July Rollergirls of the Month
Nikki Slix: Where are you originally from?
Gnarley Quinn: Cheyenne, Wyoming
Chelsea Dagger: Mt. Juliet, Tennessee!
ns: How did you first get involved in roller derby?
Gnarley Quinn: My best friend's daughter started with NJRD a couple years ago. I took her to a practice and fell in love with it. I went to the next NRG game and knew I had to do it.
Chelsea Dagger: Vette City Roller Derby was just starting to form in Bowling Green, Kentucky and I was there for school. I came to an informational tryout in September 2009.
ns: What is your pre-derby sports/skating background?
Gnarley Quinn: I learned to skate on inlines and only skated on inlines. I played basketball and volleyball during high school. After high school, nothing until derby.
Chelsea Dagger: I played basketball in highschool and had been active in various sports as a kid including soccer, volleyball, and karate.
ns: How did you pick your derby name?
Gnarley Quinn: I had the hardest time with this! I love Batman (all superheroes, really) and love Harley. Gnarley Quinn just came to me when I was driving home from work one night.
Chelsea Dagger: I had been skating for Vette City for a couple months when I heard the Fratellis's song "Chelsea Dagger" on the radio at a bar in Australia. I fell in love with the energy of the song and wanted to emulate that in person. It's also the song the Chicago Blackhawks play when they win games.
ns: What’s the hardest part of being a rollergirl?
Gnarley Quinn: Balancing my time between derby, work, and my friends outside of derby.
Chelsea Dagger: Managing time. Once you become involved you want to give it your all, but have to balance the rest of your life. After you start attending 4 practices a week, games on Saturdays, public relations events, charity events, and doing work for the league, all of your time is gone. I'm learning to sleep less. :)
ns: How has your involvement in roller derby affected the way you live the rest of your life?
Gnarley Quinn: I've become more confident in myself and not as afraid to take chances.
Chelsea Dagger: Derby has given me a lot of strength, confidence, and has improved my public speaking skills. We are a non-profit, so we have to do our own promotion work and talk to a lot of people. Representing NRG in public and recieving positive feedback about the sport or athleticism in general is encouraging. Also since participating in roller derby I think I better understand personal growth and healthy goal setting which is helpful in my professional life.
ns: How do you find a balance between your derby life and your “real” life?
Gnarley Quinn: It's tough! I work a minimum of 50 hours a week. I've had to set my schedule to allow me to go to practice and do my video gaming on my off nights.
Chelsea Dagger: Sleeping very little is key. I usually work 40 hours a week, so I get up early and use a planner to keep my days organized. Eating healthy makes it a lot easier to get everything done too. I can really tell a difference between a junk food kind of week and a healthier week.
ns: Do you have a pre-bout ritual?
Gnarley Quinn: Nope! Just staying calm and getting pumped!
Chelsea Dagger: I don't really have a ritual. I just try to get in a performance-type mindset and visualize myself and my teammates succeeding. I usually have performance anxiety, so I know that if I'm nervous it's going to be a good game.
ns: What things do you do outside of practice to stay healthy?
Gnarley Quinn: I watch what I eat, although I do treat myself to a delicious baked good every now and then. I lift weights and do cardio 5 days a week.
Chelsea Dagger: Strength conditioning and weight lifting at Gym 5 with my teammates. Also daily power walking with my great dane, Elvis. Occasionally I'll run stairs or do some distance skating.
ns: What advice do you have for girls who want to join roller derby?
Gnarley Quinn: Take the chance and do it! If you don't think you can do it, stick with it. Roller derby has been the most rewarding experience I've ever had, but it's definitely not been without struggles. Put on some skates, go to Rec league and have fun. Definitely worth it!
Chelsea Dagger: Do it for yourself. You will only get out of it what you put in, and when you do it for yourself it will mean a lot more. Also it's tons of fun!!