Jaded Sins’Ability #47 just finished her fourth season with QCRG. In those four years she went from the last person drafted to her team to a player that many, on and off the Alley Kats, look to as a model skater, teammate and friend. She is strong and determined and can stay calm in a crisis. Plus, she’s got a wicked sense of humor and the funniest laugh. She has spent two years as the Alley Kats representative bringing her keen insights and thoughtful opinions to the QCRG board.
How did you come to derby?
I was in a meeting at work and was chatting with a co-worker about what we used to do on Saturday mornings when we were kids. I used to watch cartoons, Kung Fu, wrestling and then I’d watch roller derby. Way back then, I used to say that when I grew up I was going to be on American Gladiators and I was going to play roller derby.
But by the time I was having this conversation, I didn’t think anyone still played roller derby. My co-worker was friends with NForceHer and told me all about QCRG. The next time they were playing, she said, we were going to go watch.
We did and it must have been 20 minutes or so into the first period when I said: okay, where do I go to sign up?
You needed more than just gear to skate roller derby, didn’t you?
Yes. I needed to get my driver’s license. I knew how to drive, but I was terrified of driving and so hadn’t gotten my driver’s license. It just seemed to happen that whenever I said I was going to take my permit test I would have vivid nightmares about being in an accident. I would wake up and think, nope, I’m good. My husband can drive me. But he has to work on Sundays and everyone in my family is in church on Sundays. There was no one to give me a ride to boot camp. I had to get my license. So one day he picked me up after work and surprised me by taking me to the DMV for my permit test. I didn’t have a chance to have a nightmare and put it off again. I went in, took the test, and passed it without a problem. The earliest appointment they had for the road test was the week before boot camp started. So I got my license right before I started derby. And as I got into the car that first morning I thought: I’m either going to die in the car on my way to boot camp or I’m going to die at boot camp. One of them is going to happen.
Had you ever skated before?
Yes, but I had skated at a regular session in those regular rental skates. Boot camp was just very different. I knew how to roller skate, but I didn’t know how to derby skate. It was a lot of fun. But if it wasn’t for Stormie I wouldn’t be playing roller derby.
What did Stormie do?
It was the third week into boot camp and I was still so scared of falling. I had decided I just wasn’t going to continue. I knew that when I fell down, I was going to die. So I had decided I was done; just done. Stormie came over to me and asked me how I was. I told her that I was afraid of falling and didn’t want to keep skating. She said that once you get that first fall out of the way you realize it isn’t as bad as you think it’s going to be. She suggested that I just finish the session. We were learning how to hit that session. I wasn’t worried about being hit. I’m a pretty solid person. But Stormie waited for a moment when I wasn’t paying attention; wasn’t in derby stance and she hit me so hard that I went down. And I stopped. And I waited. Then I realized that it didn’t hurt. I could play roller derby.
She came up to me afterwards and said “See? It wasn’t so bad, was it? Now it’s out of your system and you don’t have to quit.”
How did you pick your derby name?
I had a committee to help me. I’m not very creative so I had a bunch of people to help me. I had a list of my hobbies and things that I liked. People sent in suggestions. I had about fifteen suggestions. I sent the top three to the committee and the one that came back was Harley Quinn Die Man (think: Harlequin Diamond). But before they decided on that name I was looking up names that had to do with Jade because I have a tattoo on my shoulder that says Jade. I was looking on the computer and came up with Jaded Sensibility. I thought that would be a cool name. When I was talking to my husband about it he thought I was saying “Jaded Sins’Ability.” I sent that name out to everyone and they liked that name better than Harley. However, early on, my husband wanted me to change my name to Betty Rubble because of my laugh. Everyone always tells me that I laugh just like Betty Rubble does. As a matter of fact, when I was in Disney I had my picture taken with Betty Rubble. She started to laugh at something and then I started to laugh. And we sounded exactly alike. I didn’t think Two Evils would approve the name so I stuck with Jaded Sins’Ability.
What surprises you about derby?
The variety of people who play and watch derby constantly surprises me. Skaters and fans come from so many different backgrounds. Everyone one of us has to contend with the stereotype of a derby girl. And some of us might fit into that stereotype. But many of us, even the ones that seemingly do fit into that stereotype, do surprising things in our lives. You might have a skater who is going to law school during the day and makes chocolate chip cookies for her kids at night, and also goes to practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays and hits people. It’s constantly changing, too, because we are always getting new people. I’m always surprised by someone’s job or interest outside of derby. And it works. The variety helps the league grow and derby helps women step out of their typical life and do something different.
What do you like best about derby?
I like everything about derby. I enjoy practice and I enjoy seeing my friends. I never used to have girlfriends. Until derby, all of my friends were guys. But in derby your team becomes your family, without quite as much arguing and fighting. I never had that before.
What do you love about skating?
I like skating because you have those few moments when you aren’t thinking about the rest of your life. It takes your mind off the other stuff in your life and that’s all you have to do is skate. You can worry about the rest of that stuff when you take your gear off.
What’s your bout day routine?
I take my husband to work and then I go shopping. I always buy a pair of derby socks. I might wear them that night or I might not, but I always buy a pair. Then I used to go to Nestor’s for a beef souvlaki. It would be lunch time by then. I’d go home and eat it. I turn my phone on vibrate and just sit there and watch television. I don’t do anything. I don’t want to talk to anyone. People know not to call me on bout day; except my mother. She has only missed one bout in the four years I’ve skated and that was because she was very sick. But she calls me every bout day. “When does it start?” she asks. Every time. But if my dad calls me (because he’s forgotten that it’s bout day) I’ll tell him: “It’s bout day, Dad.” And he says: “Okay, goodbye.” And click. He’s gone. Because he knows, just like everyone knows. Don’t call me on bout day. I just need to relax and not think about it. I start thinking about the bout right around warm up time or when the refs are announced. I don’t like to spend all my energy thinking about what might happen during the bout and what I might do. I’m afraid if I do that I won’t have the energy to actually do it during the bout. So I just relax during the day and save my energy for the bout that night.