Featured Skater of the Month - September 2015
Madame Stitches #1137
Started Playing Derby: September 2010
Team: South Jersey Roller Derby Travel Team, Bruised Beauties
How did you choose your derby name & number?
When I joined derby I was really into sewing, and I speak french so I wanted to work that into my name somehow. A few weeks into my rookie program I still hadn't settled on anything. A reporter came to interview a few skaters and asked me what my name was. I panicked and said Madame Stitches. Five years later it's still my name.
What led you to roller derby?
I was trying to find a sense of community in my life. I tried a handful of different things but ultimately derby attracted me because it seemed like a place for misfits and weirdos.
What was your biggest hurdle when you first started derby?
Being really, really bad at it. The first time I took a 20 lap test it took me over 8 minutes to finish. I broke my tail bone the first time I scrimmaged. It took me months to learn how to do a cross over. I failed my rookie test the first time I took it, just failed it completely, and that was after three months of skating. I just....totally sucked.
What does being a South Jersey Roller Derby member mean to you?
Constantly trying to be well rounded as a member. It's not enough to be good at one position, it's not enough to just be a skater. There's always a need for refs, or fundraising, or training the new skaters. Balancing volunteering with skating is tricky sometimes, but I find when I help out behind the scenes it pays off on the track because it builds stronger relationships with the other skaters.
What would you recommend for a new rookie joining the league?
There is no shortcut, there is no magic wand. Practice, connect with your team mates, and try not to stress out too much if it doesn't come naturally. It's not good to take yourself too seriously when you're wearing roller skates.
What is your derby goal?
I want to be an asset to the team at Nationals this fall.
Any notes you'd like to share?
I'd like to thank the skaters that have helped me improve, particularly this past year. Your encouragement and support means a lot to me.
What is a fun fact about yourself?
I have tried answering this several times and I'm unable to come up with a satisfying answer. Sorry.