August 2014 Featured Skater: E3PO
As a pivot, blocker, and jammer, E3PO is a triple-threat who has really turned up the intensity this season. What has she done to add that extra “oomph?” Which Star Wars character would she place her bets on in a derby bout? And what little-known talent is she pining to be famous for? She asked me not to tell, but I’m no good at secrets… read on!!
Last month’s Featured Skater, Big Ugly Bang, said she wanted to hear about an “Aha!” moment or personal triumph you’ve had on the track. Can you share one with us?
I don’t know that it was just one, singular moment, but an “Aha” moment came during early bootcamps and practices. I realized that I could do all these great things we were learning once I finally figured out how to make my body size and skating style work for me, instead of against me. We all learn differently and sometimes, it just takes longer for things to finally click. That and getting over all of these fears I had of failing and not being afraid of trying something different helped too.
You’ve really stepped up your game this season; was it a mental shift, or a change in your physical training that gave you that extra edge?
A big part of my game is mental. I am my biggest critic and felt like I couldn’t or shouldn’t be trying to do certain things because maybe I didn’t have the right skills or wasn’t quick enough, or big enough. Once you realize none of that matters and that you can be great at anything you put your mind to, I think there is no limit to what you can accomplish. I believe that the shift in my mental game has greatly helped in all areas of my skating, mentally and physically. The body can’t do what the mind doesn’t allow. You have to train the mind and body for this sport, and I’ve been working hard on both.
You’re definitely a triple-threat: a solid blocker, pivot, and jammer. Which position do you like best?
I have really enjoyed getting to play the role of pivot this year. It is a great feeling knowing that I am recognized as a leader on the track this year, and I feel good being able to help guide and support my teammates on the track. Of course, I enjoy blocking just as well. A pivot isn’t much without her blockers supporting her too. In jamming, I learned to really appreciate those who do it regularly and try to use that experience to be a better blocker. Being a pivot, you never know when you’ll need to take over jamming, so it is good to have that experience and training as well.
Your name would suggest you’re a big Star Wars fan. Which Star Wars character do you think would be the best derby player?
I don’t know if I’d say I’m a huge fan, but I do enjoy and appreciate Star Wars. If I had to pick someone as the best derby player? Hmmm, I’d probably go with Yoda. I think he’d be awesome at strategies and the whole mental game derby requires.
We’re coming in fresh from our bouting break and training for our last two home bouts of the season on September 20 and October 4. What’s your goal for this second half of the season?
My biggest goal is to help my team finish strong the second half of the season by being the best blocker, pivot, or whatever I need to be for my team. I want to be a stronger player finishing the season than I was coming into this season.
This month the Women’s Flat Track Derby Assosciation will be having playoffs, leading to championships in October. Long-undefeated Gotham Girls are seeded to win again. Are you rooting for them to maintain their winning streak, or are you hoping for an underdog to take it?
I am a huge fan of the powerhouse that is Gotham. They have achieved what so many leagues want to achieve and make it look almost effortless, although we all know how hard they train. However, I am rooting for the underdog this time. Not necessarily because I want Gotham to lose, but just to show that other leagues are training hard and are more than ready to take that #1 spot. Texas put up a fantastic game against them last year and I would love to see a repeat of that.
What does your son think about you playing derby? Does he like to watch you play?
My son isn’t all that crazy about sports in general right now. He also isn’t all that crazy about how much time I seem to be spend on derby! But he did seem to enjoy the game he watched this year more than my first one he saw. On that note, I agree with him.
OK, time for some non-derby talk. If you were stranded on a deserted island (don’t worry, we won’t stop looking for you till we find you!), what 3 items would you want to have with you?
My ipod, chapstick and sunblock. I have my priorities!
If you could pick one thing to be famous for, what would it be?
Oh wow, good question. I guess I would go with my voice. I like to sing, but don’t tell anyone.
Who would you like to see as next month’s Featured Skater?
I would like to see Dirty Kopp as next month’s Featured Skater. I have watched her dive head first into everything that’s been thrown at her since she started and has become a pretty fierce little jammer. I want to know what keeps her going when the going gets tough for her in games and scrimmages.