April Featured Skater: Jenny NoNo

What is your derby name? Does it have any special story or significance?

Jenny Nono. It's a play on my real name. It was used in college as a joke, and when derby people heard it, it just kind of stuck!

  Photo Credit: Brian Grinham, 2018

Photo Credit: Brian Grinham, 2018

When did you start playing derby?

Will have passed skills 2 years ago on January 31st (2016).

 

Which team do you skate for?

Bruisers

 

What is your favorite position on the track?

Jammer

 

Before derby, when was the last time you had laced up skates? (Quad or otherwise)

In college, i worked at the ice arena on Campus, so I would take advantage of the open skates, but could do nothing more than skate in a circle.

 

What do you do outside of derby? What fun color does your life have other than this crazy sport?

I'm a Realtor at Red Barn Realty.

 

  Photo Credit: Andrew Potter, 2017

Photo Credit: Andrew Potter, 2017

What makes you come back to derby? Off skates, another sport, mental game prep, etc

Friends, fitness and just the fun of the game.

 

Do you have any advice for newbie skaters?

Never stop trying. The more you try and the more hours you put in, the more progress you'll see.

Posted on April 18, 2018 .

March Featured Official: Chef Leppard

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What is your derby name? 

Chef Leppard

 

When did you start officiating derby?

2016ish

 

What made you want to become an official?

My wife made me! Lol! JK  I like the people and the sport and I wanted to learn something new.

 

What officiating job is your go-to?

Jam Timing is what I'm best at.  I can also score keep and I'm currently learning Scoreboard

 

Before derby, when was the last time you had laced up skates? (Quad or otherwise)

Highschool

 

What do you do outside of derby to make derby better for yourself? What other hobbies do you have?

I try and keep up with all the new changes.  I like to experiment with new cooking techniques or recipes.

 

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What makes you come back to officiating derby? 

I just like the people and feeling like my being here helps in some small way.

 

Do you have any advice for newbie officials?

Don't be afraid to just jump in and try.  We are all hear to learn and improve.

Posted on March 21, 2018 .

March Featured Skater: Freeda Radical

What is your derby name? Does it have any special story or significance?

  Headshot by Andrew Potter, 2017

Headshot by Andrew Potter, 2017

Freeda Radical. I am a biologist and wanted a name that in some way was a play on something science based. I am terrible at coming up with puns and a friend actually took the term "free radicals" and turned it into a name. It just kind of stuck.

 

When did you start playing derby?

I started boot camp at the beginning of 2014 and started playing actual derby in 2015.

 

Which team do you skate for?

Bruisers

 

What is your favorite position on the track?

Pivot. It is kind of the best of both worlds. It allows me to focus on both my blocking and jamming skills.

 

Before derby, when was the last time you had laced up skates? (Quad or otherwise)

Hmmm. A long time ago? I grew up in the era of roller blades, but even then it was more than 10 years since I had skated. I actually did not know how to roller skate at all when I joined my first wave of Ann Arbor's boot camp.

 

What do you do outside of derby? What fun color does your life have other than this crazy sport?

Before derby it was just graduate school, but since joining derby I now commit a lot more time to the gym. I found Olympic Weightlifting because of roller derby and it has become one of my favorite things to do! I am also a dog walker so I get to meet a lot of cool pups around Ann Arbor. As of now I am wrapping up my PhD thesis for graduate school and am in the process of securing a post-doctoral position of the University of Michigan. Other than work, roller derby, weightlifting, the frequent Netflix binge, and solo dance parties; I am a pretty boring person.

 

What makes you come back to derby? Off skates, another sport, mental game prep, etc

It is hard to explain. Roller derby has given me a lot and continues to teach me a lot about myself. I keep coming back because it wouldn't make sense not to? It is now a part of my life that I really cherish and is something that helps me find fulfillment. There is nothing quite like pushing yourself physically and mentally and realizing you are capable of more than you ever imagined.

 

  Photo by David Oliver

Photo by David Oliver

Do you have any advice for newbie skaters?

Well, do as I say, not as I do. I am not the best at good mental self talk, but I am working on it. I think the biggest thing is to realize that everyone is coming from very varied backgrounds and comparing your progress to someone else's is unfair to you. Learn early to be patient and enjoy the process of making gains because it never ends. You should always be pushing yourself and trying to find that new limit. Things don't get easier, you just get stronger - mentally and physically. One thing I am trying to do this year is work on having the mind of a champion. Champions don't fear a challenge, they run right towards it knowing full well they might fail, but regardless of what happens they will come out learning more about themselves and their abilities. Champions take failure as fuel to get better and don't let their perceived failures define them.

