Those of you addicted to reality television (hello! guilty!) will be familiar with the MTV show Made, which takes awkward teenagers and transforms them into the prom queen. Last month, CMT debuted an adult version, and next week's episode features a stay-at-home mom who wants to be made into a roller derby star. To help her, CMT recruited Denver's Shannon "Lucky 7" Boyles.
It all started a while ago, says Boyles, daughter of KHOW talk show host Peter Boyles. MTV had a teenager who wanted to be made into a rollergirl and they held auditions for the position of coach. Boyles, who skated with the world champion Rocky Mountain Rollergirls until an injury forced her to retire last season, tried out and got the gig, but the episode was postponed when the teenager ran into a medical issue.
Then, some time later, Boyles says she got a call from CMT. They had an adult who also wanted to be made into a rollergirl. Would she serve as coach? Boyles said yes.
"I have always just kind of enjoyed new challenges, especially on-air or on-camera," Boyles says. "I think it might be in my genes."
Boyles traveled to Texas, where she spent less than six weeks teaching newbie Leann Simmons the ins and outs of roller derby. Here's how CMT describes the episode:
Leann Simmons is new to being a stay-at-home single mom. After a recent divorce, Leann went from having a job and a husband to spending all of her time cooking, cleaning, and caring for her three young daughters. Adjusting to her new lifestyle has not been easy. Leann wants to alleviate her frustration, regain her confidence, and get her life rolling again by being MADE into a rough and tough roller derby girl! With powerhouse skater Lucky 7 of the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls as her coach, Leann will learn to pick herself up, both on the track and in her everyday life.
"I thought of myself as a mentor to this woman in how you can make changes and tweaks to your life," Boyles says. "She felt confident for the first time in many years and she felt positive about herself. It's beautiful metamorphosis."
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Boyles -- who chose her derby name "Lucky 7" because she was born on July 7, 1974 and her dad nicknamed her "Lucky" -- says she went through a similar transformation when she started skating six years ago. "I really kind of was like, 'Damn, I'm doing something not everybody can do and it's fierce and I love it!'" she says.
Unfortunately, Boyles tore her hamstring badly during a scrimmage last year and had to stop bouting competitively. (A "game" in roller derby is called a "bout.") But that doesn't mean she's given up on derby. In addition to appearing on Made, Boyles routinely announces the Rollergirls' bouts -- and expects to be on hand at the Women's Flat Track Derby Association Championship, the World Cup of roller derby, which will be held at the 1stBank Center in Broomfield on November 11.
In the meantime, Boyles plans to watch the premiere of her Made episode next Thursday, September 15, at 8 p.m. at The Living Room, 1055 Broadway.
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