RCR spreads the derby gospel at MAF 25th Anniversary

Rose City Rollers skater Blox Mulder at the Multnomah Athletic Foundation 25th Anniversary Party

 

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The Multnomah Athletic Foundation turns 25 this year! To commemorate this anniversary, they have published a collection of stories of athletic inspiration, including a piece written by Rose City Rollers’ own Blox Mulder. Blox’s story details her journey overcoming serious physical challenges through learning to play roller derby, specifically with the help of her coach, Belle Starr.

Her inspirational story shares with the world a fact we all already know, that roller derby truly can save your soul. And that an amazing coach and mentor can motivate you to be your best.

Click to learn more about the Multnomah Athletic Foundation, they truly are a great organization. Not only did they include Blox’s story in their book, but Rose City Rollers was also a recipient of one of their Community Grants in 2015. We look forward to continuing to work with MAF in the future!

Season Opener Bout Summary

2016 promises great things for roller derby and the season opener for the current world champion Rose City Rollers’ home teams did not disappoint. The sold out double header had The Hangar packed with fans from all over the Portland metro area and beyond coming together for an exciting night of hard hitting action.

As the teams were announced, the Guns n Rollers coaches, Mater Mad and Mike Wade, looked extra cool in their rock n roll inspired looks for the night. Showing tattoos proudly and rocking their GnR shirts with their new logo by Brandt Nelson of Brandtx with perfectly faded jeans. Break Neck Betties coach Cadillac brought some classic Betties style with a flower in her hair, working black from head to toe and coach Uff-da brought the red out in style with her cable knit sweater. Together, they were the perfect representation of those Break Neck Betties colors. First to hit the track was a match up that brings me back to when I first fell in love with roller derby in 2007 and saw my first bout. The Break Neck Betties faced off against Guns n Rollers.

The first jam had the crowd screaming with excitement as Starta Ruckus, number 69, for the Break Neck Betties hit the jammer line with Luna, number 81, for the Guns n Rollers. When that whistle blew it was on and after 5 jams, the Break Neck Betties came out with a solid 31 points to the Guns n Rollers 11. The Betties dominated lead jammer status in the first half, taking us to 154 for the Betties and 84 for Guns n Rollers at half time.

After Life Time Bout Passes for amazing, long term volunteers and two VIP passes to the upcoming Guns n Rollers Headbangers Ball ( https://www.facebook.com/events/1124575834229363/) were handed out, we were ready to begin the second half.

Starta Ruckus returned to the jammer line for the Betties but this time faced off against Juke Nukem, number 30, for GnR. The first jam of the second period came to an end with Starta scoring 10 points and Juke with zero but this did not mean Guns n Rollers were out by any means. After 4 more jams, the score was a close 168 for the Betties and 124 to GnR.

In the end we wound up with the Break Neck Betties winning over the Guns N Rollers with a score of 240 to 202.

The action did not stop there. After a brief intermission, we moved onto the second bout of the night with the Heartless Heathers facing off against the High Rollers. With talk of last year’s season opener game in the air, people wondered how this would play out. Would the High Rollers take it again?

As a green and gold wearing Elvis took to the crowd to pump people up for the High Rollers, Mel Mangles, coach of the Heartless Heathers, kept her cool in a mind blowing outfit that could only be described as Nordic chic. Think Game of Thrones meets Norse goddess with faux fur and sparkle all around. The first whistle blows with Headache, number 71, on the jammer line for the Heartless Heathers and Avalanche, number K2, facing off. It was a quick jam with 4 points to the Heartless Heathers and zero for High Rollers. After 5 jams, the Heartless Heathers had the lead with 11 points to the High Rollers 3. By the 10th jam, Heartless Heathers had acquired lead jammer 70% of the time and scored 36 points to the High Rollers 15. At the end of jam 17, the scoreboard read Heartless Heathers 75, High Rollers 47 but in a few minutes, everything was going to change. Jam 18 started like any other, two jammers lined up (JamaFist for the Heartless Heathers and Avalanche for the High Rollers) and the whistle blew. In what felt like an instant, the jam was over and Avalanche had scored 24 points taking the Heartless Heathers lead down to just 5 points. This was the beginning of a very intense bout, with scores way too close to call.

