Teams: The Shotgun Sheilas and Gang Green
Position(s): Blocker, Jammer, Pivot
Seasons with Dead Girl Derby: 2
How did you discover Dead Girl Derby?
“I had always thought roller derby was an interesting sport, but only had ever seen old videos (those 1960s bombshells going crazy on the banked track). I had yet to experience modernized derby in all its glory. Around the time I was pregnant with my youngest son, my really good friend of almost nine years, 10aciousV, started playing with DGD. The way she talked about the league and what skating did for her made me even more interested. She talked about all the benefits: exercise, girl time, bonding, and her transformation into an ultra-BAMF. So one weekend I took the whole family up to River Roll to watch 10acious skate. Watching her skate her heart out and seeing all the passion in the girls that were skating made me realize that this was something I had to do as soon as I could after my pregnancy. So, six weeks after my son was born, I was at recruitment night, nervous as hell! And even though I couldn’t skate to save my life and fell down constantly, I was in love!”
Explain the origin of your derby name.
“Anyone who has known me for quite some time understands I have a ‘slight’ obsession with horror films, specifically zombie movies. In college I redesigned “The Zombie Survival Guide” by Max Brooks as a pocket guide for on-the-go survival, my house is decked out in tons of Zombie stuff from zombie gnomes outside in our garden to zombie artwork on the walls, I take my children with me to participate in zombie walks, and I have seen almost every zombie film I can get my hands on. After much debate (picking a derby name ranks up there in difficulty with naming your children!) it seemed only natural to have my name tie to the undead flesh eaters and I already had an online handle as z0mbina, so I just went with that!”
Who inspires you on the track?
“Wow…this is super tough… Dead Girl Derby has so many talented and fearless people involved with it… it’s so hard to pick. First off: the not-so-fresh-meat this year have been incredibly inspiring! They are not afraid to push themselves to the limit and keep going, even though their legs are like jello or they may be nervous about a new drill. All of those girls have come so far from when they started. I am so proud of them! Of course, all my Sheilas have been incredibly inspiring for me as well! They will never let me give up when I’m frustrated, are always pushing me to do better than my best, and are so encouraging! Individual skaters outside my team that inspire me are: Red Ripper, 10aciousV, Striking Dervish, Ginger Ninja, Jam-Pa, Leroy Jenkins, and [Suicide] Snowcone.”
How has roller derby changed your life?
“There were plenty of times last season that I was about to give up. I was frustrated that I wasn’t progressing as fast as I wanted to, I was nervous on my skates, I wasn’t fast, etc etc etc… but the best part was that even though I had begun to give up on myself, others in the league wouldn’t let me. The encouragement I have seen from skaters and coaches is just incredibly heartwarming. I have met some really wonderful people because of this sport, and that’s ultra-difficult for me since I have a really hard time opening up and making new friends. I also feel like I am probably in the best shape since high school and more physically strong than I have ever been. Roller derby also have given me a new-found sense of empowerment!”
What is it about roller derby that brings out the best in Zombina?
“I love being able to help the newer skaters. I remember that feeling of downing on the track, not knowing what to do. I don’t want our new skaters feeling like that, so I always make myself available for questions or offering up tweaks to their technique. I think I am at my best when I can contribute to my league mates accomplishments. It’s great to watch a skater fulfill their derby aspirations!”