Posted on May 6th, 2013 by Tiara Misu
Position: Jammer, Blocker
Rookie Year: 2012
Queen City Cherry Bombs – 2013
Nightmares on Elm Street – 2012-2013
How did this career GIRL SCOUT find roller derby?
You found my secret identity! I first found out about roller derby from that reality TV show about the Texas Roller Girls. I saw that and I was inspired by the idea of an all-female sport, where you get to hit people, and have cool tattoos and piercings. When I was in college working at a skate shop, a derby girl came in and said I should try out, but at that time I wasn’t old enough. So I filled the gap of wanting to play a rough sport with rugby. When I moved back to New Hampshire, I decided I needed to find a community to be a part of. I like the fact that I can be the atypical Girl Scout, I have tattoos piercings, and I do weird things to my hair. The jump from Girl Scouts to derby made sense. At (Girl Scout) camp we have weird nicknames and wear knee high socks. It’s funny, I have quite a few friends from my Girl Scout world who have now started playing derby.
Last year you were on the Nightmares on Elm Street – a home team. Now you’re on a travel team, the Queen City Cherry Bombs AND the Nightmares. Give me some idea what it’s like to juggle two teams (practices, strategies, etc.)
It’s a lot to juggle, but I love playing for both teams. The Nightmares are such a driven team and I couldn’t wait to take that drive on the road. With the Cherry Bombs, I have the opportunity to skate against new people, some with strategies I haven’t seen. It keeps me on my toes and gives me new goals to work on. At first I was worried: What if the people on my travel team and not my home team learn how I skate and my moves? I didn’t know if they would be able to play against me better on the home teams. But again, it pushes me to learn more and skate better.
Do you find there’s a different “mindset” between a Home and a Travel Team?
Home team, it’s very much what strategy do we do to compete with the same people we see every week. On a travel team, it’s so many what ifs and how do they play. We go into each game with some sort of an idea, but it keeps you guessing. When it comes to a home team, you learn how your league mates skate, but even then it’s ever changing.
What is your strongest skill that you bring to derby?
I’m not afraid to take a hit. Lots of people see me as being small, and therefore going to get hurt. I have always been into rough sports and derby has been the perfect sport for me.
Where do you want to be next year? A couple years? What do you want to achieve derby-wise? Life-wise?
Loaded question! I plan on still playing derby; I have many years left in me. That’s the awesome thing about getting into derby at a young age, more years to play. I hope one day to make it to Regionals, or however we are doing it now. Life-wise, I plan on staying in the outdoor industry. I love to play outdoors when I’m not playing derby, so any job that lets me do that is where I want to be.
What your “greatest derby moment”?
Honestly just playing derby. I wasn’t sure how it would all work out, it’s not a cheap sport and it’s a huge time commitment. The day that I bought my skates before I was officially teamed, I thought to myself, OK there is no backing down now I have to make it.
I hear you have a favorite charity…St. Baldrick’s. Tell us about it.
Worldwide, 175,000 children are diagnosed with cancer each year. And in the U.S., more children die of childhood cancer than any other disease — more than AIDS, asthma, cystic fibrosis, congenital anomalies and diabetes combined. While some organizations spread their research dollar between adult and children’s cancers, every grant funded by the St. Baldrick’s Foundation is for childhood cancer research. St. Baldrick’s head-shaving events began as a challenge between businessmen and have grown from one event in 2000 to more than 1,300 events in 2012.
I was super excited when I heard ROC City Roller Derby was doing St. Baldrick’s, and all I could think about is NHRD should do it! Now it’s a reality! I have participated in St Baldrick’s twice (so far!) once in 2009 and again in 2010. The first year I raised $1,357, I hope to at least raise $1,000 this year. It’s an amazing charity to do, and it’s so different from other charities. The best part about it is having people ask “why are you bald?” It brings so much awareness to children’s cancer, and creates the perfect segue as to how they can help. So many people from our league have already signed up to join the battle against children’s cancer. I can’t wait to see all the bald derby girls. Bald is Beautiful!
You are an awesome player – and an even better person. Must be all that Girl Scout training. NHRD <3s you!
For more information on St. Baldrick’s, visit http://www.stbaldricks.org/.Posted in Featured Skaters, Nightmares on Elm Street, Queen City Cherry Bombs |No Comments
Posted on April 8th, 2013 by Tiara Misu
A lot of people don’t know all that goes on behind the scenes. There’s a great deal of organization, planning, preparing, practicing, score keeping, penalty tracking, jam timing, etc. Without the Refs and the Non Skating Officials (NSOs) it would just be some girls going around and around a track. I sat down with NHRD’s Head NSO Jitter Rox to talk derby.
What do you “get” out of participating in NHRD?
As someone who relocated to New England for a job, I got a family! I get to spend my free time with a diverse group of really cool people that understand me.
Not all NSOs want to be skaters — did you ever want to be a skater? Do you consider yourself more than “support staff”?
I never wanted to be a skater — I was only at an NHRD info session as moral support for one of my good friends (Jager Raider). I was shocked when Woody Yankabitch, the head ref at the time, told me I could get involved with derby without skating or competing. I was so excited! While I’ve never had the desire to be a skater, I do own skates, and encourage all girls that are still building their skills to NSO for a year. It’s a great way to learn the rules, get to know the skaters and understand strategy.
Any position / job you like doing better or worse than others?