Jam 22, with Screaming Beaver for the Heartless Heathers and Minstrel Psycho for the High Rollers, took us to a 1 point lead at one minute in, to a lead change by the time it was done! Minstrel Psycho scored a whopping 9 points in that jam bringing the score to 91 for the Heathers and 94 for the Rollers.

After one more jam, half time hit with the High Rollers keeping their new lead at 98 points to Heartless Heathers 94.

After throwing a ton of bread around… you think I am kidding? Check the pictures! Our lovely sponsor Franz supplied us with some delicious organic bread to toss to the crowd and it was an amazing display. Sadly, I wasn’t fast enough to get some but lucky for me, I can pick some up from this wonderful local baker at almost every store around. Ok, we toss wonderful bread and now we were ready to start the second half.

Athletes are back on the track and Roarshock Tess takes the jammer line for the Heathers against Avalanche for the High Rollers. After the whistle and a track cut penalty for Avalanche, and a full 30 seconds, Roarshock is called lead jammer and scores an impressive 8 points quickly to regain the lead for the Heartless Heathers.

Ten jams into the second half, the Heartless Heathers have held onto their lead with a score of 157 to the High Rollers 125 but we all know in derby, that can change at any time and change it did. In the middle of jam 14, we had a tie game for a few seconds but in the end, the High Rollers pulled it out for a lead change taking us to 162 for the Heathers and 165 for the rollers.

The next 11 jams had everyone on their edge of their seats. The High Rollers were determined to keep their lead and it showed. Jam 17 showed us how fast roller derby can be at times with the entire pack speeding around the track with the jammers, Minstrel Psycho for the High Rollers and Screaming Beaver for the Heathers, in a full out sprint to score points. Ending that jam with a score of 162 for the Heathers and 170 for the High Rollers.

In the end, it came down to the final jam. The Heartless Heathers put Headache back on for her 17th jam (anyone notice that? Headache is 71 and she did 17 jams? Palindrome!) and Bad Wolf represented the High Rollers also on for her 17th jam. With a score of 176 to 183, High Rollers in the lead, it was anyone’s game. Lead jammer status becomes critical to controlling the outcome. As the whistle blew, I was on the edge of my seat, screaming total nonsense as the pack began to block like nobody’s business. Lead jammer status goes to the Heathers and the excitement continues to build. Hits were coming and they were coming hard when suddenly, Bad Wolf gets called for a back block penalty and there is a 30 second power jam for the Heathers. This 30 seconds is the loudest it has been all night, everyone screaming, cheering on their friend, family member, maybe their fellow skater as each player on the track fights for their team. You can see the passion on their faces and feel it all around you. Suddenly, it looks as if Headache is going to call it off but she takes a look around and sees the score and the time left and pushes onward. That final push was everything the Heartless Heathers needed. Headache was able to pull out an outstanding 14 points to Bad Wolf’s 4 giving the Heathers a hard fought win of 190 to 189. What an unbelievable start to a new year and a new season of amazing Rose City Rollers bouts. If you didn’t make it out this time, make sure you come next time because what you will see, what you will feel and what you will be a part of is athleticism at its finest and community at its best. Thank you to everyone who made the start of the 2016 everything that it was. See you next bout!

Bout Summary by Jessica Mirch

RCR Announces new Mission Statement and Core Values

Announcing our updated mission statement and core values!

RCR has been around for more than 10 years, and naturally we’ve grown and changed along the way. It was time to re-evalute what we bring to the community, what drives us as an organization, and how we interact among ourselves. Without further ado, here’s our new mission statement and core values.

The RCR mission is to serve women and girls who want to play the team sport of roller derby, connect with an inclusive community, and realize their power both on skates and off.

And in a effort to bring our best self to the league and the broader community, we’ve adopted the following core values:

Play strong, train smart, and have fun.
Be welcoming and embrace differences.
Respect the game and each other.
Keep making it better.
Bring your best self and trust others to do the same.

