April’s Misfit of the Month is Malice!
Malice is highly involved in our league and the derby world at large. She has been playing for 4 years, starting Fresh Meat in 2012. Malice is a blocker on both the Doomsday Bunnies and Smokin’ Laces. She referees for our league, as well as NWO and TCRG, and she recently put her name in to be the new Director of Finance on our Board of Directors.
What go you started in derby?
Watching the movie “Whip It” with my family; as soon as the movie was over, my kids both exclaimed that I should try derby. I loved roller skating as a child and spend a lot of time at JJ’s Crystal Palace and Stardust; I even had a pair of red and blue Adidas roller skates that I wore at any opportunity I could. Until “Whip It”, I had no clue that I could spend time on skates as an adult. I immediately started researching roller derby in the Lower Mainland and it just so happened that the Reign Valley Vixens were holding a Fresh Meat night the next week. I couldn’t even wait that long, so I asked if I could come and watch a practice to find out more. I started the following week and haven’t looked back.
What is your biggest accomplishment in roller derby?
Inspiring my daughter. Shortly after I joined roller derby, my daughter asked to get involved. I believe it’s the best thing I have ever done for her. Roller derby has given her more confidence than I, or any other sport she has tried could have. I’ve seen her evolve to such a strong, independent and confident person.
What one or two things do you currently do in your training that are keys to your success?
1 – Going to as many practices as possible! Whether it’s going to Fresh Meat to help out while working on basic skills or to being invited to attend the Anarchy Angels practices and challenging myself; time on skates!
2 – Referee training; knowing the rules definitely improves your game knowledge. I just attended my 4th It’s Official Clinic and as they say, knowledge is power.
What would be your ultimate achievement?
Playing a game of roller derby outside of North America; to be able to travel and play the game I love.
What is your biggest challenge, and what do you do to manage this challenge?
My biggest challenge is overcoming my own negative thoughts and self doubt. I let these thoughts affect my practices and my performance. My tools for managing this challenge are support from my teammates and feedback from other players. They see your improvements and are supportive and encouraging; I try to listen and believe them! After practice, if I leave feeling defeated, I go back to their words and try to focus on how much I have improved over time.
At a recent game, I was struggling with my performance. At half time, a player from the opposing team (who was off skates that day) came over with to say they were impressed with my blocking. That changed my focus for the rest of the event and I cannot express how much it meant to me. And if I do not say it enough – I appreciate those teammates who see the good things I can do, even when I do not.
What was the best advice you were ever given?
Do not measure yourself and your skills against other players. Only measure against yourself and see your personal improvements!
Do you have a saying or motto that you live your life by?
Do unto others as you have them do unto you! If everyone lived like that, what a different world we’d live in. Just be kind to everyone, as you don’t know what battles an individual might be facing.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
My teammates! Derby is the most unique collective of people from all walks of life. We all come together for the love of this sport. I get to hang out with people half my age and it doesn’t matter.
I love watching our new skaters grow stronger at each practice and to cheer when they accomplish or perform a new skill. The encouragement that is given and received by everyone is so empowering. Even on my worst days when I have to drag myself to practice, I never regret going!
Do you have any recommended resources or advice for new players?
Watch derby: watch your home game footage, watch and support your local teams, and watch WFTDA archive footage. You can learn just as much from watching as from playing. And take every chance you have to get involved: scrimmages, attending bootcamps, and volunteering to NSO.
Anything else you would like to share?
Thank you to my coaches – past and present! Also to my wonderful husband who puts up with my busy derby schedule. And Get Involved! No where else will you find a sport or team that is this inclusive.