Derby Number: 5
How did you choose your name and number:
I wanted a name that conveyed both strength and grace. I also wanted my name to make it clear that I was a black derby girl as there were far fewer in 2009. I visualized this Pam Greer, Foxy Brown, Tina Turner take on a goddess. From that Afro-Die-T was born. The fact that my real name starts with a T was a bonus.
My original number was 46664, Nelson Mandela's prison number. In 2010 WFTDA changed the rules limiting the maximum number of digits in a number to four. The refs were grateful, I was not. I am now the number 5.
How long have you been in derby:
I joined RTR in January 2009. Good timing, some decent minimum skills, and absolutely nothing else qualified me for the 14th spot on the roster and I bouted in Rocktown's in March 2009. That would never happen today.... and rightfully so. I was so lost and confused!
Favorite derby memory:
The 2012 one point victory over D.C., in over time, was probably the most exhilarating moment that I have ever bore witness to on the track. The only memory that competes with it happened the day after I had surgery for a broken leg. My team had to skate, without their coach, and with the emotions of my on track injury very fresh on their minds. The orange duct tape tribute that they did in honor of me brought tears to my eyes. I was on a lot of pain medication but I remember being completely overcome with emotion about that.
How has derby positively effected you:
I move through the world taller and stronger. I take up space differently. I am a derby girl everywhere I go now. There is very little that I find daunting. I don't struggle to find my voice. It's crazy but an alter ego, a physical challenge and an unwavering sisterhood birthed a new me in my 30's. My grandchildren will probably still be benefiting from the positive effects of derby on me and my family.
"The more you sweat in practice the less you bleed in battle."
"If we score we might win. If they never score, we can't lose."
*photos courtesy of Robert Lipscomb Photography and Kayley Blackwell Photography