How are you feeling after your first season of roller derby? What was your favorite part of your rookie season? 

I feel FANTASTIC and I can’t wait for Black & Blue [our annual charity bout], and for the next season to start. I feel incredibly lucky to live in Cleveland and to have the opportunity to be part of such an amazing group of strong, uplifting, positive people. My favorite part of my rookie season was feeling like I’m part of something important. For so many people in the league, roller derby is home base. I’m honored to be part of that.

When did you start with Burning River, and what is your role in the League?

I started the BRRD Skater Tots program in September 2017, graduated in November 2017, and then started practicing with the league in January 2018. I am a skater for BRRD!

Did you have any experience with roller derby, roller skating, or any kind of sports before joining BRRD?

Roller derby is my first team sport AND my first contact sport. I was a competitive figure skater starting from a really young age. In a lot of ways, figure skating prepared me for roller derby- and in a lot of ways, NOTHING could have prepared me for roller derby!

Everyone has tough days when they are starting something new, especially something intense like roller derby. Did you have an AHA! moment during training that showed you that you could do this?

I had a few AHA moments, and almost all of them come from veteran skaters pointing out that I’d done something well. It can be hard to judge yourself when you’re trying something new, especially if you have a perfectionist streak (which I do, so I’m hard on myself when I shouldn’t be). That validation from seasoned skaters is really great, because you know it’s true. I pay a lot of attention to what veteran skaters say to me, especially observations on my skating. They’ve seen it all and done it all before, so that advice is REALLY valuable!

What is one thing that surprised you about being a part of roller derby? 

The instant camaraderie is something that really surprised me about joining roller derby [BRRD]. There’s a connection between derby skaters that I’ve never experienced in any other sport.

It is Bout Day! What do you do to prep for the bout? Any pre-game routines?

On bout days, I drink LOTS of water, starting the night before. I get my jersey and derby socks/shorts together. I like to sleep in a little (bout days are long days!) and then walk my dogs around the block. I try to keep the day low-key before I leave for the venue, so usually I’ll clean or read or relax around the house before the skater carpool pickup. 

What is your favorite BRRD moment? 

My favorite BRRD moment is a tie between winning Full Contact Musical Chairs at our charity bout Black & Blue 2017, and watching my two amazing derby friends Right Hand Man and Maloik get engaged at the end of a co-ed bout to end the season. 

Why should people get involved in roller derby?

Roller derby is a world of instant friends, support, challenges, successes, etc. I couldn’t have imagined what a positive environment and energy that roller derby would bring into my life. It seems ironic, since roller derby is so physical and involves hitting, but it’s true!

What has roller derby done for you?

Roller derby is an amazing outlet physically and emotionally. On my most anxious and challenging days, derby practice is a light at the end of the tunnel. Even when I’m not in the mood to go to practice, I always make myself go and I have NEVER regretted it. Carpooling helps too, because it keeps friends accountable! For me, roller derby has shown me what I can do. I had never been hit before in any sport, and now I know I can take it. I had never gone roller skating before, and now I know I can do it. I truly thought my days of athleticism were over when I stopped figure skating, and now I feel like they’ve really just begun!