I like all of the NSO jobs-they each have their own challenge, but it lets you understand derby a lot more once you get it!
I’ve been with the league since 2008 and with derby since 2007. I’ve seen derby grow so quickly in that time – especially our own league. How do you feel about being a part of NHRD – or do you feel more like a Universal Soldier as we often help out other leagues and teams?
I joined NHRD in 2009, the year we became a WFTDA apprentice league. As the first WFTDA league in New Hampshire, I think NHRD has a great balance of helping out the smaller leagues around us while focusing on ways to evolve as a league. For the officials, it’s great. We get opportunities weekly to officiate with different leagues throughout the area (last year, I drove about 11,000 to different bouts and tournaments). This lets us learn new methods and grow our experience for the bigger tournaments.
Would you consider switching to coaching or something else more closely working with the teams/skaters?
I really like being a Zebro! It’s the best team since we never lose!
“Briefly” explain the NSO/Ref testing and levels so that people understand we’re not just pulling penalties out of our butts! That we actually have training and rules and procedures.
My friends outside derby are always surprised by how many rules there are. “It’s that sport where girls in underpants beat each other up, right?” The rule book is 65 pages long. As it’s a sport that is still evolving, there are revisions that happen constantly. Officials not only need to know the rules, but also need to stay up with the WFTDA rules discussions, as there are changes throughout the season. There are five levels of certification for Non-Skating Officials. Certifications are reserved for the officials that WFTDA sees going beyond the standard expectations. To get certified, an official needs to pass a very tough rules test, have other leagues write evaluations and submit a packet to a committee that evaluates if you meet the criteria. It’s a big process, and we have to go through it every two years to keep the certifications active.
Thank you Jitter! A woman of great organizational skills and a fabulous SHOE wardrobe! We’d all just be making left hand turns without you!
If you would like information about becoming an NSO or a referee, please contact Jitter at firstname.lastname@example.org.Posted in Featured Skaters, Referee/NSO Crew |No Comments
Posted on March 10th, 2013 by Tiara Misu
Name: JADED FURY (aka FURY)
Team: SEABROOK MELTDOWNS
Skater Since: 2013 Season
You’re a “newbie” to derby and NHRD. How did you find out about us? What made you think “Derby? HELL YEAH!”?
I first heard of derby through a former co-worker and Ref for NHRD, One Fell Swoop. He would mention it a lot and kept nudging me to check out one of the scrimmages. I attended my first scrimmage at Roller Kingdom in Tyngsboro. He had introduced me to a couple of the girls. I watched as they geared up and played and was immediately hooked. I wanted to know everything about derby and my mind was definitely made up at that point that I was going to sign up for fresh meat.
Talk a little bit about the “fresh meat” experience and the process of “leveling up”? What was it like? What were you thinking? How many black and blues did you receive!
I attended two fresh meat boot camps where we were introduced to derby and some of the skaters that would be training us. Then I signed up for the fresh meat training, which was 3 months long, training 2 nights a week for 3 hours! The training consisted of basic stops and falls, how to skate properly in derby stance, and other skating drills. You have to pass two different assessments. The first is your level 1 which you need to pass in order to move on and be able to start contact/hitting. After that it went really fast, the trainers (who are all amazing and mostly on SFOD) were pushing us really hard and we were learning a lot of new skills, rules of the game, how to play, everything you need to be derby skater worthy. A lot of skaters from some of the other teams would come and watch or join in our training. They would team up with us, giving us pointers and some of their personal skating tips and tricks. I remember Boomie helping me finally get my transitions down and Bash always pushing me to better my plow stops until I finally got them down. The league was very welcoming and supportive. Then there was the level 2 nerve wracking final assessments! When you find out if all the hard work, pain and sweat, was enough to make it! I was very nervous because I was 1 of 2 girls that had no prior derby experience and I knew there were some skills I hadn’t conquered yet. Then after you pass the final assessments you hopefully get drafted to a home team.
It was very hard, probably one of the hardest things I have ever put my body through. Some of the things I would pick up quickly and some things I still needed a lot more practice. I definitely had my share of falls, stumbles, bruises, scratches, and fat lips, Oh ya and the burning thighs, back pain from derby stance, raw feet and occasional boob grab! The mental part for me was the worst. I found it hard to keep my skill level separate from my confidence. When I would do well on the track I would feel friggin awesome! When I didn’t do so well I would feel down and question my self-confidence. I tend to focus more on what I can’t do then what I can do. But I am now realizing it will all come in time and practice and am trying to just relax, push harder and enjoy it more. The best part of all of this is the amazing group of people “Derby Fam” that instantly become your friends, support you, have your back, and are there for you to remind you to get out of your head!
As a follow-up question, you are one of the “over 30″ skaters. What’s it like mentally and physically to skate against much younger girls?
Another thing I love about derby is it doesn’t have an age, shape or size. I skate with women of all ages, abilities and strengths. I skate with women both younger and older than me and when we are out there scrimmaging or bouting. My opponents don’t care how old I am and I don’t care how old they are…I’m still gonna hit them!
You’ve got kids, a husband, a job – and yet you still spend a large portion of your time on derby. How do you fit it all in?
