Photo credit: Mark Alonzo
Skater name: Nada Chancenhell
Skater number: 666
Years Played: 6 years
How did you get into derby? I was at a TXRD (banked track) demo back in 2005. At the time, I couldn’t work derby into my business travel schedule and had never played a team sport, but it stuck in the back of my mind. Once I moved to Dallas, I decided to figure out a way to derby and career. Google delivered ACRD into my life.
How did you select your name? My maternal grandmother, Nada, was a 1950s divorcee with 3 children, a 52-year MS survivor, 28-year breast cancer survivor and, for the last 6 years of her life, a double amputee. She died in 2010. She was the most resilient woman I’ve ever known and I figured if I could channel 1/10th of her strength on the track, I would be solid.
What is your day job? Director of Technology Partnerships at Armor Defense. We provide active cyber defense for companies who hold sensitive data. It takes very strategic calendar planning to balance 20-25 business trips/year with derby, but I’ve made it work.
Worst derby injury? After 5 season of popping jammers with my right shoulder, I ended up with a full tear of the rotator cuff and labrum. I had surgery in October 2016 and am still not cleared to bout. If there isn’t marked improvement this month, I’ll be having another surgery in May.
Tunes that get you pumped on bout day: Mr. Chancenhell and I used to have a radio show, so most of my bout day music comes from our “Friday Night Happy Hour Greatest Hits” compilation that we each keep on our phones. Lots of obscure late ‘90s/early 2K music but it all has great memories and allows me to channel my former, more youthful self.
Any current derby crushes? When I’m injured, I actually have much more time to think of these things than normal. My favorites right now include:
– My former NTRD Trauma Queens teammate Dirty Huckabee. She’s retired now, but recently shared a story about how I ended up drafted to TQs that I’ve held close to my heart while I’m recovering.
– Crews’n & Brews’n because she and I have been teammates for 4 of our 6 seasons – twice as Ruby’s and we were also TQs. We’re currently on injured reserve together for the second time in our derby careers. Injuries are so much harder mentally than physically and while I hate that we both end up injured at the same time, there is comfort in having a good friend riding the bench with you.
– My current captain and co-captain, Angel de Muerte and Il Lumen Naughty, because they keep our team chill and cohesive.
Most rewarding derby experience so far: The things I learned about myself that I carry off the track and into everyday life. I’m more successful in every aspect of my life from the lessons I learned on the track.
Favorite food: Greek. Feed me spanakopita and gyro and I’ll follow you anywhere.
Advice for new skaters? Even if you start derby at an age when most athletes are retiring, you have time to play. I was 38-year old Fresh Meat and turned 40 before the end of my first home team season. I used to be fearful when I was injured that if I didn’t push and come back before I was healed, my “derby biological clock” was ticking and my window to play would close. It’s not true. Let injuries heal and you’ll find that your age has about as much bearing on your ability to play as your shoe size.