Attorney Jennifer Eastman Profiled in National Magazine
Rudman Winchell attorney Jennifer Eastman is profiled this month in “Womenetics”. Womenetics provides high caliber content, programs and services to accelerate business by advancing women leaders. It is a globally recognized center of influence regarding gender diversity and women’s leadership. Driven by the belief that women’s full engagement is an imperative for economic prosperity, Womenetics’ mission is to develop, support and inspire female leaders to create an impact in their fields. Womenetics focuses on three areas: woman as effective business leaders, as successful business owners and as change agents around global issues impacting the bottom line.
Jennifer L. Eastman, Roller Derby Skater: “I’m six feet tall. The little ones just bounce off.”
“I’m passionate about roller derby and passionate about my league,” says estate and elder attorney Jennifer L. Eastman, who grew up skating at the local roller rink. A few years ago, she discovered a documentary film called “Rollergirls” and was “instantly hooked.” She started playing roller derby in 2011, helped found the Bangor-based Central Maine Derby in May 2012 and now serves as co-director.
She says, “The best thing about Central Maine Derby, and really derby generally, is tolerance for diversity. We are this large group of women who are all so different – in age, in background, in career, in sexuality and definitely in opinion – and yet we put all our differences aside to come together and respect each other and play as a team.”
Eastman skates under the name “Miss Anthrope” – who Eastman calls “a fun alter ego” that harkens back to a derby tradition of tongue-in-cheek “dark side” personas. She says that the attraction of roller derby for her is threefold: the bonding between team members, the mental game and the physicality. She explains that it has been an “unparalleled experience” to “get to know these women and call them my friends and to work together for common goals – to skate better, to build the league, to give back to our community.”
One important way that her team “gives back” is through an anti-bullying program that they created for schools called “Skate, Don’t Hate.” Eastman says that team members roll into a school auditorium in full gear, share their message, demonstrate some trick skating, and then have the kids take off their shoes and hit the floor for “sock derby.” The program is a big hit.
“Roller derby didn’t save my soul, but it may have saved my life,” says an Eastman blogpost for the Bangor Daily News. The life-saving part, she explains, is the workout it provides – an antidote against recently-diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis. “Exercise is the best thing I can do to combat the RA.” And, most importantly, it’s exercise that she loves.
“There are plenty of days when I’m exhausted and achy and don’t feel like going (to practice) but I love this sport so much, I will drag myself out of the office or bed to get there where I would probably never go to the gym.”
She explains that in addition to an inner strength and confidence that translates into her working life roller derby has also given her a new pride in her athleticism. “Derby has given me a newfound respect for my body. I know I am a strong woman, and I am proud of what this body can do.” She adds that at six feet tall, she can take the hits from smaller players with equanimity. “The little ones just bounce off.”