Rollergirls live many lives
By Adam Kiefaber
Jenni Schultz recently sprinted through the woods of her Price Hill neighborhood trying to track down her dog, Gracie, who escaped from her leash.
After tracking Gracie down, Schultz left her at home, strapped on her roller stakes and chased her Black-N-Bluegrass Roller Derby teammates through the rink at the Florence Fundome.
To her teammates, Schultz is better known as Florence Nite-N-Hell, a tough 5-foot-9 38-year-old blocker that has battled through numerous knee injuries.
Outside of the Fundome, she is a nurse and a mother that dons combat boots and a unique red and blue hairdo.
“Florence balances out Jenni,” said Schultz of her alter ego. “I can dress in my scrubs and I love time with my patients, but I also absolutely love ’bout day’ (games) when I can do my makeup like David Bowie, wear spankies and fishnets and knock the crap out of people.”
Her daughter, Ginger, doesn’t necessary share the love of the sport.
“All you guys do is skate around in a circle,” Ginger told her mom one day at roller derby practice.
“Ah, no, it is a little bit more than that,” Florence Nite-N-Hell said.
To the unknowing fan, roller derby appears to be a bunch of women on roller skates skating in a circle and randomly ramming into each other.
To roller girls and others that follow the sport, roller derby can be a complicated game that requires multiple days worth of practice each week.
However, while some are attracted to the sport because of the strategy, most are there to see the collisions.
The collisions don’t just bring in the fans, but also fellow rollergirls.
Meet Kallie Jo of Erlanger, a 21-year-old bill collector, who describes herself as somewhat of a “pushover” in her day-to-day life.
At night, Jo, known in the roller derby circuit as Scary Garcia, describes herself as “fearless.”
“I call people at home and at work to try to collect on accounts that they defaulted on and I pretty much get yelled at and hung up on all day,” Jo said of her day job.
“The good thing about derby, especially when I have a real frustrating day, is that it is nice to go out and hit people without getting in trouble for it.”
There are many more out there like Schultz and Jo, like Joyce Leonard, who is 39-year-old mother of two who is trying to finish nursing school while working as cocktail waitress at McCormick & Schmick’s in downtown Cincinnati.
Her customers know her as Joyce, but her teammates and co-workers know her as Tiki Von Sexron.
Leonard grew up watching roller derby as a child in San Diego, Calif., when she fell in love with the sport and dreamed to play it one day.
“Participating in roller derby to me is like a little mini pop star dream. You know when you are a little kid and think, ‘I want to do this when I grow up and I would love to that when I grow up,’ and then life actually gets in the way,'” Leonard said. “This is my little piece of reclaiming that little bit of childhood.”
There are many more various types of rollergirls who make up the Black-N-Bluegrass squad. To see these women of all walks of life take down the opposition, catch a home bout at the Fundome, 7864 Commerce Drive, Florence.
This week, July 25, they will take on the Lafayette Brawlin Dolls at 7 p.m. For more information, visit black-n-bluegrass.com.