November Rollergirls of the Month
Enpsychopedia: Where are you originally from?
Lady Fury: I was born in Enid, OK. My father was in the Air Force so we didn't stay in any one place very long. I claim Atlanta, GA as my hometown. I lived there the longest!
Enpsychopedia: The suburbs of Salt Lake City, UT.
ep: How did you first get involved in roller derby?
Fury: I saw an episode of RollerGirls on AE. As soon as I saw girls on skates, skating fast, and hitting each other I knew... I was made to skate. Nashville didn't have a team at the time, so I just started utilizing the law of attraction. I told everyone I knew that I was gonna play roller derby!! Good thing I did, because a security guard I worked with at the time went to a wedding where he met Michelle, aka Mayhem N. Suze. As many of you know, she is one of the founders of NRG. Somehow roller derby came up and he mentioned me to her... BAM!! He was awesome and got her number. I called and two weeks later I attended the very first NRG open skate ever!!!!
Psycho: When I was working on my PhD, my classmate did a sociology project on roller derby and I ended up joining her at games and practices. I was fascinated by the subversive femininity of the sport from the beginning, and when I got some skates on my feet I found out it was also totally exhilarating to play. I learned the basics and played half a season with the fantastic Junction City Roller Dolls in Utah before moving to Nashville a little over a year ago.
ep: What is your pre-derby sports/skating background?
Fury: Nothing serious, some church soccer and volley ball. I found myself in the skating rink often for school skate nights, lots of birthday parties, or just hanging. I was more of a theatre kid in school. Building sets, learning lines, and practicing left no time for sports!
Psycho: I loved to skate around my neighborhood and at rinks with my siblings and grandpa when I was a kid. I played lots of sports casually (my favorite was soccer), but was never super-dedicated to any of them.
ep: How did you pick your derby name?
Fury: A friend of mine named me actually. Whip, a friend and old co-worker. He always ran around calling all the girls "Lady"... He and I also shared a love for an old car, the Plymouth Fury. He even had a tattoo! One day the words just came out of his mouth, and it worked! I knew right then I was named!! I now own a 1964 Fury.
Psycho: Kids at school used to tease me by calling me "Encyclopedia.” (In that dumb way that kids tease each other for being smart.) So Enpsychopedia is my derby-appropriate reclaiming of the name.
ep: What’s the hardest part of being a rollergirl?
Fury: The hardest part of derby in my opinion is the business side. On top of skating we all have "derby jobs,” like marketing, fundraising, training, planning, bout production, accounting, website... all of it!! We are all derby owned and operated. We couldn't survive without our volunteers and we always need more... *wink*wink*nudge*nudge*!
Psycho: It is really hard, physically and mentally. Physically--I mean, you've watched it, right? It's intense! Practices are long and physically demanding. And I tend to be really in my head so it is hard for me to release self-criticism and be in my body. I have a lot of mental blocks that I am always working to overcome.
ep: How has your involvement in roller derby affected the way you live the rest of your life?
Fury: Wow... where do I begin?!?! Roller derby actually got me in shape because I wanted to be a better skater. I wanted to be healthier and take care of my body so it would perform at its best. I changed my entire lifestyle. I started eating right and training outside of practice. Once I got into it, I realized I really liked exercise and began wanting to learn more about how our bodies work. I learned much from our strength training coach Sunil, and in a silly bet one day he challenged me to get my personal training certification! Despite a concussion (thank you roller derby ;]) I prevailed and I am now a personal trainer and coach at a fitness studio!!! Derby changed my life, and now I can pay it forward and teach others what I know to live healthier and stronger... for longer!!!
Psycho: Roller derby has been a catalyst for enormous transformations in my life. (If you had told me a few years ago that I was going to spend this much time wearing spandex in public and pushing people around with my butt, I definitely would not have believed you.) Derby helps me push outside of my comfort zone, over and over again, in more ways than I ever imagined, and I have learned so, so much from that process.
ep: How do you find a balance between your derby life and your “real” life?
Fury: This can be tricky. Time is a rare thing in a derby girl’s life. We are required to attend 60% of the practices offered in order to be eligible to even be considered for a roster. That's at least 3 practices a week. Then we also must meet a strength quota for training outside of practice. On top of that we are all required to have a derby job. Between derby and work in the real world there is little time for much else. Generally speaking the love for derby outweighs the lack of "a life,” but sometimes I have to make a special effort to make sure I do things with my non-derby friends, check out a movie, take a walk, call my fam, grab a bite, or go to the Frist. It has become important for me to make sure I make time for these things to keep my balance! My life is on a constant schedule but I seem to fit everything in.
Psycho: This is a major challenge for me. I have two young kids and I work in academia, so I have to do a lot of juggling because derby is a huge time commitment. Luckily I have a supportive spouse who likes to hang out with the kids while I'm at practice, and great kids who like to help me with league business like postering and passing out fliers at community events. I like taking the kids to watch derby, too. I think it's so good for them to see a bunch of ferocious, strong women using derby as a forum to own their power and take up space in the world.
ep: Do you have a pre-bout ritual?
Fury: I like to sleep in and eat a big breakfast. In a perfect world I would just relax... but I teach two classes on Saturday! So I teach but still make sure I get a nice big lunch or breakfast. Once I arrive at Muni I like to get settled in, say my hellos, and take a walk or two around Muni. This starts my focus.
Psycho: Not really. I'm a mom all Saturday morning, as usual, and then in the afternoon I grab my coconut water, drive to the game with Smasha Fierce, and try to get in the zone.
ep: What things do you do outside of practice to stay healthy?
Fury: I exercise and train regularly outside of practice. I eat a fairly strict clean and lean diet. I can't seem to eat enough veggies!!! I am a supplement freak!! I don't even wanna tell you how many I take!!
Psycho: I'm vegan so I eat lots of vegetables (but I can also make a mean vegan cupcake, so it's not all fruits and nuts!) I do kettlebell with teammates and have a nightly yoga routine that helps me get to sleep. My kids also keep me active; we like to walk in the woods, look for animals and bugs and interesting plants outside, and skate together.
ep: What advice do you have for girls who want to join roller derby?
Fury: Do it. You know the first time you get knocked down if you can hang or not. Two possible responses: 1) Oh, hell no... I’m gonna get her, or 2) I want my mommy.
Psycho: Give it a try! Find your alter-ego! Shout down all those voices that tell you that good girls don’t take up space or fight to win or play aggressive contact sports—because they’re wrong, and the payoff for pushing out of your comfort zone is huge. Plus, what woman doesn't need a little more adrenaline in her life? :)