Gold Star Volunteer award February 2015

And the February 2015 Volunteer Gold Star Award for Excellence goes to……drumroll please…. Doc Holliday! He puts in many volunteer hours reffing adult and junior bouts and scrimmages. He takes his reffing job seriously, but we see that he has an awesome sense of humor as well.  We asked him some questions and here are his answers:

Do you remember your first Rose  City Rollers bout? Where and when?
During RCR’s season 1 in 2006, I planned twice to attend a game, but I didn’t get my tickets early enough and they were sold  out 2-4 weeks in advance. In November,  I  happened to meet Psychotica who had just been drafted to the Heathers.  She mentioned that RCR was looking for refs and I should try it out. The first RCR game I saw was the Season 2 season opener when I was reffing in the middle of the track.

BoMref by Psychotica

Doc showing his fun side as OPR in the Brides of March bout.   Photo by Psychotica

Did you ever want to be a skater?
Many times. I went to the first few PMRD practices in an asphalt basketball court, but I’ve had my own small business since before derby and if I even sprain a finger it would shut down. That has kept me from doing anything beyond reffing and just a few pick-up scrimmages early on.
Why have you stayed involved with RCR?
Initially,  it was just something cool I could do on skates. I started outdoor skating 37 years ago. Within the first few months, though, I knew there was something unusual going on. There’s a very hard to explain or describe culture within roller derby, of support and inclusiveness, that is unlike anything else I have ever seen or heard about. The movie Brutal Beauty (available on Netflix and Amazon.com) and the short video that Cuss and and her crew released just before champs do the best job explaining it that I have yet seen. You can watch CopernaCuss’s video here: We Are the Wheels of Justice
Doc as Jam Ref

Photo by Skippy Steve

What was your favorite volunteer experience?
I went on a road trip to Vancouver B.C. with the Heathers in 2007 or 2008 which happened for no other reason than just to scrimmage and  hang out with the Terminal City league. I did a bunch of reffing and a bunch of impromptu bar tending that weekend.  It still stands out as my favorite derby experience ever.
What has being in RCR volunteer meant to you?
I’ve never done any other sports officiating before and have never been very interested in sports in general.  Reffing derby has taught me that I’ve been a rules nerd since birth. I get a lot of satisfaction in facilitating the environment in which a sports competition can take place: everyone knows the rules and they are implemented evenly and fairly.  Without that, any ‘sport’ is just a bunch of random people doing random things for no particular purpose. Also, when I try to imagine what I would be doing right now if derby never happened to exist when it did, I can’t help but think that my life would be be much more drab.
Do you have a favorite skater and/or official or a great derby crush?
Many and various over the years. That’s another aspect of the crucible of derby. People enter it from all areas and walks of life and it strips away all the clutter of the outside world and just leaves people who enjoy what they are doing for its own sake.  I’ve met and gotten to know so many people on a more basic level than I would normally know outside of a small circle of friends.  Scald Eagle is a fantastic human being.  Her amazing athleticism, goofiness, humility, and equal joy of being on the giving or receiving end of the biggest hits is a wonder to behold.
Doc 4 by Mika

Doc showing us one of his many fantastic skills. Photo by Mika

How has RCR changed since you began volunteering?
I joined RCR right around the time the league made a rule that skaters could not have a shot or three just before skating in a practice or a bout. It was very controversial. Now the Wheels of Justice train at an Olympic athlete’s level.
Is there anything RCR could do better for its volunteers?
Like everything in life, league appreciation of volunteers is cyclical. This is especially true for the refs. Everyone hates the ref at one point or another, right? At the moment we’re short on officials in all positions, so I think there’s more that can and should be done for volunteer recruitment and retention by the skaters, I’m just not sure what it is.



How does it feel to be a Gold Star Award for Excellence in Volunteering winner?
A little recognition and appreciation is always nice.
I don’t know. I’ve wondered the same thing. I don’t see myself stopping skating or moving anytime soon, so it seems likely I’d just keep reffing. I’ve come close to leaving RCR twice. There were two especially low points of skater-ref relations in the league that did drive a number of volunteers away permanently. I hung in there and things eventually turned around again.

