Sunday, November 21, 2010


It has been my dream to interview a Texas Rollergirl as they are the ones who started the Women's Flat Track Revolution! In my wildest dreams I never imagined that I would have the privilege to interview one of it's founders. It is my honor to introduce you to Melicious! 

Name: Melicious
Number: 11
League: Texas Rollergirls
Home Team: Hotrod Honeys
Seasons Played: 4

How did you decide on your derby name?

I tried a few that I thought fit with my team theme, but none of them really stuck. Then an acquaintance referred to me as Melicious (Melissa + Delicious), and I really liked it. I lived with it for a few days like a secret, then decided that was it.

What is your (roller derby) position of choice?

I loved playing all of them! I think I was probably best at blocker, but I found being a pivot really challenging -- which I liked a lot -- and once in a while, being a jammer was just silly fun. I have to admit, I would daydream about playing the jammer position, then if my coach put me in, I would stand there, hand on hip, toe stop on the starting line, pretending to be confident, thinking, "Why did I say I want to do this?!"

Did you ever get to play as a jammer?

I was our team's backup jammer. When the "real" jammers needed a rest, I would go in. Mostly I was pretty good at maintaining our lead if we had one -- I was not a superstar jammer. But I always popped up pretty fast after getting knocked down!

How did you hear about roller derby?

I had just moved to Austin and was looking for something fun to do on a Sunday night. I saw a poster for an all-girls roller derby at the local coffee joint and decided to go. From the first moment I saw the Glamazon girls skating around the track, I knew I wanted to at least try it.

Were you a fan of the game before you played?

I went to that first bout on a Sunday and the following day I was at practice. So I was a fan for about 24 hours before I was a Rollergirl.

What made you decide to become a roller girl?

There were two things: I was scared to death of the idea, and I desperately wanted to be like the girls I saw that first night on the track: confident. Strong. Sexy. Daring. Athletic. My desire to be like that eventually overshadowed my fears about not being an athlete and having my as$ handed to me on wheels.

What are some of your best/favorite moments in roller derby?

This is sort of a best and worst story. My team was playing the Dairyland Dolls and it was the last bout of the season... I think it was July 2006. We were our last practice before the game, last jam of the night. You know how it is, "Let's just do one more." That's always when s
@!t goes wrong.

I was out on the track, being a blocker, and I was tired. It had been a long, hard practice. I lost focus for a second and was blindsided by a hard hit from the right. Without thinking, I did the worst thing you can do (and the thing I'd NEVER done before): I put my left hand out to catch myself when I fell. BLAM! Something bad happened inside my shoulder, and I sat on the floor, stunned. It hurt SO much.

Then I got up and went home. My shoulder was sore, but I figured it would feel better if I rested it. Sunday arrived, and we had our bout against Madison. They were huge and intimidating, and I don't remember the score, but they kicked our butts. I was a jammer in that game, and I remember working so hard to get around the track. I must have gotten knocked down a dozen times in that jam. Over and over I struggled back to my feet, trying my damnedest to score. It was awesome and terrible at the same time.

After the game, my team named me the MVP of the game. And two months later, I had rotator cuff surgery to repair the tear that happened in that pre-game fall.

What is the funniest thing that has happened to/ around you in derby?

I think the funnest moments of my derby career were at a fake party we threw for a TV show. A local program wanted to film us having a pre-bout slumber party, so we put on our pjs, painted each others' toenails, and made up rituals that we said we followed before every bout. It was all very tongue-in-cheek... there were many crazy moments of that night but the two standouts were one of our skaters totally kicking the ass -- like, for real. A real beat-down -- of the TV interviewer... and another of our skaters dressed as a (hot) male mechanic, doing a striptease that had all of us hormone-crazed and confused.

Do you have a motivational quote?
The quote I use most now is "Never cheat. Never quit."

I do CrossFit training now, and the workouts require us to push ourselves as hard as we can, every time. But no one else is counting reps or making sure we use a full-range of motion. No one but me will know if I "cheat" on my pushups and don't touch my chest to the ground.

But I'll know. So "Never cheat. Never quit." is a reminder to always try my hardest so I don't cheat myself, and to never give up. From everyday life stuff to workouts to romance to following your dreams,
s@!t. is. hard. But you can't quit.

Did you have any game day rituals?

I really did! I would sit on the floor with my gear, clean my wheels, pack all my stuff in exactly the same order into my gear bag. I had a place for everything, and it all had to be just so.

