League Skater, League Coach, Paper Doll Mama, Queen of all Things Glittery

This month we are celebrating a true force of nature. She is always smiling, always willing to help anybody who needs it, and always adorable. She is a wonderful, patient, and encouraging coach… and you can’t help but love her. There are always two things that go through your mind when she approaches you on the track, “please go away”, and “leave me alone!” When the inevitable hip-check of glory happens, you fly through the air thinking how effortlessly awesome she makes it look.

Have I mentioned her love for all things glitter? As if she wasn’t adorable enough, she sparkles too! I could go on and on with all of the sugar and spice and everything nice about our November Derby Doll of the Month who, if you haven’t already guessed, is the lovely, bubbly, Tsunami.

We Asked Tsunami 6 Questions

1. How long have you been skating with the league?
I have been skating with San Diego Derby Dolls for just around 5 and a half years. I started as a junior skater and once I aged out I joined the adults. I captained our junior team The Juvenile Dollinquents for 2 years. I am currently on Hard Corps and our all-star team the Wildfires.

2. What is your pre bout ritual?
A team dinner the night before is really important to me. Team bonding is how we get to be better teammates on and off the track. Day of, I like to sleep in – sleeping is one of my favorite things to do (when I’m not skating, of course). Then brunch – a must in San Diego (aka the brunch mecca). I listen to really good music all day long, to get myself mentally pumped/feeling like a badass. And then warming up with my team and really focusing on the game and strategies that we’ve been working on.

3. Why did you join derby?
I joined derby when I was a teenager because I thought it was AMAZING that they combined skating with women’s empowerment and fun, but without losing that rough and tumble attitude. It enhanced my self confidence immensely and helped me to become a better leader.

4. What’s the hardest thing for you about derby?
The hardest thing about derby for me is that nobody really knows about it. While being ‘underground’ is kinda cool, it makes it hard for other people to understand and appreciate what I devote my life to doing. They don’t understand that this is a real sport that takes athleticism and tons of dedication. The misconception that we still play derby ‘like what I used to watch on TV as a kid’ is frustrating.

5. Advice for anyone thinking of joining derby?
DO IT. We teach you everything you need to know – all you have to bring is an awesome attitude. (And people who think that they wanna do derby already have that attitude!) Don’t be afraid to jump right in. I could go on forever about why derby is amazing, but basically, its an opportunity of a lifetime and you’ll make such amazing life-long friends. It is so totally worth it.

6. Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
How should I know?! Mystery solving is not my strong suit – can’t I just go hit somebody?

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.