Why I Play Roller Derby -with- TomKat

South Side GirlsSkater Spotlight, Why I Derby

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What is the backstory on your Derby Name?

I’ve always been a bit of a flirt and I was a serial first dater. The phrase “You’re just a regular Tomcat, aren’t you?” would get tossed my way a lot and so it stuck. I like that it’s a usually a phrase directed at men and that I’ve gone and given it a different perspective.

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When did you start roller derby?

I started derby August of 2015! Time flies when you’re on skates.

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Why did you start derby?

I used to watch it all the time as a child. I was totally obsessed with how hardcore those women were. When I found out we had leagues in Houston, I flipped! It took me a year to work up the courage to join, though. The idea of walking into a place where I didn’t know a single person and I didn’t know how to skate at all was scary. You’re setting yourself up to humiliate yourself in front of hardcore women is your first thought. My first practice blew all of my fears away, however. Everyone was amazing and patient with me. They still are!

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Has your why changed over the years?

I would say it’s evolved. I went in because I wanted to be as hardcore as the women I watched growing up. I still do, but now my why is more than just that. Joining roller derby instilled a confidence within me I didn’t realize I was lacking. It also gave me a feeling of camaraderie that women genuinely don’t have in life. Not like men do. Since the moment we’re old enough to socialize, women are pitted against one another in a competition that not a single one of us signed up for. Roller derby changed that. It’s a community where people can build each other up. It’s so inclusive and that just takes the stress away from the pressures of real life. Plus it’s one of the only activities where you can hit people and be hit and still drink beers with them after. ☺

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One thing you wish you knew when you first started derby that you know now.

It’s okay to take your time learning the fundamentals. No one will judge you for not being as fast as some of the other girls right out of the gate. That threw on a bit of pressure that I really didn’t need and I did that to myself. Everyone in derby has his or her own trials to focus on. They ain’t got time to judge you, so you shouldn’t be so hard on yourself.

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