I first met Moose Def-initely about three years ago when I was just a wee der-baby skating with the North Star Roller Derby rec league, the Satellites. She was a skater for Delta Delta Di at that time. She already had three seasons under her belt, and she’d help us noobs out at practice. She even loaned me a set of wheels once!
Moose and I found ourselves on opposite sides of the track many times over the years, including the B-Cup Tournament in Indiana last year and in scrimmages once we had both been drafted to the Minnesota RollerGirls. She’s a dynamic skater, a jammer at heart, quick with a smile and able to score points by the bunches for her Rockits. We bonded quickly over our similar derby journeys – and at times, similar targets of angst.
I got a chance to quiz Moose about her journey in advance of this weekend’s bout. Moose will be off skates, but she’ll be assisting the Rockits bench staff with all of her wit and charm on display.
So, what’s the story behind your derby name?
I used to go by Chocolate Moose when I skated with North Star Roller Derby, but ended up retiring due to some health concerns. When I decided to come back, I wanted to change names – but everyone knew me by Moose. I wanted to keep that nickname and was thinking about [Moose] puns. I was afraid not many people would get the reference to Mos Def, so I went with Most Definitely – or, rather, Moose Def-initely. A little nod to both.
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How did you discover roller derby?
Like many other people, I saw Whip it! in 2009 and was excited by the idea. [I] stuck it in the back of my mind and a few years later, I decided to learn to roller skate. I spent a bunch of time at a little roller rink in Appleton, Wisc., falling by myself and skating alone because none of my friends were interested. I loved it instantly. I ended up moving to the Twin Cities in 2012 and the first thing I did was look up the local leagues. Derby people were some of the first folks I met when I moved here!
I first met you as a skater for North Star Roller Derby and have followed as you have made it to where you are now. Sum up that experience.
I skated for three years with North Star for the Delta Delta Di. I learned a lot there, but eventually retired due to some medical concerns. When I was feeling better, I started skating with their rec league, but it felt really strange to have left something you really liked only to go back and feel like you missed out on some of the changes. I felt like a stranger and out of place.
I had a few friends who had been pressuring me to try the Minnesota RollerGirls rec league, the Debu-Taunts, so when a spot opened up I decided to give it a shot. When I joined, I didn’t have any intention of trying out. I’d done league life before, and I didn’t think I wanted to get back into such a big commitment, but I really loved the people I was skating with and they were so encouraging. I would’ve been bummed to only see them once a week instead of all the time! And then I was drafted. And somehow wanting to be “rec league-only” turned into my third season with the Rockits and All-Stars.
What do you do for your day job? How does that experience apply to your training and performance both on and off the track?
In my “human life” I have a degree in Dietetics and Nutrition and I am a Nutrition and Dietetic Technician, Registered. My job is WIC [Women, Infants, and Children’s] Nutrition Educator for Ramsey County Public Health. I work with low-income families. My clients are pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding mothers, plus newborns all the way up to age 5.
I see a lot of premature babies and smaller kids with medical conditions. Not only do we discuss food and proper nutrition, but sometimes we are the first to notice a child may have developmental delays like not speaking, not sitting up/walking, or are missing small but important milestones. We make a lot of referrals to programs to help families get involved with places like Help Me Grow (an initiative that provides information and resources that will help parents, professionals, and community members identify children who may be experiencing delays in their development). My clients are so diverse and from all over the country and world, which is really neat. I learn a lot every day about food and cultural preference.
When was the last time a skater really sent you flying?
I haven’t been able to play this season due to a broken foot, so I don’t have any recent moments. I do recall a particularly great chest hit by Bully Jean during All-Stars practice that dropped me straight to the floor.
When you are not busy with roller derby, what are some of the things you enjoy doing?
Now that the boot is off my ankle, I’m super excited to return to CrossFit. I’ve been going to Solcana Fitness in South Minneapolis for almost a year and I love seeing my weights go up and the friendly, competitive spirit of the other gym goers. Plus, their mission and how they strive to be a welcoming space for all sorts of humans is great. Other than that, I spend a lot of time with my dogs. I like hiking and recently bought some kayaks. I also play a ton of video games and enjoy a whole lot of “nerdy” things. I love food, too, but you may have guessed that from my profession.
What is the best thing about being a Rockit?
I get to wear red, Ms. Rockitbot is dope, and my teammates are some talented, crafty weirdos.