So, you may remember this past summer, we were skating in a boat hanger. It was interesting, seemingly appropriate for a Cape Cod league, and at times completely inconvenient.
But, we were blessed with a number of guest skaters, so all of those 'whoa, is me' feelings melted away in a puddle of sweat when these amazing skaters kicked our asses!It was the third week of August when members of the Suburban Brawl Roller Derby Team (of the Suburbia League out of Yonkers) were stopping by Cape Cod before heading off to the D2 Finals in Kalamazoo, MI.
I don't think it's just that we are green and still star struck by 'real roller derby girls' that I love to hear their stories...I think i will always be curious where every single derby girl got started, how long she's been skating, and whether or not she still gets nervous before a bout. I'm just a curious person, but the roller derby community never ceases to amaze me. The camaraderie, the shear love of the game by everyone involved (players and fans, alike), and the preconceptions that this newer breed of skaters are clearing up.
Anyway, I'll cut my long-winded nonsense short so that you can learn a little more about Suburbia's own
Vixen von Bruizen!
|Three wonderful women of Suburbia. Vixen is the sexy blond in the middle.|
*How did you first get involved in roller derby, and how long ago did you begin skating?
- I have always loved the sensation of roller skating. I had the metal skates that strapped onto my sneakers when I was little. I upgraded to the white skate boot when I was older and also loved roller blading in the early 90s. It was something I didn't realized I missed until I started skating again. In 2007, Suburbia Roller Derby was forming a league in Westchester County, NY. I saw a post on craigslist looking for women that were interested in learning the game. The only skill required was the desire to learn. I watched my first practice on 7/10/07 and was hooked. I bought all my gear in three days and was at the next available practice. I've been with the league ever since and just celebrated my 6 year anniversary!
*Did you have any skating experience before derby?
- Only as a recreation skater. I used roller skates from ages 5-14. Then I bought roller blades and used those from 14- 27 when I bought my new roller derby skates. When I started skating for Suburbia, I had never played a contact sport before. I never wore protective gear. I remember how odd it was to fall on command and how difficult it was to breath and talk with my poorly fit mouthguard.
*Roller derby leagues seem like a very tight community. Competitive, yes; but, also like a huge, nationwide (and worldwide) family. Have you visited/skated/coached a lot of other teams during your travels?
- YES!!! That is the best part of being on a league!! In our first season, the number of skaters was small and we needed visiting skaters to help up roster a full team. Skaters from Connecticut Roller Girls and Long Island Roller Rebels have all come to join us in bouts. I have been lucky enough to skate with the Hudson Valley Horrors as well as bench manage for them. I was led my first practice for an outside league when I was able to skate with CCRD this past summer!
*CCRD loved having you skate with us! It was a great learning experience for all of us. I'm curious how you found us...how were we so lucky to have you guys lead our practice?
- Crash Sprawldisplat has a home in Wellfleet that a group of us have been vacationing to for the last 3 years. In 2010 we went skating on some roads in Wellfleet but it was tough to dodge cars, the sand, and hills. We were sad that there wasn't a team we could join a practice with. In 2013 we got lucky!!! Our vacation to Wellfleet was planned and then we got the amazing news that the Suburban Brawl (the charter WFTDA team of Suburbia) would be attending D2s in Kalamazoo, MI. With three members of team on vacation, we knew we had to skate and work out on vacation. Both Crash and I did some research on-line for a team and were so happy to find CCRD!
*When you're not playing or practicing, you are ___? (Day job; hobbies)
- I'm an Executive Assistant for a steel fabrication company. That pays my bills! I'm also a stained glass artist and sports jock.
*Any pets? Kids? Siblings?
- I'm owed my two cats, Henry and Kennedy. No kids yet!! I'm also the youngest of my family and have two older sisters.
*How did your family react to you joining roller derby? How has their attitude changed, if at all?
- My family was very supportive of me. I think it was basically because they didn't understand!! My Father is terrified of watching and hates the big hits. The rules of the game also escape them, but they come and cheer me on and after the bout I get to answer 1,000 questions of why I did what I did during the bout. It's cute. My nephew is 12 and 100% loves roller derby. He picked up on the rules right away and now he teaches my father when they watch together.
*Lastly, I am constantly in awe when I watch bouts...especially live bouts! Does the intensity/rush of playing ever wane? Do you ever 'get used to it'?
- I am always nervous before a bout. I think it's a good reaction to have and like to think of it as my body preparing me to have the adrenaline and energy needed for a full bout. Winning a game is always the best feeling, but there is also a great pride that comes from a well earned loss. If you played well with your teammates, fought in every single jam, and stayed classy throughout you can only improve!!! All the training and drills we do help us build muscle memory for what we need to do. Sometimes I feel I have bout amnesia and I have no real memory of the bout that just occurred. I'll remember 3 moments per half, but most of the time I am on auto-pilot and I'm just doing what my team and I have trained for.
|After a great practice of skating and dodging Suburbans with Suburbia.|
Thank you, Vixen, for taking time to share with us...both in this blog, and in the boat hanger!