Skater/Ref Name: Punkd Pixie
(AKA): Pixie, Pix, Pixieloo
Q: You came on as a rookie in Season 2-Is there anything about derby that stands out in your mind as having changed since you first became part of BRRG?
Oh my, so many things have changed it might be easier to talk about what is still the same. When I joined the league we were still trying to decide if we were a league that wanted to do this for entertainment/skate for fun or if we were going to take this as a serious sport. I am so grateful for the skaters who pushed us to take this as a serious sport! I love the level of competition that decision brought the league. Watching other skaters strive to improve keeps me working harder and harder even after four seasons. We have some tough girls on this league!
Q: Is there anything you miss about those days, when derby wasn’t such a well-known sport?
Hmmm, I honestly can’t think of too many things. I’m so excited that derby across the world is blooming. I guess if there was one thing I miss it would have to be the personal interaction with the fans. I miss being able to meet all the new fans and chatting with them for a few minutes. So if you’re a new fan out there, come say Hi!
Q: What do you have to say to people that question the athleticism of modern derby?
Shut Up!! Just joking. I would love to have those people follow us to a practice to see how hard we skate, or how often the majority of the girls work out outside of practicing three plus time a week. We are constantly watching games on DNN (Derby News Network), reading articles, on chat boards with skaters from other leagues to learn new strategy, or trying to figure out just how to do a skill better to improve our game. So much of my derby time is focused on the athleticism of modern derby, if they knew they wouldn’t question it.
Q: Captaining the championship team must be quite a workload! How do you handle all of the different struggles?
It is very challenging but I love it! I was captain of the HazMat Crew when it first started, have been writing and running practices for a few years, and usually always help at the Fresh Meat practices, training the new recruits. All these experiences have helped get me ready to captain the Pin-Ups. We have six new rookies on our team out of 15 skaters! You have to be able to see what’s working/not working for not only your team but individual skaters, too. Everyone learns in different ways so you have to come from multiple angles when trying to coach, but I’m having a good time with the challenge.
Q: It’s pretty epic when all of your fans show up to create the sea of green and polka-dots at the Wolstein center though, right?
Oi! It was crazy! I remember skating out and looking around going “Whoa…. every one’s in green!” When you know you have fans out there, the energy they help you create is amazing. The awesome thing is this is a new season with new skaters so who knows what colors the stands will be painted with this year (but I’m working hard to see green again.)
Q: What was it like for your team to win the Hazard Cup in Season 4?
We had such a hard Season 3 only skating with nine players one game due to injures, etc., and we ended up in last place. I think we all came back hungry for a victory! When that last whistle blew in the final jam last July I just stood there with my hand over my mouth… I couldn’t believe we did it!! We were all very proud of each other for coming together as team, which is really important I think. We can honestly say there wasn’t one or two skaters who won that game for us, we all played our best together, and it showed. I think all of the BRRG teams work really hard to be their best.
Q: What has been your most humbling moment in derby, so far?
It would have to be when my fellow BRRG league mates picked me up on their shoulders after we won the Championship. I was so overwhelmed that they were that proud of me. I’ll never forget that moment.
Q: What is your favorite drill?
My favorite drill is probably the Windy City hitting drill or maybe The Gauntlet. The WC hitting drill was develop by the Chicago derby league. Skaters are in a single-file line, the last skater in line skates forward touches the inside of the track and winds up to hit the next skater in line as hard as she can. It really teaches you how to use powerful hits with your core. The Gauntlet is two single file lines (one on by the inside line of the track one by the outside) you start from the back, skate forward and just start hitting skaters as hard as you can while skating forward. I guess I just like to hit people.
Q: After all these years, does anyone still intimidate you on the track?
There are a few girls that stand out but I won’t name names. I think when you’re skating you have to put all thoughts of who is tough out of your head. To be a good jammer you need to be fearless and take risks on the track you can’t let yourself be intimidated.
Q: Tell us about your off-skates work-out regimen.
My goal every week (and yes I keep a chart on my wall like a dork) is to skate at practice three times a week. Beyond that at least twice a week I bike (stationary) 1/2 a mile, run 2+ miles, and do a set rep of arm weights, abs workout about 15 minutes, plyometic exercises 15 minutes. The whole thing takes about 1 1/2 hours. At least one day a week I try to do a not-so intense smaller workout around 30-45 minutes of something fun like jump rope intervals, using a stability ball, or I find and try out new workouts online to see if there is something I should be adding to my normal routine. So I skate three times and work out three times. I love pushing myself to get better.
Q: What has been your biggest challenge in derby so far?
I would say trying to teach myself how to be a jammer. When I first started skating my desire was to only be a blocker, a great blocker, but I never saw myself as a jammer. However, by the time Season 3 (my second year skating) came around the Pin-Ups were short handed. Eva was captain at the time, she came to me and said “Pix we need you to jam. It’s gonna be me and you jamming every other jam.” I was like, OK I better learn how to do this thing.
Q: Any words of advice for someone considering trying-out for BRRG?
JUST DO IT! It is one of the most rewarding and challenging experiences in my life. Two things to start doing now — 1) Get into a weekly cardio/strength training workout. 2) Go to as many open skates/Wreck derby days as you can. The more familiar you are on your skates the faster you’ll be able to learn the game and not worry about just moving your feet.
Q: Tell our fans: 1 fun fact about you
I love hot dogs! I usually get a hot dog and a beer after every derby bout. I even have a hot dog sticker on the back of my helmet. He has an eye patch and flame thrower too! The Diabolical Hot Dog is his official title.
Q: Do you have a pre-bout routine or any bout day superstitions?
I definitely have a pre-bout routine. No red meat and start drinking a ton of water 3 days before a bout, night before I eat pasta and go to bed early, day of I wake up and eat oatmeal, 2 eggs, banana and I start doing what I call “derby zen” I think about what I’m going to do on the track, what I can say or do to help my teammates, and of course winning the bout. I clean my wheels, pack my bags, and arrive at the Wolstein early to eat a big salad with chicken and start pumping up the other Pin-Ups .We train all year to skate a few times, by bout day I am ready to play hard but have a ton of fun too!! Derby is a blast, skate hard! Have fun!!