Introducing Annie Maul, #386

Happy hump day! It’s time for another q&a with one of our ladies. She’s our tallest and most positive player (I have never heard her say a negative thing!). I love what Annie says at the end about skills taking time to develop. She’s been a true leader on our team.

 

Q. This is your second season with LOLRD, but you’re very comfortable on the track (think pro status). What other teams have you skated for and for how long?

A. I started skating in 2007 for the Lilac City Rollergirls of Spokane Washington. I have also skated for the Spokannibals (also of Spokane, unsurprisingly). I haven’t skated consistently since 2007, but I have skated a lot.

Q. Your height seems to play as an advantage and disadvantage on the track. Tell us about that.

A. I am 6’4″ without skates.

Advantages:
– I can always see what is happening,
– I can manipulate my center of gravity to twist and move in unexpected ways.
– Apex jumps must be easier.

Disadvantages:
– Everyone knows where I am (No sneaking through the pack)
– My high center of gravity can put me at a disadvantage in a shoving match.
– Meshing hips to form walls with my teammates is definitely more difficult.

Q. Your Halloween costume this past year was awesome. How did that relate to what you do as your profession? How did you come to land in Utah?

A. I was a mad scientist for Halloween, and it relates to my profession since I am an electrical engineer for the power company. That job was also my reason for moving to Salt Lake City.

Q. What advice would you have for your 14-year-old self? Were you awkward? I was awkward!

A. I was awkward, both physically and socially. In the interest of not altering my hypothetical future (which has been pretty good so far), I would probably tell my 14-year-old self that “Life will get easier and better. It won’t take ridiculously long. Keep trying and improving.”

Q. You’re a gifted skater and a quiet leader. How did you come to be so awesome? Do you have a life event that refined you? Or have you just always been this great?

A. I feel like rejecting this question, on the grounds that it contains far too much undue praise. Still, I’ll give it a shot. I keep trying to improve little by little. It’s impossible to quickly learn skating, social skills, or anything else worthy of note. So keep pushing yourself to be a little better every time you go out on the track. Learn a new skill or improve one you already have. Over time, the effect will be huge.

Thank you Annie, we are glad you’re a part of Ladies of the Lake!Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 6.52.50 PM

Wee Smasha #88

Wee Smasha #88

How was your Monday? Ours too, so let’s spotlight a girl who is vital to LOLRD. She’s your best friend, she can rock any piece of jewelry and someone you don’t want to mess with on the track.

Introducing Wee Smasha, #88

Q. How long have you been skating? On what teams?
A. I have been skating since August 2009. This will be my seventh season playing roller derby. I played with Junction City Roller Dolls for four seasons. This year I will start my third season with Ladies of the Lake Roller Derby.

Q. You recently graduated with your Associates in Nursing. What are your plans now that you’ve graduated?
A. Currently, I am preparing to pass my boards to become a Registered Nurse. After I pass my boards I plan to get a job in the Intensive Care Unit. I would also like to do a medical missions trip. Eventually I will get my Bachelor’s in Nursing but that won’t be for a little while.

Q. You’re such a badass on and off the track. What is some advice you have to empower females to be more like you? A. I’ve played sports my whole life. I’ve learned many times over the years if there’s something you are uncomfortable with, practice is the best time to attempt those things. We get so comfortable doing things that we’re good at and tend to neglect working on the things that need a little extra work. People often think that I just had a natural talent for roller derby but that isn’t true. When I first tried out for Junction City in 2009 I could barely stand up in my skates. I had bruised arms, legs and hips just like everybody else did. We all have to start somewhere but hard work and determination can get you a lot of places.

Q. Can you remember a game you felt on fire, like everything you were doing on the track felt right? Describe it, why you were on fire.
A. A game I’ll never forget was when I was in high school, it wasn’t playing roller derby. It was my sophomore year of high school and I was playing soccer for my high school team. For whatever reason my coach never really believed in me. I subbed in for girls on the varsity team but mostly I sat the bench for a good part of the season. It was my assistant coach that mentioned to my head coach that I should play more and give me a chance. We were playing one of our rival high school teams that we had lost to previously in the season. I remember that day at school because it felt like the worst day I’ve ever had. When I got onto the soccer field I just played my heart out and left everything out on the field. I scored three goals in a row and my team won the game. I’ve never seen my mom cheer and yell so loud in my life. The next morning my mom had cut out every single newspaper clipping she could find. I haven’t really had any games like that in roller derby. I make mistakes all the time on the track. The best thing to do is to reset your mind in the next jam. Everything that happened previously doesn’t matter. If you pay too much attention to mistakes, you’ll psych yourself out.