Trying to balance everything together was very overwhelming at first and I am still trying to figure that out. During the day I work at Lightspeed Manufacturing in Haverhill, MA. My work schedule is pretty stable Monday-Friday. Then after work, due to my husband’s work schedule, I usually run around picking up the girls, making lunches, dinner, baths and then head to practice/scrimmage from 7-10 which is usually 2 times a week. I’ve also recently tied in working out 2-3 times a week also. Derby is a HUGE commitment! Most leagues are non-profit and run by the skaters and everyone is expected to chip in and help out. Besides the training, practices and scrimmages there is so much more. For example, planning and promoting bouts, fundraising, finding venues, selling merchandise, finding sponsors, running the website, designing the programs, planning events and after parties, selling tickets and helping to raise funds. These are just some of the responsibilities we all share. It helps if your family, husband, and employer are supportive. Both my girls love it and think it’s cool! My older daughter comes to a lot of my practices and scrimmages and she is hoping a junior league starts up so she can play derby also! We all go to family skate sessions. My husband helps me with adjusting and maintaining my skates. It is hard schedule wise with kids, but I am trying my best to figure it out and make it work.
Talk about your first time scrimmaging . What was it like? What was going through your head? How were you feeling?
The first couple of scrimmages has really been, and still are, a learning curve for me. In fresh meat they teach you all the skills and prepare you to be scrimmage ready. But, when you scrimmage you’re now working as a team, and interacting with other teammates of all different skill levels. I was anxious my first scrimmage with a team, because I felt the pressure to perform at a higher level and I didn’t want to fall short or let my teammates down. I’m still working on pack awareness, game strategies, and really fine tuning my skills. It’s very challenging, the practices and scrimmages are getting more intense, and the trainers keep setting the bar higher. I feel like if I’m able to walk the next day after practice then I didn’t practice hard enough.
You’re now officially a member of the Seabrook Meltdowns. What’s it like having a “home”? How are things gelling at the “Meltdowns”?
I Love My Team! I am so psyched to be on the Meltdowns. They have welcomed me with open arms and I feel part of a family as well as a team. I am very lucky to be skating on such an enthusiastic, hard-working, and fun-loving team!
Some skaters have certain positions they like to play or are stronger at. Have you found that you prefer being a blocker? A jammer? Are you just happy to take a hit from Vicious and still be standing?
Lol! I’ve yet to take a hit from Vicious and still be standing! But, happy I was able to get right back up. Right now I play blocker, but have scrimmaged playing all positions. For me, I’m comfortable playing blocker right now and still have a lot to learn and work on. Honestly, there is no better feeling than hitting your opponent out and I love getting hit too!
Where do you want to be in a year as far as NHRD is concerned?
I really want to work on my strength, skill and endurance and ultimately become a kick ass blocker! I’m looking forward to growing with this league and would like to eventually try out for one of the travel teams.
The derby name and number can be a very difficult process as it is something you become identified with. (I used to know everyone’s derby name and “real” name….notice I said “used to!” Now it’s derby names only!) What’s your name and number and how did you come up with it? Any relation to the “every day Jessica?”
Ahh yes! The Derby name! It’s definitely hard because a lot of names are taken or similar so you are limited and it forces you to really try to be creative. I ride ATV’s. Last summer I got a new sport quad and I named it Fury because it was fierce, mean looking and fast! Also because it reminded me of the Dragon Fury from the movie “How to train your Dragon”. Jaded to me is a strong word and I think we are all Jaded in our own way. Hence the name Jaded Fury. Or Fury for short. But everybody knows me as Jess from fresh meat, and I still answer to that..Lol. The number 8 was taken. So I added the 2 to it for my 2 girls. #82
Thanks Jess…..er, FURY! You’ve given us some really great insights into the fresh meat process and what goes into the making of a Derby Skater! I know you’ll have a long and successful career….the sky’s the limit baby!Posted in Featured Skaters, Seabrook Meltdowns, Uncategorized |2 Comments
Posted on February 1st, 2013 by Tiara Misu
Position: Jammer, Blocker
Rookie Year: 2010
Skate Free or Die All-Stars – 2011-2013
Seabrook Meltdowns – 2010-2011, 2013
Queen City Cherry Bombs – 2010
You came from an artistic skating background. Can you talk a little bit about that and how you made the transition to derby skates (and skating?) Artistic skating is as different from derby as can be. For those people out there that don’t know what it is, it’s basically ballroom dancing on skates [well the dance style of it – that’s what I did. There is also freestyle (jumps & spins) and figures (those big circles that are drawn in black on the floors of many skating rinks- you trace those)], and yes that comes with all the glitter and glamour and spray tan thrown in. I started skating at 5 years of age at a rink in Merrimack NH that was only 5 minutes from my parents’ house. I was introduced to the sport by two of my aunts who had artistic skated for years. I started in the tiny tot beginner classes on Saturday mornings with a bunch of other kids. I soon graduated to a different rink in Tyngsboro MA and private lessons. This continued for many more years when I finally ended my Artistic career skating at a rink in Milford MA and at that time I was 18 years old. By this age I had accomplished everything I had hoped I would in Artistic and so it was time for me to move on with my life and try a new path like Cosmetology school.
The Derby skates felt so strange in the beginning. With no ankle support and with out a tall heel I thought I would never be able to skate in them. When I first picked them up I attended a session on a Friday night at Roller Kingdom all by myself and just keep doing simple skating skills to get the feel of them. The biggest obstacle was actually the lower heel, I ended up loosing my balance and falling backwards several times. Then a few months later at a practice I thought it would be fun to bring in my Art skates and give those a try but when I put my feet in them they were the most uncomfortable things I’d worn in a long time. I didn’t even bother to lace them up. I grabbed my derby skates real quick and it felt like I was putting my favorite slippers on because they were so much more comfy, who knew.
