Skater of the Month: October 2014

Fannysaurus Wrex

Fanny leaning into an opposing blocker (Photo courtesy of Dave Schrader

Fanny leaning into an opposing blocker (Photo by Dave Schrader

Look out! It’s a skating dinosaur!! Nope, just Fannysaurus Wrex, our October Skater of the Month, powering your way! While she may look scary, underneath that makeup is a caring teammate who’s always looking out for her fellow skaters. Her excellent communication skills makes her an ideal pivot on the track and an effective leader of our PR committee. 

If you can’t wait to watch some skating, check her and our other skaters out this weekend for the production of Xanadu from the City Circle Acting Company. Otherwise, come with your best boutfits to our final game of the season at the MONSTER’S BRAWL. (Cover photo by Danforth Johnson)

Who are you?!
I am Fannysaurus Wrex, 68MA. I’m a scary dinosaur with a large proportion of my physical mass concentrated in the lower half of my body. Outside of derby, I have an exciting desk job. I share my home with two cats, a great dane and an entrepreneur. I draw, paint and do my fair share of crafty-crafts. You can follow my instagram @eawdoodles if you enjoy creepy monsters and day-of-the-week themed illustration. I dream of one day working on only a single home remodeling project at a time (as opposed to the 6 or 7 projects we have going right now).

What position do you like to play?
I like to tell people what to do, so often get to wear the pivot stripe. On my team, I am known for my ability to simultaneously skate and narrate the game-play using full sentences. When I first got started, I had no athletic background and I couldn’t really skate but I liked to talk a lot. So I figured, until I got my skating skill up to par I could be an asset to the team by using my voice to direct my more agile teammates and get everyone on the same page.Ok, who am I kidding, right? I’m actually known for painting my face like a dinosaur. Fans, teammates and opponents love it and yes, I paint it myself.

Fanny taking the jammer star. (Photo by Danforth Johnson)

Fanny taking the jammer star. (Photo by Danforth Johnson)

What do you do for roller derby besides skating?
I have been a member of OCCRG’s board for the past two years and head of PR and marketing for the same period of time. So if you haven’t heard of us, I guess you know who to blame.

How long have you been skating and why did you join?
I have been on the team for about 5 years. Before derby, my athletic background consisted of thinking sports were dumb, planning to start a workout regimen but not following through and a short stint as an elementary school judo champion- from which I retired undefeated after making my neighbor friend cry during a match.What’s your favorite overall thing about roller derby?
I love how derby has evolved from a goofy hodge-podgey game to an intensely competitive sport. Most importantly, I love that these changes were driven by skaters and the derby community. Derby’s DIY spirit empowers its players to take on new leadership roles, both on the track and on the ‘business’ side of the game. It challenges you to go outside of your comfort zone and to test your limits. (Something that is far too rare in the grown-up world.)
The focus is always on improving and growing. OCCRG is an excellent example of this. When the team first got started, nobody really knew what the best way to train for a contact sport was or even how to best teach skating skills. The rules were a bit hazy, strategies were non-existent and it was really ‘trial by fire’ at times. But as we gained experience and insight, we learned better ways to train, practice and play derby. Our coaches have been amazing, dedicating so much time and love into helping us all become the best team we can be.
What was something unexpected that you got out of roller derby?

Searching for a hole in the wall. (Photo by Danforth Johnson)

Searching for a hole in the wall. (Photo by Danforth Johnson)

Derby has given me an unexpected appreciation for exercise. It’s also helped me to reevaluate how I  think about my daily routines and work/life balance. Before derby, I would come home mentally exhausted and overwhelmed from working all day. I had always thought of exercise as something that would make me feel tired or uncomfortable. I never considered what a huge benefit it could have for stress relief and overall happiness.

I have to admit, I’m still pretty bitter that eating entire pizzas and binge watching the CW isn’t the cure for all my woes (have no fear I still find time for both) but I figure you gotta go with what works.

How has it changed you?
There is a lot to be said for how roller derby has positively affected my self image. For example, before derby I wouldn’t wears shorts or skirts above the knee because I thought my legs were too big. Playing on this team has helped me learn how to look past my “imperfections” and enjoy myself more. I’ve had the honor of making friends with many amazing women from all different walks of life. After awhile you realize that we share many of the same insecurities and quirks. You learn not to take yourself so seriously and to just try to play the best derby you can.

Before derby, I’d never thought of myself as athletic or guessed that I would be so engaged with playing a competitive team sport. I aspire to keep this openness to new things and developing new parts of myself throughout my life. It’s too easy to get stuck in a rut or think it’s too late to try something new. You never know what you might gain.

Keeping a close eye on the jammer (Photo by Dave Schrader)

Keeping a close eye on the jammer (Photo by Dave Schrader)

What have you accomplished so far?
As much as I am proud of some of our big wins and my skating skills, my most impressive accomplishment, far and away, is the fact that I started derby and stuck with it. That first year was really challenging, and often times just motivating myself to get to practice was a struggle. I’d spent the first 24 years of my life poo-pooing all things that involved cardio and sweating so taking up a full contact sport on roller skates was a huge shock. After practice everything would hurt, my feet and legs were in perpetual agony. Sometimes, I would be so sore it even hurt to breathe.

It was really difficult to keep myself motivated but I am incredibly happy that I did. Being a part of OCCRG has taught me so much about overcoming obstacles, working toward goals and keeping yourself on the right track.

Any advice to new skaters/people outside of derby. Any pro-tips you would like to share?
Expand your goals as you develop your skill. It’s great to have huge goals but break them down into small parts so you can start succeeding now.

Don’t try a bunch of risky skating stuff too soon. It can be tough when you are around girls that have been skating for years but take your time and get comfortable on your skates.

Keep your ego in check. Don’t worry too much when things don’t work out, everyone on the team has been there before.

Squats and lunges will greatly improve your skating and decrease your chance of injury. Seriously, do them as much as possible.

Derby heroes?
I have a great respect for physically dynamic blockers, who use their wits and agility to overpower their opponents. The best of them can do this while also putting teamwork first and understanding that a pack untied is unstoppable. I love watching a powerful pivot work to keep her pack on the same page. Skaters like Juke Boxx from London and Whip L’ash from St. Chux are good examples of the kind of skating I try to emulate.

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