Doc Holiday

Photo by Lucky Vantucky

Any suggestions for new volunteers or those considering volunteering with RCR?
Just try it. There’s no other sport or culture like roller derby. It’s an amazing phenomenon that’s much less common than a once-in-a-lifetime thing. It’s something you’ll be glad to remember, rather than hear stories about it years and decades from now about what you missed.
Final thoughts?
For any volunteers that have been at it a while and might be getting a bit burned out, go help out with a game for a smaller local league. I know, it doesn’t seem to make sense to be burned out and then do more, but trust me, it works. The energy in the smaller, newer leagues is more like RCR was in the early days. I find it refreshes me to be around that “OMG, OMG, OMG!! I GOT LEAD JAMMER!!!” mentality again.

The 2015 Rose City Rollers Home Season is Here!

 

And the 2015 Rose City Rollers Home Season is Here!

GNR 2015 season opener FunFrank

Betties 2015 season opener, photo by Regularman

GNR 2015 season opener FunFrank

GNR 2015 season opener, photo by FunFrank

Wow, it’s 2015 already and the new RCR home team season is upon us. Just in case you missed it (and we will forgive you if you did, but just this once!), the Season Opener on December 13th was an edge-of-your-seat, eye-popping, and spine-tingling event. The High Rollers gambled and won against the Heartless Heathers in the first bout, and the Break Neck Betties held a commanding lead in the race against the Guns N’ Rollers in the second.

High Rollers 2015 Season opener Regularman

High Rollers 2015 Season opener, photo by Regularman

Heartless Heathers 2015 season opener SkippySteve

Heartless Heathers 2015 season opener, photo by SkippySteve

 December also brought several exciting changes to our favorite home teams with the loss of some long-time skaters to retirement, the transfer of others to Travel Team only, and the gain of our newest Fresh Meat draftees. On Friday, December 5th, home teams gathered at the Oaks Park Hangar to welcome a total of 10 new skaters to their teams (including me!!!).

 Guns N’ Rollers: Juke Nukem, Raven Mad Mahony, and D. Molly Schur

GNR draft Dec 2014

Juke Nukem, Raven Mad Mahony, and D. Molly Schur on draft night

 

Heartless Heathers: Smalls, Ferret Bueller, and Wrathmatica.

HH Dec 2014 new drafts

New Heartless Heathers drafts: Smalls, Ferret Bueller, and Wrathmatica.

 

Break Neck Betties: Double DLuxxx,  IV Cardiattack,  Carrie Go Round, and Ms Spank

Betties draft Dec 2014

Some current Betties plus the new drafts on draft night

Once again, the High Rollers had no spots available and did not draft anyone. It will be interesting to see how this team plays this year with a solid, unchanging roster of players.

You can catch the next home team game on January 31st at 7pm when the Break Neck Betties take on the High Rollers. Also, on the 30th you can watch RCR Fresh Meat play the Gorge Roller Girls. Come see some of the newest draftees, and also future draftees prove they have what it takes. All in one amazing weekend! All the fun, all the excitement, and hopefully a few cat unitards. Yep, it’s roller derby.

(author mini bio: Carrie Go Round was recently drafted to the Break Neck Betties after an endless but extremely opportune year of training on Fresh Meat. The experience has been like a MasterCard commercial. )

 

RCR Draft Night: Spotlight Double DLuxxx

RCR Draft Night: Spotlight Double DLuxxx

DLuxxx photo by Regularman

DLuxxx photo by Regularman

One of our newest draftees, Double DLuxxx transferred here from Bend, Oregon. This strong and efficient blocker was smartly drafted by the Break Neck Betties.

How did you get your name? A friend’s boyfriend came up with my name.

What is your skating experience? I started skating January 2011 with Lava City Roller Dolls in Bend, OR. Before that, I hadn’t skated for 15 years.

