Friday, April 1, 2011

Faster Pussycat Spotlight - Hydro-Jenna Bomb

You better watch out if you don't want to be part of the debris. H-Bomb is a fierce, determined skater out to make an impact.

Photo by Nicolas Charest

Skater name: Hydro-Jenna Bomb

Skater number: 12Mt

Birthday: Sept. 6

Position: Holding the inside line.

How did you get your name: I wanted something with my real name (Jenna) in it, so I thought of words with a "jen" sound in them. I eventually thought of "hydrogen bomb" and that flowed into Hydro-Jenna Bomb. But everyone calls me H-Bomb.

What's the story behind your skater number: 12Mt (megatons) is the approximate explosive yield equivalent in TNT of the first tested hydrogen bomb.

Why did you join roller derby: I actually had no idea what roller derby was when I joined in 2006. All I knew was that it was on roller skates, not in line skates, and that's all that mattered.

How long have you been playing derby: I technically started in 2006, but didn't skate competitively until joining TCRG in 2009.

What is your favourite thing about derby: My team– hands down. We respect each other, we encourage each other, we inspire each other and we love each other. We're like a big family that likes to eat, play games and nerd out – sometimes while playing derby.

Any advice for new derby players: Three words: confidence, determination, dedication. You have to own these three things in order to play derby, and if you don't, you won't get far. The one piece of advice I would give to new derby girls is to stay focused and positive. It's easy to get distracted and feel defeated in such an aggressive sport. You will fall, no question about it. Sometimes you will look stupid when you fall, but you can't let that distract you from getting back up and continuing to skate hard.

Favourite derby moment: When FPC won its first league game ever on March 19, 2011! Oh, and don't forget that we made league history with a first-period shutout against Public Frenemy in that same game.

Tell us a derby story: During a league practice, we had a black vs white scrimmage, meaning the skaters from all our teams are split up to create two mixed teams. You end up being on the same team as other skaters who wouldn't normally be on your team. I was on the same team as Flower Plow'her (a Riot Girl, at that time) and I was jamming. As I came around the first turn, I got stuck at the back of the pack, so I reached out to grab a whip from Flower. She turned, looked at me, and saw a Pussycat - not her team mate - trying to get through the pack. Time slowed to a crawl. I saw her face turn fierce as I skated closer to her with my arm outstretched, in slow-motion. I stared wide-eyed at her, realizing for a split second that she was coming in for the kill, and I thought to myself "Noooo! I'm on your team!" She got low, turned her shoulder towards me and nailed me as hard as she could. I went up in the air, both feet off the ground, and landed hard on my butt. I was down. I couldn't breath. The jam was called off. After a minute or so, I got up and skated slowly back to my bench. The funniest thing was that Flower didn't even realize that she had hit me, her own team mate, until I told her about it during the next jam.

Which derby player do you look up to: 8-Mean Wheeler. She's our Mama Hen. Her knowledge of the sport is so vast and she always explains game strategies to us. She takes care of us, tells us how to improve, and gives us advice - all while keeping us calm, relaxed and confident.

Tell us something interesting about yourself not related to derby: For work, I got to photograph the 2010 Winter Olympics, including the amazing men's gold-medal hockey game against the US. Luckiest. Photojournalist. Ever!

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