Hellgate Rollergirls Derby Profile: M.Kneesya

By K.P. NICHOLS

Marlana Kosky, a.k.a. M.Kneesya #3, is one of the founders of the Hellgate Rollergirls.

She has been a skater and active member since day one the league’s inception in Sept. 2009. M.Kneesya is the co-captain for the Brawlin’ Mollies and plays on the All-Stars team as a blocker/pivot.

You can watch M.Kneesya #3 in action this Friday, Nov. 9 at the Adams Center at 7 p.m. when the All-Stars play their last bout of the season.

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Q: What made you want to play roller derby?

MK: A friend and I started watching A&E’s “Rollergirls” it was a reality show about TXRD starting in Austin during derby’s resurgence. Derby was coming back as banked track then and had a lot more WWE-style theatrics, but those ladies were hardcore athletes and amazingly fun to watch skate…and fight…even if some of it was fake back then.

I used to love roller skating when I was a kid growing up in Casper, WY. We used to go to the Wagon Wheel Skate rink. My best friend’s dad owned it and we were there like four nights a week. When I saw derby, I knew it was for me.

Q: Do you have an alter ego? If so, what’s she like?

MK: My derby name is M.Kneesya.

The more time that passes the less I consider her to be a different person than me. She is the confident, aggressive, take no shit from anyone, hard hitting, unapologetic side of myself that I have often felt I needed to squelch when I am in the public sphere.

I’ve never been the most polite or soft spoken girl. Derby has helped me remember that I can be myself and that M. Kneesya and Marlana Kosky are the same person.

I chose a derby name that is the same as my real name in how people use it. I am MK on the track and at work…and always have been. The play on words with amnesia just hits that home even harder…I have forgotten the difference between the two.

Q: What do you do outside of derby… Your occupation? School? Hobbies? Interests? Talents?

M. Kneesya and Krazi, Hellgate Rollergirls All-Stars, playing defense on the jammer against the Treasure Valley Roller Girls of Boise, ID. Photo by Athena Photography.

M. Kneesya (left) and Krazi, Hellgate Rollergirls All-Stars, playing defense on the jammer against the Treasure Valley Roller Girls of Boise, ID. Photo by AthenaPhotography.

MK: I own two local businesses with my partner in life (and business) for the last 23 years, EC or “Couch” or dEspiCable, depending on who you are and how you know him. That keeps me pretty busy in addition to derby.

I used to mountain bike a lot, but since I started skating I rarely have the time or chose to take it. Funny how that works.

The only thing I really take time for these days other than skating and my man friend is my amazing dog, Yuki. She gets out for at least an hour every day without fail. She deserves it. She keeps me grounded and keeps me sane.

Q: Do you have an athletic/sporting background besides derby? If so, what and when (h.s., college)?

MK: I played volleyball from 5th grade through high school, threw shot-put, discus and javelin a little sophomore year, rode horses hunter/jumper-style competitively from 11 years old until I moved to Missoula in 1995 and sold my horse to come to graduate school.

But…I mostly played basketball since I was tiny. I was offered a scholarship to play at NAU when I graduated but turned it down to stay in SLC and just do school. I wanted the college experience without the stress of having to play sports if I didn’t feel like it. I had a coach in high school that ruined basketball for me as far as being able to still think it was fun…I always hated him for that. It’s a huge reason derby was so appealing to me…it was fun. There were no asshole coaches to get all ego-y and controlling on you…it was for skaters by skaters…and the skaters were amazing female athletes.

Q: Do you have a derby idol? If so, who is it? Who does she play for?

MK: Easily…Demanda Riot #000. She plays for B.A.D. (Bay Area Derby) and kills. She is an active destroyer while she’s on the floor and makes it look smooth and graceful as women are flying off of her hip and shoulder checks.

Q: Do you have a pre-bout ritual? Or pre-bout meal? Or pre-bout music to pumped you up?

MK: No rituals…just go with the flow…do what feels right, eat what sounds good, listen to what moves me at the time.

Q: Is there a piece of clothing, jewelry, momento, make-up style you always bout with? Why?

MK: Always black eye-liner…why not?

Q: What is something that most people don’t know, or would never guess about you?

MK: I was born a conjoined twin.

Q: What movie can you watch over and over and never get sick of?

MK: The Princess Bride… “as you wish” never gets old.

Q: I can’t leave the house without…?

MK: Stepping out the door.

Q: What is your most over-used word or phrase?

MK: “Bro”…I hate it. It started as a joke…making fun of other people that used it in seriousness…now I can’t shake it. It pops out of my mouth at the worst times.

Q: List three things that you plan to accomplish in 2013 (derby related or not). Or do you have any current derby goals you like to share?

MK: I don’t make plans to accomplish things in the future…you never know what life is going to throw at you. I try to live in the moment. For a while I wrote P-R-E-S-E-N-T-! on my hands (one letter on each knuckle) before bouts to try to remind myself to stay in the moment…just react and be.

Q: What keeps you coming back to derby (day-after-day/year-after-year)?

MK: Being able to hit people and get hit…really hard…in a socially acceptable way. I have made really great friends that smack me around every time I see them on the track…and I love them for it.

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Photo courtesy of Athena Photography.

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KP enjoying Missoula's great outdoors

K.P. Nichols, a.k.a. Kill Pill, has been a member of the Hellgate Rollergirls since November 2010. She co-heads Bout Production with Tushie Galore, which means they are busy working on the upcoming bout at the Adams Center on Friday, Nov. 9th. Bout starts at 7 p.m. with $12 GA tickets, $6 for UM students with a griz card, and kids 10 and under free.

HGRG is always in need of volunteers for its bouts, which means you’d get into the bout for free. If you’re interested, email us at hgrgbouts@gmail.com.