04 November, 2010

America's Girlfriend

Recently I was graced with the opportunity to shoot the breeze with one of the windy city's finest. I figured it only too appropriate since it is time to rest before the uproar on the lakeshore and we love to know what goes on in the mind of roller girls. Jackie Daniels of the Windy City Rollers is, by my estimation, the epitome of everything good about this sport. She is upbeat, articulate, and positive, not to mention at the top of her game. The only thing that seemed to outshine her confidence was her work ethic and team ego. Granted this is my opinion. You can read and decide for yourself.

J: So Jackie, what are the basic stats? Who do you play for? What position? How long have you been playing roller derby?

Jackie Daniels: I play for the Windy City Rollers All Stars as well as one of our home teams. I play both jammer and blocker and have been playing roller derby since May of 2005.

J: Have you always played for Windy City?

JD: No. I started playing in Grand Rapids. I have only been with Windy City since 2009.

J: So how did you get started in the first place?

JD: I actually read an article in the New York Times about the resurgence of roller derby as a sport. I was like, this is perfect for me. I had been athletic when I was growing up, I was a gymnast, and missed competition. Not to mention that I already had roller girl mentality. After reading the article I started looking for ways to get involved. A friend of mine told me that there were some other women in Grand Rapids who were just beginning a league and I was in!!! I met these girls and helped them put together the league.

J: So was this similar to your day job?

JD: No. During the day I am a project manager.

J:Is there any moment that stands out as your favorite in your derby career?

JD:Ohhh. There are sooo many. I guess I would have to say the Philly game at ECE. It was a fast, tough, hard-hitting bout. One of the best!

J:Any favorite music or playlist to workout to?

JD: None at all! I make up my own playlists of phrases of what I am going to do to the next team we play!

J: I guess whatever works. Along the lines of workouts, what is your practice schedule like. What type of practices/exercises are involved?

JD: Typically we have between 3-5 skating practices per week. This varies some depending on the time of year and where we are at in the season. Other than that there is usually at least one or two off skate workouts a week as well. Anything from a boot camp to a yoga class. We also offer post bout recovery workouts with stretching and yoga poses. I try to make as many as is humanly possible when I am not at a board meeting or something. I usually get between 5 and 7 days of work in a week.

J: Sounds like a very comprehensive plan! Is there anything you would like to leave us with? Words of wisdom, personal creed, or pre-nationals smack talking?

JD: No position to be talking smack. We'll just have to see. Personal creed? Continually push to get better. Oh, and enjoy the ride!

J: Jackie, thank you so much for taking the time to share a little insight into the mind of a roller girl. I have to say that I am a little impressed with you after our conversation. Best of luck to you and you team this coming weekend!

Today is Thursday and the work is finished. Get a good stretch and a great nights sleep. If you don't play until Saturday, some light cardio should be in order. just enough to warm up. Again Best of luck ladies!


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