Dec 2, 2009

Spotlight On... #M80 Sweet Mary Pain

Welcome back, folks. Today, we meet with the captain and peer-voted Most Valuable Player of the 2009 Chicago Outfit (and champion of the United States), Sweet Mary Pain. Given her work ethic, it's not surprising Sweet Mary Pain takes a somewhat straightforward, professional angle in her responses. Maybe if you make enough silly faces at her, you might see her crack a smile.

When/how you first got involved with roller derby: I first heard of the Rat City Rollergirls many years ago when i was living in Ithaca, NY. Without any explanation of the game, I knew I wanted to play. Unfortunately, Ithaca didn't have a league at the time, and I had to wait until I moved to Chicago in September 2007 to join what would become the Chicago Outfit.

Sports before roller derby: I played a million sports before derby in high school including, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball, Basketball and Soccer, yeah, I'm kinda a jock. While I don't think I'm necessarily more athletic than anyone as a result of my experience with sports, I do think I had a better understanding of the formula of coaching and practice than most people do coming into sports for the first time.

Signature move: I wouldn't say I really have a signature move. When I first started jamming, I was a juking fool and would waste all my energy with a lame fakes left and right that didn't really work. I've calmed it down since then, 'cause one very convincing juke is much more effective than a bunch of lame wiggling behind a blocker. Hopefully now my juking is a little more convincing and effective.

Notable injuries: I've been very lucky with injuries. They've all been minor. I've broken a rib, twisted my knee, broken a dumb pinky finger, and finally had concussion or two. The worst was totally the concussion. I don't like my brain getting busted. It feels weird.

Best team derby moment: There are so many awesome team moments with the Outfit both on and off the track it's hard to pick just one. I have on the track moments when our replacement blocking is on point and we just relentlessly push the opposing jammer one after the other to the outside of the track. Replacement blocking, although it's a simple strategy, only works when the team is really functioning cohesively and when the skaters are willing to temporarily abandon their position in the pack, trusting their teammates will pick up where they left off. It's those moments when we exhibit the most trust in our teammates that gives me that special feeling.

Best personal derby moment: I don't really have a best personal derby moment. There are some instances where I certainly feel great about a particular jam but mostly I tend to fixate on the things I need to work on. This isn't necessarily destructive or negative. Being able to recognize what I have to improve on makes it more achievable.

Worst personal derby moment: The worst derby moments for me only happen off the track. It's been a lot of work for me learning how to communicate with my teammates constructively and with empathy. I'm extremely diligent and have very high standards for myself, and in the beginning, it was hard not to hold all skaters to my personal standards. Of course, that was unfair, and I've been working on trying to be more motivating and accessible to the rest of my teammates. I guess the hardest part has been understanding complicated team dynamics.

Favorite/rival non-Outfit skater: I have a million players that I love to watch and learn from. I try to watch girls that are successful with my body type and play my position. Right now I am very interested in DeRanged from Rocky Mountain Rollergirls. She's a former speed skater turned jammer who is just awesome and aggressive.

What you do when you're not skating: When I'm not skating, I'm studying and that's all, ugh. I'm in a premed post bach program at Northwestern, and one day, many years from now, if everything goes right, I could be your doctor. Yeah, get scared.

Sweet Mary Pain declined to draw herself in MSPaint, so it looks like we're going to have to do it ourselves.

Aw, jeez. Why'd you have to go and do that to The Shoveler, everyone's favorite referee? He even gave you lead. What more do you want? And you know he hates it when skaters exploit the lack of rules on laser beam eyes.
Okay, enough of this nonsense. Join us next week when we look for more ways to alter images so it looks like we are killing referees.

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