Photo credit: Thorpeland Photography

Photo credit: Thorpeland Photography

Huckleberry Gin #918, Slaughterers

What prompted you to get involved in roller derby?

A girl I knew in high school (Hey Zipper!) kept being tagged in pictures looking like a total badass while I was in college. I finally messaged her one day and said “Alright, I’m in, what do I do?” I bought skates and was at practice a few weeks later.

How did you come up with your derby name?

Mark Twain? Booze? Seemed like a no-brainer. Though to be fair I was aiming for a Harry Potter related name first, and then I met the girl with the name (Mischief Managed). My number is more personal, it’s the area code where I was born and raised.

Do you have a favorite derby memory?

At Battle of the All Stars last year with Team Louisiana. We were sitting at our bench during halftime and one of the girls started singing “You Are My Sunshine.” Slowly more and more skaters joined in until our entire team was singing it and stomping our skates to it. It was like something out of a movie. (You are My Sunshine is the Louisiana state song)

The sport seems highly physical. Have you ever gotten injured? 

I broke my collarbone in October of last year at a state team practice, but I never stepped back from derby. I still went to all the practices, worked out 3x a week at the gym, and a week after being cleared for contact played in a tournament.

What position are you most comfortable playing?

I like pivoting. It keeps those “I want to jam” urges in check just enough that I can happily block (because really, I don’t want to jam). It also forces me to think more critically about what I’m doing on the track while I’m doing it.

A big misconception is that all derby players are "tough broads" and not at all feminine. What would you tell them?

Since when are “tough” and “feminine” mutually exclusive? I’ll gladly demonstrate what a feminine-tough broad looks like, I’ll even smile for you.

Playing any sport is a huge commitment. How do you juggle that along with your life outside of derby?

Hazardously. I am a Ph.D. student full time, a project manager for my doc programs consulting firm, and I am on the road twice a week for an 8 hour round trip to practice. Some tell me I’m making a devil’s bargain, but hey, who needs sleep anyway? Homework in cars, some sleepless nights, and a great support system carry me through the day.

Do you have any pre-bout rituals?

Pre-Bout Waffles. Homemade, and accompanied by a breakfast spread that would make professional eaters blush.