This month I have an interview with Devlyn Angel formerly of Texas Rollergirls and now skating with Rockin City Rollergirls. Interestingly I just might have to specify when I say RCRG either Rockin or Rocket.
Devlyn first “heard about it from a girl I met at a party. I wanted to do it because it looked like a mosh-pit on wheels. (I’m a Slayer girl)” retiring after the 2011 season with Texas Rollergirls. She was going through some hard times in her personal life, and derby had become more of a source of stress than a stress reliever. Total retirement. Put the skates away, walked away cold turkey. Devlyn played on the Hell Marys for 2 seasons
Since she didn’t maintain her retired skater status with TXRG, she would have had to go through the entire tryout process again. Devlyn heard about Rockin City on FB, got very excited at the prospect of skating again, and realized “I was not, in fact, over derby at all. It becomes a part of you, and you can try to walk away, but I think you are just fooling yourself if you think you can do it without some sort of closure. It is a lifestyle, a way of thinking, and it leaves a void when it’s gone.”
“I enjoy training girls that are new to derby, and some to skating … [as well as] working with the experienced girls.”
Devlyn misses skating in front of a big crowd. A smaller league is fun in different ways than skating with a league as large as TXRG. When asked what she misses about TXRG Devlyn says she “would love to have more skaters. TXRG has plenty, while we struggle to have enough. I took that sort of thing for granted. Rockin’ City’s learning curve is pretty good, our training committee is made of up experienced girls, another from TXRG, most of the rest from TXRG’s rec league. We need more seasoning, but that just takes time.”
When it comes to small leagues Devlyn Angel says she likes “the feel of the smaller league, [that it is] like a team and family, [and not] just the team you are on. It is nice … [that] the derby community is amazing!! I missed a lot of people during the year I stayed away.”
Aside, personally as an official I understand – even though I’m just a ref, when my vehicle was stolen I missed out on five months of derby. You can’t beat the sense of community. I get it. HRD teammates (of the few that I know personally, specifically pre 2010 season Sirens and Bosses) will cut and bleed for each other. For another league skater, not so much.
Devlyn Devlyn Bo-Bevlyn…
I asked Devlyn how she feels about skater names. Is it time to go to real names?
“I am all for whatever each skater feels like doing. I know I love my derby name, and most people claim it is much more fitting than my real name. In fact there are not many people in the world that call me anything but Devlyn. During my retirement, I changed my FB name to my real name, and actually got messages ordering me to change it back, that it wasn’t right. So, I lean towards derby names, because I think it sort of helps find the true you…the one you always were, but just hadn’t found yet…until you found derby.”
Personally I favor real names and changing “league names” altogether. What do you think it would take for you to truly retire, aside from injury or getting “too old”
“[getting an] injury or getting too old. I would have to not feel about derby how I feel about it. I learned from retiring before that life stress is made worse without derby. So, that will never be the reason again.”