|Photo by Lesley Etherson|
Enigma (#10) of the KC Roller Warriors Allstars was kind enough to sit down with me after one of my friends pointed her out in the crowd. It really is unnerving how different people looked after they took off all of their gear, but her bright, orange hair was a dead give away.
How long have you been playing derby?
-I've been playing derby for three years, sort of. In my first year, I suffered from a spiral fracture, and now I'm bionic. Now when I skate, I have a plate and it is a paralyzing experience when I get kicked there. It aches when it rain or when the temperature changes, but I can still skate! This was my first year on the Allstars, and then I got to go to Champs!
How did you guys prepare for Champs?
-We went in pretty confident. You can underrate us, but that's ok. We were here! We focused on staying together and recycling while stopping the recycling of the other team.
Because there is a lot more media coverage of derby, how does your team deal with the occasional negative review?
-We usually laugh about the reviews, but the one thing that does bother me is that people constantly compare our team to past teams of our league. This is our team now. We've had a lot of people retire, and they're all happy. We have more people retiring after this season; a lot of them want to have babies, so we will be a different team next season. We have to focus on our present team.
What do you think about the present day game?
-I think the system is flawed. There are so many loopholes that make the game not as much fun. Lots of clockwise blocking due to direction of game play now and a ton multi-player blocking goes on without being caught by the refs. We were one of the first teams to experiment with passive offense; we used it during the first Minnesota game we played this season, and we caught a lot of hell for doing it. Now it's part of the normal strategy of derby.
How do you handle the stress of being on the travel team and "real" life?
- I'm really lucky, I have a lot of support from my family, even through the injury. They know that even if everything can go wrong during the day, putting on skates makes it all better.
Do you have a role model in derby you try to emulate?
-That's a tough one; we have so many amazing skaters on our team. Kelly Young would probably be my role model, not just because she's a fantastic skater, but she's a quality human being. Even as we were going in to play our game at Champs, she was texting all of us to tell us good luck.
Enigma was a refreshing interview because she had a great attitude about derby and is proof that you can come back from a majorly traumatic injury and wind up on the travel roster, representing your team at Champs! I know a lot of people go through ups and downs during our derby careers, but seeing someone overcome a major injury like that should give a lot of people hope!