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The Mad Catter #345

“Derby isn’t my mid-life crisis, it’s my mid-life awakening.” -The Mad Catter

Not everyone is lucky enough to get hit with (literally) a mid-life wake-up call in the form of a full-contact sport. On skates. But we’re sure lucky The Mad Catter did. Cat is one of our 2016 captains,  and she’s leading the team with her trademark positivity, encouragement, and optimism. Going into her third season with the team, Cat’s proving that, with hard work, determination, and a sense of humor, it doesn’t matter how old you are when you start skating; all that matters is how hard you hit—and she hits hard. We’ve got the bruises to prove it. 


Read on to learn more about Cat.



How did you come up with your name?

My name is Cat, and I wanted to incorporate that into my derby name. My hubby and I brainstormed some names then did a Facebook poll because I couldn’t decide. The Mad Catter won.


What positions do you like to play?

I’m a blocker most of the time but love a little jammer action, too.


What kind of gear do you use?

I have a wide variety of brands: Pro-Tec, Atom, 187 Pro, and Riedell 1065 Siren Skates


How did you get involved with derby?

I saw a Facebook post about roller derby from a friend and couldn’t believe we had roller derby in Rochester and I didn’t know about it. I contacted Green Eggs & Slam for more info, watched my first bout, and said ,“I need to do this! I joined new recruit training in November of 2013 and have been playing ever since.


What is your athletic background? Did you skate before derby?

I was a sprinter and long jumper in high school and did some fencing during and after college. I roller and ice skated when I was young for fun but nothing formal.  


What sort of training do you do off the track?

I do a lot of yoga, some cardio, and work in some strength when I can.


What do you eat after practice?

Almond milk, cheese, and whatever I can find in the fridge.


What is your personal theme song?

“Girls Just Want To Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper


What’s your favorite part about derby?

Derby is a sport that is for everyone, players of all shapes, sizes, and ages. I love the positive impact it’s had on my health; I’m in the best shape of my life. As a team, we all push and encourage each other to be the best we can be. It’s a great community of strong, positive athletes.


Describe your greatest derby success.

Last season, I jammed in a bout and thought I did horrible. I didn’t score many points because their jammer kept calling it off. Later, their coach came up to me and said, “Ya know, you’re a damn good skater! That really pissed me off!” I was awarded MVP jammer that night from the other team.


Describe your biggest derby obstacle/disappointment. How did you overcome it?

My biggest obstacle was the voice in my head saying, “You can’t do this, you are too old, you will get hurt, you aren’t good enough.” Once I was able to change my way of thinking, I was able to start progressing the way I wanted to.  


Besides skating, what other roles do you take on for the team?

I am currently Co-Captain, head of fundraising, and on the art committee. I lend a hand whenever it’s needed from bout set-up to selling merchandise to photographing bouts.


What do you do outside of derby?

I’m married to a very patient man and am Mom to 2 teenagers, 3 dogs, and 2 cats. I am the Director and a teacher at a Christian preschool and a professional photographer. I never sit still, so I’m always finding some kind of new project to create or work on handyman stuff around the house.


How has derby changed you (physically, emotionally, mentally, etc)?

Derby is such a challenging sport, both mentally and physically. Recently, a skater said roller derby is like playing chess on roller skates while hitting people. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life. It’s made me step outside of my box, realize I can do a lot more than I thought I could, and be more confident in everything I do.  


What advice would you give a new skater?

  1. Stay low!  

  2. Don’t compare yourself to other skaters.  

  3. You CAN do it, never give up even when things get challenging.

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