Twitter / SkylandRllrGrls

Friday, August 19, 2011

Question and Answer with #1812, Rosa Ruckus

     Welcome to the first question and answer blog for, "Off the Top of My Helmet!" It was hard asking a skater to do this because our team is filled with such diverse people. However, I think Rosa Ruckus is perfect to kick this off. Not only is she one of the most photogenic people on the team but Ruckus has put a LOT of time into everything we do. She is involved with getting our pictures done (thanks to Mamahawk!), bout poster preparation and also working with Daisy Duke-Ya for the Skyland Roller Girls marketing and public relations. Ruckus is also one of the few skaters left on the team that was skating when I had joined last year and I have learned quite a bit from her since the beginning.
     I'd like to tell you all that we sat down in a coffee shop drinking coffee and tea while I wrote in an old ratty notebook taking notes, but we're in a computer age. So I'm going to copy and paste the questions and answers and give a few comments. I asked Ruckus random questions and asked her to answer as much as she wanted! Here we go!

Yoshi Ground Pound: Rumor has it that you were skating under a different derby name, what was it before Rosa Ruckus?
Rosa Ruckus:
We've all been called by numerous nicknames I suppose. Initially as fresh meat, they called me Tofu Roll, because they couldn't very well call me Beef Loin or Pork Slap as a vegetarian! That was changed to Tomahawk because my legal name and heritage is associated a Native American Tribe, but I thought the name Tomahawk sounded quite silly and couldn't stick with that one for too long. However, our team photographer Cathy Miller, also my mom, was dubbed Mamahawk during this time period and that name stuck with her throughout our seasons. I never skated under anything but Rosa Ruckus though. The other names came and went quite fast!

Yoshi: How long have you been playing with SRG?
This is my second season.

Yoshi: Do you remember your first practice?
Of course!

Yoshi: What was it like for you?
There weren't many girls on Skyland when I joined. Perhaps there were about 8 girls at my first practice. They were all very welcoming though. Tiger Munition was the first to take me under her wings and explain the drills to me. I hadn't been on skates since childhood so her guidance was very helpful.

Yoshi: Do you remember how your first bout was?
It was a little terrifying at first. It was an away bout 6 hours north of our home rink but I stayed calm the whole ride. We took a battleship grey school bus that resembled a prison bus up to the bout and that was a lot of fun. The ride was filled with cantaloupe melon, WFTDA rule quizzes, pink handguns, smelly flatulence and macrame. Our team was so small then, we couldn't fill a roster, so we borrowed several skaters from neighboring teams. My nerves set in when we arrived to the venue. As a newbie (I had only been skating for 4 months), I was only in a couple of jams. I did hold the jammer back for a moment, even though I looked sloppy. I watched the video of my first bout about a year afterwards and I can laugh about it now. At one point I just fall, with no one near me. You could tell I was still fresh meat for sure. We did lose that bout, but it was so much fun!

Yoshi: Who do you think is your biggest derby inspiration?
Watching Gotham Girls Roller Derby play is inspiring. They work so well together as a team, and their All-Stars are so impressive with their speed, grace and power. I also love the New Skids on the Block from Montreal. They are so goofy, yet so talented and it's obvious how much they love what they do. It's inspiring to watch the silliness unravel to track domination, especially when girls of such a petit stature (like my body type) are such strong threats!

Yoshi: What has kept you coming back to roller derby?
Anger management, camaraderie, exercise and the competition!

Yoshi: Many of your fans may or may not know this about you, but you're Vegan. Tell the readers more about this...what do you eat and what do you not eat, etc?
I don't eat anything that comes from an animal. No meat (that includes fish and chicken), dairy or eggs. I have been vegetarian for 15 years and vegan for 8 years so I don't think about it much at this point. The nutrients I need to consume have just become routine. I generally eat vegan protein bars from my local health food store after practice, and my home is stockpiled with fruits, veggies, legumes and chocolate almond milk!

Yoshi: What is your favorite vegan dish?
falafel...or vegan donuts from Vegan Treats in Bethlehem, PA!

Yoshi: What kind of music do you rock out to? 
Don't make me narrow it down to a genre! Now if you asked me what my favorite dance move is I'd respond with a surfy-bump-n-grind-egyptian-robot-lawn-mower move.

