Meet Julie: She’s all about roller derby, the mountains, and inspiring others to #skatelikeagirl.
“I’m Julie Williams, and I am 27 years old. I was born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and moved to Salt Lake in November 2015. I don’t have any family that lives in Utah and almost all of my relatives live in Louisiana. I didn’t really have a real reason for moving across the country other than I just didn’t want to live in Louisiana anymore and I love the mountains and the climate in Salt Lake. I graduated from Louisiana State University in 2013 with a degree in Spanish. My current job is pretty rad, I work for Activity Living, a program for people with disabilities. My main goal at my job is to develop relationships with my clients, get them out of the house to do fun activities and keep them physically active and involved in the community.
As far as my free time goes, roller derby takes up most of it between practice, traveling, meetings, fundraisers, etc. but when I do have free time I enjoy skating ramps both on roller skates and my skateboard. I also snowboard during the winter months and I do a decent amount of hiking and camping during the warmer months. My other hobbies include playing piano (although I haven’t been able to bring my piano to Utah yet,) learning how to play guitar, and crafting.
I attend two 3 hour practices a week for roller derby. Those practices can get very intense. On Mondays we do two hours of skills and drills with the full league and then the last hour is advanced hour (travel team only). On Wednesdays we do one hour of skills and drills and then two hours of scrimmage. On Sundays we are invited to go to the men’s team practice for extra practice credit. Men’s practice also lasts three hours but is usually more intense than my league’s usual practices. I don’t make these practices every Sunday but I try to go as often as I can. We are also highly encouraged to do off skates cross training. Once a week I go running to help keep my endurance up, most of the time I end up doing interval sprints.
I try to go on a decent hike at least twice a month and I also go to a weekly ladies ramp skate night on Tuesday nights. Fitness has changed a lot for me since I joined roller derby in 2012. Before I started skating I didn’t really worry much about being fit but roller derby gave me reasons to be fit and goals to reach. I’ve become even more active after making the travel team since moving here. Travel teams are competitive and usually skate for rankings in the WFTDA. We compete with other ranked teams from all over the US. Some teams even compete all over the world. Being on the travel team makes derby go from being just a hobby to taking over your life (in a good way.) It also requires you to push yourself to a whole new level of athleticism.
I play roller derby for a lot of reasons. I love the rush and I love that it keeps me in shape. I’m competitive by nature which drives me when I’m feeling tired or burnt out. I also love roller derby because it’s such an inclusive and body positive sport. Every body type is a good body type in roller derby.
Roller derby also helps keep me sane. Between the hard hitting (which is a great release), the endorphins from the exercise, and the camaraderie and friendship, roller derby is a great escape from the stress of the real world and that’s what I try to remember most on days when I feel like giving up.
I also love to inspire female empowerment through skating. Roller derby does that on its own but I also think there is something to be said about women on roller skates in skate parks. It is very empowering to go into a male dominated space and fiercely own it. Groups like Chicks In Bowls and the Moxi Skate Team have made the sport of aggressive quad skating more visible and have inspired women all over the world to #skatelikeagirl.
In the future I would like to continue playing roller derby competitively and keep pushing my athletic abilities. I would also like to become even more fearless when learning new tricks at the skatepark. One goal I plan to always have is to be as healthy as I can be, I’ll never give up on clean eating and living an active life, no matter where my interests and hobbies take me.”
*These women may or may not be actual users of IdealFit products, we simply want to share their story.
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