Skater of the Month: LauRAWR!
What attracted you to roller derby?
I'm not sure. I was in grad school and wanted to do something athletic and fun.
Did you skate or play another sport before starting derby?
I hadn't skated since I was a kid, but I felt like a super star when I was able to skate five laps around the track without stopping. I had a long way to go! In terms of other sports, I was always into different sports as a kid and teenager. I played soccer, softball, water polo, and was on the swim team.
How did you choose your derby name?
I really liked the idea of having a derby name with my real name in it so that I wouldn't have to learn to answer to something new. I was hanging out with my BFF Tots and I drew a T-Rex on a piece of cardboard with a word bubble that said "LauRawr," she started calling me it and it stuck. She kept the drawing and called it "the first dinosaur."
What’s your favorite (derby) position?
I like to block, particularly to bust up walls as an offensive player.
What are you known for on the track? What’s your superpower?
Probably my positional blocking skills and derby brain. I like to know my rules, scout other teams, and pick apart strategy. I think it's important to see the whole picture of the structured chaos that makes up derby, not just one side of it.
Tell us about your greatest derby experience.
Wow, that's a lot of pressure! All derby has been pretty great. There are lots of little moments, like being able to hold my own against a really tough blocker, head reffing my first junior bout, being paid a compliment by a great skater...I think this category is never ending, there are always more experiences to be had.
Describe your gnarliest injury.
During my very first bout with SVRG, I was standing up from a fall and stumbled a little bit so I steadied myself with my hand and fractured my thumb. I didn't realize it was broken so I still played the rest of the game and dunked it in a cup full of Taco Bell ice on the car ride home. I finally had to accept it was broken when my fiancé made me go to the hospital a week later because I wouldn't use my right hand to do anything.
What do you contribute to SVRG *off* the track?
I'm the Killas Co-Captain so I spend a lot of time with Spankin' Firecracker, my captain, working on strategies, motivating skaters, and promoting teamwork. I'm also head of SVRG 2.0 Junior Derby (Go Jerbs!) and head ref of the junior ref program. I try to give as much of my time to the league as possible because I am happy to support an organization that has given me so much.
When you’re not skating, how do you pass the time? What other passions do you have?
Well, in the professional world I am a librarian. In my private life I like to eat ice cream sandwiches with my bestie Tots, tease my honorary derby siblings (LiLo, Jonny D., and Ted W. Spin), listen to alt comedy podcasts, lift weights, run, eat pizza, dance at ska shows, watch nerdy TV shows like Buffy, watch Paul Newman movies, look at comic books, and spend time with my fiancé GilBurrito.
Who are your heroes of roller derby?
I like all the greats; Sassy (from Oly) has pretty amazing butt skills and Wild Cherri (Gotham) rocked at champs. Honestly though, I have some pretty savage peeps on my team who have supported me and helped me become a better skater. My mentors Catherine Beata Bones and Lindsay Lohanded amaze me every time I see them play.
Can you offer any advice to people who are interested in derby?
Go for it. Like, seriously. If you want to be even decent at this, it is going to take a ton of hard work and if you half ass it you will never get to the place you want to be. This means you are going to have to spend your off time working out. You are going to have to be objective about your own abilities. You are going to have to be humble and learn from people who intimidate or frustrate you. If you truly give 100% (don't rationalize giving any less), then you've got this.