 and Rollerbones Turbo wheels (and getting an Arius Platinum plate very soon!). I wear 187 killer knee pads, 187 slim elbow pads and 187 wrist guards. I protect my brain and teeth with an S1 helmet and a SISU mouth guard.
What has been your favorite derby moment thus far?
Becoming aware and using our team power at the Spudtown championship game, in Boise.
What is your advice for brand new skaters trying our roller derby?
1- Feel and listen to your body.
2- Don't let your brain tell you that you can't and that you suck. That's never true.
3- Have fun!