Q & A with Noxious Donna
Her skill and confidence on the track were key components in the Warning Belles’ successful first season.Naptown Roller Girl Noxious Donna gives us the lowdown on what gets her going—and offers a preview of this weekend’s bout with Bloomington’s Bleeding Heartland.
How did you become involved with the Naptown Roller Girls?
I used to work for the local alternative paper, NUVO Newsweekly, promoting events and online stuff. I did a bunch of silly “things to do in Indy” Youtube videos and came up with the crazy idea that I would subject myself to an NRG practice for one day. I had been to a few bouts before, so I was vaguely aware of what I was getting in to. Emphasis on vaguely.
Were you much of an athlete before that?
Nope. I was big in to show choir and theatre in high school. Never played sports. I had dabbled in horseback riding, swimming, and softball but gave up on those almost instantly. I was wimpy and whiny. In college, I picked up running and yoga, but nothing resembling a team sport.
People often think small skater = jammer. And at the beginning of last season, you almost exclusively wore the jammer star for the Warning Belles. Then we started seeing you in the pack more often, sometimes even wearing the pivot panty. When did that transition happen? And why?
I wish I knew! One day Diane Beatin’ handed me the pivot panty instead of the jammer panty. I trust my coaches to put me where I’ll do best, and I never asked why. Although I’ve definitely gotten better at hitting. Let’s go with that. I’m a badass hitter, and most girls don’t expect it from me because I’m tiny.
What percentage of your game is physical versus mental?
I don’t really get into the whole meditate-and-psych-myself-up-before-the-big-game thing. I let the negative and positive thoughts come and go as they please. Mainly I just try to set myself up to succeed by eating right, staying hydrated, and getting enough sleep. I don’t drink or smoke, and I’m a vegetarian. I know if my body is happy, then my mind can focus on what it needs to.
What surprises you most about this sport?
How, with everything else that may be going on in your life, you can always make time for derby. You have to. It’s an obsession and an addiction that affects every part of your life in ways you never thought it could. And it’s a great conversation starter.
In the real world, do you find that people regard you differently when they find out that you are a roller girl?
I recently went back to my hometown for a wedding, and that’s all anyone asked me about. Not my job, not my relationship … just derby. I think I just shock people when I tell them I play derby. I’m kinda small, I dress girly, and I’m pretty quiet. Hell, I surprise myself sometimes when I stop and think about it.