AB: You are currently co-coaching our Learn to Skate program right now, do you notice any differences from previous years?
DH: It's a small group this year, which is fantastic. It means it's possible to really make sure that everyone gets the attention they need to learn effectively, and that it's easier to make a real connection with new skaters to help them feel at home.
AB: Other than our fresh meat training, the league is in a quiet mode following a successful season. What was you favourite part of the 2016 season?
DH: Oh, there were so many great moments! The Maidens first winning games at Rumble this year felt amazing, and rolling up to our Bangor game blasting DMX and hanging out of Jerka's sunroof was a personal high point that I don't expect to top.
AB: Our AGM happens this month and we will host elections for some board positions. As you finish your term as league President, is there any wisdom you could pass on to our future board members?
DH: I think that it's important to remember that our league is and ever-evolving thing, and that sometimes it will grow in directions that you weren't expecting. It can be really scary to feel like you're not sure what the outcome of a new challenge might be, but it can be so rewarding to let new things happen and to see where they can go.
AB: What would you consider your personal successes and strengths from the 2016 season?
DH: I've played derby in this region for a long time now, and this year, I really worked hard to try to stop feeling intimidated by the physicality of the game, and by some players who I've always viewed as particularly powerful or untouchable. I allowed myself to think of myself as a strong, seasoned player in my own right. That confidence helped me to get out of my own head, and into the actual game.
AB: What are your goals for the pre-season?
DH: I want to work on mastering some of the "scarier" skills -- aggressive stops, jumps, fast footwork. And I want to get better at throwing big, mean, effective hits.
AB: You really put in a ton of work cross training this season, what did you do and how do you feel it helped you?
DH: This time last year, I just wasn't feeling comfortable in my body, and my routines weren't working for me anymore. I decided to hit the gym three days a week, and just do things that had worked for my body in the past, even if they weren't the things that work for other folks I know. I got back into running, and started doing morning 5Ks on the treadmill, and some work with dumbbells and bodyweight exercises. Eventually I added in sprint workouts too. Maintaining consistency and never skipping workouts was super important, and allowed me to constantly set small goals, and achieve them. It felt really good to take time to listen to my body, and to see constant successes was an awesome motivator.
AB: What brought you to derby and what keeps you coming?
DH: It actually goes back to the last time I was a gym rat. I had been logging many, many hours on the treadmill for a while, and one of the women who worked at my gym asked if I'd ever considered trying roller derby, because I seemed kinda "hard core" (Haha). I was feeling kinda ballsy, so I just went for it. I went to the next practice, ordered gear that evening, and never looked back. I think I keep coming because there are always new goals to work on, and because I'm still not quite as awesome as I imagined myself being while I ran on that treadmill, waiting for my fresh meat skates to arrive.
AB: I never ask sh!t like this, but what is one of the hardest parts of roller derby (not asking about skills here.. )
DH: I'm a very introverted person, and I thrive on alone time, so it can be overwhelming to me to not have time to decompress. I notice it when we are in full season, and travelling a lot. I love the time I spend with my teammates, but sometimes I crave quiet time, and those spare moments can be hard to find.
AB: If you could have any super power, what would you choose?
DH: I would like the power to shoot twenty dollar bills from my fingertips. I think that would cover most of my wants.