How long have you been skating?
What is your favorite derby moment?
When my parents were able to make it to one of my bouts. My family lives 800 miles away, so I don’t get to see them as often as I like. It meant a lot to me that they were able to come out here and see me play – even though I was still pretty new, and even though my team got slaughtered. It was nice for them to see me doing what I love.
What is your pre-bout routine? Any rituals?
I always thoroughly clean my skates the night before. Day of, I triple check that I’ve packed everything in my gear bag, then listen to some catchy music that will get stuck in my head so I have something to sing to myself while skating to regulate my breathing. Otherwise, I try not to think about the fact that I’ll be bouting, so I don’t give myself the jitters.
What does your derby name mean?
My name is a nod to the reason I started derby: Hockey. I’d always wanted to play hockey, but women’s leagues tend to not allow checking, and derby is in some ways sort of like hockey without the puck. I’m named after my hometown NHL team. Brianna Ruins… B. Ruins… Bruins.
How important is derby in your life?
Derby is the most important thing behind my family, loved ones, and my dog. Derby gave me a league’s worth of friends in a new place where I didn’t know anyone. Through derby, I get to travel all over Ohio and the surrounding states, seeing places I would normally never go to. I get to meet tons of amazing people who all love the same thing I do, even if we’re incredibly different in other ways. I get a reason to take care of myself, to stay in shape, and work hard to improve myself. I’ve gained so much confidence over the years because of derby – if I can take relentless hits in the pack and still manage to find a hole to get out, I can do absolutely anything.
What advice would you give to someone looking to begin their roller derby career?
If you’re thinking you’re too [insert excuse here], you’re not. Roller derby is for everyone. Get yourself a pair of skates and give it a try. The worst thing that will happen is that you’ll fall in love with it and end up devoting your entire life to it.
Anything else we should know about you?
My hobbies include learning all the crafts (sewing, knitting, tatting, embroidery, bone carving, woodworking, jewelry making, etc.), learning to play all the musical instruments (piano, violin, cello, guitar, bass), and participating in/doing anything that falls into my lap and strikes my interest.