Happy Tax Season! This is a re-post from October 2010.
Skater Name: CynTax
(officially [or formerly?] CynTax Terror)
“Because I’m a tax accountant and I’m easy!” But also, being“an accountant is semi-unusual in the derby world, so I wanted my skate name to reflect my profession.”-Cyn
“The number, 1040ez, for those that don’t know, is the standard short form for tax preparation. Get it, short form. During tax season it really is CynTax season because I’m working crazy hours while trying to keep up my attendance at derby practice so I can make the rosters.”-Cyn
Team Affiliations: Currently with SVRG, previously with B.A.D. Girls
Derby Debut Date: January 2006
“As far as skating goes; I am a child of the 80’s, so skating parties were a weekly staple in my life. Until I started my roller derby career in 2006, I hadn’t skated since the late 80’s. It was like riding a bike in some ways, but it still took time to build upon those basic skating skills.” However, “I was very heavily into gymnastics competition all through my childhood. I really feel this training has been extremely helpful in roller derby. In particular, it has helped me to better take falls by rolling out of them or ‘crumpling’ to reduce the impact to any one particular part of the body.” -Cyn
Preferred Position: Jammer/Human Target, Downward Facing Dog, Short Stop and The Flail
Accomplishments: September Skater of the Month 2010, Bout MVP, 2009 Takes a Lickin’ and Keeps on Tickin’ Award and most laps skated at SVRG’s first annual skate-o-thon fundraiser in 2009, after skating 315 laps or nearly 24 miles in 2 hours!
Derby Wife: Megan “Satan’s Kitten” Pittsley
“What I really admire about Cyn is her confidence and fire (hence why I call her 'fighty mouse'). Even though she's small, she doesn't let anyone intimidate her or make her feel unsure about herself, regardless of their size.
She's always in it to win it.”– Megan Pittsley
She's always in it to win it.”– Megan Pittsley
Favorite Quote: Shit or get off the pot!
Derby Theme Song: Get Back and How Low Can You Go, both by Ludacris
“I listen to this during warm-ups before every bout, it helps me get psyched up” -Cyn
Hidden Talents: “Hmm…I’m really good at scaring guys away!”-Cyn
Pet Peeves: Insincerity, political correctness, bullshit, apathy and tact
Guilty Pleasures: McDonalds and daily naps
Halloween Costume this year? I'm gong to rock a flapper girl get up. I think it will be easy to skate in at the skate-o-thon.
Celebrity Crush: Winona Ryder
“She’s crazy and hot and people tell me I look and act like her”-Cyn
~CYN~ / ~WIN~
Relax, it’s not actually tax season -yet. It’s just my spotlight on SVRG skater and friend Cynthia “CynTax” Kensinger. I first met Cyn in the summer of 2009 after I had distributed some flyers around the Pleasanton mall to generate interest in an East Bay league. Cyn was already skating with the Silicon Valley Roller Girls, but she lived in Livermore at the time, (near me) and was commuting 45 minutes to an hour to skate- and she wanted to see what I was all about. She obviously did not end up joining East Bay Roller Derby. Actually, she moved to San Jose to be closer to her team and is still skating with the lovely ladies of SVRG. But she has become an invaluable support for me when I have needed to reach out to sister leagues; she understands what it takes and what it’s like to be where I’m at, (as she was an integral component in the league start up of B.A.D.); and she is always supportive and encouraging of my ventures in derby and the East Bay. Cyn effortlessly put the often touted “derby sisterhood” mantra into practice by extending an olive branch to me, and telling me “you can do it”. And she’d do it again too for anybody who had that dream, because she loves roller derby- just like me. And for that, I truly appreciate and value her friendship.
In a sport where size often matters, CynTax uses her small stature to her advantage by deftly sneaking through the pack unnoticed. Known on the track for her endurance, speed, agility and wily jammer moves, she has received several accolades over her 4 year derby career including Jammer MVP at SVRG’s most recent home bout, The KillaBytes 2009 Takes a Lickin’ and Keeps on Tickin’ Award, and most laps skated at SVRG’s first annual skate-o-thon fundraiser in 2009, after skating 315 laps or nearly 24 miles in 2 hours. [-SVRG September Skater of the Month Feature]
Don’t be deceived by her petite 5 foot frame. This real life tax accountant will make you pay: literally, figuratively, and physically. Often compared to Winona Ryder, (in appearance and demeanor) this pint-sized powerhouse will pound you on the track, and then drink you under the table at the after party. A self described “100-pounds, soakin’ wet”, Cyn is a surprisingly tough jammer. She’s squirrelly enough to dodge a block, but tough enough to take a hit when it can’t be avoided. Fellow SVRG skater, (past Rat City Skater, Coach and all around BAD-ASS) Pia Mess 24/7 said “Cyntax is amazing! I believe the league award she won last year was ‘takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’’ if you've ever seen her in action at one of our bouts, you'll understand. She was a good skater when I joined SVRG, but over the past year and a half, I have really enjoyed her finding her self-confidence and feet and to blossom into one of the top jammers for our Killabytes. Next stop, DOTS! Love you Cyn!” (For those who are not hip to the jive, the Silicon Valley Roller Girls feature two teams, the Dot.Kamikazes, and the Killabytes.)