The transition from Artistic skating to Derby Skating is anything but easy. I think it would have been a much smoother change if I had been a speed skater because of their posture and position they have to skate in or a roller hockey player that is used to being hit or checked. The only advantage to being an artistic skater is that I was comfortable on my skates, I had to learn to get low, I had to learn how to hit and be hit, I had to learn the game and all the rules. There were moments that I thought I would never be able to play this sport but I’ve put in the work and gotten better and my plan is to keep pushing myself to see what I can achieve.
I love being in the middle with the NSO’s and hearing people comment about your prowess on the track. Wasn’t there something about skating on one foot backwards? Do tell!! HaHa, Ok here’s the story… It was the last bout of the year for SFOD in 2012. We were in Maine playing a closed-door bout against their A team the Port Authorities. We as a team were really looking forward to this rematch because the last time we played them at home they beat us by only 17 Points and if we beat them this time it would possibly help us to move up in our WFTDA ranking for the quarter.
The moment you are talking about happened coming out of turn 2. I was jamming and one of their blockers (their last blocker I had to pass to get out of the pack) was coming from the inside to lay a big hit on me to try and make me go out of bounds. I ended up counter blocking but the momentum I had going took me a bit off balance and all I could do to stay up was spin on one foot and then I ended up skating backwards out of the pack. There are times that I will pull out anything I can from my past just so I don’t end up on the floor. I hate to fall and I’m no help to my team if I’m on the floor!!
You are a hair stylist by day and a derby queen by night…. Do you think dealing with the public on such a personal level has given you insights in dealing with so many women on a league? I don’t know if I’d call it insight but it has definitely helped me with picking my battles and communicating to get to the point of the problems or issues and to be able to come to a middle ground decision. When dealing with people, you have to remember that everyone has feelings, problems, and their own ideas about certain things and in life weather they are big or small, if you strive to treat each and every person you have to work with no matter if you agree on things or disagree, you should still always try to remember to show them kindness and respect because it makes for a happier easy working/life experience. There is something to be said about the “Golden Rule” It’s TRUE!!
Coaching the Meltdowns and being a prominent jammer for SFOD…the league has a lot of respect for you and it seems the feeling is mutual. Someone (Trina!) described you as a “positive force”. I love that! Thoughts? (Wow, what a way to make me blush;) It is true that I love this league very very much and I love the teams I’m involved with, I couldn’t imagine skating for anyone else. As for the “positive force”, all I can really say is that I do try to have a smile on my face when I show up for practice, leave my life problems at the door, try to attend as many league functions as possible despite my wonky work schedule and to always mind my manners at all Bouts weather they are at home or away. Please, don’t get me wrong I do have my moments of darkness and frustration but they are not often and thankfully over quick.
What would you like to accomplish (derby-wise or life wise!) in 2013? What are your goals? Derby-wise goals for 2013 are:
- To be drafted to SFOD again
- Become a more strategic jammer
- Get good enough to block in bouts on occasion
- Play in a regional tournament (this is a BIGGIE!!!)
- Play a clean game (NO trips to the box)
- Jam coach and help train the 2013 Seabrook Meltdowns
- Help the Meltdowns win the Kennedy cup!!
Life-wise I’m pretty content. I have a house to call home and my bills are paid mostly on time. I recently made a career move to a new salon that is exactly the type of salon I have always wanted to work at and I couldn’t ask for more supportive co-workers (They are planning to be at all our home games and are ready to be the loudest people in JFK).
However, I do have one main life goal that seems to never change, it’s something that lots of people struggle with so it’s nice to know I’m not alone. It is to find a way to eat healthier on a more consistent basis. I’m not talking about a diet I can stick to but more of an eating regiment that can work with a busy life style. I really like my fast food, sweets and coffee but if I can find a way to eat less amounts of these and incorporate more fruits and veggies, protein and water into my daily life (and not just for 2 weeks at a time) it will not only benefit me in derby but help me to continue to live a long and happy life with my husband and son.
Do you plan on continuing to coach the home team(s)? If so, what is the biggest skill/issue you would like develop? Why yes I do. I have been asked to come back as one of the trainers for the Seabrook Meltdowns and do plan on returning as their Jam coach. I am planning to and will happily be a part of this team as long as they will have me. The Meltdowns have a special place in my heart because it was the first team I was drafted to when I was a freshie with NHRD.
I am not totally sure of the skills we’ll need to work on quite yet. I’ll know more when we see the final roster and how the new team flows together but I can tell you that it’ll start with some team bonding and trust exercises. I can’t tell you any more or I’d have to kill ya- J/K.
