Editor’s note: Nancy Cox is the founder of Research Story Consulting and former CPG corporate researcher. Her work and play include words, sketchpads, cooking (not baking) and the occasional sock puppet.

Passions, hobbies, healthy distractions and even guilty pleasures – discover how the research community plays and how that plays out in their work life. In the Venn diagram of work and play, what happens when work and play overlap? Research colleagues share their work and play stories in this interview series by Nancy Cox. 

I’ve just returned to roller derby! Back in seventh grade, I helped start the Chicago Riots Junior Roller Derby team which I played on through my sophomore year of high school. After pivoting to high school sports, college and recently a laser-focus on my research career, I’m lacing up my skates again for the Chicago-Style Roller Derby team. 

While my team is new, it’s also a homecoming as this team has roots in the Chicago Outfit, the adult team that first coached and mentored my junior roller derby team. That coaching and mentoring connection continues between the teams today. I was enthusiastically welcomed back by the culture that raised me.

Roller derby has given me immense confidence, strength and empowerment since I was 12. It’s amazing to skate right back into all the joys of playing and competing but also the joy of community. Today’s roller derby is not the roller derby that people may have seen in movies or TV that depicts the “no rules” style of pre-2000s. We are definitely competitive in this aggressive, full-contact sport but we are also very supportive of each other even across teams. I’m welcome to practice with other teams – now part of my business travel means packing my derby gear. We all benefit from skating against people who have different styles and sharing different teams’ skill drills.

The roller derby community is also a very creative communi...

Frankie Lipinski Work And Play (1)
Frankie Lipinski Work And Play (2)
Frankie Lipinski Work And Play (3)
Frankie Lipinski Work And Play (1)
Frankie Lipinski Work And Play (2)
Frankie Lipinski Work And Play (3)