Friday, January 15, 2010

Sol Train: The Interview

photo by Sharkey

Skater Name: Sol Train
Age: 36
Beverage of choice: Makers on the rocks with an IPA back
Heartless Heather since: Inception

CORONER: You do whitewater kayaking and rafting, you piloted a giant roller-skate off a ramp into the Willamette River, and you've been a major figure in Portland and national roller derby for years. When did you get your start as an adrenaline junky, and how has it developed through the years?

SOL TRAIN: I came by this honestly. I have been skiing since age 8. I had my first ambulance ride off the Mountain at 11 (hot doggin' some huge mogul run). I have always been into anything with wheels or water and making crazy stuff.

A lot of people I've talked to said that you got them into derby. Who got you into derby in the first place?

Megahurtz recruited me back when you'd see a big girl in a bar and try to convince them to join. We needed numbers.

Hurtz came by my place for some late after hours party and saw my skates sitting in the foyer. She asked if I skated, I replied "oh, yeah, all the time." I usually just cruised around the neighborhood. (which was quite a sight at the time; Rollerbladers would stop their tricks and hollar; "rollerSKATE!", ha) Anyway, I told Megahurtz to feel free to put on my skates and skate around the house. "I do it all the time". I have a natural little oval track in my house. She asked me to call her to skate sometime and I did. My first practice I didnt even realize it was roller derby. When she instructed me to bring all my pads and a helmet, I thought she was pretty conservative, or maybe thought I couldn't skate. So I rolled in with my construction and kayak pads and helmet. And as luck would have it, it was a low water year, meaning I was looking for something to do since there wasn't much kayaking or skiing.

Did you skate much as a kid?

Are you kidding? The coolest thing ever was Olivia Newton John and Xanadu. I went to Skateland every saturday. My sister and I made a track in our basement which had a 4 foot platform step you had to jump every lap! I even started derby on my Grandma's skates.

Did you grow up around here?

Nope. Grew up in Minneapolis. But I have lived here longer than anywhere else.

How long have you been Sol Train?

Not long before I started derby, say 8 months, a friend of mine confided that he and my kayaking buddies had been calling me sol train on all the videos. And since they were about to show the video on the big screen, and I would no doubt be there, they had to confess and asked if I was mad. I laughed. I told them no, and in fact I had just started a "soul train" at the bar the week before. When I came to derby, I just went with the nickname.

If I'm not mistaken, you've been on both the Heartless Heathers and the Wheels of Justice from the get-go. What's your take on the differences between intra-league and national level competition?

The Heathers are like the people I would call from the pokey; family. The Wheels of Justice is pure performance. A different reliance. More structure. Miss it though :)

What are some of the most memorable bouts of your career?

By far the most memorable bout for me was a travel team bout in 2006, I think it was against Sin City. I was jamming and doing pretty well, the crowd was on fire and began chanting my name; seriously like 3000 people. Holy crap. I didn't even have any friends in the audience.

Playing Oly in feb 09 was also pretty memorable. So ridiculously hardcore and the venue was so amazingly disgusting. It was almost renegade style. A ceiling tile even fell on Bitchin Camaro's head!

And of course, the first season's championship. We won. A rags to riches kinda story. We started with eight skaters. We trained super hard and won. Vom cried. It was amazingly emotional.

Now that your derby wife has moved on, are you heartbroken of are you playing the field?

Vom is and will always be my wife. :) We are still close and I miss seeing her so often. That said, I think we have always had an open relationship, ha.

Do you prefer jamming or being in the pack? difficult. The super ham in me love to jam. really. But the serious get it done part loves loves loves to frustrate, intimidate and get in people's heads as you can really only do as a blocker. It is just so much subtler believe it or not. Everyone notices the jammer. And honestly, I think I am a better blocker than a jammer.

What is your non-derby life?

I have my own business; Sol Creations. I do custom metal design and fabrication. In my free time (ha) I work on my house, kayak and ski mostly.

You have always been a big fan favorite - you even won the fan favorite trophy the first season. Does it creep you out a bit when fans see you on the street and start bowing down to you?

Well, it can be a little weird and gets a bit awkward when I am say on a date....try explaining that without coming across as a freak, ha. Although, when I got wind of "the church of sol train's ass", I was taken aback for a second, then cracked up. I have a pretty good sense of humor about all of it, I have to especially when my buddies witness it. They like to make sure I never get a big head.

Any opinions on how 2010 is looking for the Heathers?

This is a growing year for us. We have lots of young talent. We have not had much turnover until now, so need to make sure everyone is on the same page. No more referencing some obscure strategy from 2006. "Plan D!" It is just the beginning of the season though!

What should Cadavers keep in mind when they come to cheer on the Heathers this year?

First and foremost that we like it loud and proud! I am really looking to see the ridiculousness come back to the Rose City. I personally think we have gotten a bit too serious.. so lets turn it up! Love Always to the Cadavers! oooh, I got a chill...

1 comment:

JeLLyPiG said...

FTR: We don't have an actual "Church"...yet.Although I am pretty sure George has an alter.

Number 9, Number 9, Number 9.