And finally, who is your favorite Charmed One? That would be the oldest sister (in seasons 4-8) PIPER!! She is quite a role model for any woman. She’s strong, witty, powerful and most of all, loves her family and will do anything she can to make sure they are protected and safe. Plus, she can kick a** by freezing and blowing stuff up!! What’s not to love there?J
Scurrie was recently voted one of New England’s MVPs of Derby! Congrats Scurrie! Trina Trioxin was right…you are a POSITIVE FORCE that we are all better for knowing!Posted in Featured Skaters, Seabrook Meltdowns, Skate Free or Die All-Stars |No Comments
Posted on October 11th, 2012 by Tiara Misu
Position: Jammer, Blocker
Rookie Year: 2010
Teams: Queen City Cherry Bombs – 2011-2012
Granite Skate Troopers – 2010-2012
You seem like a very solid skater on the track – athletic for sure – what’s your sports background like? Did you do much skating prior to coming to NHRD? I strapped on my first set of ice skates when I was about 3 and my first set of roller skates when I was about 4. I lived in a neighborhood of all boys and we always had some kind of game going on. I played baseball and softball for the town and JV and Varsity softball in high school. I also ski, snowboard, run, hike, kayak, golf and mountain bike when I have a chance.
You play for the Bombs as well as the Troopers. What’s the biggest difference for you as a skater – if there are any – between playing for a home vs. a travel team? The intensity level is different between the two teams. I think playing on a home team is harder. On the Troopers you’re playing against league-mates and teammates. You get to see each other skate all the time and you learn how to work around their strong points and their weak points. They know you and you know them. It’s harder to hide your new skills and your signature moves. A bigger challenge on the track. On the Bombs you’re facing different teams and skaters. It’s more of a mystery and has it’s own set of challenges. You can get more creative with your game ’cause they don’t know you that well and you don’t know them that well. So all those tricks and skills you work so hard on in practice are like a secret weapon. Some teams and skaters don’t know what hit them.
You are both a jammer and a blocker. Do you feel stronger in one position more than the other? What do you bring to each position? I feel I do well at both positions. Some days I’m a better jammer and some days I’m a better blocker. I try to play each position the best I can and try to put my own little twist on whatever position I’m playing every time I lace up my skates.
You are a wedding photographer by day (or nights and weekends as the case may be!). Do you think having a photographer’s eye for the action and detail helps you on the track? I think it does a little. It definitely helps with timing the action. Being able to judge people a little better and having the patience to wait for the right moment to hit or juke.
You also come from a military background… Navy Sea Bee (or for those unfamiliar: Construction Battalion). The Sea Bee motto is “The difficult we do immediately. The impossible just takes a little longer.” I look at you out on the track and you look so focused (and ready to kill!) – do you think that “Can Do” attitude has stayed with you? Most certainly. Once a Sea Bee, always a Sea Bee. As a Sea Bee you learn how to make any situation work. You adapt and overcome. You use what’s in front of you and just make it happen. Get the job done. It’s a lot like derby when you’ve got skaters in the box and are down by 2 points and you just do what it takes to get those points you need. Whether it’s holding back the OJ or getting through the pack jamming or helping your jammer get through the pack.
As many of our ladies do, you’ve got some pretty major ink. I know the tattoo on your right arm means a lot. Want to talk about it? Well the first tattoo I got on my right arm was a 1-inch rose. My first tattoo. I got it a week before I left for boot camp. It’s on the top of my shoulder. My father only had one tattoo. It was on his right arm, his name Chuck. So I got Chuck 48-04 on my right arm on the first anniversary of his death. The numbers are the year he was born and the year he died. About 3-4 months later I got the Claddagh around Chuck 48-04. It took several years to decide on what I wanted for the sleeve (I knew I wanted a sleeve). The shamrock design was originally only to the elbow. At the first sitting I decided to do 3/4 the arm so the design could fit the way I wanted. On the second sitting I decided to do both sides not just the front side of the arm. So after several sittings it is what you see today. A memorial piece to my father.Featured Skaters, Granite State Troopers, Queen City Cherry Bombs |2 Comments
Posted on August 1st, 2012 by Tiara Misu
Techno Destructo #987
Queen City Cherry Bombs
Seabrook Meltdowns – Captain
2012 Governing Body Member
Hello Kitty Enthusiast
You’ve been with the league since 2010. You are one FAST WOMAN on skates! What is your skating/sports background?
I don’t know if I’d consider myself to be fast but I appreciate the compliment. As for my background, besides some ill-fated attempts at soccer and softball as a child I have never really played any sports. I didn’t even know how to roller skate when I started. I was kind of like a floppy giraffe in the beginning. I remember going to see a bout in 2009 with my husband and expressing to him how much I wish I could do a sport like that. His response was, “Why can’t you?” He’s unbelievably supportive. The following January I nervously went to Roller Kingdom with him in tow and made the best decision of my life.
You play both jammer and blocker. What position do you find easier/more natural?
I definitely feel more comfortable as a jammer and honestly just love doing it. Call me a masochist but I enjoy the challenge of it and how it forces you to push yourself. I aspire to be as good as Madame Scurrie or Chicana Bruzya but am completely realistic that they are in a different stratosphere than me. I’m just proud that I have come this far without having any skating experience. If you had told me that I would ever jam for the Cherry Bombs when I started I would have told you that you were crazy. Blocking has been a little more of a challenge for me. I’m all legs and though that works in my favor as a jammer, sometimes not so much as a blocker. I’m always trying to get lower and hit harder. Though I’m a proud member of the BSA (Bony Shoulder Army) I would love to lay someone out with a clean hip hit.
When you started out, what person/piece of advice do you think helped you the most?
