Photographer Sye Williams and I have a funny relationship. He'll tell me he just shot Linda Honeywell, (the Dolly Parton impersonator), Rashad "Sugar" Evans, the UFC champion, or a female inmate, who's in for life, and I'll say, great, but what they were eating?
I've been a long-time friend and fan of Sye's, who's work visually documents professional boxers and wrestlers, as well as capturing the underbelly of some of American's most interesting subcultures. A world that is not always pretty, and sometimes downright painful, but he always captures a dignity and beauty that is undeniably real. What people eat, from all walks of life, professional and non-professionals, has always been of interest to me. How they came by their meal, was it a choice they made? Or did somebody make it for them. What are they addicted to, what fuels them, and what do they crave? You would think a boxer, for instance, might eat only carbs. (I don't know why, but perhaps from watching too many Rocky re-runs, I've always thought a boxer is usually swilling street coffee, and scoffing unimpressive cheese pizza slices, all between jabs.) Seth Kelly, the Editor in Chief of UFC magazine, says the answer to what an athlete eats is varied. "I have seen guys that eat six meals a day, measuring out carbs/fat/protein ratios, and there are guys that slam down a few slices of pizza and go out and smash their opponent."
Sye, who has photographed several boxers (including Oscar De La Hoya for Vanity Fair, and Amir Khan for HBO) started asking around for me and found the following; Boxer Russell Lamour Jr, eats egg whites, the morning before a fight, with pancakes, just to carb up. Then mid afternoon a chicken sandwich or fruit, just to stay balanced so he's not too full or hungry before a fight. David 'the dream catcher' Imoesiri, concocts shakes with his Enagic Kangen Water Machine that makes electronically microclustered H2O water molecules for hydration and detoxification of internal organs and tissue, (!) along with plenty of healthy home cooked meals, some honey bunches of oats, and some almond milk for zinc.
So when Sye sent me pictures of a recent assignment he'd done on the athletes at the women's roller derby in LA, I had to ask, who was Cannon Doll X? What was Roller derby? What did this sport involve, (were they out to kill each other?) and most importantly, what did Cannon Doll eat to fuel herself, for what looked like a pretty grueling workout?
An interview with Roller Derby's Cannon Doll X (including what she eats):