What else, besides play, do you do for your league?

I was the Marketing Director for a long time, and particularly in the beginning, it was really fun because we were creating the brand for flat-track roller derby from scratch. We had some great conversations at league meetings about what it meant to be a Texas Rollergirl. Where was the line between slutty and sexy? How did we want to portray ourselves? How did we want other people to portray us?

The other thing that was really fun for me as the Marketing Director was representing the league in the media. I was fortunate enough to be on Good Morning America and to be filmed at my house for the Today show. Both of those experiences were amazing and once-in-a-lifetime. I'm very grateful.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in roller derby?

On the physical side: Do lots of strength training. Build your core and your quads. Run sprints. Be able to do tons of pushups, lunges, and squats. All of that will pay off in spades.

On the mental side: Know yourself and tap into who you really are, deep down, for your persona on the track. That will give you confidence when you play the game.

I know derby takes over your life when you become a roller girl. How do you keep things in balance?

I didn't! When I was playing Roller Derby, it was the center of my life. I totally enjoyed it, and I got a lot out of it. And when my time was up, I retired with no regrets.

What was your family's reaction to your desire to play?

I think they were both surprised and not surprised. They were super supportive, and they loved the opportunities it gave me in the media and writing. I think my mom was always a little worried about me on game day. But they came to a bunch of bouts and really got into the spirits. They always wore pink and black to support the Hotrod Honeys!

What are some of your greatest roller derby accomplishments?

Honestly, I was not a superstar skater. I think my biggest contribution to the sport is my book because it documents how it all started and why we wanted it to be the way we did. Now that the sport is growing and evolving so quickly, it will be nice to have the history recorded so we can continue to see how far it's come.

What would you tell someone that doesn't know roller derby to get them to come to a bout?
It's pure fun! What's better than a sport that attracts strong women who are all beautiful in their own way? It's got everything: athleticism, drama, hard hits, fancy knee socks... and the best part is that you're up close to the action AND "regular" girls can play. What other major sport is so open to real women quickly jumping into the fray?

Why did you retire?
I'd been playing for five years, and I was kind of worn out. I recovered from my shoulder surgery, but a funny thing happened while I wasn't playing: I remembered there are  lots of cool things to do in the world and that roller derby was just one of them that I enjoyed. So I hung up my skates and started pursuing other things. I do CrossFit and lift weights... I started running and did three half marathons... after my book was published, I started writing more and launched my blog.

Will we ever see Melicious on the flat track again?
Hmmm... maybe just for fun. Although I am curious about how my CrossFit-trained body would do on the track. I bet I could hit really, REALLY hard now ;-)

Do you have any Final thoughts you'd like to share? 
The thing I've found most compelling about Roller Derby is not necessarily the sport (although I do love the sport) nor the skating (but I la-la-love the fun of wheels on my feet). The best, most powerful thing about Roller Derby is that EVERY woman can use Rollergirls as a model for how to live their life on their own terms. When we were starting the Texas Rollergirls, we heard the words, "You can't." a lot -- and we just refused to believe them. There were days I thought I wasn't tough enough to be a Rollergirl, on and off the track. I was wrong. We ALL have a figurative Rollergirl inside of us. To be a Roller Derby athlete, you need to wear skates -- but to embody the spirit of Roller Derby, you don't need wheels... you just need to challenge yourself, develop the persona with which you want to face the world, and then lead with your chin. Falling doesn't hurt that much, and as long as you get up one more time than you're knocked down, you'll never fail.

Melissa does CrossFit and runs. Eat cleans. Makes music. Reads (a lot!), writes, cooks. She's on a mission to to be a superfit, well-fed, dressed-to-kill, glossy-haired, rock-n-roll, tart-tongued detective. She likes to dress like a spy who might need to outrun a bad guy, and although she's a big cryer, she's not a baby. Read her daily adventures to "Never cheat. Never quit" at and check out her book


  1. Congratulations on getting such a great interview, Sunnie! Melicious and I are using the same colors on our blogs. Maybe I should change mine. :)

  2. LOVE the interview! :D This book was one of the reasons I decided to pursue roller derby as soon as I settled into life after college.

    A few years later, and I'm skating on Melicious' alma mater! Hotrod Honeys por vida!

    Keep up the great work...I love adding new derby bloggers to my RSS reader. :)


    Vargas Grrl