I’ve been lucky to have a lot of supportive skaters since I started. My skater sister when I started was Empress Explosiva and frankly she scared the crap out of me. I remember finally getting to my Level 2 assessments and she was just wailing on me and I went down every time but finally on the last hit I didn’t fall. When I passed she was so proud and I realized that she was trying to prepare me and make me better. She’s a great person and skater. Currently my two biggest supporters and influences are Trina Trioxin and Madame Scurrie. Trina is my captain on the Cherry Bombs, an amazing player, and knows just how to get me in the right mindset when I’m feeling down on myself after a hard jam. She and I are very similar in personality so she just gets me. She’s definitely the heart of the league and really loves the sport. Scurrie is this unbelievable skater and player but also has this want to teach and better all players. I can ask her any day at anytime for help with something and she would be there in a heartbeat. I try to absorb as much information as possible about jamming from her. I would be stoked if I could become half the jammer she is someday.
What’s been your biggest derby challenge? (Fear? A technique? An opponent? Injury? Getting mistaken for Max and/or Priss?)
Oh man there have been a lot of challenges in derby for me. In the beginning my biggest challenge was having no skill. Crossovers, backwards skating, hitting… the list goes on. I couldn’t do anything. I had a lot of self doubt. What I realized though was this sport is all about drive, commitment, and want. So I decided I would take one skill at a time and try my best to conquer them. I never missed a practice and eventually things slowly started making sense. Don’t get me wrong, I have a long way to go, but I am miles from where I started. Getting mistaken for Maxine Kerosene and Prissassin is an honor. Those two girls are fantastic. Max has the most amazing style and doesn’t give herself enough credit for being an amazing skater. Priss is a force to be reckoned with and has this wicked hip hit that I’m pretty sure damaged my insides the last time she hit me. My most recent challenge is just fine tuning my skills and being a more impactful skater. I want to master as much of this sport as I can.
How different is your private/work life from your derby life?
My work life and my derby life are completely different. I’m a Customer Service Manager at a grocery store and rock some really classy business casual clothing daily (I’m sure you can sense my sarcasm about my mandatory work attire). All my co-workers and employees know about my love for derby and I’m grateful that they have supported me and come see me play numerous times. The only similarity between the two is I am on the Governing Body and I’m the Finance Deputy for the league – both of which have aspects that I deal with at my job. As for my private life it’s really not that different from my derby life. A little crazy but a lot of fun.
Besides your Hello Kitty addiction, what else should we know about Techno Destructo?
Well it’s obvious that I love Roller Derby but outside of that I have an amazing husband, Jesse, who I have been with for almost 8 years and just recently bought a house with. I have a pretty crazy work life so when I’m not doing derby I try to spend as much time with him and my fabulous group of friends. I’m really lucky to have so many supportive people in my life. I also really love music and going to concerts and someday would love to be in a band.
What was the highlight of this season for you?
For sure the highlight of this season for me was when I found out that I was captain of the Meltdowns with Bette Thistlehurt. Everyone has a soft spot for their home team but I really love those girls. I always say that the Meltdowns are like a giant puzzle and if one piece is missing it doesn’t work. They all bring something different to the table. This year the home team games have been brutal and for some of these girls it’s their rookie season so when you have those game-changing moments I feel so proud and hope I’ve done everything I can for them as captain. Thistle and I are a great team because we are so different but we get along so well. She’s like the peanut butter to my jelly and I’m like the ketchup to her mustard. We’re the Laverne and Shirley of captaining.
NHRD wouldn’t be the same without you, TECHNO!Posted in Featured Skaters, Queen City Cherry Bombs, Seabrook Meltdowns |10 Comments
Posted on July 5th, 2012 by gameovaries
We know all what tough love is, and sometimes it’s not what we want but it’s what we need. I’ve always been supported by my parents, family and friends and they never pushed me into something that I didn’t want to do. Coming into roller derby, my parents and friends said things like “Hey, that’s great!”, “Good for you”, “I’m proud of you” and “PLEASE DON’T GET HURT!”. You know, supportive and loving comments. Now all I hear is “Just do it!”, “You are ready”, “Stop whining, and just do it!”, “You take forever”, “Get out of your head”. All words from the one and only Bobbi Gore, my derby wife.
Bobbi and I have known each other through mutual friends for give or take 8 years now. I saw her at parties and get-togethers and never struck up conversations with her. To be honest, she kind of scared me [ still does]. I consider myself to be shy at times especially during parties, social events, places with people in general. Bobbi, she’s the life of the party. Talks to everyone, dances, puts herself out there, dances and oh yeah, dances. I didn’t want to embark on this derby journey by myself, see… that’s me being shy, so my boyfriend told me to ask Michelle (Bobbi Gore’s real name — your secret’s out!). She was super excited that I asked her because she had wanted to try out for a while now and already had skates. We got together and went to open skates and that’s when we became inseparable.
I learned from Bobbi. In our early skating escapades, I would watch her skate and do tricks and I’d ask her why I couldn’t do that too? First tough love moment between Bobbi and I, “You need to get out of your head”. Bobbi was right then and is still right to this day. “Stay out of your head, Ovie!” I hear that one a lot. I remember when we were learning to hit and block on skates, oy. I would see her coming towards me and I’d whine “I’m not ready!” and she would yell at me “YES YOU ARE READY! I’M GOING TO HIT YOU!”. She was right, I needed to suck it up and start throwing hits and get hit. I wasn’t going to learn if I didn’t suck it up and just do it. She had a big influence on me with trying out for the Queen City Cherry Bombs too. I didn’t think I was ready for the travel team or thought that I would be able to fit this into my schedule. Bobbi told me to stop making excuses and just try out. She really wasn’t giving me an option either here. She TOLD me that I was trying out. If that isn’t tough love, then I don’t know what is. (BTW, Bobbi and I both made the Cherry Bombs and now are on a team together!)
