2012

December 2012 Skater of the Month

PHILLY SLEAZESTEAK
#215

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It took me a long time to find confidence in my physical appearance, but never even contemplated my physical fitness and blatantly avoided it. As a proud fat kid who’d spent their entire life utterly repulsed by physical activities, it was a surprise to everyone when I joined a roller derby team. I think my mom said something along the lines of, “Wait – you’re playing a SPORT?” But the actual physical activity – the workouts and skating both within and beyond practice – didn’t turn out to be my biggest struggle. Even a healthier diet was surprisingly easy to adapt for a sugar and carb addict. No, my biggest struggle thus far has been the constant self-doubting of what my body can do. If I’m not yelling from the sidelines, then I’m yelling at myself in my head. “YOU SUCK! AND YOU’RE SO SLOW AND – OW, NOW MY BACK HURTS – okay, stretched it out, everything’s good… JK YOU STILL SUCK!! WHY CAN’T YOU GO ANY FASTER?!?!?!!” Beyond the fact that my inner monologue speaks in all caps, that whole “being stuck in my head” thing is really annoying. To be honest, I’ve been feeling pretty crappy lately, like I’ve reached a plateau in my progression, and that asshole inside my head only gets worse.
 
Then I took the WFTDA Skills Test for the second time… and I failed, just as I expected to. Begging for warmth between a blanket and a hug from Maully, I awaited a sure-to-be long list of everything I screwed up. But then Coach Dad, who hadn’t even been judging me, came over to discuss my failure. He told me the few skills I’d failed were actually easy to improve, and the improvements I’d already made were pretty amazing. Sure, I may not have made 25 in 5, but I almost made 21, compared to the measly 16 I could hardly reach just a few weeks before… and this time I didn’t have an asthma attack! He told me how proud that he and the rest of the training team are, and that the only thing in my way was myself. “It’s all in here,” he said as he pointed to his mind, “Once you conquer that, you’ll be unstoppable.” I don’t know how you did it, Dad, but you convinced this failure that she may actually become a success. 
 
This month, my new skater goal isn’t to perfect my transitions or to attain lead jammer just once – my goal for this month is to trust my body and its strength; to believe in myself because for some strange reason all you whackos believe in me. I would have never acknowledged this or trusted that I had the ability to attain my new goal before today, but knowing I have endless support, encouragement, and love from my coaches and team, I’m finally confident in one thing – that I won’t let you down. 

October 2012 Skater of the Month

MINI-SOTA POP
#-828°

October seems to be a special month for me, especially after receiving this amazing honor.  All my life I wanted to accomplish something great but with the semi-lackadaisical mentality I grew up having I never really put 100% into anything.  I moved to California from Minnesota in October of 2000.   I received a party invite from the wife of one of my acting friends; you all know her as our amazing teammate, FishBlockHer. She invited me to her birthday party at Skateland.  I couldn’t skate very well but it was all about the experience and it was awesome.  January 2012 – Dave (Mr. Pop) went to our dentist and brought home the SFVRD flyer he found at the front desk.  I contacted Fish and told her that the team was actively recruiting.   I probably wouldn’t have stuck with it if it weren’t for her encouragement (still to this day).  The first few practices I went through my usual, Do I want to commit to this What do I want out of this? Why am I doing this?  At my second practice, during a drill while not paying attention, Killo literally shoved me into the jammer.  We both went flying out of bounds.  She skated over to me as I was getting up and said, How did that feel?”  I told her, Not too bad”. She said, Good and you hit the jammer out, good job!”  That changed my perspective on any of my future practices. 
 
Now that I was at each and every practice I needed a name.  Have you seen the movie Fargo? My name is derived from how Northern Minnesotans say our state, Mini-sota. Pop is my ultimate goal as a blocker.  I want to become a solid hard hitting blocker that will essentially “Pop” the opposing blockers or jammer out of bounds when they least expect it!  My number is Mr. Pop’s birthday as he has been my biggest fan and my ultimate inspiration.

September 2012 Skater of the Month

ROSWELL CRASH
#1947

 
Photo by Tough Girls on Eight Wheels

Photo by Tough Girls on Eight Wheels

Skater of the month?!?  Neat!  My Dad said to me a few months back during one of our many roller derby focused conversations, “You’ll get skater of the month one day.  Eventually they’ll run out girls to give it to.”  He was joking of course.  My folks are actually my biggest supporters.  I initially began skating with the now-disbanded Florida Roller Girls in 2008.  After a really rough year, which left me weak physically and emotionally, my mom suggested I find a hobby to get myself out of the house.  She suggested yoga.  I found roller derby.  My dad is the one who actually named me “Roswell Crash.”  My dad was stationed at Walker Air Force Base in the early ‘60s in Roswell, New Mexico, and now currently resides in Jupiter, Florida. So that with my obsession with all things alien, Roswell seemed fitting.


There’s a saying within the community, “Roller derby saved my life.”  It did just that.  Even just being a freshie for a few months in Orlando gave me the strength and courage needed to make the move to Los Angeles.  After three years of living without insurance rendering me inactive on wheels, I was able to join the Angel City Derby Girls and skated with them for a year.  While ACDG is a fantastic league, I finally feel like I found my home and second family with San Fernando Valley Roller Derby.  I’ve been with SFVRD since February of this year and couldn’t be happier.  Now a hefty amount phone conversations with my parents consist of, “How many points did you score at your last game?  Are you playing in the next one?  Oh, don’t worry about being benched.  You keep at it, and you’ll earn your place.”  I forwarded my mom the email of the roster for the September 8th home game with my name on the bottom of the list, “Sub: Roswell Crash – #1947.”  She immediately replied with an enthusiastic, “Woohoooo!!!”  So thank you SFVRD for taking this oddball in with open arms.  A million thank yous to my dad and mom, the High Commander and the Mothership.

