Featured Skater of the Month - February 2015
The Grimm Leapyr #2/29
Started Playing Derby: August 2013
Team: South Jersey Roller Derby Travel Team, Bruised Beauties
How did you choose your derby name & number?
My derby name comes from the fact that I am a leap year baby. I was trying to figure out my derby name almost immediately after I started training wheels and this name was suggested at the bar one night after practice. But, because of how indecisive I am, I kept trying to decide between that and about 5 other options I had for almost a year. I was finally forced to make a decision so I could register for MADE and this one made the cut. I am super happy I chose it because now I have all kinds of fun makeup I can do for games, oh and a cape!
What led you to roller derby?
I've always been a very active, very competitive type of person. I started playing tee ball at age 4 and played a sport pretty much every season from then until I graduated college in 2010. For the next 3 years I tried to stay active, going to the gym and running here and there, but it wasn't the same as being on a team and having that competitive atmosphere. I started trying to find teams to join with friends, indoor soccer, etc, but nothing worked out. Then I noticed roller derby getting a lot of attention in TV shows and I remembered watching Whip It in college and thinking that it looked like so much fun. So I started googling derby leagues near me and found SJ Derby. I am so happy that I semi-randomly found my way to roller derby.
What was your biggest hurdle when you first started derby?
The thing I struggled with most, and still do, is trying new things. I'm a bit of a perfectionist so I tend to over think things and get in my head when doing something I've never done before. Because of this a lot of times I would bail before really even trying a new skill. Luckily the vets were very good at explaining everything and were very supportive so I was able to get out of my head and just try. When I didn't do it perfectly the first time (which was always) they would help me figure out what went wrong and correct it til I was confident in what I was doing.
What does being a South Jersey Roller Derby member mean to you?
Go to the bar with your teammates after practice. I know this isn't the typical advice you'll get, but it is where you will really get to know the team. This is where you will really bond with people and make connections that make you want to keep coming back, even when you're discouraged with the skating. Plus after practice recovery food/drink is an important part of any workout.
What would you recommend for a new rookie joining the league?
To never say that you can't do something, everyone is capable of achieving their goals. Consistent practice is key. In the begining I would not miss a practice and even started showing up to the other teams practice just so that I can get in as much time as possible.
Don't be afraid to ask for help. I blew up Monster's phone with questions all the time, I swore she was going to get sick of me. Helping rookies helps give back what we all went thru at some point. I went into the locker room where all the vets were on my 3rd practice and asked if anyone was going to the bar after. I was new, no one knew who I was, but I didnt care. I wanted to show them that I was open to meeting new people, and that I wasn't intimidated by them (even though i was).
What is your derby goal?
My goal is to learn how to really play on the banked track. That track is part of what lured me into derby and I really want to conquer it. I've been on it a couple times already, but it still scares the hell out of me, even when I'm having the time of my life haha.
My other goal is to learn to get through the pack like Ed McMayhem, that squirly SOB. He makes dancing around people look effortless and that is definitely something I aspire to.
Any notes you'd like to share?
I'd like to thank everyone who has made my first year and a half of derby so memorable, which is pretty much everyone on the league. I'd also like to thank Mos Deathly for keeping the league running smoothly. Thanks to all the great coaches and vets who push us and make us better every practice. And finally I'd like to thank our fans who come out to our games and fundraisers, because without you we wouldn't be able to play the sport we love!
What is a fun fact about yourself?
Well my normal little known fact would be that I'm a leap year baby, but since that's printed all over my jerseys, I think the cats out of the bag haha. I will let everyone know that I have had 6 birthdays in my lifetime since I get asked that a lot (no I'm not 6 years old grrr), and no I do not have one this year haha.
My actual little known fact is that I love to sing, but am terrified of doing it in front of people, especially by myself. I did chorus for 8 years so I'm not sure why I get so nervous, but c'est la vie. I will do karaoke occasionally, but I need a few drinks in me first. Maybe sometime in the future I'll get up the courage to sing the national anthem with biPolar Bear or SJRD... maybe...