When she heard the whistle, Daniela Lopez Carrizoza kicked her feet into action at her first scrimmage with the Tucson Roller Derby team.
I love it and I wake up every morning and Im meant to do this. I really am. Im aware of the falls, but guess what? You get right back up again, Lopez Carrizoza said.
However, on the court shes known as Fire Cracker, which she said fits her personality well.
All over the court youll see the unique and even funny nicknames of all the players like Lilo and Stitches and Pariah Carey.
Pariah Careys legal name is Miranda Schubert and shes been playing roller derby since 2016.
She was the referee for the scrimmage at Catalina High School.
Theres something about being involved in the sport that makes you feel a little like a super hero, so its kind of an alter ego thing, Schubert said.
Its an alter ego they create with flashy makeup, using glitter and bright colors to accentuate their personalities.
I feel like it makes us look more fierce or tough, Lopez Carrizoza said.
Its that very same attitude that she brings into what they call a bout, or their game.
Its a game that requires her to roll with the punches and sometimes even the falls.
Its a very risky sport. Full contact, full body contact, she said.
Thats why they wear protective gear like a helmet, pads, and a mouthguard.
They alternate between offense and defense and even take on different positions.
Lopez Carrizoza plays as a pivot, blocker, and even a jammer, which is the player that scores the points while their teammates try and block the players on the other team.
Theyre just going to be pushing you and wanting to knock you down so that they can get through, she said.
However, at the end of the day, for the people on the court, its not about scoring, its about building self-confidence and family.
Its a revolutionary sport. Its about building community. Its about inclusion and sense of belonging, Schubert said.
Lopez Carrizoza knows even though its a challenge, those bruises, also known to them as derby kisses will go away.
Those will heal, but this experience lasts forever for me, she said.