Name: Lucy Brawler
Team: Venomous Vixens
Number: 1/2 3vil
Seasons with BRG: 5
How did you first discover BRG, and what made you decide to join the league?
“A friend of mine (who I had not spoken to since high school) contacted me through Facebook saying she had started with a roller derby team in town, and she knew we hadn’t spoken for a while, but thought of me and how I was a little off like her, and she thought I would enjoy it. It took some doing on her part to get me there (several months). One night I decided to go check it out. I already had skates, so I threw on some yoga pants and my bestest Rancid Tee and off I went.
When I got there i couldn’t muster the courage to go in. I must have sat in my car for 30 min and finally drove off. Knowing that if I went home my husband would be upset since I never left the house or had friends, he thought this was a great opportunity for me to get my self esteem back and rejoin the land of the living. So I turned back, forced my ass out of the car and into that small, smelly gym.
First night of practice kicked my ass. I found muscles I didn’t know existed. The next day when I rolled out of bed, things hurt I didn’t know could hurt! I couldn’t pee with out bracing myself one arm on the sink one on the shower door and easing into it. I was hooked!!! After that I found myself going to every practice I could, and when there was no practice, I was at our local rink. A month in I bought ‘real’ BIG GIRL skates and my own pads. I was in deep and had the fever, the rest is history.”
Tell us the origin of your derby name.
“Growing up, I was never the most graceful human. I was always running into things and tripping over all the things and my own feet and more things. If there was a single patch of ice in the world, I would be the only person to hit it and fall on my ass.
My mom would always say, ‘Nice job, Lucy,’ or call me Lucy Bell or Grace, but mostly it had to do with a Lucy reference. We were big I Love Lucy fans, and I guess she thought I was a lot like that goofy, crazy, clumsy gal. So I became Lucy Brawler because of my momma. She always got a kick out of that.”
Who inspires you on the track?
“I have to say, it’s not a skater that inspires me, but my boys, husband/coach, and my momma. I want my boys to see it’s never to late in life to do something you love, have passion [for] and work hard to achieve a dream or goal. My husband/coach is always in my corner no matter how hard, shitty, or great a day has been. He’s always rooting for me and picking me up when I need it. Momma because she worked so hard to raise me to be the fireball/lady I am, and she never really had the chance to find something like this that I did. She also thought my [potty] mouth and personality were a perfect fit in derby and loved watching me and my kid sister play. Now I play my best every game to honor her memory… somewhere, I think she’s still watching and proud when I knock a bitch to the floor or shoot my mouth off.”
Any memorable injuries over the years?
“ALL OF THEM!
We all know in this sport [that] injuries happen and we are never ready for them when they do. This sport make us so independent, strong willed, and shows us what bad asses we can truly be, so when you do get injured, it’s hard. I’ve broken my femur, my ankle, tailbone, had the old 9-month injury, dislocated ribs, lots of bumps and bruises, multiple concussions, and rink rash.
Every time I have a major injury, I’m crushed. Not only can I not skate, but not being 100% able to take care of my family and doing day to day tasks, and having to ask for help is beyond frustrating. Giving up and letting someone help is hard, and seeing that you need help is even harder. Luckily, the derby community is so strong and supportive that they help out (if you want it or not). And the help and thoughts don’t just come from your team or league, but other leagues and fans. It is an amazing sight to see, and honestly, through every break, baby, death, and just life, these people have been there with me.”
Roller derby changes lives. How has it changed yours?
“Boy howdy! A person cannot be in this sport and say it has not changed them in one way or another, and if they do, they are LYING!
Lets start with empowerment, self worth, and self esteem. Before derby, I only left the house for work or to go to the store. I was a shut-in, no friends, no hobbies, I didn’t like myself, how I looked, etc. I was not a person, I was a shell going through the motions. One night of derby changed my life. It gave me something I didn’t have to be perfect at, where no matter your size, color, religion, etc., didn’t matter. Everyone was working at this, and everyone is always working at this, and you have to take victory in the little things, like learning to T-Stop or fall or hit or skate 20 laps in under five minutes.
So yeah, one night of derby and five years later, I am one of the mouthiest, strong-willed, never-say-die (except Mondays… no one likes Mondays) person. Derby has given me some of the best friends/family I’ve ever had, confidence in myself, and my pre-baby body back!
The biggest way it has changed my life is that it’s brought me people I would not have met, bonds I wouldn’t have made, abilities I didn’t know I had, and in all this craziness we call derby, I somehow found myself, and she is better and stronger and more amazing than I ever knew!
We are misfits! Each one of us [is] broken, bent, or damaged in our own way, and with derby, we have all found something bigger than ourselves. So to answer your question, Mr. KC Derby Digest… how has derby changed my life? Roller derby has truly saved my soul!”