Friday, October 16, 2015

Roller Derby!: Wreckless Wrenegade (a local color post)

What has been more than a few weeks ago, now, my wife and I went to our first roller derby match. As I mentioned in that post, we fairly quickly picked up on some favorite players, our most favorite of whom was Wreckless Wrenegade. It was clear that she was a notch above the other players in terms of skating, something displayed prominently when she did this rather spectacular leap (yes, a leap on roller skates!) to get around a block by the opposing team. It was called an Apex Jump, I found out, because I was able to set up an interview with her.
That's Wrenegade passing on the outside left from the match we saw.
And this is Wren in her everyday identity.

The first thing I found out is that she looks quite young for her age, which I just decided I'm not going to tell you. She fooled my wife, though, and my wife is usually pretty good at pegging that sort of thing. [I am not good at that. At all.] She likes Star Wars, so she scored points in my book for that; in fact her fiver-year-old son is totally into it. In her "real" life, she works in health care.

Of course, I was interested in her skating background because she was so impressive on wheels and, as it turns out, she used to do competitive ice figure skating. That's an impressive background. Here's her talking about that:

Wren:
I didn't ever want to be a figure skater. I wanted to do gymnastics or dance. I actually really wanted to do tap dancing, but my older sister really wanted to do figure skating, so [because the closest ice skating rink was so far away] my parents basically said, "You have to do what your sister wants to do." So we started going -- I started when I was five -- and I found that I really loved it and enjoyed it. The thing that was always funny, though, about figure skating is that I was always bigger than the other girls so, growing up, I felt like I wasn't the ballerina/figure skater type. I was a lot more powerful in my figure skating. [When I was a teenager] the boys always suggested that I should be a hockey player, that I should be playing hockey with them. I was more of a tomboy, a tough girl that didn't really fit the mold of a figure skater, but I always wanted to be the pretty figure skater.

Later, after not having skated at all for four or five years, her son's dad started telling her that he thought she'd be really good at roller derby, but she was really intimidated to go. Eventually, she made him and her son go with her to one of Resurrection Girls newbie nights.

Wren:
When you think roller derby, you think aggressive, powerful, intimidating women, and, then, you think, "Oh, my God, I'm not going to fit in here." So I went, and it was awful the first night. I was in rental skates -- you know, growing up in ice skating, I always had custom boots, and it was easier than walking for me sometimes -- and it was shaky at best. I mean, it was really bad. But I kept with it, and I liked the feeling of being on skates again. But it was really uncomfortable at first to get used to the quads. Going from a single blade to the quads was really hard for me, but I stuck with it.
Eventually, she got her own pair of skates and tried out and earned a spot on the Cinderollas.

Me: Have you been back on ice skates since then?

Wren: I have, and now that's awkward. It's really strange. It's funny because in ice skating, we stay away from our toe-picks unless we're jumping or using them for something like that, so I wasn't sure if we were allowed to use our toe-stops, and I was scared to use my toe-stop, so I was doing everything I could to avoid my toe-stop and, now, I live on my toe-stop. I'm always on my toe-stop. Now, [with ice skating] I'm like, "Okay, don't get on your toe-picks. Stay away from that. Don't tighten your boots so much." So, yeah, it's different. I'm still comfortable on it, but it's a different feeling.

Of course, because it's me, I also had to ask her about reading:

Wren: I love to read, although I haven't had the time to really pick up a book in a while, so my reading tends to be magazine articles. The one book that I still think about to this day, since I read it so long ago, is Z for Zachariah. It was probably the first book that I read that I didn't want to put down and actually piqued my interest in reading. I hadn't been a "reader" prior to picking up that book up. Another would be Catcher in the Rye. I don't have a genre or preference, but [a book] definitely has to capture my attention by the first 10 pages.

She's only been doing derby for two years but, already, she's coaching and is a vital member of the Cinderollas. As a jammer, it's her job to score the points. Of course, that doesn't come without teamwork, but I've watched her coach, and I think she's well on her way to helping to create a great team. I'm looking forward to the next time we can go see her and the Cinderollas play!

18 comments:

  1. Ugh. Why are people so crazy about "Catcher In The Rye"?

    I like these posts. You're really getting into this interviewing thing.

    Is she... 35?

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    Replies
    1. Briane: I haven't read it, yet, so I don't know.
      You're much closer than I was on the age; that's all I'm going to say.

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    2. I went by having a 5 year old.

      I suppose you probably ought to read "Catcher" to see what all the hype is about, but I didn't care for it and don't know why it's so celebrated.

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    3. Briane: It's on my list to read; I just haven't remembered to pick it up when I've been at the used book store. And I haven't had a chance to go by the book store basically all summer because of softball.

      Delete
  2. Cool! Roller derby looks so fun.

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  3. I've been wanting to go to a roller derby match. We have a team downtown. The kids got to meet a roller derby team from Denver at an annual party held for kids who had cancer (my son's friend had leukemia at 3), and my daughter loved them. They all signed a stuffed animal for her and named her Savannah Smash.

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    Replies
    1. Shannon: You should go. The names alone make it worth it.

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  4. A few of my friends have done roller derby over the years. I've enjoyed watching them. It's an entertainment and a sport all rolled into one.

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  5. I used to love Roller Derby when I was a kid living in San Diego. Late on Saturday nights we'd be able to pick up a Los Angeles station that showed it. Those women were really rough and tumble. The guys got pretty wild as well. Never see it on TV anymore, but that was back in the 60's when I used to watch it.


    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Wrote By Rote


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lee: Was it actual matches on TV?

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    2. Yes, fast and furious roller derby matches from start to finish. They had men and women's matches every Saturday night without fail. Back then it was apparently very popular. Almost as popular as professional wrestling which I also watched.

      Arlee Bird
      A to Z Challenge Co-host
      Tossing It Out

      Delete
    3. Lee: It's supposed to be on the rise in popularity again.

      Delete
  6. Yup, this is definitely the first roller derby interview post I've ever read. Good get!

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