Posted on March 7, 2018 .

February Featured Official: Standard Steviation

  Photo: DeFord Designs, 2017

Photo: DeFord Designs, 2017

What is your derby name? Does it have any special story or significance?

Standard Steviation. Lol, well, I started in derby shortly after my wife, House of Bruise ....with LDV..., I wasn't sure what I wanted to do, but since I work a fair amount with statistics, I was into the player performance tracking called Action Tracking.....not many leagues do that these days... I just migrated towards that stuff for a while and thus Standard Steviation a play on standard deviation! I only NSO'd a short while, then it was time to skate!

 

When did you start officiating derby?

March 2012

 

What made you want to become an official?

two things really were the driving factor; my wife joined roller derby and I wanted to support her plus (after many years of "men's sports) I wanted to contribute to women's empowered athleticism

 

What is your favorite position on/off the track? (What officiating job is your go-to?)

FIPR is my go-to, but love all the positions as a skating official

 

Before derby, when was the last time you had laced up skates? (Quad or otherwise)

LOL, 1979.....

 

What do you do outside of derby to make derby better for yourself? What other hobbies do you have?

I work out 2-3 times a week; and seldom let the dust settle on my shoes....Other than derby, (I come from a "hobby" generation) so I play guitar, travel, restore vintage cars, ride motorcycles, and have a hobby called Amateur Radio...aka Ham Radio...that allows me to talk to people world-wide over a radio....very old school tecnology, but when I was growing up, it was our FB!

 

What makes you come back to officiating derby? Off skates, another sport, mental game prep, etc

Nothing compares.....well, perhaps riding a motorcycle...that has a similar "thrill" but I love all the peeps in derby and can't imagine life without everyone! I love to teach (my day job) and I try to bring something cool to every derby experience to share.....

 

Do you have any advice for newbie officials?

Don't burn out....focus on 1 thing at a time....then start all over again! You never stop learning and growing...whether it is skating, rules, working with the crews or just watching the game.....

 

Anything else you'd like to share? 

Coming to A2, this is my year 2, I have to say the culture here is inspiring and has made me want to continue in officiating! Love you all!

Posted on February 7, 2018 .

A2D2 Skater Represents on Team Norway

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What is your derby name? Does it have any special story or significance?

My last name is Hemmer, and the Hammertime jokes never really stop, but that was taken so I ended up being The Hammer. At the World Cup I'll be skating under my real name.

When did you start playing derby?

I first tried quad skates in 2014, and played my first game about three years ago

Which team do you skate for?

I'm a proud Bruiser as well as a Brawlstar

What is your favorite position on the track?

hemmer.PNG

This is a hard question! I've been a jammer for all of my derby life, but I love blocking, so right now I'm trying to turn myself into a pivot. I don't want to pick one!

Before derby, when was the last time you had laced up skates? (Quad or otherwise)

I've been skating my whole life and never really took a break...I was a speed skater before derby. I retired from that after the 2014 Olympics, but I coached and ice and inline skated for fun and then I started derby about six months later.

What do you do outside of derby? What fun color does your life have other than this crazy sport?

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I'm a math and physics teacher, and I have two stepkids and two kittens keeping me busy! I also love being outside, biking, XC skiing, hiking or running, and I just moved to Ann Arbor from Norway about a year ago so I still get really really excited about seeing cool new animals like groundhogs and wild turkeys. This summer I was backpacking alone and got lost, but I saw a real wild turtle while looking for the trail, so that was the best part of the whole trip.

 

Best part of skating for Team Norway?

Staying connected to Norwegian and European derby and skating with my old (and new) teammates

How often do you go to Norway to skate?

I've done three weekend camps in the year since I made the team. The travel has been pretty tough, but the bonus is I get to see my family when I go.

What do you have to have to be eligible for a World team?

  Photo: Down'n'Out photography

Photo: Down'n'Out photography

I'm eligible because I was born in Norway, but according to the world cup rules you can also skate for a country if you lived there for long enough or you have grandparents from there. After that it's up to each team. For tryouts, we did a weekend of boot camp with on and off skates tests and practice. After that the team was announced. 

Do you have any advice for newbie skaters?

Try to have some fun. Most of us put so much pressure on ourselves to be whatever we think is good enough but if you can accept where you're at right now and not waste energy beating yourself up about it, you'll get where you want to be so much faster. Also, do derby specific off skates and get strong in a low position and on one leg!

 

Hammer is a proud Bruiser and Brawlstar, and makes up one half of A2HOT2, a Co-Head of Training.

Posted on January 30, 2018 .