What was the drafting process like? The drafting process was fun and nerve racking. There is a lot of uncertainty during the drafting process. Since I was a transfer skater, I didn’t get a chance to get to know the teams very well. I took the attitude of everything that happens is meant to be. The teams know what they are looking for.

 

DLuXXX

DLuXXX

Any advice to FM skaters or those thinking about trying out? My biggest tip to FM skaters is to stay positive. Attitude is everything. If you believe you can’t or you can do something, you’re right. Also push yourself and bring intensity to EVERY practice.

Who in derby has influenced/motivated you? There are so many skaters that motivate and influence me. There are a few on Betties alone! Licker’s quickness motivates me to get faster. Nutz and Ripley’s communication inspires me to talk more on the track. Hurls and Push’s smart game play motivates me to get better at strategy and be a more effective player.

How do you feel about being on a team or what are you most excited about for the upcoming season? I’m excited to learn how to work with my new teammates and play some kick ass derby. I’m a huge fan of Crossfit. The Betties have an awesome sponsorship with CrossFit Excellence that I get to use.

See if DLuxxx can help bring her team to victory on January 31st against the High Rollers. 7pm at the Hangar. Get your tickets now!

Interview by Carrie Go Round

-Gold Star volunteer for April, Agent Meow

Photo by Lucky Vantucky

April’s Gold Star for Excellence in Volunteering goes to DJ extrordinaire, Agent Meow!
Read on to learn a bit about Rose City’s resident mixmaster.

 

RCR: Do you remember your first Rose City Rollers bout? Where was it and when?

Agent Meow: I attended my first RCR bout as a fan in 2010. I crafted my first piece of propaganda for the Wheels of Justice (a black & white pegacorn in a stable with a skater) in November of 2011 and began DJing roller derby at the first hangar game of the 2012 season.


RCR
: Why have you stayed involved with RCR?

Meow: Because Rose City exemplifies a determined and progressive global community. It is a shining example if grass roots activism and volunteerism towards a positive and inclusive goal. RCR has helped to prove that flat track roller derby is not only a sport, but an evolved social movement. Anyone who truly realizes that is proud to be a small part, which is why our volunteer staff is so dedicated year after year. I am but a tiny part of this group.

Keary3-MasoniteBurn

Photo by Masonite Burn

RCR: What was your favorite volunteer experience?

Meow: Helping to form the Legion and the Rose City All-Stars Marketing & Art Team in 2012-2013 with Hari Kari, Miss Ann Cash, and Northern Lights Out. Since then, we’ve been able to craft an amazing, unified social media and merchandise eco-system for the Wheels of Justice. In recent years, the addition of Bashonista, Scylla Devourer, Hannah Jennings, and Coperna Cuss has give the Legion and the Rose City All-Stars a design and marketing skill set that I believe is unparalleled in the WFTDA.


RCR
: What has being an RCR volunteer meant to you?

Meow: It has meant assisting in a mission far greater than a single person or a team. Rose City is a flag-bearer for the sport of roller derby, so volunteering here means you are helping shovel coal into the very furnace that keeps us all moving. Or… wiring panels into a solar array or some other more eco-friendly Portland metaphor.


Keary4RCR
: Do you have a favorite skater/official/volunteer?

Meow: Hellslinger. Without her, I would not be here in the first place.


RCR
: How has RCR changed since you began volunteering?

Meow: There’s too much to mention here. I will say that no institution before has allowed me to combine every one of my artistic interests, my heart, and my mind, into one cause. Also, I’m generally a lot more tired and interested in eating hamburgers now.

WOJ Fights for the Hydra

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Today the Wheels of Justice take on Gotham Girls Roller Derby for the top honors in roller derby — the Hydra.

Don’t miss this historic event as WOJ displays their determination and skill while ending the recent domination of Gotham.

Come to the Hanger, log into into WFTDA.tv, or join the lucky members of RCR who spent their savings to go to Nashville!

500 strong, we are the Rose City Rollers and you are our All-Stars!

What do we want?

JUSTICE

When do we want it?