Even more telling of Cyn’s dedication to the sport is the amount of injuries she has endured, and then overcome, in order to continue to play. She originally left B.A.D. due to a severe back injury, only to later break some ribs skating with SVRG in January of 2009. And these are only some of her injuries! When recalling her own bad luck on the track CynTax said, “I had lots of obstacles to overcome with my size… I’ve suffered lots of derby related injuries including broken ribs, broken nose, broken fingers and I’ve had lots of problems with my back and my knees from the stress of skating alone.” But she still perseveres. She doesn’t let any of it faze her. When it comes to long-term derby goals she declared, “I would like to keep skating for as long as my body will allow me to! …If I had to pinpoint a [roller derby] goal it would be to one day be the oldest member on the league.” Inspiring, to say the least.
[One of Cyn's many injuries]
Though perhaps fated for bionic woman status, Cyn proves an asset on and off the track. Her accounting background and understanding of legalese has contributed tremendously to, well, all of roller derby. Let me explain. Cynthia spearheaded B.A.D.’s non-profit application submission to the IRS. Cyn clarifies, “I believe we were the second or at least one of the first leagues in the country to do so. This paved the way for other leagues and now it’s pretty much standard that roller derby leagues are non-profits, after going through the application process of course. This was a big deal years ago to get the IRS to recognize roller derby for what it is, a non-profit sports organization for the promotion of female athleticism. We had to fight tooth and nail for this.” She presently holds the title of Announcer Liaison and WFTDA voter rep, which means she ensures SVRG remains in good standing with the organization by gathering new and pertinent information, managing, and submitting league votes. But it’s funny though; now, Cyn seems to have much less interest in being in charge than her days with B.A.D. when she was involved with getting things going, -she’d rather be behind the scenes I think. Despite everything she can be credited for, and her ability to contribute managerially, being Lead Jammer is about as center stage as she gets. She’s humble like that.
Roller Derby and accounting are not all of CynTax’s life. “I also like to cook. I don’t have time to do it often, but it’s the only creative thing I do. I get in trouble if I’m too creative at work.” Haha, Cyn; but I beg to differ about cooking being your only creative trait. She told me she started a book club within her league. They have about a dozen members, and read one book a month. Each book club member gets to submit a book for the club to read and discuss. Cyn says, “I really like this idea because it gives us all new things to read that we might not have normally chosen on our own. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by some of the selections.” I like this idea too. It’s fantastic. What a creative, delightful little muse she is. Guess who wants to start an EBRD book club now? While derby is not CynTax’s only hobby, she does keep it in mind when choosing other activities. She is constantly thinking about her skating and looking for ways to stay fit. “I am pretty active. I think participating in other forms of physical activity when you do such a physically demanding sport as roller derby is important. I like to run, lift weights, do yoga, golf; anything that comes my way really.” Guys, she’s single. (Her turn ons are: Razor sharp wit, vertically challenged but high IQ,, athleticism, spunk, and attitude -just by the way).
CynTax’s dedication and willingness to endure whatever challenge comes her way, her professional attitude on and off the track, compiled with her always improving skating aptitude, make her one of my favorite picks for up and coming derby greats. While she says she wants to one day be the oldest skater in the league and boasts, “I’m gaining on the few members older than myself!” you’d never know it. Spunky, athletic and full of energy, she totally has what it takes. When asked what advice she would give women interested in playing roller derby she replied, “first decide if you’re serious because it takes a lot of practice, time, blood, sweat and tears. After you have decided to make the commitment and be serious about it, don’t let the setbacks ruin your enthusiasm. Being a good skater is only half of it. Derby comes naturally to some, but more often than not, it’s a skill that takes lots of practice
to learn.” I could not have said it better myself.
Let’s close this out with one of Cyn’s favorite motivational skating songs.