Every entry in The Rollergirl Project is a small glimpse into the life of a derby girl. This entry is by Cruella DeKill who is currently on hiatus from Rollergirls of Southern Indiana. More pictures of her can be found at Cory's website.
Trinity is my name, but I'll also go by Cruella (DeKill), my skater name. I'm currently a student at the University of Southern Indiana. I'm studying Health Services with a concentration in Health Administration. I'm also a part time bookshelver at Central Library. I'm also a daughter of a wonderful mother and father, a sister of some awesome siblings, and a girlfriend of an amazing man.
How did you discover derby and what drew you to that first practice or meeting to create a league?
I discovered roller derby almost two years ago through a friend of mine. It was actually on MySpace. She posted a bulletin of a flier for a bout, and I decided to go to check it out - and when I went, I fell in love. I wanted to be part of their team. I started going to practices and eventually became a member of that team. After some time of being on that team, I became unhappy and learned about the other roller derby team in Evansville and decided to check them out. After attending one practice, I knew I wanted to be part of their team. They were all SO welcoming and understanding about my situation. I asked to resign from the team I was originally on, and then I became an official member of ROSI :) thank goodness!
Have your relationships with other women changed since joining? Friendships with rollergirls? Others?
I've met a lot of awesome girls, and I feel very privileged. Though I'm only close with a certain few, while I was actively attending practice, I learned how unique every single woman was. They all have awesome personalities and even though they're all different in a lot of ways, all together, they formed one of the strongest and most motivated teams I've seen. Even though we're not all very close, I appreciate every single one of them.
Derby wife - What does that relationship mean to you?
A derby wife is someone I can trust, rely on, and relate to in terms of derby. My wife, Rachel, also known as Iron Maim'em, is one of my favorite people, on and off the track. For as long as I can remember, we've always been on a similar skill level, so I always felt extremely comfortable skating with her and being her partner. Outside of derby, she's extremely easy to talk to and very understanding! She is currently inactive, like myself, due to injuries :( but I know that we'll be together on the track again one day, hopefully sooner than later, and I can't wait for it!!
Has there been a change to your professional life or relationships?
The semester before last, I had a difficult balancing school, work AND derby. I did poorly in a couple classes because I felt overwhelmed. I'm certainly not blaming derby; I'm blaming myself for not being able to do everything. So last semester, I decided to take a break from derby. I decided to concentrate on doing well in school and trying to find a new job - and I did just that. I got excellent grades and got a new job that I really like! I'm still currently on a leave of absence, just waiting to see how heavy my workload will be this semester, along with how my work schedule is. I LOVE derby and I do plan on getting back into it as soon as I can, but I've got other priorities to take care of first.
Oh this question! Well, my relationship life since I've joined derby has been... interesting, to say the least. When I first joined the other team, I was dating this guy, it didn't last, we broke up. Shortly after is when I began realizing how unhappy I was on that team. Coincidentally, whenever I became interested in ROSI, I also became interested in a girl who was a member of ROSI. Well, one thing led to another, and we ended up dating for a little while. During our relationship, we had a tendency to skip practices, which was bad in the end for both of us. Anyway, everything got better because shortly after I started dating one of the referees on the team. Some teams would frown upon this, but I think we did a good job of keeping our personal life separate from derby. He and I have been together ever since! Needless to say, we've had some complications, but those complications will soon be completely resolved. If it weren't for roller derby, I wouldn't have met him. It's one of the many reasons why I'm grateful for derby.
My confidence has skyrocketed because of derby! Before I joined derby, I was very out of shape and had horrible self esteem. It took me a while, but I eventually got the motivation to start working out outside of practices and it's made me feel so much better about myself! I lost nearly twenty pounds over 2010 and a main New Year's resolution is to not so much concentrate on losing weight - but being healthy and staying healthy! Aside from having more self confidence, I've learned more about myself and I'm trying to come out of my shell. I think I'm too shy sometimes and derby has made me be a little bit more sociable!
How would you have described yourself before derby? How about after?
Before derby, I was unhealthy, extremely self conscious, and introverted. Now after experiencing derby, I'm on the track to being as healthy as I can be, more confident about myself (but not cocky!), and less shy. I'd becoming the person I want to be.
A large portion of photography is the physical self. When you look in a mirror, how did you describe yourself before and how do you describe yourself after?
Before, I would be disgusted to look at myself in the mirror, well, at least my entire body. I would avoid it most of the time. Now, I try not to focus on the negative and more of the positive. I try to concentrate on how I HAVE lost weight and toned up - even though I'm not where I want to be just yet. I appreciate the fact that it could always be worse. I admire what I do have, not what I don't have.
What makes you go to practice? What drives you to play? What is it that makes it worth the time, money and risk?
Before I had to take a break from derby, my drive was that derby was my outlet. It was a way to get out my anger and frustration, and it was something to look forward to since my days consisted of classes and work. I loved the feeling that I was becoming more athletic, because I had never been athletic before in my life. I loved feeling part of something, and when I pushed myself and worked hard and got appraisal for it, I felt so good about myself. I know that even though I haven't been around, my team will welcome me back with open arms. Because that's what we are, a team. We work together to stay strong. I'm SO glad I joined roller derby and found ROSI. Whether they know it or not, they have changed my life for the better. ♥