August 2012 Skater of the Month

ATOMIC LASS
#u238

I first started “skating” back in January. Skating in quotations because it was more like awkwardly propelling oneself forward and then falling really, really big. I think it took a month or two to actually start skating. My name is a play on “atomic mass” (in that I-switched-out-the -M’-for-a-’L’-kinda-way; my wit is astounding) and my number is the weight of the uranium used as tamper material in atomic bombs. I adore roller derby; and I can honestly say being a part of SFVRD has changed my life in such a positive way that it would be a disservice not to give it my all.  I really feel at home, on the track, with SFV.  When I’m not derby-ing, you can find me trolling my cats, trolling my roommate, trolling my teammates, not being funny (but I try really hard – I promise), reading, baking vegan goodies, dreaming about Carl Sagan, and not making any sense. Recently, I got accepted to USC as an Economics/Math major so I’ve been practicing my heckling on various Bruins teammates because that’s what you’re supposed to do, right?  (UCLA doesn’t have a horse!  )   My main goal in derby is to help take our league as far as it can go which means being an asset. Thus, I love playing ALL the positions (that’s what she said)!  However, I am partial to pivoting. What can I say? I like telling people what to do. Sometimes I’m even right about it!

July 2012 Skater of the Month

HEBREW-HAM LINCOLN
#56

I started skating a little over 3 months ago. Before then I had not been on skates since I was about 6. The amazing training team and other players have been amazing in teaching me the ways of roller derby and I cannot wait for my body to start to listen to my brain while on skates. I really enjoy jamming (although that might be because I am still working on understanding strategy better, so with jamming I know exactly what I need to be doing). Honestly though, I just love skating and being with the team learning. I started roller derby because I needed some sort of exercise in my life, and the gym wasn’t cutting it. Now I practice a ton so I can pass my WFTDA’s and start to help my team by playing in games. I’ve played a few sports off and on, but nothing real until derby. My parents are really enjoying cheering me on, which is one of my favorite parts. One of my favorite things about this league is how fast they allow you to be part of it. I jumped in and was welcomed with open arms, and even blog once a month for our blog which has been really rewarding. I had been searching a long time to find my “place” and I know I found it here. The people are amazing and I am just grateful to get to tie my skates on each practice!

June 2012 Skater of the Month

FISHBLOCKHER
#18

Photo by jmivphotography

Photo by jmivphotography

What does your name mean? 
The meaning of my name is obscure and most people will not get it unless they ask me, but here it is… My name, FishBlockHer, is a play on my birth name of Fishbaugher (pronounced Fish-bock-er).  When I was younger I always went by the name of Fish and so it is nice to be called Fish again.

What position in Derby do you like to play?
I have a desire to be both a jammer and a blocker.  I really like both positions.  I think jamming is great because it is so focused on doing what is necessary to get through the pack.  However, very recently something clicked in my head and I have a new found appreciation for blocking, I really love the strategy that is involved with it and I am really working hard at wrapping my head around the derby blocking game.

How long have you been skating?
I started skating on January 24th with Mini-Sota Pop. Before that, I skated when I was a kid and, for kicks, I had a roller skating birthday party last year.

Do you have other hobbies or play other sports?
I currently play on 2 softball teams.  I am very active in outdoor sports including fly fishing, shooting, mountain biking, hiking, and camping.

What are some of your goals for roller derby?
Set aside more time for watching more derby as there is so much to be learned from watching others compete.  Continue working on my basic skills, especially my transitions. :) And of course I want to be the best asset to the league that I can be.  I couldn’t be more ecstatic to be skating with SFV.  I wanted to train with another league a couple of years ago but the training would not fit into my schedule. In a way I am glad that it didn’t work out as I may have missed something really incredible by not being part of the SFV family.  This league is incredible and I am so jazzed to be part of it.

May 2012 Skater of the Month

BELLE MASTIFF
#K-9

Photo by ConJobb Photos

Photo by ConJobb Photos

I am so appreciative to have been named skater of the month at SFV. I put on skates for the first time about 8 months ago. I could barely stand up in them, let alone skate. While it’s always been important for me to stay in shape, I’d never considered myself an athlete. It was scary. But everyone I met who talked about roller derby talked about it with such all-consuming passion, I had to figure out what it was all about. It turns out there’s something about the combination of the physical and emotional closeness between you and the other players, along with the way derby rewards you for doing so many somewhat conflicting things at once (like thinking both offensively and defensively simultaneously, and looking at things from a wide and narrow perspective at the same time). I don’t argue with people who say derby is more of a way of life than a sport…and I’m so happy to be a part of it!

February 2012 Skater of the Month

LA RENARDE
#411

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I've always like roller derby and wanted to play, but the time was never right, until I saw Killo at the Sherman Oaks Street Fair. The helmet on the floor that said "Irish Whipskey" sold me. I like playing roller derby because it's a fun, physical sport, and there is always room to improve and get better. Also, I get to show my cool bruises to family and friends and get bragging rights. Also, girl power!