When WSU School of Medicine Research Assistant Courtney Cartrette isn’t helping to annihilate pediatric maladies in the lab, she’s annihilating her competition on the roller derby track.
Cartrette is a member of the Pistol Whippers, one of five teams in the Detroit Derby Girls roller derby league. But this is no cupcake sport; Cartrette spent three months on the sidelines last year after breaking her leg during a scrimmage. That's when co-workers around the School of Medicine learned of her unique hobby. "They thought I was joking when I told them I was hurt playing roller derby," says Cartrette. "Now they come to watch me skate."
Her chosen derby name, Travis Blocker, was inspired by her love for punk rock band Blink-182 and its tattoo-cloaked drummer, Travis Barker.
"I love derby because it brings such a diverse group of women together. It’s such an inclusive and empowering sport.”
She says that roller derby has taught her many lessons she can bring back to the lab, but one of the most poignant is self-confidence. “I’m more confident in myself and in my knowledge. I stand up for myself more now than I might have in the past.”
The next Detroit Derby Girls bout takes place on Saturday, Jan. 5, at the Masonic Temple. A full schedule and a link to purchase tickets can be found at www.detroitderbygirls.com
Courtney Cartrette (fourth from right) faces the Devils Night Dames in a Dec. 8 bout at the Masonic Temple