© 2019 by Twin City Roller Derby

Shreveport-Bossier CIty, LA

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Fullmetal Valchemist - 79

What is the origin of your derby name and/or number?

At its most basic form, my derby name "Fullmetal Valchemist" is a play on one of my favorite Animes "Fullmetal Alchemist" and the name given to me at birth, Valerie.

Alchemy is the medieval forerunner of chemistry and speculative philosophy practiced in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, primarily concerned with discovering methods for transmuting baser metals into gold and with finding a universal solvent and an elixir for life. Therefore, I related my derby number to the element of of Gold and chose the Atomic Number of Gold as seen on the periodic table, 79. Bam! Mind blown, right?!?

What teams(s) have you played with?

Twin City Knockers, Twin City Roller Derby

How/when did you discover derby?

I discovered derby in the fall of 2015 after receiving a flier at a local farmers' market and started playing with the Twin City Knockers in the summer of 2017.

How has derby impacted your life?

Derby, in many forms of events, has become my primary way to relieve stress whether from our community outreach occasions, social events or to the nitty-gritty workouts of practices. It's definitely revamped my competitive nature since finishing school and my past competitive sports like Soccer, Basketball and Swimming.

I have made a few amazing, lifelong friends along the way as well, and even learned how to trust people a little more. Even before specializing in auditing in college, I've had an auditor's mindset my whole life that always led me to be suspicious of people's actions, motives and intentions. There's a level of intimacy within roller derby that I had to get used to and that I am still trying to continue to open up to on a daily basis. When you're fully immersed in the sport, you're spending a lot of time with the same individuals that you have to quickly learn to put your trust into on the track. I regress at times, but I like to think Roller Derby has made me a more laid back, trusting and open individual.

What derby positions do you enjoy playing?

I thoroughly enjoy being a Jammer at practice, but I am most comfortable playing as a Blocker during games.

Do you have a personal goal for this year?

I want to try to become comfortable in the Pivot position this year while also being chosen to jam on occasion and do well at it.

What advice do you have for new skaters?

#1) Don't give up, as it does get easier; and #2) do not forget to cross train.

Don't worry, it's fun!

What are your non-derby hobbies?

Traveling the world, photography/scrapbooking, running, music (listening, playing, concerts, etc.), tidying up my house (Marie Kondo is my HERO) and spending time with my rescue puppies (Pocket and Link).

Day job?

NWLA Regulatory Compliance and Risk Manager, ACAMS, CIA

Final thoughts ...

Um ... I guess I'll add "A person can learn to cope with things like seeing their dead grandmother crawling up their leg with a knife in her teeth, but nobody should be asked to handle this trip." (Can you name the movie/book without using Google to cheat?)

JOIN DERBY! If it were easy, everyone would do it. BUT, we can and will teach you everything you need to know and do. I also challenge all the MEN out there to join the new team. We won't bite ... without going to the penalty box. And we won't hurt you ... too badly.