Why I Play Roller Derby – Mayhem

South Side GirlsSkater Spotlight, Why I Derby

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Why I Derby! Mayhem

What is the backstory on your Derby Name?

I wish i had a cool story about my derby name but i don’t. All the names that i wanted were already taken so i just picked a word that when with my first name and boom, Melissa Mayhem.

When did you start roller derby?

I got involved with the San Diego derby dolls in 2009 as an NSO when i was 19 (you had to be 21 to skate back then). I went away for school and came back in 2011 and that’s when i started actually skating. So I have been involved for 11 years skating for 9.

Why did you start derby?

My aunt actually introduced me to derby and the first time i NSO’d i was hooked. All of the women seemed so badass and strong and i wanted to be apart of it.

Has your why changed over the years?

My why has pretty much stayed the same over the years. I still love it and i still get inspired by the athleticism and strategy but the added bonus of exercise keeps me going too.

Things you wish you knew when you 1st started derby that you know now.

Advice to new skaters:

  1. Practice Practice Practice.
    The more you are on your skates the better.

  2. Practice when you are alone (or someone is nearby but not watching you in case of emergency) as adults we tend to not push ourselves for fear of being ridiculed, embarrassed, or injured. When you are just on your own you can just practice that skill that makes you uncomfortable over and over without that worry (except maybe the injury part).

  3. Celebrate every milestone. Derby can be mentally and physically draining especially when you are learning. Every time you do something better than the last time celebrate it. Progress= success not perfection.

Fun Fact About Mayhem
When I'm not doing the derby, or thinking about derby, I'm wrangling my two feral children and have another on the way. I also have a certificate for automotive technology and can degree a camshaft really fast.