Under the Helmet: Vigil Annie

Vigil Annie is known for her intensity on the track—and her skills as a DJ and massage therapist—but she says her teammates still keep her on her toe stops. After skating for the Fury for several years, she’s a newly minted member of Third Coast this season. We talked about her strengths and challenges in skating, her life outside of derby, and how she intimidates the opposition.

You’ve skated with the Fury for several seasons, but this is your first travel team season. What made you decide to take the plunge and join a travel team, and how is the experience different?

I would have tried out for a travel team last season, but my secondary job conflicted with many of the scheduled games and practices. It’s important to me to be able to fulfill my commitment to my team 100 percent. I didn’t feel comfortable being on a team that I couldn’t be present for. This summer, I kept my schedule open in the name of derby! It’s funny how we prioritize. That being said, I knew I needed to skate travel season as well as home team season if I wanted to level up my game. It was an easy decision.

What are some of your strengths on the track, and what do you find the most challenging? What keeps you pushing yourself to improve?

I believe that my best strengths are my size, strength and intensity. Just being hard to move” is intimidating to an opponent’s jammer. I also try to have as much intensity as I can whenever I step on to the track. My biggest challenge has been training the left side of my body to be as agile and flexible as the right side. Derby is very much a lateral game, but my body is not equally competent on both sides. I also struggle with quick, precise plow stops. However, I do see improvements every time I get on the track, so I just have to keep at it and be patient. 

My fellow skaters keep me motivated. No matter how good you are, there’s always someone better, and that keeps me on my toe stops!

Life isn’t all derby (or so I’m told). What do you enjoy doing off the track?

Life isn’t all derby? Just kidding. I enjoy riding my motorcycle, (a softtail deluxe named “Red Hottie“). That’s why, for me, summer can never come fast enough. I go to as many live music events as I can afford, travel to Arizona where my mom and brother have a home, and go boating on Lake Michigan with my other brother.

I hear you’re an awesome DJ. Tell me more about that part of your life.

I started DJing while in college and have been doing it ever since. It allowed me to travel multiple times around the country with The Virgin College Mega Tour. I’ve toured with Cake, Yellowcard, Gavin DeGraw, Michelle Branch, Mae and Gomez, to name a few. There probably isn’t a banquet hall or hotel in the city of Chicago that I haven’t worked at. I was also the first DJ to work The Chicago Theatre once they opened their lobby area to private events. My 20s were such a whirlwind, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything, but when I turned 30 I knew I needed something more than late nights in bars and nightclubs. So I went back to school for massage therapy. I currently work for a chiropractor. I also do concierge massage and work out of my home. I still DJ as a secondary occupationI DJ all of the WCR events with the exception of games when I’m skating. I love being able to provide both massage therapy and DJ services to my league. Opposite ends of the spectrum, I know! I believe as a skater-run league we need to pool our resources and provide our services to each other as well as learn some new skills!

Do you have a favorite WCR memory so far?

My favorite WCR moment so far would have to be getting drafted to The Fury. TFFY!

Come cheer on Vigil Annie in her first travel season game with the Windy City Rollers’ Third Coast this Saturday, June 11, at Lombard Roller Rink (201 West 22nd St., Lombard, IL). WCR’s Third Coast will fight it out with the Monster Mashup mixer team out of Northwest Indiana at 6 p.m. At 7:30 p.m., Second Wind will match up with the Hip Chex mixer team out of Indiana.

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