Yoshi: Who's your favorite band/artist?
At the moment, Shotgun Party, Scott H. Biram or The Devil Makes Three.

Yoshi: You do some of the bout posters for SRG, where do you get your inspiration for them? Ruckus: I normally don't have a plan unless a theme has already been discussed. Otherwise I just mess around with the photos and layout in Photoshop until something catches my eye.

Yoshi: What's your favorite color?
Purple! :)

Yoshi: What do you find yourself doing in your free time...if you have any when you're not working behind the scenes for derby...
Work and derby pretty much consume my life. When I have free time, it's usually spent outdoors with my dogs, cooking, doing photography or traveling/exploring.

Yoshi: What is your favorite sport to watch?
Ruckus: Roller derby, duh! Hockey, skateboarding and figure skating are tolerable too, but anything else bores me.

Yoshi: If you won the lottery, say, 10 million dollars, what would you spend it on
A self-suffient housing unit with enough property to grow food, rescue needy animals, and build Skyland our own rink with an amazing floor!

Yoshi: If you were told you could donate 250,000$ to any charity, what charity would you choose?
: For the Animal Sanctuary in Blairstown, NJ

Yoshi: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
A truck with a mattress in the back and an endless supply of free fuel to get me to all the places I can't decide on.

Yoshi: What's your favorite feature of yourself?
Ruckus: I'm going to assume Yoshi wants me to say my butt so she can use a photo of me in my leggings for this interview, but I'm going to have to say my armpit because I have a butterfly tattooed up there now and I think armpit tattoos are a lot of fun! ;)

Of course I would LOVE to post a picture of Rockus' Rump, but! If you really want to see it, you'll have to come to our next home bout on September 17th! Thank you Rosa Ruckus for taking the time to answer my silly questions and again for letting the fans know more about the girl behind the mouth guard.

Fans!!! If you have any questions for Ruckus or any questions for the next skater I interview, please feel free to comment here or e-mail me at

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Skyland Roller Girls

     Who are the Skyland Roller Girls? Well, do you want the long answer, the short answer or both? The long answer would be that they are a group of women who are mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, teachers, camp counselors, retail ladies, sales people, drill sergea...I mean fitness instructors, and many more careers that I can't even remember. The short answer? Easy. They're a bunch of awesome, devoted women who can kick some serious ass on eight wheels.

     Who am I, the writer? Well, my birth given first name is Tina. The name that you probably know me as is Yoshi Ground Pound. It's not a play on words or funny, but to me, it means something. Ever play a Super Mario Brothers game? Of course you have...if you have any fun in your life. Okay, okay, I'm just kidding, but that is where I came up with my name. Yoshi is the green (my favorite color) dinosaur that is a VERY helpful friend when Mario is in need of assistance. I know that I am a good friend to those that I am close to and would do just about anything for them. I would even take a skate to the face for some REALLY good friends if I needed to. Oh yeah, and ground pound. There's a move that Yoshi does where he jumps up and slams into the ground on his butt...that's a ground pound. I figured that if I'm going to be knocking other people down, that wouldn't be such a bad thing to go with.

     What I want to accomplish in this blog is to let our fans know a little bit more about the team. What goes through our minds as we're gearing up for a tough bout or what goes through our minds when we see pictures after that tough bout. Even our fans have questions so ask away! I plan to (with the help of my fellow Valkyries), to bring a question and answer session to the fans at least once every week. Of course I say at least because like everyone else that is apart of the team, we all have families, jobs, events and practices. So please, if I forget to post for a week, don't get too mad at me and I won't get too down about myself.

     Before I wrap up the debut blog post for the "Off the Top of My Helmet," I would like to ask you, our fans, a favor. Please let us know how we are doing with our site work. Whether it be our website, facebook page, twitter, or this blog; your comments will help us better entertain you both on the track and OFF the track. I hope you all know that we LOVE our fans and without you, we would not be skating! And besides our fans, our volunteers and team, we are only as strong as all of you. Thank you!

Upcoming bout: August 20, 2011 @ Lehigh Valley against River City
Upcoming home bout: September 17, 2011 against CT's Yankee Brutals
Upcoming Events: Date TBD for our Calendar Release and signing party!

If you would like to reserve any tickets for our next home bout or you want to purchase one of our 2012 calendars, please contact us at