Skater of the Month – November 2018

Full Derby Name: Cookie Monstrosity

Skater Number: 30


1. What is your REAL name?

Jen Brestel

2. What does the Derbyverse call you? And what is your Skater Number?

Cookie Monstrosity #30

3. Is there a story behind your derby name?

I would love to say I have a magnificent story involving an encounter with Cookie Monster, alas I do not. While rattling off possible names, I was thinking about how I like to bake and how I love cookies, and poof Cookie Monstrosity was born. Also, who doesn’t love the adorable Cookie Monster?

4. When/how did you get started playing for Diamond State Roller Derby?

I started playing in 2011 (I know crazy!) I was a newspaper reporter at the time. While covering a suicide prevention walk at Glasgow Park, I watched as a group of folks decked out in roller derby gear came skating down the path. We chatted and I was intrigued, but I didn’t see myself playing. No way. But the idea stayed with me and after a few months, I decided to stop being a chicken and give it a try. I attended one practice and boom, I was hooked. The rest is history.

5. What is your most memorable moment with Diamond State?

The two experiences I will always remember fondly are 1) Spectating the 2017 WFTDA Championship with my teammates. We had a blast hanging out with each other and got to watch amazing roller derby being played by all of our derby idols. 2) Playing in DSRD’s first tournament appearance. The BMore Classic was a rad experience for our team, and for myself. We proved we belonged there, and we had an epic time in the process.

6. What is one of your favorite ways Roller Derby has evolved since you first started playing?

Wow, derby has evolved immensely since I first started. I have loved watching, and being a part of, the sport as it transitioned from big, showy hits to clean, coordinated strategy. The sport has grown so much in the last seven to eight years and is now played competitively across the world. That is exciting stuff!

7. What’s a valuable life lesson you’ve learned from Roller Derby or your friends at Diamond State?

We (and by we, I mean all people) are capable of so much more than we give ourselves credit for. I have pushed myself well beyond my comfort zone at times and have accomplished things I never thought I could. I have watched my teammates and our officials master skills they didn’t think were possible and surpass goals they thought were out of reach. You’re never too old, too young, too anything to do what you love, and I thank this sport for giving me an opportunity to prove to myself that I have an inner badass inside of me.

8. What is something that you will take with you from Roller Derby into your “Retired” life?

I will forever cherish the friendships I have made through this sport and this community. My league-mates are some of the most caring, fun people I know. Even outside of my own team, I have gotten to meet amazing people from the region, the country and the world.

9. What will you miss the most about Roller Derby or Diamond State?

I won’t say the people, only because they’re my second family now. They can’t get rid of me even if they tried. From a competitive standpoint, I’ll miss that feeling I get when lining up for a jam. It’s a little dash of excitement, a pinch of fear and a helping spoonful of joy. I’ll miss that rush I get from playing a sport I love so dearly.

10. Any advice, as a seasoned skater, to those newly becoming engaged with derby, whether as a skater, official, or fan?

For new skaters, my main piece of advice is to keep going. It can be so easy to doubt yourself and your abilities when training to play a sport like roller derby. Don’t compare yourself to others and ignore the haters. It took me a long time to really feel like I could play this sport well and while I still don’t feel like I mastered it, I am so proud of myself for the journey. Everyone has that aha moment at some point, just keep pushing. The more you put into this sport, the more it will give back to you. Okay, enough seriousness. Where are my cookies for answering all these questions??? …. nom nom nom!

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