Rockits #86: Jawbreaker
Real name: Kim Gallant.
Day job: Sells bicycle parts to a wholesaler.
Pre-bout routine: "I take lots of naps and drink a lot of water. I always eat a roast beef sandwich and an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie from Potbelly."
With few female contact sports out there, and roller derby's lack of a ball, rollergirls need to develop a whole new set of skills. For Jawbreaker, experience racing BMX bikes has helped make her the best jammer in the league. "When I BMX raced, I never started out in the front," Jawbreaker says. "I had to get through people to get there."
While it's hard to pinpoint exactly where Jawbreaker's skills come from (she also trains with an ultimate fighting team and lifts weights), her style is certainly unconventional. While whizzing through mobs of blockers, she often hits with her shoulder instead of her hips, or extends a leg instead of an arm.
Fans and teammates love to watch her skills and her speed - which is likely why she was voted the league MVP, team MVP, best jammer and crowd favorite for the 2005-06 season.
But Jawbreaker, who says she used to be "kind of a hermit," says the best part of her three years as a rollergirl has been the social benefits. "Because of derby, I have friends across the U.S. There are people to hang out with, and things to do every day if I wanted to," she says. "[The sport] is something I've found is good for me in a lot of ways."
Dagger Dolls #99: Rebel Stella
Real name: Lindsy Halleckson.
Day job: Artist.
Worst derby injury: Broke nose in February 2006.
Pre-bout routine: "I usually listen to metal and walk around for a while."
Despite a rigorous practice and bout schedule, most roller girls manage to have a day job and a personal life in addition to the time they spend on wheels.
And then there's Rebel Stella.
A former figure skater in her third season with the Minnesota RollerGirls, Rebel Stella makes balancing diverse interests look easy. She's a professional abstract painter, and recently started a screen printing company. She's also pursuing a master's degree in business administration part-time at the University of St. Thomas. It makes sense, then, that her personal goal this season is to increase her already formidable speed. "I want to raise my level of quickness," she says. She also aims to increase her overall endurance, "so that, if I have to jam more often, I'm not as tired at the end of the game."
Stella is both a blocker and a jammer, and her agility and adaptability make her one to watch in the upcoming season. So does her appearance. Stella's dreadlocks are dyed platinum blond and auburn, and, along with her fishnet or striped tights, add to her punk-rock appeal. "I think it's possible to be sexy and strong at the same time," she says. "Skirts are the least restrictive [to skate in], and fishnets help you slide."