Sports

August 16, 2012

D-M Airman is roller derby racer

Tags:
Airman 1st Class Michael Washburn
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Derby
Staff Sgt. Hilary Middleton, 355th Operations Support Squadron air crew flight equipment technician, races around a roller derby track with the number 77 written on her arms.

Take roller skating, paramedics, cheering fans, an oval track and position names like jammers and you get the sport of roller derby.

For Staff Sgt. Hilary Middleton, 355th Operations Support Squadron air crew flight equipment technician, roller derby is more than a hobby of hers, it’s become a passion.

“I’ve been skating since I was two and always loved it,” Middleton said. “In February of 2011, roller derby tickets were being handed out by my first sergeant and it sounded like it would be a fun time. I went to a few games and decided that I wanted to do it.”

Standing in the way of crossing the threshold from spectator to team member was a skills test.

“You need to show moderate skill in all aspects of roller derby,” Middleton said. “These include falling, stopping, gliding, cross-overs and form. Everything you need to know to play a game.”

With Middleton skating since she was two, the test didn’t stand a chance. She was drafted onto a local Tucson team, The Copper Queens.

Middleton’s competitive nature and a drive to get back in shape were factors in her decision to get involved in roller derby in the first place.

“I just had two kids within two years and my physical training was a little lacking,” Middleton said. “I’m a competitive person, so if I’m going to get in shape, I’m going to do something fun and competitive.”

And get in shape she did. Her score didn’t just improve, it skyrocketed.

“I went from scoring around an 80 to a 95,” Middleton said.

Middleton didn’t last long on the Copper Queens.

“I was on the home team for about three months before I tried out and made it on the traveling all-stars team, the Tucson Saddletramps,” Middleton said. “You need to have a lot more refined skill for the team and a better understanding of the strategies involved with roller derby. It’s the best of the best people on the team. You compete for regional and national ranking, so it’s a big deal. On the team, I played all the positions, but mostly I was in the jamming position and offensive blocking.”

On the Saddletramps, Middleton’s derby name is Judo Gnomi and her number is 77. She says that there are similarities between a roller derby team and the Air Force.

“Like the Air Force, roller derby is like a large family,” Middleton said. “When you join a team, you have about 60 good friends who are all female. Right away you have camaraderie. A lot of people are from different places, but you all have roller derby in common.”

Although Middleton loves roller derby, she knows the Air Force always comes first. Because of that, she’s had to make sacrifices. With a deployment looming on the horizon for Middleton, she was forced to stop playing because she can’t risk injuring herself before deploying. It’s a temporary hiatus for Middleton. It’s evident she isn’t done with her beloved sport of roller derby.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
(U.S. Air Force Illustration by Airman 1st Class Cheyenne Morigeau)

Don’t become a target

Considering recent threats against Americans and the exponential growth of social media use, becoming a target of an adversary is easier than ever. Operations Security is a process that identifies unclassified, critical informa...
 
 
BreastCancerAwareness_pict

An Airman’s story: My mother didn’t fight alone

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. – His green eyes frantically searched the crowd for his dying mother. During his final pass and review at basic military training (BMT) he saw her in the stands, cheering him on. A year later, ...
 
 

Fire Prevention Week 2014

(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Drzazgowski) Sparky the Fire Dog, National Fire Protection Association spokesdog, and members from the 355th Fire Emergency Services flight taught children from the Child Development Center how to stop, drop and roll at Davis-Monthan, Oct. 8. The 355th FES conducted several events in conjunction with Fire...
 

 

Troops to Teachers helps Airmen serve after separation

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. – For many service members who are separating from the military, finding employment that utilizes prior training or skills gained while serving can be difficult. For Airmen who are honorably discharged from their military commitment and have an interest in ‘serving’ again as an educational instructor, the Troops to Teachers program is...
 
 

Military Tuition Assistance Program implements changes for FY15

HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. – Air Force active duty Airmen who want to take advantage of the military assistance programs for voluntary education in the coming academic year can expect several changes that were implemented on Oct. 1, 2014. The new Air Force Credentialing Opportunities Online, also referred to as AF COOL, will take the place...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin