High D. Voltage is retiring?


The Brewcity Bruisers last home season bout is quickly approaching (SATURDAY, MAY 5) and it could be the last time you have the opportunity to see High D. Voltage skate with the Rushin’ Rollettes. She will continue to skate with the All-Stars through the end of that season but after that she won’t be returning — and this time she means it! Until next year… Now, she reflects on skating with the Brewcity Bruisers.

How long have you been involved with roller derby?

I started skating derby in Jan 2006 when I lived in Chicago.  I started with the Chitown Sirens (now defunct).  I got pregnant two months after starting but came back and skated three weeks after I had my son and I haven’t stopped yet.  I transferred to Windy City in the fall of 2007 then found out we were moving to Milwaukee.

Why did you get involved with roller derby?

I played softball for 18 years and always wanted to do a more physical sport. I took a new job where I didn’t travel anymore and started as a manager of an MRI department and needed a stress reliever.  Tryouts were happening so it all just kinda happened at the right time.

How did you come up with your derby name?

My good friend, Loco Chanel, came up with my name.  I think it was the first time we talked and she came up to me and said, “do you have a derby name yet?  Cuz I think you should be called High D. Voltage.  You’re electric!”  I guess I wasn’t gonna argue with that!

When did you come to the BCB?

I started in Jan 2008.  BCB’s home season timeline was set up differently at that time.  It was just at the end of their 2nd home season and at the start of their All Star season tryouts.  I tried out and made it that season.  I’ve always thought as the Allstars as my first home team.  For me, it was like who you grow up with and road trips really help make that happen.  You just kinda bond, accept each others nuances and bodily sounds, share a mindset and really become a team, both on and off the track.  I think I also came in at an interesting time.  There were some great experienced transfer skaters from other leagues like Moby Nipps, Hacksaw, Super Hera that came in at that time and then Kat Scratch Fever came back as well.  With a new influx of skaters that had experience as well as new Fresh Brews that also had some great talent, it helps raise the bar in the league and our game a bit.  Derby was still new, evolving and exciting!

What is your favorite part of derby?

The physicality of the sport, pushing yourself beyond what you thought was possible, the strategy and growth of the sport and of the skaters around you.  But it’s also the friends that you make and experiences you go through.  I think I discovered a lot of things about myself as a person, some for the good and some for the bad and every aspect of your life comes into play:  the mom, the manager, the athlete, the drunk friend, the best friend, the teacher, the student.  I definitely learned to better accept my body more.  I wouldn’t mind losing a little in the middle but let me keep my lovely lady hips!  God given for a reason!

What are the highlights of skating for the Rollettes?

It’s always awesome to don the red and camo, or the olive green dress or the now fancy racerback tanks so I have to say that it’s the variety of uniforms we’ve worn over the past few seasons…yet still all match.
But seriously!  We’ve won the Black and Brew Cup three times against each of the home teams and each time was pretty awesome!  We’ve been the favored team to win in the past and we’ve also been the complete underdog as well. I think my favorite was when we played the Shevils for the Championships, mostly because it was also a turning point for the league since we moved to the US Cellular for that final bout of the season.  There were some pretty incredible ladies like Mallett, Milwaukee’s Breast and Pound Anya that really knew how to negotiate that really pushed to make that happen for the league and the Board of Directors for the support and making it a reality. It became another pivotal point for the growth of BCB.  Now that’s our primary home and this year we’re able to have The Midwest Brewhaha (June 2 and 3) there as well.  Pretty cool to see how much we’ve grown!  And I do have to say that our last Rollette practice of the year is ALWAYS my biggest highlight of the season!  Those Rollettes know why <wink wink>!

How long have you skated for the All-Stars? What are the highlights?

This is my 5th season skating with the All-Stars.  Where would I even start with highlights during that time?!  It’s been an overall amazing journey.  We’ve come so far in a short amount of time.  We were unranked in our region in 2008 and moved up to as high as #5 in 2010. We’ve moved around the rankings a bit but haven’t fallen out of the top 10.  We’re currently ranked as #6 in our region, #21 according to Derby News Network and #1 in the hearts of our fans. We’ve qualified for regionals for the past four years.  We’ve faced teams tougher than us and rose to the occasion and put up a great fight.  We never disappoint when it comes to a good playing bout, even when we’re projected to win.  Of course, those close bouts may give us a heart attack sometimes, but it helps shape the team.  I think my favorite highlight is when we went to Regionals for the first time in Minneapolis.  There were no expectations, except what we placed on ourselves.  We had three incredible bouts, Madison still never broke 200 on us and we came back from a point deficit against Burning River to win the game in overtime to move up two spots from where we entered the tournament and take seventh place.  It may not be a big moment game changer for some, but I feel like that was one of the moments that we really arrived on the National scene and we haven’t left yet and we have no plans to.  Any team can rise quickly albeit with luck or short term success but being able to maintain that is really a testament to the team and the organization.  I’m so proud of who we are and excited to see where we’ll go!

Will you be back?

I hope to come back at some point but right now, I can’t commit.  But I’ll stay involved in some way and with our rec league, The Lite Brews.  I’ve been saying that I was going to retire for the past three years but I knew I really wasn’t ready to.  You make those kind of claims at the end of the long season, just like “I swear I’m never going to drink again!”  But this year was really the time.  This time I decided it at the beginning of the season that it would be my last and I was ok with that.  It’s a process, blah blah blah.  but this time it’s for real!

How do you plan to use all your free time?

I’ve decided to try to get knocked up, instead of getting knocked down and knocking others down all the time. But also get back into running, take up becoming a soccer mom and maybe some crafting and gardening.  So in short…yeah, I’ll prolly be back once I have the next kid!

What will you miss most?

The camaraderie with friends and fellow skaters.  I’ll miss the after practice beers that you’ve just earned. Fun scrimmage practices.  Sometimes we take ourselves so seriously that you lose focus of the really fun aspects of derby.  I can be pretty sarcastic and joke around a lot on the bench and the track. And maybe I’ve been known to talk some smack, but it’s all out of a good place.  Now I’ll just have to do it to my co-workers and hope they won’t report me to HR.

What will you miss the least?

Driving down to practices two to three nights per week since I live about 30 miles from there.

Will you do anything differently this upcoming bout?

The only thing I plan on doing differently at the Championship bout is taking the trophy back to the locker room with us.  We were certainly the underdogs this season and historically we’ve been a powerhouse.  I’m excited to see how the league has changed because it just pushes me to want it more.  But as far as preparing for the bout, I plan to take the game as I always do: jam by jam, lap by lap, point by point.  And celebrate each point I get when jamming.  I want to leave on a high note, whatever that may be.  And if things get really good, I may have to pull a Brandi Chastain [1999 Women’s Soccer World Cup Champions].

What do you want the fans to know?

I’m a Sagittarius. My goggles are real. And I’m really much taller than I appear.

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