Inside the track with Tripp N. Dale
The Carolina Rollergirls volunteers are vital to our league’s success. We are hosting an open practice tonight (Thursday, October 22nd) at the Skate Ranch for all potential skaters and volunteers to ask questions and learn more about roller derby and our league structure.
Our head referee, Tripp N. Dale, shares her thoughts on roller derby and life here in the Triangle.
Q: What brought you to the Carolina Rollergirls?
TND: I had been friends with Elka Meano, Daisy Rage and Kali for years. When Elka was trying out, I would go skate with her after Sunday practices. One Sunday the head ref at the time, Voodoo, saw me skate and asked me if I wanted to be a ref. I was hesitant at first, ’cause I thought derby was silly, but once I saw how dedicated the skaters were and how hard they worked, I thought it would be fun. And it is.
Q: How long have you been involved with the sport?
TND: I started in October of 2007.
Q: What is your favorite aspect of volunteering with roller derby?
TND: Probably the camaraderie. You’re all working toward the same outcome, but in different ways. And all the volunteer opportunities are important, so we all have a personal investment in the league.
Q: What challenges have you faced balancing a personal life with the demanding schedule of roller derby?
TND: Well, my last partner HATED derby. When you get involved with derby it can consume you. So when we broke up, one of the reasons she used was she hated derby. I know many husbands, wives or SO’s can become jealous of how much time derby takes, but I think having your partner involved themselves is good. Having a spouse or partner that can accept how much derby means and how many positive things can come out of it is essential.
Q: Who is the biggest supporter in your life of you volunteering with this sport?
TND: The skaters. They are the people who make me strive to be better and to become more involved.
Q: If you could change one thing about how you have trained for roller derby, what would you change?
TND: Well, being a ref you have to been in decent shape. I mean, we skate every jam. No rest. So you have to be able to skate for a hour with about 10 minutes rest. I think I need to go to more speed practices. I was a speed skater when I was in high school and loved it. But I’m quite a bit heavier than I was then, and older, so speed practice takes a certain toll on my knees & back.
Q: What are your favorite places to eat here in the Triangle?
TND: The Borough, Sadlacks sandwiches RULE, I love Humble Pie and The Pit. And 5 Star is excellent upscale Asian food.
Q: Is it more important to win or to give it your all and learn something?
TND: I think both. It’s a sport and the end goal is to win, but in the process you have grow and learn and try your best.
Q: What was your first impression of skating at Dorton Arena?
TND: I was surprised by how loud it gets. When you’re a spectator, you don’t realize what it’s like to be on the floor, having hundreds of people yelling. Some for you, some at you. It’s overwhelming sometimes.
Q: Where have you traveled, and what place did you love the most?
TND: With derby I have been to Philadelphia, Baltimore, Tampa, Portland Oregon, Madison Wisconsin, St. Paul & Minneapolis Minnesota. Later this year I get to go to Miami to train refs. Next year I hope to make it to Boston because I’ve never been there. I’d have to say my favorite place would be Minnesota. I really liked the area and the people were very nice. Plus they have that darn Mall which is fascinating!
Q: Have you had any major injuries because of roller derby?
TND: Just my ego. Bruz took me out my very first bout and sent me flying under the meals for wheels banner. It was totally embarrassing because I couldn’t get out!
Please visit the Skate Ranch in Raleigh tonight (Thursday, October 22nd) from 6-8pm to meet Tripp and learn about volunteer opportunities with the Carolina Rollergirls!