Roller Derby is bigger than ever in the Med City.
The Med City Mafia is constantly adding new members and has even had to break into two teams under one league to utilize all the women.
Bria Carr is one of the newest members of the Med City Mafia. She first experienced roller derby years before joining.
"It was just this really cool, sort of, strong women being awesome and I was like, 'I want to do that! I want to be that person!'," said Bria.
This March Bria began working on joining the Med City Mafia by becoming a new recruit.
Her roller derby name is Britzkrieg.
“I always feel powerful," said Bria. "I always feel like I can walk out those doors and just like walk down the street and no one's going to mess with me because I'm awesome and it's like it's a very empowering kind of feeling.”
Roller derby is played by two teams of five members. Game play consists of a series of short match ups, called jams, in which both teams designate a scoring player, the jammer, who scores points by lapping members of the opposing team. The teams assist their own jammer while trying to stop the opposing jammer. Essentially, players are playing both offense and defense simultaneously.
But outside of Roller Derby Bria, and most of the other girls on the team, are just like us, they work a normal day job. Bria works at Creating Ability in Chatfield, a company that makes kayaks for people with disabilities.
"I'm officially the sidekick at creating ability," said Bria. "I'm the jack of all trades, master of none. I answer the phone, I do invoices, I do shipping, I travel the country in the summer and go to events. I work on the beach. We get people in kayaks. I sweep, sometimes, when dad makes me."
Bria works with her father who is hesitant about supporting her decision to get involved in Roller Derby.
“It's a complete mix of emotions," said Bria's father, Kevin Carr. "There's a part of me that loves seeing her get involved especially in a sport where you've got some camaraderie and people are all in it for the same reason. There's a little terror as a father, because I don't care how much the sport has changed the floor is still very hard and when you're moving at speed I get concerned that she'll come in one morning on crutches and I'll just have to not say I told you so but go 'oh, I'm so sorry, I hope you're okay.' I'm nervous about it.”
Bria has trained for about 6 months without ever being in a bout, it takes most people about that long to complete their training.
“Bria is amazing," said Bria's coach, Mackenzie Rohe. "As you can tell she's an amazon, very tall, very strong athlete which is always a good thing! She came in with not that much confidence but you can see she's really blossomed since then.”
Bria is preparing to start in her first bout against Mason City's River City Dames Of Anarchy.
“My first bout?," said Bria. "Are my allowed to say having it over? Having the stress of that over. I think it would be really cool, I hope this doesn't sound egocentric, it would be really cool to hear someone yell my name.”
But before she'll hear someone yell her name she's going to need to make sure her mental game is strong.
“The hardest part mentally for me so far is remembering that I can do more than I think I can," said Bria. "Skating is not something I've done before this. It's tricky because you learn things a step at a time and you just have to keep convincing yourself, I can do this. It feels like I shouldn't be able to throw my body in the air, turn around and land it. But I can. It feels like that 200 pound girl coming at me full speed hits me I'm going to die, but you're not. So it's just this very interesting line between understanding you are that strong and you will be stronger.”
Bria recently had the chance to participate in her first bout. The team didn't win but did have fun.
For more information about roller derby click here. For info on the Med City Mafia, click here.