October's Skater of the Month- Wrecks Manning

photo courtesy of David A Carter Photography

photo courtesy of David A Carter Photography

Derby Name and Number? How did you come up with it?
-Wrecks Manning, #48. I really love the movie Empire Records, and it just popped into my head one day and it was perfect! I chose 48 because April 8th is Rex Manning day!

Where did you grow up?
-Holland, PA

What made you start playing roller derby?
-I saw an ad on Reddit and I thought it sounded like it could be kind of cool!

What is your pre-game routine?
-I do a kind of juxtaposition of things when I get ready. I need to get pumped up and then zen out. So I like to listen to songs that get me ready to play and then sit quietly and mentally prepare myself for the game.

What is your favorite off-skates workout?
-Does knitting count?

What is your favorite position to play and why?
-Begrudgingly, pivot is my favorite. I like being able to control the pack, and work strategically with the rest of the blocker line to be as effective as possible. Also, I guess there's the added bonus that I could maybe get a star pass.

Worst derby-related injury?
-I broke my fibula...the night that they were announcing the travel team roster. Sitting in that meeting after practice, making the team, and then going to the ER to hear I had a broken leg was pretty hard. That being said, in terms of leg breaks, it was pretty mild. I even walked on it that night (albeit in pain), and was back playing games around 4 months later (wolverine status!!)!

What is the most rewarding part of being a member of Penn Jersey Roller Derby?
-Seeing everyone come together and really work toward one common goal to make amazing things happen. Like when the "Roll the Turd in Glitter" movement started summer of 2013, and everyday the PJRD Warehouse was buzzing with people and positive energy. And the product is something that everyone's hard work really went into. That's what makes our league so special. We are lucky to have our own home, and we band together to take care of it.

As a member of a bitracksual league, tell us how you feel about the banked track versus the flat track.
-I love them both. I love the energy and feeling of playing a banked track game– it's unlike anything else. I love mastering skills on the banked track that months ago seemed like impossible feats. But flat track is fun too– and it provides the perfect "bunny slope" for trying new things. I would never have been comfortable skating backwards and doing transitions on the banked track if I didn't practice them incessantly on the flat. Flat track games also have their own feel entirely. I love the different strategies that happen on either track– it keeps things fresh and exciting. I feel extremely lucky that I get to train on both mediums, because I think it makes me a really well-rounded skater.

What inspires you most when training?
-My teammates. Seeing them push themselves harder than they thought makes me want to push myself that much harder too.