So you are a Mum! tell us about your children, and how you got into skating
I have 2 beautiful girls, Ava (13) and Siena (10). I skated a little bit as a kid but never had fancy skates, just those ones that you wear over your shoes. I saw a poster at the local Supermarket advertising a derby game, we all went along and had a great time. I eventually started Fresh Meat at Geelong Roller Derby League when I was 35 years old and wasn't a particularly great skater, but I was super determined and hate to fail. I played my first game on the A-Travel Team as a Bloody Mary just over 12 months later. I transferred to Melbourne Northside Rollers approx. 8 months ago for a new challenge and now skate as a Death Star.
What type of skates do you use and what type of skating do you do?
I wear Bont Skate Boots with Pilot Falcon Plates and Atom Boom Wheels (the pink ones). I don't think too much about having particular gear or wheels, I just love these because they feel great on my feet. I never change my wheels, mostly because I am lazy.
I play derby and predominantly jam because I love to go fast. I like to not think too much about what I am doing, just do what feels good at the time. I just really love to skate.
Where do you most like to skate?
I just love to skate anywhere at all!! I take my skates on holidays and use them to see the sights. My favourite though is skating on a derby track with my team!
What were some of the hurdles (if any) you had to overcome in your skating -
I have struggled with bad joints for years because of Rheumatoid Arthritis, but have found that combining strength training with derby, my joints are stronger and more stable than they have ever been. I have not had too many injuries, perhaps the most annoying was recovering from hip surgery 3 years ago, I had to have my hip ligament and some cartilage removed because they were badly damaged. I had a pretty awesome surgeon and physio though, and I put in the hard work to be back bouting in less than 3 months.
Do your children skate too?
My girls love to skate socially and have done since they were tiny. I bought Ava her first pair of skates when she was 18 months old. Recently Siena has started junior derby at Westside. I go along and help out with some coaching and hang with the kids. They are very cool.
A lot of Mums have said its hard to find the time to skate, how do you balance your time and make time to skate?
Like most Mum's I am super busy with work and kid's stuff. To be fit enough to play derby, I get up early and go to Crossfit in the morning before they get out of bed and use the gym at work, this way my gym time does not impact on anyone else. I have an amazing support network and supportive husband that allow me to attend training, games and interstate tournaments. My girls respect that I love my sport and support me like I do them with whatever they want to do. I do feel pretty lucky.
What's the best thing about skating?
Wow, so many things!!! I have never found a sport that makes me feel as alive as Roller Derby does!! It is fast, it can be brutal, it is unpredictable and gives me such a rush!! The gameplay is constantly evolving, you can never get comfortable. Definitely a high adrenalin sport for me. But what I love most is that no matter how intense a game is, at the end both teams head off and party together. There are always hugs and high fives! I love the friendships that I have made and the sport.
Do you have any funny stories or inspiring stories from your skating adventures?
Hahahaha so many funny stories and adventures, but I think I will keep them to myself!! I have made so many new friends and been to some cool places because of Roller Derby. I have also learned so much about myself and been able to push my body to its limits.
Would you have any advice for other Mums out there thinking about skating?
I think it is really important for Mums to have something for themselves. It sets such a good example for the kids. They see me succeed and fail and be ok with that. They see me commit to a team and what that means. So important.
General skating is such a great activity for fitness and low impact on the body. It is something that you can do with your kids or by yourself when you need some alone time. Everyone should have skates!!!