November WARDian of the Month: Shanobyl!

How did you first hear about roller derby?

I watched a Buzzfeed video about it back in 2017 and mentioned to my fiancé how much fun that would be. He really pushed me into looking into it and thankfully I contacted WARD a week before their Nov 2017 sign up and I’ve never looked back. It was the scariest decision I think I’ve ever made in my adult life but looking back, it’s the best decision I could have made for my physical and mental health.

What is something that you know about roller derby now that you wish you knew when you first started? 

It’s not the end of the world if you don’t pass an assessment or can’t master a particular move. Derby is just as much mental as it is physical and everyone progresses and learns at their own pace. The amount of times in my first cycle of level 1 I sat in my car crying before training is ridiculous but IT GETS BETTER!

What is the roller derby goal that you are working towards right now?

Just to attend all level 3 training. My social anxiety is really playing with me at the moment. Going from levels where I knew what I was doing to then being thrown into the deep end again is a struggle…but sucking at something is the first step towards being sort of good at something.

What do you do to keep your derby brain switched on?

At the moment I’m in my second round of PT with Slay from PRD, she is a machine and definitely helped with core and strength training which has helped with my on skate’s derby. I’m also a sucker for old WFTDA games on Youtube to help me understand game play and I also love watching Indi Jammer Jones.

Who in WARD is inspiring you at the moment?

So many people, I love watching the new level 1s and 2s. Starting your derby life or even being introduced to hitting is hard but I love seeing people giving it a go. Pretty much everyone at the league inspires me in one way or another.

What keeps you enthused about roller derby?

That forever learning. I love being able to nail something my brain tells me I won’t and it makes me so enthusiastic about the future. Also, all the lovely people I’ve met and are now my friends. I would have been completely lost without Chi Chi at the beginning of my derby journey and I would have been lost this last year without the support from Rumby and Scratchy.

Who do you nominate as our next WARDian of the month?

Uuuuuh, everyone? Of course I think Rumby has done an amazing job with the Risk and Safety. Missy as well for her dedication in helping the new level 3s like myself even though the season is over.