March - Anita Slapahoe
Derby Name: Anita Slapahoe
Derby Number: 40oz
When did you start skating: 2/8/2008
Favorite Skate Brand: Bont or Atom
An Interview with…ANITA SLAPAHOE
What about derby caught your attention? When did you first start playing?
Ok so waayyyyy back in the stone age days of derby lol!! Funny that I start with that sentence but it's true! Derby first came into my life by way of a phone call back in 2006 to come check out a team that was forming in the area. I grew up as a rink rat at Skating Plus during my youth so I already had a deep love for roller skating but timing to join didn't work out then. Derby circled back into my life in 2008 after attending VCDD's burlesque event with some friends and with some persistent nudging from fellow member Vi Suvius I was hooked and signed up on the spot along with some previous members Daddy D, Curvaceous Queen (RIP) and Andy Candy Pants. I started the fresh meat program that February which was nowhere in comparison to the phenomenal FM program VCDD has today. I think I had like 6 weeks (maybe less than that I can't recall lol!) and then did a quick assessment then was put in a scrimmage same night lol!!
What was that “one moment” when you knew playing derby was the right thing for you?
Knowing that I passed assessments Bettie 12G said "I'm coming for you" and laid me the F*** out lol!!! After that I knew this was the right decision lol!! I get to hit for fun and take out all my daily frustrations on the track!
What’s something you’ve learned playing derby that has translated into another part of your life?
Pretty much all of it! I'll admit I ain't the young buck anymore on the team (not yet a dinosaur lol!!) but that doesn't mean I can’t still keep up with them! One thing now as a coach for VCDD these last few years I stress that cross training makes a huge difference and impact when playing derby and for your overall health. During quarantine I really put an emphasis on finding ways to keep active (physically, mentally, and emotionally) and with my wifey TK we began a quest for daily exercise. Even to this day I continue to keep a consistent exercise program and I find that this has helped me make great strides in my endurance on the track and I feel stronger now than I did when I started derby 15 years ago! One of these days I swear I'm gonna go with my girl Fizz to her Cross Fit class and lift heavy like she does so that I can be a badass like her on the track! Playing derby and cross training has made a huge impact on my mental and emotional health and I am so grateful my body still allows me the opportunity to keep doing it even after all these years! Also I find that derby seeps its way into my life every time one of my kids has some sort of competitive sports event because I'm that person on the side screamin some type of strategy and or complaining about a bad call lol!!!
Do you have a favorite & a least favorite position? Can you elaborate?
So I've always loved being a blocker and pivot and I learned from the best of the best of them! (shout out to my beautiful wifey TK for the mentoring!) But now after all these years I am taking off the band aid and I am going to try gaining confidence as a jammer.... only if they absolutely need it tho lol!!! My heart will always remain with blocking until the end!
What do you do to get ready for a bout?
I've been in the game for a while now and I continue to stick to my tried and true rituals! Morning workout, a good cup of coffee, an Urbane Cafe sandwich, and DMX all day erry day!!
What advice would you give to someone thinking about playing derby?
Do it Do it Do it!!!!! I'm in my 15th year and I still am just as excited today as I was the first time I ever laced up my skates! If you are lost and looking for something that gives you the opportunity to work your mental, emotional, and physical strength, as well as a place to let go of all the daily crap of life, derby is the choice for you!! The impact it has on you will last beyond your years as a derby skater I guarantee it!! You will find your people in derby who will end up knowing you better than you do and that is a true gift! Also just do it because you get to hit people for funsees!
Finish this sentence: When I’m not playing derby, I am _____.
Cross Training, mom life, wife life, chef life, camping life... Is it wrong that cross training is my first choice here lol!!!
Do you have a derby mentor?
I mean Freight Train is goals!!! Talk about power, explosiveness, skill, knowledge and just all around badassness!! But I would be remiss to not give credit where credit is due to my beautiful and talented derby wifey TK for teaching me about using that booty! My sancha Anti for her amazing backwards blocking skill that I use for inspiration and for showcasing how to use a really aggressive pinky when coaching. Lady Traction for teaching how to give the aggro yet smother with motherly love vibes that we all need on the track, and my soul sista Fizz for giving me all the inspo and jams I need to keep focused on my cross training. Our VCDD jammers I always look to as goals because that ish is scary yet they make it look so pretty and effortless! (shout out to all our VCDD angelic jammers!) Honestly I feel like everyone at VCDD is a mentor to me in one way or another as I am always learning and growing from them with every practice to every bout.
What keeps you motivated to keep playing when things get tough?
Cross Training!! This works my mental and emotional struggles and every time I feel so much better because I pushed through the adversity. There's been many many ups and downs in derby and just life in general, and exercise I have found helps me navigate through all of the bull****. After 15 years its easy to find myself at crossroads and think about whether or not this sport is the right thing for me but something about what playing derby and exercising does for my overall sense of well being is what keeps me motivated to lace up year after year. Also I credit the deep connections I have made through the sport who give me life at times when I feel like I'm at my lowest. Derby can be your therapy as we are all going through something and this sport gives us an opportunity to find those who share your interest, fears, goals, and love for anything unique to you! The people and connections in my life, who are a result of my love for derby, I've gone to hell and back with them both on and off the track and we've come out the other side stronger together! They help me find the drive and excitement to want to skate every time! It's a family here for sure! We argue like family and we celebrate like family! It's the idea of comradery that derby has and how we can all push each other, lift up each other, and collective come together to share one goal when we step on the track. If I find myself at a struggle, someone is always there to give me a quick motivational speech, a look that will have me in tears laughing, or just a simple heart shape to help keep me going when its tough on the track. We're all we've got when we're out there so having my teammates to rely on really is the glue that keeps me pushing in this sport.
What’s your favorite part of skating with VCDD?
These aren't just my league mates, they are my family, my ride or dies, my day ones, my soulmates. I'm grateful and thankful to have some dope humans who orbit my world and I would pretty much give a kidney or shank a fool for them! I get to have the best times with them on and off the track! Overall VCDD has had my heart from our first encounter and I can't even think about what my life would be like without it. So that prolly means I'll be here until forever lol! Even in the old folks home in a wheelchair Sanch and I will still find a way to play derby with VCDD lol! 15 years, a marriage, kids and just overall life, VCDD has been the consistency that I didn't know I needed and now can't live without!! Can I say that I'm addicted to VCDD?? Is that a bad thing?? lol!!
Any last bit of advice you'd like to give people??
You are your own worst enemy! Yet you are also your biggest cheerleader! Never let the powerful light within you dim out because of fear or intimidation. Be proud and confident to showcase how truly amazing you are! Don't be afraid to stand in your light and own all of your magical abilities!! You are worth it to be here and you do mean something in this life! Embrace that beautiful unicorn that lies within you!!! VCDD is waiting for you!! Also down and hold 30 sec squat!!!