Why I Play Roller Derby – Hannah

South Side GirlsSkater Spotlight, Why I Derby

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What is the backstory on your Derby Name?

Well, hello there! My name is...is...yeah, I don’t know yet! I have been thinking about this since I joined back in October of 2019! I have created concept maps, a few flow charts, but I haven’t had the perfect moment of inspiration where I find my name--yet! #YesIAmANerd. I’ve “tried on” a few names that people have helped me come up with such as, “Hannah Monslamma” since I was called Hannah Montanna growing up...and I like slamming into people. My students have nicknamed me “The Hannitizer (like Hand Sanitizer) since they claim I kill 99.9% of students not doing their homework. I’ve also gotten the recommendation of “Hannah Von Slamma”. I guess you could say I’m having a derby name identity crisis, but I should probably stop over thinking it (like Graceful always tells me at practice) and embrace “Hannah Monslamma or Hannah Slamma or Hannah Von Slamma…” 🙂

What do you do when your are not at roller derby practice?

When I’m not at derby practice, I am an Assistant Principal at a private school in Sugar Land! I have been in education for six years and love what I do! If I’m not at practice, you’ll probably see me skating around my neighborhood or hanging out with my dog, Hazel!

Why did you start derby?

I started derby in October of 2019 and I could not be more grateful that I did! For those of you who do not know my backstory- grab a cup of tea and snuggle up to your screen ‘cause here we go! Once upon a time...just kidding! After college I began my teaching career in Conroe ISD. I bought a house, had my forever career, and had life “all figured out”. In May of 2017, my dad was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of prostate cancer. We were all shocked and blown away given his yearly check-ups always came back healthy. From that moment life would never be the same. We began the battle with cancer- me in Conroe and my parents in Friendswood. As his condition worsened, I decided to resign from my school district over the summer at the end of my fourth year, sell my house, and move back home to be with dad and help take care of him. I was blessed to begin teaching at Fusion Academy in Sugar Land, be back at home with dad, and spend precious time with him. On November 6, 2018 he passed away. His Celebration of Life was held at South Main Baptist Church, and I started attending South Main more often. There I met the one and only Shannihilator through a mutual family friend! She told me about derby and it sounded cool...but I wasn’t sure if it was for me. In December of 2018, I interviewed for the Assistant Director (Assistant Principal) position at my school and moved into that role. I threw myself into the job and thought there was no way I could take on something else after school. Well, if you’ve met Shanna, you know how persistent she is and she invited me to the March tournament in 2019. As I watched the first bout, I knew right then and there that this was something I had to be a part of, but life continued, the grief of losing my dad set in and the next few months were pretty dark and I was “too busy.” There was something that kept drawing me to roller derby, like a little voice in the back of my head! A few months later in October of 2019, I took a leap of faith, put on a pair of quad skates for the very first time, decided to fight for myself, and finally showed up for “Bring a Friend” night. Since then I haven’t stopped skating (except for the few weeks I was out with a bone contusion on my tailbone-LOL). I fell in love with this sport and the SSRD league!

Advice to new skaters!

Advice for women on the fence about joining a roller derby league.
Just do it! They say you find roller derby when you need it the most, and that is 100% true! I have learned so much about myself during this process. Roller derby challenges me, motivates me, and makes me a better person! Roller derby kept me going when I didn’t think I could go on. Roller derby has a place for everyone and if you don’t give up, there is nothing you can’t accomplish! Everyone in the league will support you and encourage you like nothing you have seen before! Come skate with us!