#2. Fleur-de-ME: Kayla Woodward

Welcome to our second blog post and the first “Fleur-de-ME” post.  Our Fleur-de-ME series will introduce you to numerous people in our Arch Rival Roller Derby community.  There is no better way to get this series started than with Kayla Woodward, formerly known as Tupac Shank-Her or Let’s Get Beard during Local Season.
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Q: What is your favorite memory from joining Arch Rival?

K. Woodward: I transferred into Arch Rival from a much smaller league. Moving into the city was a big deal for me because I only moved in order to play roller derby for ARCH. I wasn’t great at roller derby in the beginning.  In fact, I was one of the worst skaters.  I knew I wanted to be competitive and it was a dream to have the opportunity. I remember being so excited to go to every practice, to meet all the skaters, and just start my new competitive derby career. On my birthday, about 2 months after joining and a week after my first tournament with the Fleur Delinquents, I learned that I was rostered for my first Saint Lunachix game AND I made the All Star roster! I was on all 3 teams at the same time! It was the best gift ever!

Q: Do you remember a moment when you felt you really belonged?

K. Woodward: I think the fact that I can act like my normal, extremely weird self on a regular basis and my friends/teammates still allow me to do so means that I truly belong. I remember one time at one of my earlier practices, Duece Bomber, a now retired skater, pulled me aside and asked me, in a round about way (with lots of hand gestures and eyebrow movement), if I did drugs. I laughed. I have never even smoked a cigarette.  I truly am just weird!

Q: What makes this league so special?

K. Woodward: This league is so much more than just a group of roller derby skaters. We have true athletes, professionals, mothers, good citizens, teachers, and such dedicated people. I am constantly surprised at how many go above and beyond their roles to be better at all aspects of their lives. Sometimes, it’s hard for me to just get out of bed and do normal adult things, but a lot of these women are constantly pushing the boundaries. They are inspiring and talented, and I am so proud to be surrounded by them.

Q: What do you wish the public of St. Louis knew about Arch Rival?

K. Woodward: ST. LOUIS! YOU WOULD LOVE US IF YOU CAME TO SEE US! Who cares about football, make room for derby in your hearts! It’s full contact, it’s intense, fast-paced, and the women are more popular than men! How many sports can you say about that? The after parties are great. We dance and have FUN!

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