With only street lights illuminating the crisp night air, Sgt. Tara LeDore straps on her knee pads, ties up her roller skates, and mentally prepares for the next two hours.
Her extracurricular activity provides additional physical training, an extended family and, from time to time, bruises, black eyes or an injured tailbone.
She enjoys every minute of it.
An all source intelligence analyst assigned to Intelligence and Security Company, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division, LeDore laces her skates three times a week to train with the Femme Fatale Roller Dolls, a Killeen roller derby team.
“You’re so focused on the job during the day — taking care of soldiers and accomplishing the mission — that once the work day is complete, it’s like you need something to either take out your frustrations that you’ve accumulated during the day or something to unwind or just help you think about something else,” LeDore said.
With little childhood skating experience, LaDore said she’s learning all over again.
“I watched a friend play and fell in love with the sport,” said LeDore, who has only played with the roller derby team for a few months.
LeDore has already made a lasting impression on her coach, who gave her the roller derby name Colt RevolveHer.
“She’s determined — that’s for sure,” said coach Matthew Perez. “She’s also a quick thinker. When Tara gets her foot skills and speed down, she’s going to be a beast on the track.”
Perez said being a beast on the track is a good thing. He describes Colt RevolveHer as a bull who sees red. “She’s tenacious,” he said. “If she sets her mind to something, she is going to get it done.”
The team of roughly 20 players has provided an additional perk for LeDore: Family. The group members not only share knowledge about the sport but also take an interest in each other’s well-being.
“It’s like I joined the team and all of a sudden gained this new group of friends,” LeDore said. “We became integrated right away.”
LeDore hopes to earn a starting position on the team when competition season starts in February.