July Featured Skater: #913 Flannery O’Clobber
She made her Warning Belle debut at the final home bout of the season–Flannery O’Clobber started with the Third Alarm in 2013. Her fierce style of play and fearlessness on the track has made her a rising star!
Why did you choose derby?
That’s a hard question to answer. I was introduced to derby when my husband surprised me with tickets to a bout for my birthday. I’d never been before and knew very little about the sport, but something magical happened that night. I was never an athlete and have very little interest in sports, but I wanted to be a part of what I saw happening on the track. I wanted to be strong and confident like the women I was watching. So, with a lot of encouragement from my husband, I did my research, found some courage, and learned how to skate. Three months later, I made the team and committed to being a derby girl. I continue to do it because it’s the reason I can say I’m a strong woman.
What’s the craziest thing to happen to you on the track?
Injuries are always pretty crazy. Last summer, I broke my wrist bouting in South Bend. I fell after a hard hit and caught all of my weight on my tailbone and right wrist. It hurt, but adrenaline was camouflaging the reality of the situation. I went in for a few more jams, fell on my wrist again, and finally felt the break. My teammates said I looked like death, but I think I was just angry about leaving the bout. My husband took me to the emergency room and I made it to the after party. I played the rest of the season in a cast.
Song that gets you fired up.
Oh boy, I love music. I have an entire playlist of songs specifically for bout days and practice nights. When I first joined derby, my jam was “Titanium” by David Guetta featuring Sia. I would sing it during especially difficult drills to distract me from pain. Right now, my pre-bout jam is “Ain’t Been Done” by Jessie J. It’s cheesy, but it does the job.
If you weren’t doing derby, you’d be….
Out of shape and unhappy…just kidding. I’m sure I would have eventually found something to occupy my leisure time. I’ve recently found women’s boxing pretty interesting, but that might be hard to do wearing glasses. I’d probably just be reading or cooking a lot more.
What is something people don’t know about you?
I very rarely watch TV. When I do, it’s because I’ve found a good nature documentary.
Favorite Flannery O’Connor book and why?
I like her short stories, especially the one that everyone reads in high school, “A Good Man is Hard to Find”. It’s a darkly funny read with cleverly developed characters. I admire O’Connor for being unapologetic in her uniqueness and wit, despite having a difficult life. I recommend reading her biography, “Flannery: A Life of Flannery O’Connor” by Brad Gooch. It’s good. Trust me–I’m a librarian.