Featured Skater of the Month - November 2014
Lolli Popya #L1CK1T
Started Playing Derby: March 2012
Team: South Jersey Roller Derby Travel Team, Bruised Beauties
How did you choose your derby name & number?
I'm sure like most derby players, picking a derby name became an obsession (along with a mission for cute knee high socks). The first name I was initally going to go with was Diva Destruction. I thought that would have been a good fit for me, until I realized how common that name was. Lolli Popya did not originate from this mind, however. Andee War Doll actually suggested to me, and I loved it. Coincidentally, I had an obsession with lollipops in high school, so I went with it.
What led you to roller derby?
I had been to a few PJRD games when they used to be in Mt.Laurel to watch a friend play and loved the idea of skating, hot chicks, tattoos, bad ass names and fishnets. I wondered why I didnt join sooner. "Tough chick" was never how anyone would describe me and I wanted to feel like I had a little tough somewhere inside me. A few months later my friend Dorothy said she was going to orientation one night for a local league SJDG. So I quickly signed up and went with her a few nights later. Three months later she was gone, and I'm still here chugging along.
What was your biggest hurdle when you first started derby?
I thought because I already was comfortable on skates that things would be a little easier for me to start. WRONG. Hurdle #1 : my first practice where Capt. Dick had us do so many lunges that I literally could not sit down in a chair normally for 2 days. Hurdle #2: keeping up with the vets in a pace line and being able to breathe while still being a smoker. The 100 degree heat in the den in the summer didnt make it much easier. Finally Hurdle #3: I still suffer from PTSD from cone jumping. I knew when I fell something didnt seem right......Broken Tailbone.
What does being a South Jersey Derby member mean to you?
SJDG is such a amazing group of peole. I was always a little timid when it came to people that I didn't know. With this league, I felt so welcomed from the first day. Everyone was so eager to help in everyway. Friendships were formed that still continue to this day of skaters who play and ones that no longer skate. I never belonged to a team before, I was always a dancer and never really knew what it meant to work together. Having skaters believe in me when I didnt believe in myself helped changed the way I think, I skate, and the way I give them the same love and respect in return.
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 derby goal is just to be an all around good skater. I could never decide if I wanted to be a really strong blocker and concentrate on hard hitting, or If I wanted to be a fast jammer and work on my endurance. I decided that I would rather be comfortable with doing both. Yes, I pass the panty off sometimes, but that's because I still stuggle with my confidence at times. MVP of a game would always be a good goal to aim for......though a few know that my Derby Goal is "best dressed" -- I just have to work on more #selfies.
Any notes you'd like to share?
Thank you to everyone who has helped me believe in myself. Liz for all of my rookie training, and continued laughs over the years on and off the track. McSlamHer for my very first time playing the Betties, the first whistle, and BAM, down I go before I even start. Puma for the positive attitude which goes on for miles. Perna's butt who is a runner up behind Penny's, Burton's stride which I would follow and hope to replicate, Moe's dedication for keeping the league going thru many of our transitions, and for Monster, Squeezly, Daytona who I miss at practice all of the time.
What is a fun fact about yourself?
Fun Fact: most of you know that I am engaged to Penny Fastlane, but what you may not know is how this happened. I started small talk with her on the track, had beers after practice and talked about Suzy Hotrod. I knew I wanted to be her Derby wife, so we went out with two other derby girls dancing, and were instantly attached at the hip. Kelli left a relationship of 7 years and myself a relationship of 3 years, and this ALL transpired within only 2 weeks. We both followed a gut feeling and went with it. She is my Derby Wife, my best friend, my biggest supporter of derby (except on game days when we are opponents) and my soon to be Wife. She is truely my biggest assest that I have received from Roller Derby!!