Q. What do you like to do on the weekends, besides practice derby with your ladies.
A. I la la la la love hanging out with my family and the love of my life, Johnny. Sometimes I swear I am an old lady trapped in a young body. I love to crochet, sew, play bingo, anything that has to do with crafts really. I also really enjoy camping and hiking. I’ve been so busy with school that I haven’t really had a lot of opportunities to do some of my favorite things. Now that I am graduated I am really excited to do those things again.

Thank you Wee, you’re a gal that we look up to!
Photo by Jason SanttiWee Smasha88

Introducing Jammy Dodger, #11

Introducing Jammy Dodger, #11

Introducing Jammy Dodger, #11

Q. How long have you been skating and why did you join roller derby?
A. I started three years ago, but I took six months off due to a broken ankle. (And yes, that was from roller derby.) I just always thought derby looked cool, and though I was completely un-athletic, I loved skating when I was a kid. I was also struggling with the loss of identity that comes from motherhood, and I needed to find something that was just for ME.

Q. How has skating made you a better mother?
A. See above! Now I feel less like strangling the little critters. This kind of exercise has no peer for alleviating stress and frustration. One thing that really surprised me was how great it feels to be part of a team—I’d never been on any kind of team before! Now I try to get my family to operate like a little team and support each other the way my derby sisters do.

Q. You’re always posting yummy dishes you make. What is your favorite thing to make in the kitchen and when are you coming to my house?
A. To be honest, my husband does almost all the cooking. I just get in there for the things I am craving, like tonkatsu ramen and chile verde pork. The hallmark of my cooking is essentially “There’s something going bad in the fridge,” so I have to use it up. And I will happily trade cooking for cute baby snuggles!

Q. What can spectators come to expect from you out on the track? Do you have a signature move?
A. Besides falling down a lot? (I like to think I am the skater that people can relate to, like, “Hey, if she’s doing it, I could.” And you know what? YOU CAN!) I do like blocking with my derby wife, Decks-Her Morgan, because we have a move to trap the jammer we call the Jammy-Decks Sammich. As she likes to say, 60% of the time, it works every time.

Q. What do you have to say to haters, especially those who are skeptical of roller derby?
A. I try to pat them on the head like a paternalistic uncle and say, “There, there. You just don’t understand.” Truly, there is a such a misperception of what modern roller derby is, so I try to educate people.

Thank you Jammy! Photo by Void Pointer.

Jammy Dodger
Jammy Dodger of Ladies of the Lake Roller Derby. Photo by Void Pointer

Roll-Her Kitty #7

Introducing Roll-her Kitty, #7

Photo Credit Jason Santti
Photo Credit Jason Santti

Q. Why did you start LOLRD?
A. I, along with a group of other veteran skaters, started LOLRD because we were skating with a league that was no longer meeting our derby needs. We were all to the point that we didn’t want derby to rule our lives anymore but couldn’t fathom not skating competitively. We decided to take all the things we loved about derby and created a league around those things in a balanced way. Our vision was to be the league veterans could go to instead of retire, new skaters could join and learn from our tenure and most importantly have fun together. We pride ourselves in being fair and being good sports whether we win or lose.

Q. Do you have any hidden talents?
A. I don’t have any hidden talents that I can think of. (Answer by Hera Ticked: Have you seen Kitty work out? She’ll kick your ass!)

Q. What is your favorite derby position and why?
A. My favorite position is when I’m on the track. When I started playing I loved jamming but it has slowly changed to a love for blocking.

Q. Who is a source of inspiration for you and why?
A. NOS was my first and will always be an inspiration to me. I used to watch her skate and try to mimic how she held herself especially when jamming. She has also taught me so many skills that has made me the skater I am today. Mel Pfister has also been a big inspiration and mentor in the second half of my derby life. She’s an amazing teacher and strong as fuck.

Q. I haven’t met a person who dislikes you. Why is that? Am I hanging around the wrong people? But really, a lot of people look up to you. What qualities does it take to be a leader like you?
A. I’m not sure how to answer this question because there are people that don’t like me, you just run with the right crowd. To me a leader is someone that is there to guide the team toward a common goal, not in front of them with all the answers or authority but at their side, with their support and collaboration. People like to be appreciated, respected and treated fairly. That should be a no brainer. I can’t speak for others and why they look up to me but that’s what I look for in a leader.

Thank you Kitty! LOL HA HA HA!