NOW

 

Here’s something to fill the time before the first whistle: We are Wheels of Justice

 

New Heathers Draft: Story Johnson

Lets meet another new draftee to the Heartless Heathers:
Name: Story
Photo by Regularman

Photo by Regularman

Derby Name (if you have one):
Haven’t decided yet, hoping for some help with that!
How did you first come to learn about derby?
My sister-in-law asked if my husband and I wanted to go to a bout.
What took you from fan to skater?
The moment I watched that bout. I remember sitting there and I couldn’t keep my eyes off of the game. I was falling in love.
My heart was pounding the entire game.  I turned to my husband and said: “I want to do this!” and he said: “So do it”. And of course I was like: “Do you think I can do it?” and he said: “I think you can do anything”.
What were your first experiences on skates?
I skated a tiny bit as a kid. But more recently, I took the Derby 101 class at Oaks Park. Ryan {my husband} went with me in support.
And oh man, it was hilarious. I was a baby deer. I left thinking how could I possible do this?! What have I gotten myself into?
Photo by Regularman

Photo by Regularman

Who helped you or influenced you the most during the early days? Once I signed up for the Wreckers program the first step is always Derby 101. And my first coach was Wrathmatica. I remember the moment I met her and I will never for the rest of my life forget her. She was kind and patient. She expected us to apply what we were learning and to push ourselves. That was something I was looking for. Feliz Brutality was another one of my coaches in 101, I admired {and still do} how freely she moved with her skates on. Roarshock Tess, and Winnie the Pow were two of my first Wreckers coaches. Their smiles, positive energy, and clear communication were so incredibly important to me. And Minstrel Psycho. My derby mama. She always believed in me, and never held back in telling me that.

When did you tryout for Fresh Meat?
It was December 19th 2013. It was the first Christmas I was celebrating and I knew if I made it it would be the BEST Christmas present!
What was your experience like on Fresh Meat?
It’s so hard to find the right words. I was told it would be this huge competition, no camaraderie, you’d be fighting for a spot on home teams, and it’s all about politics. I went into Fresh Meat with a sincere determination to fall in love with my FM team. I wanted to love these women and be loved by them. I wanted to make this the best experience of my life. And that’s exactly what happened. I let the negative thoughts of those people wash away, and I just skated and bonded with these women. And I love them all so much. They helped me be a better me.
Any advice you would give to skaters thinking of trying out for Fresh Meat? DO IT!!! Just go. Give it your all, and don’t let anyone shape your experience for you. You make it what you want it to be.
What was draft day like for you?
Before or after? HAHA! My husband was incredible at keeping me as calm as one can be in this situation. He helped me focus on the positives even if I wasn’t drafted. And then I met up with my girls for Sushi. Couldn’t really eat. But beer helped! Being with my meaties really helped the nerves. Until the phones started going off… I was the first one to receive the message and to the surprise of no one I balled like a baby.
What makes you most excited about the upcoming season?
Working as a team. I was raised in a very strict religious household, I was never allowed to play any sports or  be involved in extracurricular activities. So this has literally been a lifelong dream come true.
Who on your new team are you most excited to skate with?
Right, because I am going to pick one!! Each and every one of them has something to teach me, I just hope I have what they are looking for in a teammate, and something I can give them in return.
Photo by Regularman

Photo by Regularman

Anything else that you would like to say.
 I want to thank everyone who believed in me. Especially my husband. There were so many times that I wanted to stay home because I was tired, or because I missed spending time with him. And he knew the whole time that this was a dream of mine, and didn’t ever want to stand in the way of that. Without him I wouldn’t have made a home team. And that is something I am forever grateful for.

New Heathers Draft: Sui Jennaris

It’s time to get to know another member of the latest draft class.
Let me introduce Sui Jennaris.
Sui Jennaris, photo by Capn Harass

Sui Jennaris, photo by Cap’n Harass

How did you choose that name?

Oh Lord, it was a f**king epic struggle. I had lists upon lists.  I ended up going with that one because it ultimately felt the most right.

How did you first come to learn about derby?