Bobbi still is telling me to get out of my head, hurry up, stop being a baby and just do it. She would be a great spokeswomen for Nike, let me tell you. She says their slogan enough! She gives me the kick in the ass that I need but sometimes don’t want. Bobbi has been there for me through the good, the bad, the ugly and everything in between. Even when I can’t seem to push myself more, she’s right there telling me to keep pushing. I have learned and keep learning from Bobbi each and every day. I couldn’t be happier and more honored to have a derby wife and now life long friend such as Bobbi Gore. Thanks for the tough love, Bob.Queen City Cherry Bombs, Skater Bloggers |2 Comments
Posted on July 2nd, 2012 by Tiara Misu
Position: Blocker, Jammer
Rookie Year: 2011
Skate Free or Die All-Stars – 2012
Nightmares on Elm Street – 2011-2012 (Trainer, 2012)
Queen City Cherry Bombs – 2011
You are all over NHRD! A trainer for the Nightmares. Skating for multiple teams (SFOD All-Stars and the Nightmares). You were a Cherry Bomb in 2011. Is it different playing for a Home vs. Travel Team?
It’s definitely different. Skating for SFOD is a new challenge for me. I am constantly trying to process a ton of new information. This is only my second year skating, and truly, my first year understanding team strategy. Year one, I just wanted to knock people down. Year two, I still wanna knock people down, but that’s not my only job. The great thing about skating on a travel team is the opportunity to bout against skaters outside of my league. That’s huge in terms of learning. I used to be scared at the thought of playing on a travel team, now I can’t get enough of it. In case you did not know, SFOD just came back from ECDX 2012. We killed it! Went up against 2 teams ranked much higher than us and brought home both wins!!!
How did you get involved in training? What kind of stuff do you do?
I have no idea how I became a trainer for the Nightmares on Elm Street! Well, I do, I just never imagined myself as a team trainer. I barely had one derby year under my belt when one of my teammates encouraged me to run in our team election. Skating for SFOD made creating practice plans easy for The Nightmares. SFOD has some amazing coaches, new to NHRD this year, who provide us with challenging skills and strategies. Re-teaching these skills and strategies helps me retain this information even more and at the same time brings a higher level of competition to my home team. This trickle-down-effect is actually having a huge impact on all of the teams with NHRD.
You primarily play Blocker. Is that the position you’re most comfortable with?
Oh yeah. Absolutely. When someone tells you that you have an amazing ass during a bout (Thank you, Tank) you kind of have to believe it. I really like to hold back the jammer and watch her struggle. That sounds mean, but that’s what a blocker does!!!
How did you find Roller Derby? Besides getting to skate fast and push people around, what attracted you about the sport? Do you come from a sports background?
I found roller derby in a parade. Honk Festival, Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA. 2007? 2008, maybe? Grabbed a flyer, went to a bout and knew right away that this full contact sport was for me. I played hockey and softball in my teens and 20′s, but never felt like I was really good at either one of them. I can’t say I was great at roller derby when I started either, but I put so much time into it, that there is no other option but to improve.
You work in the veterinary field. That takes a lot of patience, love, and nurturing. Qualities that aren’t so different from derby – do you agree?
Haha! Oddly enough, I do agree! I’m not into mushy emotional stuff, but I do care about people. I want everyone to get along and be friends. There are a lot of personalities in derby. Sometimes it’s hard to understand all of them, but I do care unconditionally for everyone involved with the league. I like to think that people are generally good and that most misunderstandings are due to poor communication. I’m not going to write you off because you pissed me off. I will let you know you pissed me off and then I’m over it.
M-Eighty HD. Very explosive name. Does that refer to your skating style? Personality? What?
I really wanted my derby name to reflect me personally, the type of derby player I wanted to be, and it absolutely had to come together nicely with my number (B00M). M-Eighty HD has a dual meaning. If you take away the HD, you have M-Eighty. Explosive! Blowing up! Big hits! Boom! Right? Well, if you take away the M, all that is left is the Eighty HD. If you sound that out, you get… Oh look! A shiny object!
Anything you want to share about yourself that you think we should know?
In no particular order: I want to be on America’s Best Dance Crew. Animals are my friends. I don’t eat my friends. I have a crush on Pitbull. Mr. Worldwide. I have the best German Shepherd Dog ever! We came home 2-0 from ECDX!!!!! The LadyBros are cool. I love my mom and am grateful for all she has ever done for me.
A million thank yous for letting me feature you on the blog. I know I’m supposed to be impartial, but you are easily one of my most favorite people. Your beautiful spirit always does my heart good!! (I’m sure the rest of the league will agree! And you are one heck of a snazzy dancer!)Featured Skaters, Nightmares on Elm Street, Queen City Cherry Bombs, Skate Free or Die All-Stars |5 Comments
Posted on July 2nd, 2012 by Maxine Kero$ene
Some of us went to ECDX to show the derby world who the f$%k New Hampshire is (SFOD took River City 169-142 and then went on to take the win over Dominion 175-152). The rest of us…
What SFOD’s leaguemates did & didn’t do at ECDX 2012:
- We drank beer.
- We may have regretted drinking so much beer.
