Featured Skater of the Month - Feb 2014
Walt Hitman #I-76
Started Playing Derby: October 2011
Team: Shove City, South Jersey Derby All-Stars
How did you choose your derby name & number?
Gingershred, my teammate/ animal lover/ derby husband/ awesome person, actually came up with my moniker. She knew I was a literature major in college, and that I was destined to be a blocker. I heard it, and I immediately knew it was perfect. Puma, another teammate/ animal lover/ unofficially derby secretary, came up with my number. I was originally 78 or something, and she suggested I-76 (the highway that leads to the Walt Whitman bridge).
TL;DR I was smart enough to listen to good suggestions from great teammates!
What led you to roller derby?
Two of my good friends from high school played for SJRD, Ed McMayhem and Punch Drunk Shove. They kept telling me I should check out a practice, so I did.
What was your biggest hurdle as a rookie?
I couldn’t skate! I hadn’t skated, in any fashion, in over ten years, and I had never once been in a set of quads. So, honestly just skating around in circles was a monumental feat for me.
What does being a South Jersey Derby member mean to you?
That’s a complicated question because it means so much. Derby as a sport is not only my physical outlet, but a mental one as well. It keeps me sane, by giving me something healthy to focus my energy on. But that really isn’t the question is it? Being a member of South Jersey Derby is kind of like having a surrogate family. The people I skate with are literally my roommates, my coworkers, and some of my best friends! I live, work, party, laugh, and cry with them. My teammates are a huge part of my world, and I can’t imagine not having them around!
What would you recommend for a new rookie joining the league?
Keep your feet in your skates. Skate as much as possible. Come to every practice you can make, go skate outdoors, go skate at rinks. I read somewhere that you are not a true expert at something until you have spent 10,000 hours doing it. That is 416.67 full days or 1.14 years of your feet in skates. Get to it!
One of many articles on the 10,000 hour rule (Click here to read this article - I chose the one from the New Yorker because it makes me look smarter):
If you’re not falling, you’re not trying!
Practice the fundamentals. No one is too good at skating to skip the basics.
What is your derby goal?
To continue improving my stride, and generally become a better skater. Maybe one day for funsies, I’ll shoot for a triple Salchow or something.
Any notes you'd like to share?
I’d like to thank all the people that work really hard to keep this league going through coaching, cupcakes, logistic support, MONEY, and positive attitudes.
A special shout out to my best friend & hetro -life- partner Ed McMayhem, for getting me into this, for spending countless hours teaching me how to skate, and for continuously helping me become a better skater.
What is a fun fact about yourself?
My most prized possession is a 3ft tall inflatable penguin signed by Chuck Palahniuk.