Featured Skater of the Month - January 2014
Scary Magdalene #8:02
Started Playing Derby: Nov 2012
Team: Kill Scouts, South Jersey Derby B Travel Team
How did you choose your derby name & number?
When I started derby, I'd had a couple of names floating around in my head, but the longer I skated, I realized that the names were already taken. One day shortly before I was supposed to test and hopefully become a member of MADE, I was texting my mom. I sent her the name Scary Magdalene as a joke (my family is pretty actively Catholic). At the same time I did so, Jim Croce's "Roller Derby Queen" came on my MP3 player. I figured it was fate and stuck with the name. My number, 8:2, comes from the chapter and the verse in Luke where Mary Magdalene has 7 demons cast from her.
What led you to roller derby?
The reason the song "Roller Derby Queen" was even on my MP3 player is because my parents used to play Jim Croce's Greatest Hits on road trips when I was a kid. I loved the song and the description of the derby player as "the meanest hunk of woman that anybody's ever seen." I've always wanted to be intimidating and tough, but as anyone who knows me can tell you, I am far from threatening. When I found out that there was a roller derby team in my area, I figured this was my shot to try to step out of my comfort zone and live out a childhood fantasy.
What was your biggest hurdle as a rookie?
The biggest thing that I struggled with when I started (and something I still deal with) is having confidence. I am not necessarily afraid of falling- which is good, because I do it a lot- but I do struggle with that inner voice telling me that I will not be able to complete a skill. Thankfully, there are always vets who are willing to work with me to show me a new technique. I've also found it helpful to follow behind a more experienced skater during pace line and try to mimic her movements. I'm slowly learning to just throw myself into an activity and not let my doubts hold me back.
What does being a South Jersey Derby member mean to you?
At first when I joined, I was intimidated by some of the other skaters. Everyone seemed so close-knit that I was not sure where I would fit. Thankfully, being a SJDG means being accepted into a great group of skaters. Despite my fears, people were welcoming and I found that I have a great support system. My weekends usually involve at least one derby activity, whether it is a fundraiser, a trail skate, a game, or practice. Even though we all come from different backgrounds and experiences, we all have love of the sport in common, if nothing else. That has proven to be pretty bonding.
What would you recommend for a new rookie joining the league?
I would recommend that rookies stick out practices and find a buddy in their Training Wheels group. Keep coming back, even if you feel like you have hit a wall (literally or figuratively). Truthfully, part of the reason I stayed with derby in the beginning is just because I am so stubborn. Having my Training Wheels buddies held me accountable for coming to practice because I knew I would have to explain why I was skipping. They also gave me people I could rely on if I got upset or celebrate with when we passed a goal. Eventually, my skills improved and I stopped falling every time I tried to move. I gained a bit more confidence and grew to love what I was doing. I probably wouldn't have gotten to that point if it was not for my Training Wheels group.
What is your derby goal?
My derby goal is simple- keep playing. I know I will never be the fastest or the best with footwork or blocking. I am okay with that, as long as I keep pushing myself to do my best.
Any notes you'd like to share?
Shout out to my fellow "Neediest Training Wheels" Sylvia Wrath and Apple Bottom Jean. We're sorry that we worry too much, ask too many questions, and drive you nuts!
What is a fun fact about yourself?
In an informal survey conducted by the students at my school, I was voted most likely to die in a cage match involving the teachers in the English department. So, there's that.