There’s no denying that Beth Collier is a busy woman.
The mother of three works at the Health Food Shoppe, 3515 N. Anthony Blvd., co-owns a photography business and does art on the side.
And for seven hours a week – or more – she can be found at Bell’s Roller Skating Rink in New Haven, a place where she is affectionately known as Sugar Guns.
Collier has been a member of the Fort Wayne Derby Girls since 2006, and she is on the group’s Bomb Squad for the upcoming season. The team practices three times a week, two to three hours at a time, and will have 18 bouts this season.
“A lot of times it is a huge commitment and not everyone can do it,” Collier says. “Derby gives you a passion. And if you love it and you want it bad enough, you just kind of make it happen.”
Collier says that she will involve her kids during workouts and credits good time management with fitting it all in.
Collier was attracted to the group “because it seemed empowering,” she says. “(It’s) a group of women playing a sport together, where you can look and be who you really are, and you race and dominate! Pretty amazing really!”
Workout: Roller derby
Difficulty: “Derby is a very taxing sport! Think of rugby, you’re getting hit. Hard,” Collier says. “ … Not only is the sport intense for your core (being able to take a hard hit) but it’s really a full body workout.”
Practice: A typical practice for the Fort Wayne Derby Girls involves interval training, plyometrics, strength work, foot work and agility drills. And that’s all before getting on a pair of skates.
Time commitment: Practices are two to three hours and bouts are 60 minutes with a 10 to 15-minute halftime.
Cross training: Collier maintains “a fairly intense training schedule” that involves “Insanity,” weight lifting and Body Rock sessions.
“My dad is my trainer. He will go through our workouts and rotate them as needed,” Collier says. “We usually do two intervals with max reps and the last round. If I can do a lot of reps, we raise the weight.”
Shaping up: “I believe it is (important to be fit for derby) although I don’t believe you always have to be insanely fit to join,” Collier says. “We want all shapes and sizes, but I think it takes a hard and dedicated work effort. It’s a competitive sport; you have to put the work in to see the results and to help you get one step closer to being rostered.”
Gear: Protective gear is essential. Derby girls wear elbow, knee and wrist guards, a helmet, mouth guard, skates and good gym shoes. “I got my pads for $100 total but there are cheaper brands, which if you’re just starting would be a good way to go,” Collier says. “Starter skates are around a $100, but if you’re in it for the long haul, better skates run anywhere from $300 to $800.
“It’s all worth it! You gain a team, family and an experience of a lifetime! Roller derby has its own culture, and I am proud to be a part of it!”
Fueling up: “Eating and hydrating properly is also very important,” Collier says. “When you train hard, you must have enough fuel to keep your body going. A lot of us try to make sure that we stay on task with doing protein drinks after our practices.” She also takes omega-3 fish oil and vitamin C as well as supplements for things such as joints and bones.
Goals for derby: “For our team to make it to regionals, which we are hosting the 2013 season!” Collier says. The Fort Wayne Derby Girl season begins this month, and the team’s first regular-season home bout will be Jan. 19 at Memorial Coliseum.