Breanna Parmer spent most of her childhood as a figure skater.
Now, she’s operating on a different kind of skates.
The 24-year-old lifelong Columbus resident is known as “Miss BreHave” on the Diesel Dollz roller derby team. The squad has its first home bout of the season tonight against the Cornfed Derby Dames from Muncie at Skateland.
“I didn’t really ice skate any more once I got done with high school, and I heard about this team and thought, ‘Ooh, that would be a lot of fun,’” Parmer said.
“I already had a skating background. I had never put on quad skates before, but it would be fun to try.”
The Columbus North and IUPUC graduate joined the team in February 2012.
“Not too long after I started skating, they asked me to skate in my first bout,” Parmer said. “So I went and bought skates, and it’s been fun ever since.”
Roller derby provides Parmer and her teammates a chance to release a little energy. By day, Parmer teaches students with emotional disabilities at Smith Elementary School.
“It is a good way to kind of blow off steam,” Parmer said. “I think I take out more aggression than I realize I even have. It’s just a lot of fun. Everybody is so much different than each other, but we’re all friends.”
Parmer plays all three positions for the Diesel Dollz — jammer, blocker and pivot.
“She’s a very gifted skater,” coach Adam “Mathlete” Bailey said. “She has very good skate skills. She has a good body build to succeed in derby and really has the potential to change the game and do anything she needs to on the track.”
Bailey said he probably would have Parmer operate as a jammer and have her block intermittently as needed in tonight’s bout.
“Either one, I have tunnel vision,” Parmer said. “When I’m jamming, I’m just trying to find a hole and hit people; and when I’m blocking, I’m trying to work with my team, keeping my eye on the other jammer and really trying to work with my team without using any words, which isn’t always easy. We yell and stuff, but we try to do as much grabbing and pushing each other to know where to go so the other team doesn’t know what we’re doing.”
The Diesel Dollz had only three bouts last year and went 1-2. They’ve added several bouts this year and have five at home. Last month, they opened the season with an 18-point loss at Richmond’s Dire Skates, a team that beat the Diesel Dollz by 130 last season.
“We’ve improved by leaps and bounds,” Bailey said.
No matter how they fare, the Diesel Dollz know their efforts are a stress reliever.
“It’s just for fun and to be strong and do something a little different than most people do,” Parmer said. “It’s just a good time.”