January’s Doll of the Month
Hi there! Let us introduce you to the league. As a little treat especially for you, each month we will quiz one of our members about their derby journey and what it means to them. It is only fitting that we start the proceedings with LDD’s Captain…
Name & Number?
Fully Harmed, 24
When and how did you become involved in roller derby?
I started coming to roller derby 5 years ago and have only ever been a Doll. I was advised by my manager to go and see the ARRG festival tournament and by the 3rd jam I was hooked. I got in touch with ARRG and enquired about fresh meat and was told I need to be able to skate to a good standard and have my own kit. Both of things were not going to happen! [yet –Ed]
I had given up on the idea of joining ARRG anytime soon but started looking at skates and thinking about where I could try skating outside, when I saw a Lothian Derby Dolls poster in TESCOS. I emailed LDD as soon as I got back to work; Skate got back to me quickly and could not be more helpful and that was the start.
What is your skating or other sport background?
I had no skating experience apart from falling a lot when I was 7 on my roller boots. I enjoyed sports like mountain biking and skateboarding but once I left school found it hard to get back into sports. Through my job I was lucky enough to take young people I worked with to try lots of activities and got into climbing and mountain biking again. Managing to cycle the Great Glen Way which I would love to do again. Derby is the only sport I felt as a 34 year old that I could take up and no one judged me or made me feel shit for not being athletic enough. In fact, Duksey’s first comment was how my big ass was perfect for derby!
What is your favourite motivational quote?
Motivational quote is from Caine in my first year and I was a total mess, falling a lot and feeling that roller derby might not be for me.
“The best skaters fall a lot because they push themselves hard, you fall hard so you better be f*%”£@g good”.
I loved this because he never really talked to me but was watching everything and knew I needed a wee boost and when he said this, that I need to hear people start off by falling lots, he had a big smile on his face.
Where do you like to be on track?
Preferred position on track has to be pivot. I love that feeling of looking at the jammers eyes and knowing what they need from us to get past. I love feeling like we are warriors together and working together. I love the thinking on my feet and having to make fast calls. And lastly, I love feeling protective of my Dolls.
Best Derby Moment?
During the ARRG tournament in November last year, my first reluctant time as a jammer I gained lead jammer and took a whip from Fury. Anyone who knows us both knows that our bodies and skating styles could not be more different; I am the one that gives whips and Fury jams her heart out. It made me laugh as soon as I was out of the pack and the LDD supporters were laughing and cheering with me. Hilarious…..
Has playing roller derby taught you anything?
Derby has taught me so much about myself; that I can push myself harder than I ever thought; that I needed to be a part of a team and that had been missing from my adult life. Derby has taught me not to judge people and to get to know people, support people and be open to some of the hardest, strongest women I have ever had the honour to meet (these women are often the softest pussy cats).
This is hard as everyone on my team is a hero in some way whether it’s their skating, hitting, filthy banter or the way they juggle their personal life and still be a hard ass twice a week at training. I have had the privilege of spending time with Kid Block [London Roller Girls] and I have always admired her skating. I was lucky enough to see her bout against ARRG when she was with Tiger Bay and more recently with LRG against Gotham last year. From a blocker/pivot point of view she is amazing to watch and to see how she is always in control, watching how to help her jammer and stop the opponent’s. Kid Block to me is calm, strong, athletic and focused and these are the things I work on every day.
Do you have any roles within the league and how has this been of benefit to both the league and yourself personally?
Being part of committees and more recently the Board has been really beneficial to me personally and hopefully for the league. I really don’t think you know how much work is put into running a league until you get involved. I personally really enjoy the PR and creative side of running the league and the most challenging project has been getting everything ready for Fear and Lothian’s first bout last year. I would encourage league members to get involved with committee work but always choose ones your skills will suit. LDD are lucky enough to have a fantastic Board who work tireless.
What is your job?
My job is a drug and alcohol worker for young people. Derby and CiBs does help me engage young people as some of them recognise me from skate parks and other are just amazed that I play a sport that is physical and very tough.
Have you ever been injured through playing derby?
My worst injury though derby has been ripping something in my ankle while trying to recycle Buttons at practice. It took me 8 weeks to recover and I still get pain. The biggest impact it had was on my confidence and a bit scared to do transitions for a while. The best thing I did to get over this was to go to co-ed training and scrims; I feel there is less room and time for excuses and that was a good thing for me.
Any advice for a new skater?
My main advice to new skaters is take your time and remember even the best skaters started off in fresh meat. I always tell the fresh meet that meet that me and Fury used to race together doing our 25 in 5 until I got pregnant and when I came back she was this super-fast hard ass jammer that I can never catch. Focus on skaters you notice skating well and try to catch up to them. I used to practice cross overs by watching Loca and Psyco. Focus on the skill you want to work on and do it again and again until you don’t need to think about it.
How long did it take you to pass minimum skills?
It took me a while to pass my mins as fresh meat was not as organised as it is now. We used to skate up and down at the end of the hall and get on the track while the big girls had a drink break. I finaly passed my mins and got selected for the team a year and a half after starting derby but found out I was pregnant the next week. This was really a good thing as while pregnant I got to line manage LDD and watch tons of derby and this really helped me to be a better skater.
You are involved with Chicks in Bowls. Has this helped you on track and if so, how?
Chicks in Bowls has helped me massively as a derby skater. I started going to skate parks because I had the ankle injury and thought skating on uneven surfaces would stretch and strengthen my injury. It did and still now I feel it twinge but find nothing comes of it now it is stronger. Sam and go weekly. Sam is a natural and I have to work harder to do less but love trying. I think skate park skating has given me a lot more confidence in myself and capabilities plus I get to have fun with my buddie with my wheels on.
Being voted captain is one of the best things that happened to me since starting skating. I feel so proud of LDD and where we are now. I am overwhelmed and very proud to be part of the team and hope I have a few good years life in me yet. xxx