April Jerby of the Month: Helen Back
Although new to derby and SVRG 2.0, Helen Back is a name that you are bound to hear more of! Having just started in January, Helen is making amazing progress in her skating abilities from week to week, even with her busy schedule outside of derby. Her dedication to improvement, thirst for knowledge, and incredible footwork are just part of what makes Helen SVRG 2.0’s Jerby of the Month. Congratulations Helen!
1. What is your derby name and number? How did you decide on them?
Helen Back, 66. Helen Back is a play on words for Hell and Back. I chose it simply because it sounds intimidating. Like bouting against me is like going to hell and back. Haha. The number part is a little homage to Route 66, since I really really really really love road tripping.
2. How long have you been playing? What got you started in Derby?
I started about 4 months ago. I was watching the movie Whip It and decided to take a look at junior leagues to see if there were any close by. I watched a ton of WFTDA bouts online. I came across SVRG, looked at what I needed to buy and that was it.
3. What is your favorite position to play?
Definitely jammer. The rush of adrenaline you get when you know that everyone is out to get you is really awesome, plus I picked it up really quickly when I first started.
4. What is your best moment/memory so far? What has been your biggest challenge so far?
During my very first bout towards the end of the second period I was trying to get past a four-wall, but there was no gap so I found my teammate Audrey Ripburn on the inside line and apex jumped. I don’t know how I did it. I’d never even attempted it before. Unfortunately I didn’t land it, but I did get all my points, so yay! My biggest challenge so far would have to be staying on my feet. Sometimes I get a little squirrely and fall...a lot. I’m currently working on perfecting my plow stops, since it’s my weakest stop. But hey, it’s all a work in progress and there’s always room for improvement. All that really matters is whether or not you get back up when you fall, and I make a point to always get back up.
5. How do you spend your time when you aren’t on the track?
Sports-wise I also ice skate on Tuesdays, and play soccer during the on-season. I used to be on my school’s color guard team (which for anyone who doesn't know is like tossing flags, rifles, sabres and dancing and such). I’m really passionate about music and singing, sewing, the internet, and television/movies. On occasion I recreate costumes of my favorite characters (which some people call cosplay). Lastly, I draw, doodle and write whenever I can. Art and Music will always be a passion of mine, and someday I hope to audition for The Voice just to see what happens.
6. Any advice for any young women looking to join roller derby?
Do it. Seriously. If you don’t like it, don’t play it, but if you never try you’ll never know. If I could convince my best friend to do it, I would, I have and I still try everyday. If you like sports and you aren’t afraid to get hit, do it. If you want to stay in shape and feel powerful because your body is strong, do it. There’s no sport like it to be honest. It doesn’t just affect your body, it affects your confidence in everyday life, and it makes you feel good about yourself. Plus its a great way to release stress and anger!
7. What does finding a new SVRG home mean for you?
It means getting to continue playing an amazing, empowering sport with a bunch of kick-ass ladies. I’ve only just started playing, and it would be terrible if I had to stop doing something I love because there was no where to play.