Roller derby is the best team sport EVER! It is a sport that nearly anyone can do regardless of age, height, weight, or athletic experience. All you need is a can-do attitude, willingness to learn, hard-work ethic, desire for challenge, persistence, and to be a team-player. It is this that resonates with me.
A little more than 18 months ago, Retro Ruby took me to an ACDG game against Santa Cruz. This was my first experience with derby since watching it on TV in the early 70’s. (Yes, I am old enough to remember the original derby). We went to ACDG’s next game on September 17. It was during that game that I decided I wanted to try doing derby even though I had not been on skates since high school, over 30 years ago. The next day, I was at Moonlight with the intent to see if I could even stand on skates. After all, I wasn’t very good on wheels when I was younger. Four days later, September 22nd, I was at my first derby practice. I’ve been skating ever since and will continue to skate as long as I possibly can.
I really love being a blocker. It fits my personality of being a team player, always wanting to help, and wanting not to be the center of attention. I enjoy doing what I can to be a thorn in the other team’s side. I love keeping the opposing jammer in my cross-hairs and doing what is needed to prevent her from scoring. I also love being a jam assist because it means I am messing with the other team and creating a hole for my jammer to get through.
While my name is a play on words from the singer Shania Twain, it is not because I necessarily like her music. As a blocker, I believe my 2 primary goals are 1) “deny” the opposing jammer any ability to pass through our pack and 2) “deny” the other pack any ability to prevent our jammer from passing through their pack. My name is a constant reminder of my attitude toward the other team… “Deny-Ya, Deny-Ya, Deny-Ya, Deny-Ya!”. That is also why my name and number on my helmet are done as a brick wall. That is a constant reminder that I am a brick in our wall.
My primary derby goal is to be the best player I can be. I would really love to skate like some of our juniors. I envy their agility, their fearlessness, and level of comfort with which they skate. I have a long way to go and look forward to every challenge that lies before me making me a stronger more fluid skater.
In addition to derby, I love doing things that are hands-on and challenge my problem solving muscle. I also love playing tennis, playing with my 4 pups, and riding my motorcycle along the back roads. All of these things, including derby, allow me to get away from the stresses in life and give me the feeling of inner peace and accomplishment.