Name: Tic Tac Toni
Team(s): Bruise Crew, Switchblade Sisters
How did you choose your derby name? In my previous league, you didn’t really “choose” a name. It was chosen for you. My name was actually supposed to be “Diabeater”, but I refused. One of the coaches came up with my name during an after party. It just kind of stuck.
When did you start playing roller derby? I started playing roller derby in 2010.
Tell us about your rookie year, how you found roller derby and how you learned how to play?
I started playing roller derby in the fall of 2010, in Panama City, Fl. When I started college, I had a friend who played. After a bad break up, I was itching to try something new. She made me promise to come to a game. I reluctantly went, and fell in love. I had been an ice figure skater for many years as a kid, so anything on skates intrigued me.
Learning how to play was completely different in Panama City. Skaters could join at any point, but I was lucky to start on the same day as another skater. We learned how to fall, and then we were pretty much thrown to the wolves to learn basic skills. You learned quickly what it took to stay up on your skates and participate. I transferred to Tampa during my rookie year, which was intimidating in itself. My league mates with PCRD told me they were the best in the entire state. In Tampa, I learned strategy and really was able to hone in on my skills.
Tampa turned out to be a culmination of strong supportive women. Like many people will tell you, I found derby when I needed it the most.
Do you have a spirit animal? My spirit animal is a kangaroo. Everyone calls me the team mom. I usually try to make sure everyone feels okay and supported. Kangaroos can be mean, too. I guess I’m still working on that part!
Worst derby injury? I tore my Achilles tendon, which was both painful and confusing. I was out for over 6 months before I was able to put my skates back on.
What have been your favorite skate brands/products? S1 is by far my favorite helmet I’ve ever owned. I love my Luigino Vertigo Q-6 boots matched with Falcon F-16 plates.
What did you think about as you lace up your skates? I usually am singing a song in my head while I lace up. It changes every week!
Do you have a favorite motivational quote? I’m not convinced I have one, but I do have a TON motivational people! My coaches on the travel teams I’ve played Rojo, Bit, Robin and Slayor. Teammates like Millie, Lily, and Tiny to name a few, but there are SO many more. If you have the passion, I see it! THAT’S what motivates me.
Do you have a pre-derby/sports background? I was an Ice figure skater from the age of 4 until I was almost 14. And when I say that, I mean home schooled, at the rink at 5 AM OBSESSED figure skater. We moved to New Mexico and the ice rink was pretty much nonexistent. I learned how to play tennis and ran hurdles in track in high school.
What are some of your greatest on-the-track accomplishments? Making the Bruise Crew and Tantrums Charters, not dying skating against Gotham. Teamwork.
Off-the-track derby accomplishments? Making some of the best friendships I have ever had with my teammates and league mates. I don’t know where I’d be without them!
Who are your derby heroes? Pretty much Every. Single. Person. In this league. People who are willing to put in the time to achieve their dreams, and spend time helping others achieve their own dreams. No one goes through the journey alone!
What is your day job? Has it contributed to your roller derby experience? If so, how? I am an EMT. I would definitely say my day job has contributed to my roller derby experience. I find my two passions overlay in a lot of ways. I’m a HUGE advocate for concussions and mental health, but I have a “throw some dirt on it and get up” approach for minor injuries. I will say that being an EMT and a skater has given me numerous opportunities to work under pressure and remember that positivity and good thoughts go a long way. You can do almost anything you put your mind to!
Has roller derby affected the way you live your outside life? Yes. I find myself thinking before I eat or exercise. “Is this the right fuel to get me through practice?” “You need to go for that run. Your teammates are counting on you to be strong.” If anything, derby has helped me balance my outside life to live healthier.
Tell us about your favorite derby moments: Overall, derby is my favorite moment in life, so that’s hard. It’s rare you find something in life you feel as passionately about as I do derby. Let’s see. Playing on the Bruise Crew as they annihilated a TON of team in Florida. I would say the tantrums weekend in Atlanta last year. Winning for Rojo on Mother’s Day. Divisions every year and the training and team building time leading up to that. Playing on the Bruise Crew in Canada I’m sure will make the list soon, too!
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about joining roller derby? DO IT! What do you have to lose? You try, and you love it, or it makes for a good story.