Derby Player Profile – Hitsy Bitsy
Memphis Roller Derby, the Prisskilla Prezleys
How long have you been skating?
Why did you get involved in roller derby?
I was new to Memphis, and feeling lonely for my friends back home. I guess since I have kids, I was supposed to make friends with other moms, but we just weren’t clicking. I was the only mom at thePTA with tattoos and a bit of a wild streak. When I found out that Memphis had roller derby, I knew that I would find other people like me.
How often do you practice?
We’re required to practice one night a week with practices running about 3 hours. I try to work in an extra practice when I can, and I also try to skate outdoors when weather allows. I actually removed the carpet in part of my house so I can skate on the concrete slab too. Dodging rouge toys, dogs and cats counts as practice, right?
What Pads do you use?
I got the new Atomatrix kneepads for Christmas, but I’ve found that I fall too often and too hard to use them in actual derby. They’re great for when I’m just skating around though, very slim and comfortable. I use scabs knee pads and Triple 8 elbow and wrist guards when skating in bouts.
What Helmet do you use?
Triple 8 I think? I covered the logo with a sticker at some point, so don’t quote me on that.
What skates do you use?
My derby skates are the most expensive thing I own. I think they’re probably worth more than my car to be honest. Antik AR1. Worth every penny. I have the Powerdyne Revenge plates and Heartless Creeper wheels.
What were your first pair of skates?
When I first started derby, I bought some of the worst skates ever.Â Roller Derby brand skates from a big sporting goods chain store. It said Roller Derby, but nothing about those skates was made for the sport! As quick as I could, I upgraded to Riedells. I tore the plate off the boot of within a year. That’s when I decided to just invest in the best.
Where did your nick name come from?
My grandmother’s nickname was Bitsy. She was a W.A.V.E. in the U.S. Navy during WWII, and a real role model for me of a strong and independent woman.
What is your favourite part about being a Roller girl?
I love being part of my team. It took 3 times going through the draft process to get chosen, and I almost gave up and decided they just didn’t want me. But when I tried to quit, I just couldn’t. I loved the sport too much to have to say I tried to be a rollergirl once. I knew I had it in me to get better, so I worked until they saw it.
Any top tips for up and coming Derby Superstars?
Understand that people wouldn’t try to help you get better if they didn’t like you and think you had potential, so don’t let criticism of your technique make you feel defensive. Eat it up. Also, when you’re first starting, you will fall a LOT. Start practicing from the first day to get up and get back in the action as fast as possible. You don’t have time during a bout to laugh at what a klutz you are, so don’t do it during practice.
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