Derby Doll of the Month / Israel “Izzy” De La Cruz

Derby isn’t strictly about the skaters, it literally takes an army to make the magic happen. Folks behind the scenes work hard, some of them work us hard.

There is one bear of a man works us until we drop. He goes above and beyond to turn us all into lean, mean derby machines. Supportive and involved doesn’t even begin to describe him. He builds us up, physically and mentally. The relationship that has been formed between us has become legendary.

We may call him every name in the book and whine like babies during his wickedly intense workouts, but we love and respect him more than we could ever express.

So everyone, DROP, give us 10 burpees and a HUGE shout out to our May Derby Doll of the Month, Israel De La Cruz!

We Asked Izzy 6 Questions

1. As a member of the Derby Dolls Army and a sponsor what makes you stick around?
I love strong women and lucky for me, I’m surrounded by them every time I step into the Dollhouse. How could I not be a supporter and a sponsor of a league that breaks the norm of what women can do? These aren’t dainty little girls. These are powerful women that push themselves day in and day out whether it’s on the track or off it. I consider myself very fortunate to be in the midst of such amazing and talented individuals and I am grateful for the opportunity to grow alongside each and every member of the Derby Doll Army.

2. When did you see your first bout?
I saw my first bout at the Del Mar Fairgrounds on September 15, 2012. It was a beautiful San Diego evening and my good friend Mandy Warhol had invited me to watch her play with the Hard Corps. I can’t honestly say that I could keep up with the rules nor the score. I simply fell in love with the way these girls were hitting each other, falling, and getting right back up and on their way!!

3. What’s one thing you’ve learned from being involved with derby?
The power of strong hearts and good positive attitudes. The way all these girls care for each other and support each other is amazing. And win or lose, they always have a smile on their faces ready for whatever is next.

4. What is one thing everyone should do to make themselves a better skater?
Strong legs!!! The proudest moment you’ll ever have is being able to do the things you couldn’t do before. Making yourself strong with a combination of weight bearing exercises, plyometrics, and agility will give any skater an understanding of what their body can do and how they can push themselves further.

5. Any urge to strap on skates and join us?
Absolutely!!! I mean it’s only fair that I’d allow some of the girls to yell at me while I’m wearing skates in return for all the yelling I’ve done to them during off skates training.

6. Name 2 movies you cannot stop watching.
This is a tough one…. I’m a movie buff and I go to the movies at least once a week!! I’d have to say that the first movie would be Terminator 2 because it was the first movie I ever saw in a theater when I was just 3 years old and quite simply, because I’m always up for any end of world scenario movie!! Be it machines, zombies, or natural disasters!! The second movie would have to be “La vita è bella” or Life Is Beautiful. It’s a very touching film that truly shows the power of the human spirit to persevere.

Contributing Photographer: joesouthPHOTO

Melissa Mayhem

Author at San Diego Derby Dolls

I have been skating with the derby dolls since 2011 and began coaching in 2013.