My, how the tables have turned! The title of Derby Girl of the Month for May goes to resident DGOTM interviewer, RRnRD Vice President and Resident Badass, Annie Biotix, 1%er! I had the honour of interviewing Annie in a rare free moment when she wasn’t ripping down the road on a motorcycle, executing an amazingly rad haircut, or blocking like a boss for the Moonshine Maidens and the RRnRD All-Star team.
DH: While you skate for both the all-star and house teams, your devotion to the Moonshine Maidens is no secret. What do you love most about the team that you captain?
AB: Awwww… The black team… The XXXs. There’s something indescribably amazing about the team that nails it on the track like a solid machine, a unit, a team of lovers who skate to a Marilyn Manson soundtrack and shotgun beers like champs. What’s not to love?
DH: As a seasoned skater, derby seems to be a natural extension of your personality. What drew you to the sport in the first place?
AB: Honestly, I thought it was punk rock. Annie Biotix is punk rock.
DH: What do you consider to be your greatest derby accomplishment?
AB: Wow! I can think of 50 ways to answer this question but I think the simple answer is ….not quitting. Derby can be overwhelming emotionally as well as physically.
DH: Over the years you’ve spent on the track, is there a moment in the game that has become a favourite of yours? Something you hope to get to do every time the whistle blows?
AB: This may sound simple or obvious but I love that feeling you get from being straight up useful to your team. In my first season, I was a terrible skater and was super timid on the track. Although I’m not awesome, I feel like I’ve found some ways to be useful…Ha ha!
DH: In the past year, in addition to your own derby career, you’ve taken on the role of Fresh Meat Coach. Has this experience as a mentor changed your own outlook on the sport?
AB: I adore freshies! I love their Bambi legs, their awkward energy, their motivation, their positivity! I’ve never had a natural affinity for skating so I relate to that struggle that some have. I definitely learned a lot of lessons from the freshies I coached.
DH: If you could go back in time and give freshie Annie Biotix one piece of advice, what would it be?
AB: Get out of your head! Check your overthinking at the door and trust yourself, your body. Equally important, if you are injured, give yourself a break to heal. Roller derby will be there in a week, 2 weeks, 6 months… And your teammates will be waiting with open arms when you are healed and ready to rock!
DH: Off the track, you are the stylist behind many of the fierce, badass looks that RRnRD members are sporting these days. How do you think personal style plays into the development of a derby persona?
AB: What I have noticed in my 3+ years of living in PEI and becoming an official derby stylist (lol) is that derby seems to open people up to more adventurous and bold style. There is a confidence and spirit that builds in skaters (and league members) that seems to spill into their “normal” life .. And somehow it merges … What’s normal life? What’s a derby persona? Don’t we all just evolve into this much greater (and waaaay more stylish) version of ourself?
DH: You’ve always been a huge behind-the-scenes figure within the league, this year having added the role of League Vice President to your long list of contributions to RRnRD. What are your hopes and dreams for the league in the months (and years) to come?
AB: My dream is for roller derby to continue to grow on this island. I look forward to 2nd teams in both Charlottetown and Summerside. I look forward to co-ed skating opportunities. I look forward to overall growth. I also dream of a time when we have a year round concrete floored practice space. :)
DH: With the 2014 bout season about to begin, what are you most looking forward to as a skater?
AB: This might seem a little nerdy but I am really looking forward to mixing my precious freshies into the Moonshine Maidens roster and basically taking on the world. Old meets new.. Rancid meets fresh. We have so much to offer each other and I predict our strongest season!