How did you choose your derby name?:
I am a fan of the artist, Lauryn Hill. I was trying to come up with derby names when I first joined and that one was the better of my other choices.
When did you start playing roller derby?:
Tell us about your rookie year, how you found roller derby and how you learned how to play?:
I found out about roller derby from a college newspaper while living in Missouri. The league there had just started and was recruiting. I had been feeling like I needed to be active again since I was transferring from my night shift position as a Medical/Surgical RN to day shifts as a Operating Room Nurse. I showed up to a practice by myself and liked what I saw. I hadn't seen any games before and old school roller derby was before my time, so naturally I went and rented 'Whip It'. I was so pumped after watching that movie. I remember the clerk telling me she had friends who played it and that I might be too small to play the sport. LOOK AT ME NOW HASTINGS CLERK!
My rookie year was very exciting. I played more in other league's games as a fill in than I did for my actual team bc we didn't have too much scheduled. I think that helped with my progression, having all that track time.
I found roller derby in a big transition in my life. I like to think of my first year(s) of roller derby as my college party days that I missed while attending an accelerated nursing program.
Do you have a spirit animal?:
The American Bald Eagle.
Worst derby injury?:
*knock on wood* Only sprains, bruises, tight muscles, a non-impressive black eye and sacrificed big toe nails.
What have been your favorite skate brands/products?:
I really like the Martini line of Juice wheels. I love the *swish* they have. I'm so glad I made the transition to my Pro-Design knee pads. I sport a S8 Lifer helmet. I've been a believer in the Luigino Vertigo Q-6 boots and their Falcon F-16 plates. However, I am always open to trying out new products.
What did you think about as you laced up your skates?:
I think about having fun. I think about all the time, energy, and money I've put into doing this. No matter how tough the competition or how big the stakes I always try to remember that this is fun.
Do you have a favorite motivational quote?:
Not any in particular. There are some I really like, but none that I love so much that I have them memorized. I should work on that...
Do you have a pre-derby/sports background?:
None. I had taken weight lifting class in high school for two years, but I sadly I never participated in any individual or team sports.
What are some of your greatest on-the-track accomplishments?:
Any time I've received an MVP award. Helping the 2015 Vicegrip Vixens achieve an undefeated championship season as its Captain, it's first year back as Tampa's 4th home team.
Off-the-track derby accomplishments?:
I'm not sure. Last season I captained an amazing group of women. This season I am co-captaining another amazing group of women, The Tantrums. I'm also Head of Marketing for TRD. This year will be a year in which I might I have more to show off the track than previous years.
Who are your derby heroes?:
Anyone who continuously puts in the work to be a better version of themselves, whether they be a rookie or a seasoned vet. Anyone that is willing to make mistakes in order to grow. I love watching the big names in high level derby just like anyone else and I try to emulate their skill, work ethic, and game intelligence. I definitely have my favorite skaters to watch. However, I am most inspired by those I see day in and day out bust their bums to make the most out of this experience while their minds and bodies allow it. My heroes are those that do it not only for themselves but for their team mates as well.
What is your day job? Has it contributed to your roller derby experience? If so, how?:
I am a registered nurse that works as a circulating nurse in the operating room. I get to see some gnarly things and sometimes situations get chaotic. I think my ability to keep my calm in the OR has helped me keep my calm on the bench; to keep a positive attitude when things aren't going my way.
Has roller derby affected the way you live your outside life?:
I'm a military brat, so I'm used to moving every 3-4 years. The last placed I lived was the longest I ever stayed somewhere (5 years). I have a degree in a field where it'll never be hard to find work anywhere I travel. So when it came to picking a place to move, a town that had a D1 team was a must. While I do have other interests outside of derby, this is preeettty much the only thing I do outside of work.
Tell us about your favorite derby moments:
Cape Girardeau's Roller Girls debut game in November 2010-Capetown Smackdown! The day of the event my life was an emotional rollercoaster to say the least and I had shown up to the facility late, but just in time to warm up.
Our league had split into two teams. The team I was on won by 2 points in the last jam to a sold out crowd of 850? people. It was electric, it was loud, it was awesome. It was roller derby. I won MVP for my team that game. We had put in a lot of hard work to put on our first game and at the end of the game we had entertained new fans and went and partied our bums off afterward. It was the kickoff of something amazing in my life and I didn't even know it.
Spring 2015 when the Tantrums beat ATL. I had wanted to win that game, just like any other game, and it was icing on the cake to earn that win for our coach Rojo, a mother of two, on Mother's Day. She was away from her kids and she spent it in ATL's hot practice space helping us win that game.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about joining roller derby?:
What do you have to lose? What kind of story do you want to tell later in life? That you wished you took a chance and played roller derby while you could? Not everyone's experience in this sport is going to be the exact same. But I bet you one thing. I bet you'll have fun no matter what.