This week in #skateroftheweek we find out all about the fabulous Pash Malice!! She normally skates with the All Scars, but has unfortunately been recovering much of the year with a back injury. This hasn’t stopped Pash from working tirelessly behind the scenes however,helping to keep the League running smoothly.
1. How did you get into roller derby?
A friend of mine invited me to come to a Pirates game in early 2011. Throughout the whole game I kept asking her questions about how it worked and why the skaters were doing certain things. I fell in love with not only the physicality but also the strategy right from the start. I decided to go an open day not long after, and had ordered my derby skates even before starting freshmeat.
2. What makes you so passionate about the sport?
The sport has so many dimensions to it. Not just the athleticism, big hits, and fast jammers, but also tons of strategy, at times complex rules, and the many wonderful people involved. Regular exercise helps to keep me mentally well and until I found derby I was never able to keep up with exercise long term (woo health benefits of working out!). I’ve met people I never would have with out derby, travelled to places I probably would not have gone, and it has helped me grow as a person to boot. How can you not love something that gives you all of that?
3. You are recovering from a recent injury, what has been the hardest part and what is some advice you would give to others that you think might help them on the road to recovery?
I had to have major back surgery in June due to a severe disc prolapse in my lumber spine. It was absolutely devastating, as I was playing my best ever derby when I was injured and I missed going to TGSS with the All Scars because of it too. I think the most difficult part about it is watching my league mates continue to train and improve while I feel like I’m languishing and losing everything I worked so hard to build up.
My advice, but please take it with a grain of salt as it’s just been my experience:
1. Follow the doctors/physios orders! That includes doing all your strengthening exercises (I will admit to slipping on this too often). Coming back before you are ready can just lead to further (and often worse) injuries, and it’s simply not worth the risk.
2. Get back to skating as soon as you’re medically cleared to do so. I’ve been skating with our learn-to-derby class since I was 6 weeks post op but I won’t be going back to contact until next year. I’m trying to focus on my foundation skating skills so that when I am back, I won’t be quite so behind as I would be if I just stopped skating altogether. If I get my basic skills at least back to where they were prior to my injury, coming back to contact won’t be as difficult physically or emotionally.
3. Stay involved with your league. I’ve tried my best to keep up with my non-skating league commitments, have been NSOing at scrimmages and bench managing games for the Brawlers and All Scars. Derby often has an amazing community surrounding it – they are still there while you’re injured and can help support you on your journey back.
4. Who inspires you in the NZ derbyverse and international derbyverse?
I think anyone who has the determination to learn and pass our minimum skills is to be commended. Especially those who don’t come from a skating background – it’s hard work!
Specifically in NZ, I have come to develop a deep admiration for our All Scars coach Ruby Red Knuckles this year. Her vast derby knowledge seems to have no end and her dedication to the Pirates is incredible. She’s able to watch top international derby, tease out the strategies and then create drills and practices that teach you those strategies without you even realising it. That’s part of what makes an awesome coach and it’s a skill I want to learn.
Internationally, Jackie Daniels from Windy City has to be a favourite of mine. One reason is that I got to spend some time with her when I went to Battle on the Bent Track in Melbourne this year. Not only is she an extraordinary skater and coach, but she’s also a hilarious, down to earth person who seems to never stop smiling.
5. Do you have a secret talent that might surprise people?
Random facts: I can play the trumpet and also tie cherry stem into a knot with my mouth. (Those two things are totally related!)