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Campbell's 'Dee Lorean' Packs a Punch

This local lawyer puts on the moves in the roller rink.

Pigtails, short shorts, fishnet stockings and over-the-top names. These are all the standards in roller derby, a popular sport from the 1970s making a comeback in recent years.

Silicon Valley is not immune to this fever, and women from all walks of life are hooked.

Campbell's "Dee Lorean" is no exception to this. She's an attorney by day but skates in the rink by night. Lorean is part of the Silicon Valley Roller Girls, the local roller derby team.

And she's not the only one with a day job.

"Some of the other girls are techies, personal trainers, stay-at-home moms, police officers and some in the medical field," she says.

The age range of the women on the two teams—the Dot.Kamikazes and the KillaBytes (which Lorean is part of)—varies, too, but most are in their 20s and 30s.

Originally from Tucson, AZ, Lorean (as she'd like to refer to herself) moved to Campbell to escape the heat and live with her boyfriend.

She misses the summer thunderstorms and, of course, her family, but she's ecstatic about leaving behind the 100+ heat.

She practices derby three times a week, for up to seven hours. The derby girls also do events throughout the year: fundraisers, community service, etc. The girls were in the Campbell and more recently helped hand out sweets at the ribbon-cutting of .

As for Lorean, she recently worked for Habitat for Humanity building homes in Morgan Hill.

Campbell Patch caught up with the roller girl and sat down to talk shop about skating, derby and why, according to her mother, she picks the "most violent sports."

Campbell Patch: When did you pick up your first pair of skates?

Dee Lorean: Not entirely sure of what I was doing. I bought a pair at the Sports Authority. It was one of the only pairs of quads there. They were cheap for skates. White, toe stops with blue wheels. Cost me about $50.

Patch: Why Derby?

Lorean: Before roller derby, I did roller skate as a kid, which turned into rollerblading and then roller hockey in high school. I skated for a women’s team in high school.

At the time, I was looking into a sport. I had gotten out of shape and I wanted to do a team thing. I do better this way. I don’t think about it (exercising). I found a flyer in Tucson. I really wanted to do it. The movie, Whip It, had just come out. I emailed Tucson roller derby and started with them in November 2009. I’ve been skating for about a year and a half now.

Patch: Tell me about your derby name.

Lorean: It’s a Back to the Future reference. I’m a nerd. I love Sci-Fi. I wanted something really simple and funny. I tried a law reference but nobody got it so I went with a pop culture reference instead. My jersey number is 1.21

Patch: What surprised you about derby?

Lorean: I hadn’t anticipated how many friends and connections I would make. I know all these people … It takes over your life, and every derby girls will tell you this.

Patch: What’s the biggest challenge?

Lorean: Building my endurance. A lot of work to keep up with people that have been doing it a lot longer than you. You gotta take hits, get back up and keep going.

Patch: Tell me about the reality of derby versus the movies.

Lorean: Whip It isn’t terribly bad. We have target zones. Keep us feasibly safe. From the shoulders to the knees is a target zone, which means these areas are hittable.

There’s a variety of hits. You can hit people with your hips, butt, side and shoulders. You get some very pretty bruises this way.

The best hit is the one that starts at the hips and moves its way up. Strategically speaking, sometimes it’s just better to get in their way rather than make a hit.

Patch: Tell me about the injuries.

Lorean: There are a lot of knee injuries, ankle injuries. I know people have gotten concussions. I’m pretty sure I did a number on my tail bone. I’m pretty sure I broke it.

Patch: Why do it?

Lorean: Because it's so much fun. It’s a huge, huge stress relief. It hurts, but the next day you’re like, “Yeah! I got some aggression out.”

And I’ve lost 40 pounds since I started.

Patch: Why should people check out a bout?

Lorean: Because they’re a lot of fun and we make them as accessible to everyone as we can. We do a demo of it in the beginning. Even if you don’t follow right away, it will be entertaining, and you get to see people get hit or flying around. And our tickets aren’t that expensive!

It’s always more fun when we have a good crowd.

The next bout is Saturday at San Jose Skate, 397 Blossom Hill Rd.: the Dot.Kamikazes versus the Slaughter County Roller Vixens and the KillaBytes versus the Undead Betties. For more information on the Silicon Valley Rollergirls, visit their website or facebook page.

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