Roller derby skater profile: Roto Tilda
In this continuing series, we introduce you to the fierce and fab ladies who live, work and play within our Midcoast community. Not everybody has the guts and drive to make it in the sport of roller derby. Welcome to the women who love, live and breathe derby.
Skater Profile: Roto Tilda
Real name: Reba Richardson
Tell us about your derby name: I’m a farmer (and a fan of Tilda Swinton). I’d love to think that I can till up my opponents as handily as I till the soil.
Current town and hometown: Warren and Portland
Occupation: Farmer — my husband (Rock Coast Rollers announcer “Dollar Bill”) and I own and run Hatchet Cove Farm, an organic vegetable farm in Warren.
How long have you been skating: Since November 2011
Why derby?: When I stumbled upon derby, it had been a long time since I had done something totally out of my comfort zone. Derby is so satisfying, challenging and good for my brain, my body and my social life. I love pretty much everything about it.
What’s been the most challenging aspect of derby so far? What’s your Achilles’ heel, so to speak: One of the joys of derby is the rapid learning curve; it feels like you can improve with every practice you go to, if you put your heart in it. But fighting to carve out space in my life, while running a farm and with two small children at home, is hard to do. Work-life-derby balance is a hard one. I often wish I had discovered derby in my 20s, but I’m just so grateful that I discovered it at all. Another Achilles’ heel is that I have zero sense of style. Thank goodness I have derby friends who have taught me how to put on makeup and dress in sequins.
Most fun and rewarding part of derby: I get to feel like I’m flying. What could be more rewarding that that?
Other sports/hobbies/interests: Between the farm, my family and derby, everything else has sort of gone by the wayside. I used to knit and read obsessively, but now when I get home from practice at 10 p.m., all I want to do is eat cereal. Like an entire box. And sometimes I do. So much for the reading and knitting.
Rock Coast Rollers is a diverse group of women dedicated to advancing and advocating for the sport of roller derby, women, their league and their community. RCR aims to be a skater-owned, nonprofit business under the Women's Flat Track Derby Association, based in Rockland. For more information visit rockcoastrollers.org.
Kay Stephens can be reached at email@example.com