Hard Knox Rollergirls

The Hard Knox Rollergirls are Knoxville's first competitive roller derby team. Come see what all the fuss is about.

February 2014 Featured Skater: Paramaniac

While she’s made a name for herself as one of the Brawlers’ toughest blockers, Paramaniac has also distinguished herself as a leader off the track. How early do you have to get up to beat this Maniac? What does she keep in that magical cooler? And, perhaps most importantly, how do you win Paramaniac’s heart? Let’s find out!

Photo by Rebecca Sword

Photo by Rebecca Sword

Sadie Hellcat, last month’s Featured Skater, mentioned that you are Queen of the Cooler. What does that title mean, and how did you attain it?

Ahhh! The Cooler Queen title! Every home bout Sadie and I bring coolers full of Naked fruit and veggie juices for pre-game, and frosty beverages for afterwards. I got fancy a couple of times. For one bout I made a big punch bowl/party pitcher of “a special pink drink” for post game. I’m also known for my pudding shots! I like to try new recipes and my teammates are always willing to be guinea pigs. They’re always appreciative and aren’t afraid to make special requests. I’m happy to oblige.

Last year was your rookie season. How does it feel to return as a Veteran Skater for the first time?

I am crazy excited to be returning with Hard Knox! I hope that, as a veteran, I can be half as helpful and encouraging to newbie skaters and fresh meat as the vets were to me. And they continue to be soooo helpful!

Photo by Mark Gunnar Quist

Photo by Mark Gunnar Quist

You’re head of Hard Knox’s Merchandise and Fundraising committees. What kind of things do you do for the league in that capacity?

As head of merchandise, I take and maintain inventory of all the items we sell at home and away bouts, on our website, and the different merch items for each of our 3 home teams. A few places around town, such as the WDVX gift shop at the Knoxville Visitors’ Center, keep a display of our merchandise that they sell for us. I’ve got to keep them stocked!

I also head up a committee full of wonderful chicks who are coming up with some amazing ideas for new fundraisers for our league. I’m especially stoked about the first one this season. We’re doing a Tat-a-thon with Alter Ego Tattoo on Kingston Pike. On February 15, from noon-8 PM, Jeff and his crew will be offering tattoos from a selection of flash art. Each piece is $50 plus tip, and Hard Knox gets $25 from each of those tattoos done that day. Check out the event on Facebook or at hardknoxrollergirls.com!

In addition to your leadership roles within the league, you also work as a physical therapist and as a paramedic. How do you find time in your schedule to train for derby?

It all comes down to scheduling, yo. You have to schedule time for your workouts the same way you’d schedule business meetings, hair and nail appointments, or anything else that’s important to you. I try to go to bed at 11 PM so I can be asleep (hopefully) by 11:30 PM. I get up at 4:30 or 5 in the morning, depending on the day, to workout. Lord knows I hate to get up early in the mornings, but if I don’t work out first thing, it’s probably not going to happen that day. If I manage to work out again in the evening, it’s just a bonus. Like a lot of other people, I’ve fallen off the wagon a few times. Life and health can derail you at times. You just have to run alongside that train and hop back on the first chance you get. It ain’t easy but you might as well start (again) now and get it over with.

Photo by Rebecca Sword

Photo by Rebecca Sword

As a blocker for the Brawlers, you’re known for being able to stop most any jammer in her tracks. Which Brawlers’ jammer have you had the hardest time shutting down?

Thank you for the compliment! Big Ugly Bang is the toughest Brawlers’ jammer I’ve come up against. That girl looks unassuming, but she busts through a wall coming off that jammer line and can push a wall like you wouldn’t believe. She’s also got the footwork and agility to play a little “now you see me, now you don’t!” She’s quick, she’s scrappy, and she’s tough as hell. Not only have you seen her play for the Brawlers, she’s also making a name for herself with the Allstars.

What are you most looking forward to as HKRG heads into its 2014 season?

I’m looking forward to the Brawlers coming into their own this season. Our first two opponents last year were the Nashville Rollergirls Brawl Stars and one of the Atlanta Rollergirls home teams, the Denim Demons. Those are two phenomenal leagues both ranked quite a bit higher than Hard Knox. I believe Atlanta was ranked 13th in the nation at the time the Brawlers played them. Some of those ladies play for Team USA! When we lined up against Nashville, your Hard Knox Brawlers had 6 skaters rostered that bout who were playing their first bout EVER. Talk about on the job training! Under the guidance of captains Lethal PathoJen and Terminate-Her, we continued to grow as individual skaters and to mesh as a team. This year I look forward to our opponents and our fans seeing that the Brawlers are a force to be reckoned with. Fear us. Love us.

It’s that time of year when Hard Knox welcomes its newest skaters. What advice do you have for a derby newbie in her first season?

Immerse yourself. Watch other skaters, both newbies and veterans. Watch bout videos. Listen to veteran skaters and coaches. For the love of God, listen to Chris (Cut N’ Dye’s man, who is a super-valuable resource at practices)! Ask questions. Try things. Fall down. Try again. Fall down again. Repeat as necessary. Learn about yourself as a human being and as a skater. Commit. Enjoy. That’s all you have to do.

Photo by Rebecca Sword

Photo by Rebecca Sword

Kool-Aid is your Derby Big Sister. Can you tell us a bit about what that relationship means to you?

It means the world to me. Kool-Aid is the coolest derby big “sisser” a girl could dream of having. When I come off the track she has notes ready for both the team and for me as an individual. She’ll tell me quickly, “You did x, y, and z really well. I’m so proud of you! Now, we still need to work on …….”. Kook is positive and uplifting. She understands derby, and she is so passionate about it. She also understands how to break things down and to teach them as building blocks. AND…she made us matching t-shirts that are “the bee’s knees, his arms, AND his legs” (lyrics borrowed from Eminem; I’m sure he won’t mind)

What skill are you most excited to improve on this season?

I’m excited to improve on my footwork and agility. Believe me, it’s a work in progress! I’m still trying to improve all my skills. Never stop learning, right? The best compliment I got this past year was from EviLucia after our last home team bout in December of 2013. As we were leaving the rink Evil said to me “Do you realize that you don’t free roll anymore? You plow stop, and it’s amazing how easy it is to hold a wall with you”. Evil doesn’t give compliments lightly. I floated out of the rink that night.

If someone wanted to win your heart, what would they give you for Valentine’s Day?

Right for the emotional stuff, huh? To win my heart, someone would need to give me their heart. I’d like someone to tell me that I’m their “one”. That they can’t imagine going a day without seeing or talking to me. When something good happens to them, they can’t wait to tell me about it. To be loved. That’s all. Ooh, look! A deer!

Who would you like to see as next month’s featured skater?

I’d like to see Evergreen Jean be the next featured skater. As the other half of the 2013 Rookie of the Year duo, the fans are in for a treat! Ask her if she’ll show you her best butt bruise!

~Queen Beatdown

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