1. Derby name & number: Biscuits & Crazy
2. Real name: Karlen Velkovska
3. Significance of derby name/#: I’m a southerner in the most Yankee place you can get so I wanted to cling to my roots a bit with my name. 615 is the area code for Nashville, TN – my hometown and I am so proud to wear it on my jersey
4. Age: 24 now (will be 25 in Feb 2016)
5. Position you play: None yet, I’m such a newbie I’m trying to learn all I can.
6. How long have you been skating? 1 Yr in April 2016
7. How did you join derby? With my pal Ice BreakHer! We came to a bout with some friends and decided this was something we needed in our lives.
8. What do you like most about derby? The collaboration and camaraderie of being on a team! and constantly pushing myself, I enjoy a good challenge, mental or physical. Nothing is better than coming home from practice and realizing you’re as useful as a pile of mush.
9. Greatest strength on or off the track: When I’m on the track I don’t let myself say “no”. When trying something new, or getting instruction from a coach – I can’t say no. I’m not going to get better if I don’t try new things and push myself and by saying “no” I limit my opportunities to figure out what I’m good at and how I can be an asset to my league.
10. Derby injuries: just some bad rink rash and a pulled hip flexor.
11. Favorite derby memory: The energy at the first bout I went to was so incredible. It was a season closer & double header so the rink was packed. My friends and I cheered so loud we lost our voices and busted up our knuckles clanging the cowbells – and from that moment I knew I was hooked. I have loved every minute of it since and am so glad I showed up to recruitment night.
12. Favorite foods/drinks: coffee, coffee-flavored things, and anything smothered in cheese.
13. Anyone you look up to in the derby world? ShortStop from Gotham’s All Stars! She’s built like I am and plays on a team of women double her height and she still makes herself an extremely valuable Jammer.
14. Who inspires you the most from your league? Octopi Wall St.: She is so solid on her skates and has been such a valuable resource to me while learning how to actually play the game. She knows the rule book inside and out and takes her derby time very seriously. I can’t go more than ten minutes without learning something from her and I’m so glad to have her around! Plus all of her time and effort that goes into coordinating the NSOs is essential for the success of our bouts. She’s a superstar!
15. Who is the most challenging player you experienced? Since I’ve not played in a game yet, right now the answer is me. My brain seems to be my own worst enemy when learning new things.
16. Do you play any other sports besides Roller derby? I played adult rec league volleyball and was terrible – so terrible I broke my arm. So now I just cross-train with my husband acting as my personal trainer.
17. What personal advice would you give young derby beginners? Don’t be afraid to fall, because if you’re not falling you aren’t pushing yourself hard enough. Also if you realize you’re falling try not to tense up, it only makes it hurt worse.
18. When and what occasion was a specific moment you felt like you really had to push yourself even harder? Passing my time trials – We had just spent the previous half hour doing endurance drills and Eve’l walks up to us and says, “Ready to do your laps?” I was already sucking wind but wanted to pass so badly so I just had to tell myself, “What’s 5 more minutes?” And sure enough I got 29 in 5 on my first try!
19. Hobbies outside of derby: I spend my spare time in the kitchen or hanging out with my husband and rescue pups (a pitbull mix and an ex-racer greyhound)
20. Quote: “Go get ‘em, champ” – What my husband says to me every time as I walk out the door to I leave for practice. It’s silly but has become the starting point for making sure I’m focused and have my head in the game.