Saturday, October 23, 2010

Grrrl Fridayyyyyyyyyy!

I've watched this girl go from derby rookie to power blocker here's hoping we see a lot more! As the intro girl for the Bosse$ this season I LOVED saying her name! Here's my derby crush of the week!

Name: Grrrl Friday
Number: 100wpm
League: Houston Roller Derby
Home Team: Bayou City Bosse$
Seasons Played: 1

How did you decide on your derby name?  
I started thinking about names back in 2005 when I went to my first Texas Rollergirls bout in Austin. For a while I wanted to do a famous actress reference, but they were all taken. I considered Faster Pussycat and Em Fatale before Grrrl Friday dawned on me. "His Girl Friday" is a classic film starring Carey Grant and Rosalind Russel about a female star reporter. Since I'm a reporter, it seemed like a fitting name for me. Also, the term Girl Friday was popular back in the 1950s to describe the woman that takes care of everything in the office, sort of your right-hand man. I aspire to be that kind of skater - always available to do what's needed on the track.

What is your (roller derby) position of choice?
I have the most experience blocking and am working on rounding out my skills so I can be a proficient jammer and pivot as well.

What is your skate gear of choice? 
Riedell 265 boots with reactor plates, and I'm between wheels right now; I'm using Atom Poisons at the moment but looking for something faster and more narrow. I use 187 Pro kneepads with Gladiator gaskets, Triple 8 elbow pads and Pro-Tec wrist guards. My helmet was some cheap option from Academy. I hope to upgrade during the off-season.

How did you hear about roller derby? 
Barbarella, a now-retired skater from Texas Rollergirls, took the same English class as me at Texas State University in 2004. She passed out flyers in class one day.

Were you a fan of the game before you played? 
Oh yeah. I watched a few of the Austin games, and when I moved to Galveston, one of my room mates, Chris Rien, and another close friend, Rodney Conley, were both working on poster designs for HRD's first season. They used to get free tickets to the bouts for their artwork, and they'd take me sometimes. I loved it!

What made you decide to become a roller girl?
When I lived in Austin, I became a huge fan of the Hotrod Honeys, and Catastrophe and Rice Rocket in particular. The Honeys came to Houston to play one of the home teams during the 2009 season. At the after-party I ended up parking only a few cars down from Catastrophe, so I told her what a big fan I was while we walked to the bar. She essentially recruited me for HRD, oddly enough. I hadn't really thought about being a skater myself - I figured the women who did it had a background in athletics. She told me that wasn't always the case. Later on, when I found out that the HRD rec league had skates and equipment I could borrow, I was sold. Soon after I fell in love with derby, got my own equipment and tried out.

What are some of your best/favorite moments in roller derby? 
I think both the game against Crude City and the Championship game were good games for me. I got to play a lot more frequently in the Crude City game because the vets really wanted the rookies to get a lot of experience in on a game that wouldn't affect our team standing. I got to pivot and jam for the first time and had a total blast doing it. The Championship game felt like the culmination of all the hard work our team had done all year. We really worked together cohesively and it was just a beautiful thing to watch and be a part of.

What is the funniest thing that has happened to/ around you in derby?
Man, it's hard to think of just one. These ladies are always cracking me up.

Who are your roller derby heroes? 
When I was a fan, it was Catastrophe and Rice Rocket from the Hotrod Honeys and Rebel Ann and Becky Booty from the Bayou City Bosses. As I became a part of the league I got so much help and support from so many skaters that it's impossible to list them all - they're all my heroes.

Do you have a motivational quote? 
It's a little harsh, but I'm partial to "That which does not kill us makes us stronger." -- Friedrich Nietzsche

Do you have any game day rituals? 
I usually eat a super greasy country breakfast at my favorite spot by my house. They serve biscuits with gravy and grits just like your mama used to make. Then I'll round that out with a fruit smoothie from the Smoothie Factory. I generally get to Kick's early because I almost always have some jitters, and I like to help out with the floor so I can focus on something else.

What goes through your brain as you lace up your skates for a bout? 
I wonder which jam will be my first, and who I'll play with. I also usually take a look at the crowd and wonder if we sold out this game or not.

Do you have a theme song? 
I like "Friday I'm in Love" by The Cure.

Do you have a signature move?
It's hard to tell, since I've been developing so much as a skater over this season. I have heard that I have started running on my skates a lot to get out of being trapped in the pack.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in roller derby? 
Protect your knees. From day 1, get good kneepads. I suggest the 187 Pro kneepads or Pro-Designed knee pads only. And wear knee gaskets!

I know derby takes over your life when you become a roller girl. How do you keep things in balance? 
Sometimes it means you have to turn down fun plans to do chores or go grocery shopping on your free nights. I've also adjusted our meals so that I have a few options available during the week that Fred could make or I could make easily when I'm exhausted from practice.

What was your family's reaction to your desire to play? 
My sister said she has always admired my tenacity to go after things that I want to do and stick with them...and she thinks this choice is pretty badass. My stepmom told me that she used to be a rinkrat when she was a kid - that was a lot of fun to hear about! My dad was happy that I had finally found a sport I had fun playing - he's seen me try many over the years with pretty bad results!

How does it feel to have fans?
I used to play guitar in a band so I'm used to getting in front of an audience. The difference with this crowd is that they seem to love you so unconditionally. It doesn't matter if you win or lose, they still love their team. And I adore it when the kids come up and ask for an autograph. I hope I am a good example for them.

Anyone you'd like to take the opportunity to thank? 
The Derby Brothers come to my mind first. I really appreciate all the hard work they do for us. What a great group of dudes.

What are some of your greatest roller derby accomplishments?
I'm getting better and better at turnaround toe stops these days, which is a HUGE relief. This whole journey has been one huge accomplishment - it feels really good to keep getting better as time passes.

How did derby change your world?
I'm entirely derby-obsessed and it's all I want to talk about. Fortunately for me, derby is pretty badass and most people want to hear about it! I'm also developing muscle tone for the first time in my life and feeling far more fit than I ever have been. It's done wonders for my self-confidence.

Do you have answers to questions I should have asked? 
My derby job is head of PR and Marketing. It's been great helping the league get some notoriety and getting the word out to new fans this season.

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