October’s Member of the Month: Auntie Climax!

This month’s MotM is bittersweet: we’re celebrating Auntie Climax, who just retired after 10 years with us. And she went out on a high note, winning her last Brawl bout (thanks in part to her fantastic blocking, of course). We don’t want her to go, but go she must. Learn more about her below. We’ll miss you, Max!

Max’s first bout.

Who are you?
My derby name is Auntie Climax, #39 and I’m 48 years old. I’ve lived in Westchester county for 14 years.

How long have you been involved with roller derby?
I didn’t really know about roller derby so the first I’d heard of it was when my sons were playing hockey. The rink had a flyer about SRD tryouts, so I put one in my pocket and carried it around for a while, debating giving it a shot. I tried out for SRD in about October of 2008 and joined the fresh meat class in December of that same year.

I chose the number 39 because my first official scrimmage was on my 39th birthday.

Why did you start playing roller derby?
As a mom, I was looking for something that I could do for ~me~. I wanted time away from all the demands of work and home, and although I was crazy busy, I knew the time would never just free up for myself, so I had to make the time. Even though I had played sports in high school and college, I didn’t care about the exercise part of derby, but the social aspect of it appealed to me. It just seemed like something fun and exciting that I would enjoy.

Why did you keep playing roller derby?
I played for almost ten years because I fell in love with derby and the people in it. Some of the women have become my best friends and we have shared so much through this sport. As many of my friends retired to do other things in life, I kept up with it. I loved having my sport and my activity. And every new class of fresh meat brought in a new set of women and men to meet and discover something about. Often as we get older it’s hard to move outside of your circle, and all my teammates were people I would have never met without derby. I’ve played with stay at home moms, lawyers, teachers, nurses, military vets, and each of them has something wonderful about them. One of my teammates wasn’t even born when I started my current job!

The sport itself has been great for me. It has changed so much since I started. It used to be “go fast, turn left,” and then it turned into stop derby, which was boring, and now it’s becoming more skating strategy and working together again. I love the hitting and the working with my partner to make a wall or a brace that the jammer has to work hard to get through or go around. The feeling when you actually hold the jammer long enough for your jammer to make points is great.

Max’s last bout.

What’s your proudest derby moment?
There are so many moments to be proud of in this sport — making your first 27 in 5, hitting out the jammer when your team really needs her gone, making an amazing hole off the line so your jammer gets through for lead. Your first bout — no one forgets their first bout. Mine was so much fun, my friends and family came to watch. The choices are endless. But, I’ll have to say something different. I just retired and I was given a card signed by many of my teammates and so many of them said how much they’d learned from me. I always tried to help the new skaters feel better about where they were in their skill levels, to encourage them and let them know that they could do it. So seeing, in writing, that they learned from me, is my proudest moment.

What do you do outside of derby?
As I said, I’m a mom to two teenage boys, who keep me very busy. I work as an electron microscopist and I have seen all sorts of exciting things in the scope: Ebola virus, herpes virus, cancer cells, nanoparticles delivering drugs and so much more. It’s an interesting career. Travel is important to me, particularly travel with my family. I have taken my boys to see as much of the country as I can, we love road trips and camping, we love the National Parks. I sew my own clothes when I can and I also bake some damned fine cookies!

One more thing — AVENGERS FOR LIFE!