Friday, January 1, 2010

Interview with a Heather: Monacle Debacle

photo by Sharkey.

Skater Name: Monacle Debacle
Age: 28
Neighborhood: NE
Beverage of choice: Hot Toddy
Heartless Heather since 2009

CORONER: It has been really fun watching you skate in your initial scrimmages and bouts here. Somebody told me that you were a transfer skater. Where did you skate before you came to Portland?

MONACLE DEBACLE: Thanks! I started skating in Savannah, GA when the Derby Devils were forming three and a half years ago. I was relatively new to town and was craving outlets to meet people. A flyer for derby crossed my path and I didn't hesitate. I wanted to play. It took me a month to utter more than a word to another player, but I showed up every practice three nights a week for three years.

How have you seen the game change during your time, and how has it changed you?

Good lord, I didn't even know the rules for the first two years that I played. I didn't know how to stop, really, until this summer. For me, derby has changed most dramatically since I moved to Portland in July.

Coming from an incredibly small league where we barely had enough skaters to bout, I have only recently been aware of its true, majestic influence on more than myself.

How do you like being a Heather so far?

The Heathers persona is an ice Queen, but every single player on our roster has heart. This is what drew me here. Hell, yes, I want to win, but I want to do it with a love of the sport and for each other.

What's your preference - jamming or being in the pack?

I am really enjoying being in the pack. Jamming can be done with a singular focus on your own skills. I spent years improving my footwork and agility simply because it's what got me through a pack. There was no structure to it. Now I'm learning to use my teammates, to be aware of more than myself and execute strategy.

Have you ever felt that you've reached a plateau in your game? How did you overcome it?

My breakthrough in derby came from going on a 5 week bicycle tour through Chile with friends. I came back from climbing the Andes Mountains and could finally skate after trying to for almost a year with the Devils. My body responded and I was able MOVE.

How did you choose your derby name?

There's something about the word "monocle." It instantly provides mystery rounded out by class. I will kill you, but you will enjoy me doing it.

What occupies your time outside of roller derby?

I always have a project. I sell bicycle caps online and I'm currently getting my craft room together for expanded sewing. Derby always seeps in - I'm sewing some helmet covers for the Breakneck Betties for the season opener on January 16. I like finding new bicycle routes in this lane-filled city, and exploring new recipes in a warm kitchen.

What is your biggest challenge on and off the track?

I am a type I diabetic. Each day I have to make time for the art of managing my insulin intake, maintaining a good diet and exercising. Bouts are particularly difficult for me because I get nervous and it messes with my blood sugar level. It's hard to skate when your body is revolting against you. Ultimately, though, when the first whistle blasts, I tuck my insulin pump into my knee pad and hope for the best.

Congratulations on being selected for the AoA. That's a hell of a roster. Do the Axles have any bouts before Miami on January 30? What's it like working with that team, as opposed to working with the Heathers?

No bouts before Miami. I started practicing with AoA a month before we played Terminal City in early December. The drive and focus that was present blew me away. It's such an excellent mishmash of home team players with one thing in common: our commitment to this sport. Travel team is serious. You get better, or you go home.

What's your favorite thing about derby?

Learning something new, every practice. EVERY practice.

Your teammates really speak highly of you. Do you have a favorite Heather?

Favorite Heather, yikes. I would have to say Scratcher in the Eye. When I came to Portland for a week to solidify my random decision to move here, I stopped in on a travel team practice at the hangar. As an English nerd, her name stuck out to me. She's a smart jammer and blocker that has real foresight in a pack. Since becoming a Heather, I can add that she is a confident leader and has encouraged me since day one.

What are your big goals on the Heathers, in the RCR, and in the WFTDA?

The Heathers have recently drafted the most new players of all of the home teams in the league. There is a lot of rebuilding to do. This will take time and teamwork and I am excited to be one piece of that foundation.

RCR is a tremendous resource. I aim to become a member that gives more than they take. I'm adopting a rosebud in January. I'm so excited.

As for WFTDA, I want to go to Nationals. I would love to be with Rose City and the Wheels of Justice when we win.


oiseau said...

yea! this grrrl rules!

The Coroner said...

We're only just beginning to discover that she does, indeed, rule!