When I first moved to Portland, I didn’t know a soul other than my roommates: Roller Eclipse and her girlfriend. They invited me to one of her bouts, which was my first introduction to derby.

What took you from fan to skater?

So when I went to that first bout of Eclipse’s, I was floored.  It was a dramatic come-from-behind victory from GNR.  I was over the moon.  Her girlfriend looked at me, pointed at the Wreckers slide on the screen, and said, “You know, they have a recreational league.”  And it was all downhill from there.

What were your first experiences on skates?

I went to an open skate at Oaks.  My tummy hurt from clenching it. “Woah woah woah!” was my main expression.

Who helped you or influenced you the most during the early days?

Tyger Bomb was a constant, no-BS voice of reason and support.  Roarshock Tess showed me how short, bespectacled redheads are naturally the awesomest at derby.  I watched Untamed Shrew a LOT, because she came from the same background as I did — figure skating.  Every time I watch her skate, I learn something new.  Mistress of the Knife was very helpful early on, and her technical skill is still an inspiration.  And Nacho Lucky Day was one I watched, and still watch, because she’s a super role model for quiet, calm brilliance on the track, not to mention how she teaches a master-class in plowing each time she stops.  Seriously.  Go watch Nacho plow.  I’ll wait.  …SEE WHAT I MEAN?!
When did you tryout for Fresh Meat?   April 5.

 

What was your experience like on Fresh Meat?   Equal parts wicked hard and super fun.

Sui Jennaris, photo by Masonite Burn

Sui Jennaris, photo by Masonite Burn

 

Any advice you would give to skaters thinking of trying out for Fresh Meat?

Go to Wreckers. Ask for the 50LK.  Build your endurance and skate, skate, skate.  Go to Open Scrimmages and jam, even though every single second will be hell on Earth.  Planks and squats are your friends — if you say that often enough, you’ll start to believe the lie.
But more important than any of that, in fact the most important thing, is GO TO ALL THE BOUTS.  Go to every single one that you can.  Watch and learn — do whatever you need to do to actually understand what’s going on.  Yes, you can watch footage, and that’s fine.   Mike Chexx is a f***ing amazing announcer (it’s a GD shame that he’s retiring), and you can learn a ton from his commentary.  But actually going to the bouts allows you to be in the crowd and hear, um, other opinions.  Maybe you agree, maybe you don’t, but decide in either case — think critically about what you’re watching.  Or don’t do that, and do something else — but learn to comprehend and appreciate what’s going on.  LEARN DERBY.

What was draft day like for you?

Nerve-wracking.  I had a chem exam that same Friday, and I’d needed to study/prepare for it all week.  Because I had to focus on that other thing, I couldn’t freak out about the draft as much as I probably would’ve otherwise.  A blessing in disguise, really.  But seriously, my levels of denial and avoidance were so profound as to be borderline magical thinking.  When the chem exam was done (ugh, 83), I didn’t have an excuse anymore.  I was so nervous.  I was basically useless for the rest of the day.  We all went out to sushi together and tried to eat and have fun while we all compulsively clock-watched and checked our phones.  Then the texts started to come in.  When I got mine…is there a word for relief/terror/excitement?

What makes you most excited about the upcoming season?

I’m ready for the next challenge, the next level of play and new obstacles.  Higher expectations.  I’m ready, and I’m determined to skate better than I ever have before.  I’m super honored and privileged to be joining the Heathers on the track this season, and I’m excited to build trust and team identity with my new sisters.
…lol jk I’m just in it for the glitter helmet.

Who on your new team are you most excited to skate with?

I’m super mega ultra excited to skate with all my new Blue teammates, to build relationships and trust with them.  I can’t wait to absorb what they have to teach me.  I’m trying to be apolitical and not name names, but Knife’s an amazing skater and a fantastic coach, and I’m honored to have her instruction.

Anything else that you would like to say.

I would like to say HAAAIIIIII ALLLLTHHHHHEEEEAAAAA!!!! to the Heathers’ biggest fan.  *waves*  Also, this.