Our Featured Skater for the month of February is
Beetlejuke of Fountain City Roller Derby!
Team: Shotgun Sheilas
Position: Blocker, Jammer
Seasons with FCRD: 2
How did you discover Fountain City Roller Derby?
“I found out about FCRD through Irritating Irish. Her aunt, Mel Breakdown, has played with FCRD since pretty much the beginning. I remember going to a few games back in high school when they played at Hale arena. I remember watching and thinking how bad ass all the girls looked (also I had no idea what was going on). Never thought that I’d be out there just a few years later!
But what really got me into the idea of joining was Irish always dragging my butt out to Winnwood [ Skate Center ] on Thursday and Sunday nights for their open adult skate. February 2015 was the first time I ever put skates on my feet. I met Groot that night and he actually taught me how to skate along with a few people who frequent Winnwood. I couldn’t even stand up straight without holding on to someone, super embarrassing. But seeing how much fun everyone else was having made me determined to learn how to do this super thing.
Within a few weeks I was able to skate on my own. I started going to FCRD games to watch Irish’s games. Met so many cool people. After many arguments with Irish about joining derby, I finally decided to indulge her by going to the recruitment meeting. Not saying that I was going to join, but I would go! Well, when I went to that meeting, I saw many people that I had met along the way, each person was so excited to see me there! People never got excited to see me! So finally I decided to tryout for FCRD. My only goal was to be Zombie League so I didn’t have to give up all my free time. As I started going through boot camp, every practice I fell more and more in love with it. Went through testing and made Class 2! At that point I know that derby was going to be my entire life. I went into the draft and made it onto the Shotgun Sheilas! The rest is history!”
Who are some of your biggest inspirations on the track?
“I am inspired by so many people on the track!
In no order: Pippi Strongblocking, an amazing blocker and jammer. Nobody can hold her back, she’s helped me come so far ever since I joined the Sheilas, I can only hope to be as talented as her one day!
Zombina: the mention of of her name sends chills down the spines of her enemies! I’ve always been drawn to her since I started watching derby! Her make-up and her skills are always something I strive for!
Racen Vorhees: every time he comes and talks to me during a practice or scrimmage, I know he’s going to drop some knowledge that’s going to help bring me to the next level!
Black Mamba: she was drafted to Sheilas the same time I was. I remember coming to the Zombie games and seeing this bad ass beauty just dominate the track! I was too excited when I found out we were going to be on the same team (pretty sure she didn’t even know who I was). We worked together at a league practice one time and ever since we’ve been attached at the hip. She’s always someone I can count on. She is in love with derby as much as I am. No one can stop MambaJuke!
Self DestructTiff: Do I even need to explain?! I can’t think of anyone who packs a harder punch than this chick! It’s terrifying to play her but I’m so glad to be on one of her teams so I can get a break from her!”
Favorite derby memory so far?
“My favorite derby memory has to be last year at nationals. The fact that I was a first year and I was chosen to help represent my awesome league to defend our championship title was so amazing. Going into I was so scared that I wasn’t going to be any help and I’d just fall behind, but I held my own and totally rocked it! I will admit that I was bawling when I realized that we had won nationals. I had worked my ass off to get there and to see myself win on top of that was so much to take in. It’s the first time in my life that I had shed happy tears. Until someone asked to take my picture, then the tears went away!”
Roller derby changes every life it touches. How has it changed yours?
“Roller derby totally saves souls. I use to be so quiet and reserved before derby, trying so hard to fit in and be liked. But when I joined derby, I slowly started to let my weird out, and people liked it! So it all came out! It’s the first time EVER in my life that I have felt comfortable in my own skin. It feels amazing to know how many people care and love me. It’s such an amazing weird family! Also derby gave me the drive to quit smoking. I was so tired of huffing and puffing after each jam. So for my 2017 new year resolution I decided to quit smoking, made a world of difference in my game play.”
To see more of Beetlejuke and all of Fountain City Roller Derby in action, visit our photo albums on Smugmug, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram.