March 2014 Featured Skater: Evergreen Jean
Evergreen Jean hails from Washington State, but she’s in love with Knoxville! You can find her skating all over town with her Skate Knoxville buddies. What’s her favorite part of town? Who gave her an award-winning booty bruise? And who is the Ranger who’s stolen her heart?? If you’re down to read on, you’re bound to find out!!
Last month, Paramaniac told us that you’re known for a pretty legendary bruise. How did you get it?
What a great question to start with! I acquired a pretty epic bruise (award-worthy even!) the week before my very first bout. I had been working on my spin moves and using my body to get around my opponents. During a scrimmage, I decided to try my new moves on Terminate-Her …needless to say I got Terminated. I opened myself up right on the outside of turn one and gave her the perfect angle to lift me off my skates and send me flying onto my you-know-what. I had the darkest bruise I had ever seen that took up my entire left posterior.
What brought you to roller derby?
I got into roller derby from Slaughter and Scary Poppins. After moving to Knoxville, I ended up working with both of them and was immediately interested in learning more about what they did on the track. Slaughter began making me watch bouts with her and eventually convinced me to strap on some skates and hit up the parking lot across the street. I grew up rollerblading and took ice skating lessons for a small chunk or my adolescence, but quad skates were a whole new challenge. Luckily it was a challenge I was more than willing to accept. After I built up some confidence skating in parking garages and empty parking lots, Slaughter finally was able to drag me through the doors of the Coliseum to my first practice!
Along with Maniac, you were named HKRG’s 2013 rookie of the year. What’s the secret to your success?
I am very honored to have gotten this award from my teammates. I worked very hard and spent a lot of time grooming myself as a skater and as an athlete, but I couldn’t have done it alone. Like I mentioned before, Slaughter (who now plays for top-ranked Gotham Girls Roller Derby!!!!!) was so patient with me and gave so much of her time to teach me all she knew. We would go to the top of parking garage, and she would run me through a few hours of drills, 2 or 3 times a week. She is such a passionate person and it’s impossible not to absorb that when you are around her. I also have a ton of support from the rest of my teammates who always encourage me to be better and try to remind me not to be too hard on myself.
You’re involved in the Skate Knoxville group. Tell us a little more about that.
Skate Knoxville is a group EviLucia and I created to help encourage people to get out of their normal routine and skate their city! We were actually inspired once again by Slaughter, who is passionate about the ”skate your city” movement in NYC. If anyone ever wants some company skating down the greenways, along the river, or hitting the skate park, all you have to do is post on www.facebook.com/SkateKnox and you have a large community of people to support you! We also try to post fun videos from our outings showing off the accomplishments we are making at the skate park and around the city.
Aside from skating all over town, what other training do you do to stay in derby shape?
Cross training is just as important as on-skates training, if not more so. I try to make it to the gym regularly and get in some weight training, but more likely than not, I’m out running, hiking, biking, or swimming around Knoxville. I’m a sucker for the outdoors.
You just got a new puppy! Where did you two meet? How is it working out?
Yes! I have a 3 1/2 month old Australian Cattle Dog named Ranger! He is absolutely incredible! I rescued him from a couple who had to move last-minute for work. He has been the best thing to happen to me since, well….derby! I have only had him 3 weeks and have already taught him 15 commands! He is so smart, and I can’t wait to see the dog he grows into.
You’re a native of Washington State; what brought you to Knoxville? What do you like most about your new hometown?
I am proudly from the Evergreen state (hence the name)! I have been in Knoxville going on 3 years now, which is hard to believe. To put my reason for moving here in a nutshell, I wanted a new experience and picked a place on a map. I live for adventure and Knoxville has been a great one. I moved down here never having been to the South and not knowing a single person for 500 miles. I have grown and learned so much for this experience, and without it who knows if I ever would have found roller derby! As far as what I love most, I would have to say South Knoxville is where it’s at! I can spend days exploring Ijams Nature Center, Forks of the River, and Ft. Dickerson Quarry. Knoxville has been great, and I can’t wait to see where my adventures lead me next.
After a long winter, spring is finally on its way. What are you most excited about as the weather warms up?
Swimming! Last summer I spent all my free time floating in the quarry and soaking up some sun. I can’t wait to be able to do that again!
You served as co-captain of the Machine Gun Kellys. Has being in a leadership position changed your game-day experience?
Oh does it ever! Mentally, I am so used to focusing on myself and what I want to accomplish before my games; being a captain changes all of that. I have to try and keep my mentality strong and positive for my team, while dealing with the stress that goes with managing a group of atheletes! Let me tell you, it’s a lot of work! It’s been a real growing experience for me and I am so glad that my teammates gave me the opportunity to dip my toes into the other side of the game.
Who would you like to see as next month’s featured skater?
I would like to see Sockajomomma as the featured skater! Ask her about the strange instruments she plays!