- Can we talk about the beer for a second? Did anyone else feel like garbage after drinking a couple?
- Nightmares on Elm Street represented on Sunday!
- We did not skate in any challenge bouts.
- Instead, we used the bathrooms in the rink of the challenge bouts because the line was so much shorter!
- We watched the Pegassist live and in person.
- We ate from delicious food trucks.
- We annoyed many people on the party bus.
- I took a nice nap waiting for the shuttle.
- We cheered on Skate Free or Die! until we all had sore, bloody throats.
- “Hustle, hit, never quit!”
- Alternately, “Hustle, hit, too legit to quit!”
- So many happy, sweaty hugs and high-fives!
- We stayed far, far away from the pool for fear of catching Feastervillitis.
- We caught Feastervillitis anyway!
- We watched Avatar at the hotel because what else are you going to watch when you’re getting ready for the after party?
- We ate a whole table’s worth of tater tots.
- Did we dominate that Sunday after party for a hot minute? I feel like we sure did!
- Personally, I only ate one cheese steak and I’m disappointed in myself.
- How about some Cherry Bombs with a serious challenge bout?
- Make better decisions beerwise.
- If we’re going to get sick anyway, might as well frolic in the pool.
- Will our “Who the F$%K is New Hampshire?!” t-shirts still be timely? You may find us wearing those.
For now, we’ll see you at Roller Consolation 2012!
Friends, Fistpumps, & Skate Free or Pie,
Posted on June 21st, 2012 by Irate Pirate
It’s that time again… time to explore your athlete brain.
Tournament season is upon us once again. Each year the WFTDA holds the “Big 5“, which are regional tournaments to decide the players for the Hydra Cup. Previous to this, there are tournaments, upon tournaments, upon tournaments to help decide rankings and to provide fun and derby action.
This year, New Hampshire Roller Derby will be represented at the 2012 East Coast Derby Extravaganza (ECDX) by their Skate Free or Die! All Stars, as well as those who managed to get into the mixed team/challenge bouts. This is a first for us as a league, we’ve never been invited to a tournament before. Sure, it might be “old hat” for a few SFoD skaters, but for the majority of us it’s all new, baby. And it’s scary as hell!
Just thinking about that… My chest is tight. My eyes won’t focus. I have forgotten how to skate. Panic is starting to set in!
That’s a key for me: “Just Breathe”. It’s something we do every day without thinking, and there is a power to calm in it. Yoga instructors know it, psychologists and therapists know it, and now you can know the power in it, too. I’ll walk you through my breathing techniques. They may be rudimentary, but they seem to work just fine.
First, get comfortable. Yeah, your in your gear and it stinks. Yeah, your left skate might be a little too tight tonight and maybe you have cramps. Still, I bet if you lay back, curl into a ball, or just sit still, you can make yourself comfortable. Find a position, go ahead, we have some time.
Next, close your eyes. Block the light with those pretty little lids, maybe drape an arm over to stop the urge to peek. Try to block out the sounds around you. Focus a little on what is making you panic, find the spots in your body that are tense (shoulders, knees, stomach). Recognize them for what they are, which is something that needs to just go away. Assign your panic, tension or setbacks a color. Make a color you don’t like, maybe one you hate. Think about being calm. You know what that feels like. It’s like a cool beer on a hot night, or a soak in Woody Yankabitch’s hot tub during WoodyStock. Or, for some, it’s a “Shower Beer” (you’ll have to ask Moxie or Killa). Assign your calm a color, something you love.
Now you’re ready to really begin: The first breath is the deepest. Take it in, expand your chest as far as it will go, really “open” that rib cage. And let it out sllloooowwwww… very slow. Some find that counting to 10 or 20 helps them push out that first breath better. You want to completely empty your lungs, so really push that breath out.
Breathe in slow… begin. Each breath should be deep and focused, hold it for a second or three, then let it out slow.
Start at the top of your head. Breathe deep in, and as you exhale picture the calm colors replacing your “bad” colors. With each deep breath, you want to imagine you are calming and that you are physically pushing the panic and tension out of you. Everything bad you think it going away and being replaced with the positive. “I will make that clear for my jammer. I will block. I can do this.”
Each time you breathe in and out, each time you replace the panic with your calm… move lower. Relax your shoulders, breathe in and out, and fill your shoulders and chest with your calming color. Think about all the great things you’re going to do on that track. Next your chest to your stomach, push those butterflies out. They have no place here. And keep going: your stomach to your hips that are going to deliver devastation to your opponents, your hips to your legs that are going to carry you with speed and accuracy. Next your legs to your skates, that are going to help you score points, booty block, and move with your team.
Finally, the last push. Breathe in deep deep deep, as deep as that first breath… and push the negative out of your body into the floor, and away.
Open your eyes. You’re ready now to do anything.
Go scale that mountain! Go skate that tournament! Go get your points! Hit that jammer! Because Baby, you can do anything!
And there you have it. My breathing exercises. I loved leading my team in these during our 2011 season. Leading these helped me be calm. I have had to teach myself to do this for myself alone.
You may say now “Irate, that’s all hippy bull and doesn’t work.” Please tell that to professional athletes who do this before every game… because I don’t think they got that memo. Breathing can help calm, and focus. Anything is worth a try, and that is how I discovered this for myself and my teams.
Posted in Health/Fitness Tips, Skater Bloggers |No Comments